Sunday, 05 December 2021
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Top Two in 8M-II Square Off in Sub-State on Friday Night
By Brandon Tadtman

Arguably the two best teams in 8M-II will square off on Friday night with a trip to the State Championship game on the line.

#1 (11-0) Axtell travels to #2 (11-0) Thunder Ridge in one of the best Sub-State matchups in all of Kansas.

For much of the season, these two teams put themselves out in front of the rest of the pack as the top two in the 8M-II Classification.

Axtell has posted an impressive run over the last few seasons as they were the state runner-up in 2019 and finished 7-3 last season. This season, they’re a perfect 11-0 and have been running the table atop the rankings since their week four win against Hanover.

This game features two of the best quarterbacks in the state at the 8-Man level with Axtell junior Isaac Detweiler and Thunder Ridge junior Dylan Bice.

Detweiler has completed 75% of his passes this season and has thrown for over 1,500 yards, and he’s also rushed for over 1,000 yards and has totaled 54 touchdowns to just two interceptions. Bice has completed 77% of his passes this season and has thrown for over 1,000 yards with nine touchdowns to just one interception. Bice has also rushed for nearly 1,400 yards and 27 touchdowns.

The Axtell offense is averaging 55.8 points per game this season while the defense is surrendering just 12.9 points per game. The Thunder Ridge offense is averaging 52.3 points per game while their defense has given up 11.6 points per game.

Last season in the playoffs, Axtell defeated Thunder Ridge 42-40 in one of the wildest games of the season. Thunder Ridge led 32-6 in the third quarter, but the Eagles scored three times in the last three minutes to rally to pull off an incredible comeback.

The winner of this game should be the favorite in next week’s State Championship game in Newton with also the possibility of the winning team having the Division II Player of the Year in either Detweiler or Bice.

The other Sub-State game in 8M-II is (10-1) Victoria at (10-1) Wheatland/Grinnell. Axtell beat Wheatland/Grinnell in the season opener 62-16 for the Thunderhawks’ only loss of the season.

Kickoff between the Axtell Eagles and Thunder Ridge Longhorns on Friday night is 7:00 PM in Kensington.

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