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Local Sports News
Panthers Crush Cobras - Punch Ticket to 1A State Championship
By Justin Fluke
Copyright: MSC Sports

The Centralia defense put together another dominant showing and the Panthers ripped off a pair of 59-yard touchdown runs while building a 22-0 lead and advancing to the 1A State Championship game with a resounding 44-6 home win against Jackson Heights. Kamble Haverkamp was again Kamble Haverkamp with 186 yards rushing and scored twice on the ground while adding a 14-yard touchdown pass to Devon Feldkamp on a fourth down play early in the fourth quarter as Centralia won their 11th consecutive game and will play two-time defending champ Smith Center in Hays on Saturday.

After forcing a three-and-out to start the game, Centralia set the tone early with a 14-play drive before Haverkamp rushed in from a yard out to make it 6-0. After an exchange of punts, Jackson Heights was driving and converted a fourth and two advancing to the Centralia 40-yard-line. But on fourth down and one, the Panther defense made a huge stop to protect a 6-0 lead and then two plays later Corbin Becker scored on a 59-yard inside reverse play to make it 14-0 just before halftime. 

Centralia then scored on their first play of the second half when Haverkamp broke free on a 59-yard TD run to make it 22-0.  Jackson Heights switched to a spread offense on their next series and quickly drove 80 yards in just four plays before Cooper Williams scored a touchdown to pull within 22-6 and seemingly put the Cobras back in the game.  However, the ensuing kickoff was botched and after going just a few yards was alertly picked up by Ian Haverkamp who returned it 47 yards for a touchdown and 28-6 Centralia lead that for all intensive purposes put the game away.  Tyler Heinen registered consecutive sacks for Centralia to stop the Cobras fourth quarter drive then Noah Quigley capped the scoring with a six-yard touchdown run with 1:02 remaining.

Jackson Heights finished with 180 yards rushing and Jason Bosley completed one double-reverse pass for 27 yards to Cooper Williams on a third and nine play late in the third period.  Bosley gained 17 yards on nine carries while Dylan Thompson had nine totes for 47 yards and Williams finished his stellar senior career with 128 yards on 22 rushes.  Williams finished with more than 1,500 yards rushing for the second straight season before Jackson Heights ended their best season since 1983 with a record of 9-3.

Centralia ran for 322 yards and averaged 7.7 yards per carry. Kamble Haverkamp pushed his season rushing total past 2,400 yards and earned the Citizens State Bank and Trust Company of Hiawatha “Player to Bank On” honors. Colton Hasenkamp set the tone on the defensive line early for Centralia and was in on several tackles to earn Giant Communications “Lineman of the Game” honors while Austin Holthaus also had a terrific game on both sides of the football.

Centralia will be making their seventh state title game appearance and first since they won their third state championship in 2013.  The Panthers are now 11-1 and rematch against a Smith Center team that they beat 20-19 in overtime in the 2009 title game and ended the Redman’s longest winning streak in high school football at 79 games.  Smith Center beat Plainville 20-19 in the semifinals on Friday and is 12-0 this year after winning the state 1A title the past two years.     

©2020 MSC Sports
Hiawatha, KS 66434
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