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Local Sports News
2A Sub-State Preview: Sabetha at Nemaha Central
By Brandon Tadtman
Copyright: MSC Sports
11/16/2023

The Bluejays have been on a tear since they suffered the lone loss against the Thunder back on October 20th. They opened the playoffs with a 71-6 win over ACCHS, they followed that with a 45-34 win at Silver Lake, and last week they defeated Humboldt 49-18.

In the game at Silver Lake, the Bluejays rushed for over 500 yards with Colin Menold rushing for 360 and three touchdowns. Last week against Humboldt, they were much more balanced with Mitchell Kramer completing 10 of 15 passes for 202 yards and three touchdowns. Menold rushed for 111 yards and two scores against Humboldt while Kramer added 50 rushing yards and another score. The Bluejays finished with 471 total yards against Humboldt and held the Cubs to 254 yards.

The Sabetha offense is averaging 39.9 points per game this season but have scored 55 points per game during the playoffs. The Bluejays defense has been one of the best units in 2A as they’re allowing only 11.7 points per game.

Nemaha Central won their 24th game in a row last week as the pulled away from Osage City with a 53-27 win. The Thunder led 20-7 early but only led Osage City 26-20 at halftime. Nemaha Central scored three times in the third quarter to help create some separation.

Quarterback Carter Hajek earned his second athlete of the week nod for the season with his performance in that game. Hajek rushed for 242 yards and three touchdowns, passed for 55 yards and another score, had two interceptions on defense including a pick-six, and took the opening kickoff of the second half 99-yards for a touchdown. Hajek was the unanimous First Team All-Big 7 quarterback for this season as he’s rushed for nearly 2,000 yards and 37 touchdowns while adding 858 passing yards and 10 more touchdowns.

The Thunder offense is averaging nearly 43 points per game and have scored 40 or more points in six of their 11 games. The defense has been one of top units among all classifications. They posted eight straight shutouts between week two and week nine before giving up 13 to Riley County and 27 to Osage City. Overall, the Thunder defense is #1 in 2A giving up just 4.2 points per game.

Nemaha Central and Sabetha tallied 28 of the 58 Big 7 All-League selections for this season. Both teams had 14 selections each with multiple players for both teams earning nods for both sides of the ball. The Thunder are 14-8 against the Bluejays since 2005 and have won four straight in the series.

The last time Sabetha beat Nemaha Central was week three of the 2020 season (29-22). Both teams have won multiple state titles since 2017. Nemaha Central won last year’s title and won it in 2019. The Bluejays won back-to-back 3A titles in 2017 and 2018. The Thunder defeated Sabetha last season in the Sub-State title game 30-14.


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Hiawatha, KS 66434
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