Class 3A Semifinal Preview

Collegiate quarterback Austin Waddell (by David Jackson,
By: Matt Gilmore & Conor Nicholl for
Nov 17, 2015

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Class 3A

East: No. 4 Wellsville (10-2) at No. 1 Rossville (12-0)

Defending champion Rossville is back in the state semifinal game, but the Wellsville Eagles will be the opponent instead of the Bulldawgs rival Silver Lake.

Sabetha defeated Silver Lake 34-28 in the second round before Wellsville knocked out the Bluejays 31-14 in last week’s quarterfinal.

Wellsville has won eight consecutive games after beginning the season with a 2-2 mark.  The Eagles lost to Prairie View (7-6) to open the season, and fell to 4A-I semifinalist Eudora (20-6) in Week 4. The Eagles posted four consecutive shutouts throughout district play and an opening playoff win over Erie.

The Eagle offense primarily keeps the ball on the ground with senior Zach Strawn.  Strawn has rushed for 1,140 yards and 18 touchdowns on the season.  He averages 7.8 yards per carry. Strawn posted a 257-yard, 4-touchdown effort in a second-round win over Neodesha, before adding 103 yards and two scores against Sabetha.

Junior Daryon Winton has added 487 rushing yards and seven scores, while quarterback Tony Dougan has 453 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns.

Dougan has passed for 1,041 yards and 12 touchdowns this season. Seth Breithaupt is Wellsville’s leading receiver with 426 yards and eight scores, about 50 more receiving yards than Strawn.

The Wellsville defense has surrendered only seven points per game all season, but will be tested against Rossville.

The Bulldawgs feature one of the classification’s best players in senior quarterback Tucker Horak. Horak has rushed for 2,441 yards and 41 touchdowns this season, while passing for 1,900 yards and 27 more scores.

Hoark rushed for 188 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries in Rossville’s 42-32 quarterfinal win over St. Mary’s Colgan.  It was the closest margin of victory for the Bulldawgs this season.

Junior Dawson Hammes has also topped the 1,000-yard mark with 1,011 rushing yards and ten scores.

Cole Schumacher and Christian Roduner lead the Bulldawgs in receiving with 602 and 574 yards, respectively. Schumacher has nine touchdown catches and Ruduner has eight.

The Rossville defense has been solid all season in giving up 15 points per game. Hammes leads the defense with 126 stops.

Balance on offense may be the key for Wellsville in this match-up as Colgan had some success throwing the ball last week.  Containing Horak is an entirely different issue.

Rossville 41, Wellsville 20 (Gilmore)

West: No. 2 Wichita Collegiate (12-0) at No. 3 Halstead (12-0)

Wichita Collegiate and Halstead had very impressive performances against quality opponents in the quarterfinals last week.

Collegiate rolled over Norton 66-25 behind another great game from quarterback Austin Waddell, running back Nathan Burgoyne, and a continued ability to score on defense and special teams.

Halstead faced previously undefeated Hoisington in a matchup of two of Kansas’ best run offenses. The Dragons rolled over the Cardinals, 44-8 as Hoisington committed six turnovers.

Quarterback Eli McKee had 95 rushing yards, and standout Blake Beckett, playing on a torn ACL, tallied 47 rushing yards and a touchdown. Junior fullback Layke Heimerman had 92 rushing yards in the victory.

Halstead averages 362 rushing yards per game. The Dragons have committed just six turnovers and stand No. 3 in scoring defense with 89 points allowed.

Even with Beckett’s limited ability, Halstead still rushed 58 times for 311 yards Friday.

For Collegiate, Waddell rushed for 156 yards and four touchdowns, and passed for 163 yards and two scores. Burgoyne collected 95 rushing yards and a touchdown.

For the season, Waddell has completed 66 of 110 passes for 1,382 yards with 18 scores against three interceptions. He has 77 carries for 495 yards. The Norton game marked his first 100-yard rushing performance of 2015.

Burgoyne has 160 carries for 1,347 yards and 28 rushing scores.

On Saturday, Collegiate blocked a punt and scored twice on defensive/special teams. The Spartans have seven such scores this season. Collegiate is No. 1 in offense with 690 points.

This marks Collegiate’s second sub-state trip since 2000. The Spartans won the 3A crown in 2009. Halstead has made back-to-back trips to sub-state.

Since 2004, Collegiate holds a 4-0 edge versus Halstead, although this marks the first matchup since 2009.

If Beckett was healthy, the margin would be significantly slimmer. However, great credit to Collegiate for replacing all-state running back Jacques Williams from 2014. Burgoyne and Waddell have become a great 1-2 combination, and the big play ability from defense/special teams gives the edge to Collegiate.

Collegiate 31, Halstead 24  (Nicholl)


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