Monday, 10 May 2021
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Holton & Perry Take Two, Winner to 3A State Football Title Game
By Jake W. Spalding
Copyright: MSC Sports

I had to check the calendar to ensure what year it was, because it feels like 2008 once again. Obviously we are in 2020, and nobody will ever forget this year or this could quite possibly be the year to forget. That all will be determined in the future, but for now? It's sub-state football with #4 Holton traveling to #2 Perry-Lecompton. It feels like 2008 because that is the last time these two teams met up with a game this important. Perry hosted Holton then in the sub-state round and defeated the Wildcats 56-35 to go on and play in their first ever state championship game. A lot has transpired since then. Holton has played in three state championship games since, winning in 2012 with Perry making it back to state just a season ago for only the second time in school history. This game is a rivalry, and anyone who says it is not has not followed these teams, at least in the past few seasons. Since 2009 Holton holds a record of 8-3 head to head against the Kaws. However since 2018 Perry is 3-1 against Holton including knocking the Wildcats out of the playoffs a season ago.

A rematch from week three this season, where Perry traveled to Holton and won 28-14. Just looking at the score doesn't tell the whole story of the game. Holton had two secondary players out due to injury and played toe to toe with Perry in the first half, tied 14-14 at the break. In the second half things would change drastically as all-state quarterback Billy Welch went out of of the game with a torn ACL just a few minutes into the second half. Perry would see all-state running back Thad Metcalfe step in to replace Welch, and lead Perry to victory 28-14. Holton fumbled three times in the game and Perry had just two turnovers, the Kaws would use that win to claim their first ever big seven league title. Why is this relevant? How will this help preview tonight's match-up? Well you see, some things have changed since week three.

Holton is the healthiest they have been all year, they have found success consistently at the line of scrimmage, dominating opponents week in and week out. The Wildcats are riding a seven game winning streak. Speaking of streaks, Holton has forced at minimum two turnovers per game in six straight games. Oh and the Wildcats have also had over 400 yards of total offense during the seven game winning streak while outscoring their opponents 45-15 on average. Senior Canon Karn is coming off a career night where he tallied over 300 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns. Karn is now well over 1,000 yards on the season with an astounding 19 touchdowns.

Aside from the injury to Welch, Perry is the healthiest they have been in recent weeks. Getting two key players back from quarantine in Parker Stone and Jeremiah Monroe. Perry's lone loss on the year was to Hayden, then the #2 ranked team in 3A. However, Perry avenged that loss just two weeks ago to knock Hayden out of the playoffs for the second consecutive year. Perry has won four straight, including road games at Rock Creek and Hayden. The Kaws average over 350 yards of total offense with Metcalfe running the show and outscore their opponents 42-10 on average. Metcalfe leads the way for Perry on the offensive side a week ago, accounting for 287 yards of offense and five touchdowns. Metcalfe has stepped into the quarterback roll with a confidence that 20th year head coach Mike Paramore says “He thrives on that, you can't put too much pressure on that cat”.

THESE TWO TEAMS LOVE DEFENSE. So you better believe this weeks game will be a defensive battle with both teams allowing less than 14 points per game. Holton's 25th year head coach Brooks Barta and Paramore have known each other for quite some time and have been a part of some phenomenal games over the years. Yet this one feels different. Perry is trying to make it back-to-back state title game appearances, where Holton is trying to get back to the state title game for the first time since 2015. It's big seven league football, with the winner representing the East in the state championship game. No matter what, for the fourth consecutive year the East will be represented by a big seven league team. It has a feel of 2008, but it is definitely 2020. Which team will make this a year to remember, and the other a year to forget? Sub-state championship football begins on your local sports authority tonight with pre-game at 6:30 on 103.9FM KNZA, audio only broadcast on the Holton Channel, ask Alexa to “Start KNZA” or listen online at

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Hiawatha, KS 66434
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