Troy defeats Plainville, 28-24, to capture 2-1A title

Troy raises the Class 2-1A state football championship trophy! (by Everett Royer,
By: Conor Nicholl for
Nov 26, 2016

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HAYS – Troy faced a 3rd-and-36 from its 18-yard line late in the third quarter. Trojan coach Derek Jasper called for a play where three Trojans run vertical routes. Senior quarterback Reid Greaser was supposed to simply throw deep.

“Even if they intercepted it, it’s as good as a punt almost,” Jasper said. “Throw it as far as we can, third and 36, you are not going to pick that up.”

Instead, the play produced a memorable 82-yard touchdown reception from senior wide receiver Brody Winder. Greaser’s pass went to guarded Trojan senior wide receiver Cuttar Huss, who deflected the ball to Winder.

The score, with 2:21 remaining in the quarter, provided the final points and eventual game-winning touchdown. Troy held on to defeat Plainville, 28-24, in the Class 2-1A championship game Saturday afternoon at Fort Hays State University’s Lewis Field Stadium.

“I saw the ball up in air, and I was like, ‘Cuttar is there, he is going to catch this,’ and I was hoping he would, but I was there to catch it,” Winder said.

Late in the fourth quarter, Huss essentially sealed the victory when, double covered, he caught a 14-yard pass on 3rd-and-13 to the Plainville 44-yard line. Troy gained another first down and then kneeled the ball to run out the clock. The two plays capped a back-and-forth contest that featured six lead changes.

“When the game was on the line, the play of the game, the play of the season, 3rd and 13, and we went play-action, and it was a risky play,” Jasper said. “…Cuttar went up between two defenders and came down with it for a first down. Quite honestly, that’s why he is the best player in the state of Kansas.”

Troy, ranked No. 1 all season, went 13-0 and won the first state football title in school history. The Trojans have a four-year run of quarterfinals, semifinals, runner-up and title, the best in school annals.

Last season, Troy lost 30-29 to Phillipsburg in a game that was decided late in the fourth quarter. Huss started crying on the field after the Saturday’s contest.

“The town deserves it more than anything, and we did it, we did it,” Huss said. “The classes before us, they were just as much a part of it as we are, and we built every year like coach says, we climb the ladder every year, and we got one game better every year. We finally won it.”

Plainville, 3-6 last season and in its first title since 1985, finished 11-2. The Cardinals ran 18 more plays than Troy. However, Plainville missed 25-yard field goal in the first quarter and had a drive end at the Troy 2-yard line in the fourth quarter.

Plainville also had another drive stall at the 19-yard line to open the second half. Troy defensive coordinator Don Cash coached his final game and has announced his retirement. Plainville had just one offensive touchdown after its first drive.

Senior nose guard Jarren Frump helped secure the middle after Plainville senior Riley Nyp opened with a 2-yard run. As well, senior linebacker Kortin Blevins and Huss delivered a game-high 11 tackles.

“They say you need one crazy guy on the football team, and that’s Jarren Frump right there for you,” Huss said. “I thought he did a good job. He is just not going to let anybody stop him. He is not scared of anybody. He will go at you 100 miles an hour, and I thought he made some plays.”

After Nyp’s touchdown, Huss caught a short pass and went 71 yards to tie the contest. Following that, the Cardinals heavily focused on Huss. Winder caught a 61-yard scoring pass for a 14-7 lead. He finished with five catches for 207 yards and two scores.

“They started paying so much attention to Cuttar Huss and left some other people to run free,” Jasper said.

Plainville senior standout quarterback Hayden Friend delivered another memorable contest with 13 carries for 109 yards. He completed 16 of 29 passes for 175 yards and returned a kickoff 69 yards for a score that tied the game at 14 at the end of the first quarter.

Plainville led 17-14 at halftime after a 27-yard field goal from sophomore Tanner Copeland. In the third, Troy took a 21-17 lead on a 30-yard pass from Greaser to senior Tyler Franken.

“Tyler Franken, what a huge touchdown he had, but that’s because Cuttar Huss was drawing a bunch of attention, and Tyler was just wide open,” Jasper said.

Greaser finished 14 of 21 for 374 yards and four scores against two interceptions and faced little pressure all game.

“They did really well protecting me,” Greaser said of his offensive line. “I am really appreciative of them. They just gave me enough time so I could get the ball off and just get it to my wide receivers.”

Nyp scored from three yards out for a 24-21 lead with 3:56 left in the third quarter. A short time later, Troy had its version of the immaculate reception.

On three verticals, Winder and Huss (six catches, 121 yards) are supposed to be more spread apart.

“Thank God today they were running right next to each other kind of,” Jasper said.

Greaser threw the ball down the left sideline. Huss jumped for the catch.

“I saw Cuttar go up for it, and I thought no way he brings that down,” Jasper said.

However, Winder was very close to Huss.

“I went up to get it, and two defenders went with me, and I knew he was open,” Huss said. “I tried to make a play on it, and I realized I couldn’t do it, so I kind of shuffled it to him.”

The ball deflected straight to Winder who ran in for the touchdown.

“That will be one I’m sure we are going to try to wash out of our memory as quickly as possible,” Plainville coach Grant Stephenson said. “Again, they threw it up there, and we knew that they did that. That’s not the first time they’ve done it.”

Greaser called the play “luck pretty much,” and Jasper agreed. Still, the play eventually held up for the final margin. Plainville reached the Trojan 2 and 34-yard lines on fourth quarter drives but couldn’t score either time.

“Only thing I saw was Brody Winder running into the end zone, and I jumped up and down a little bit,” Jasper said. “That was huge. Little bit lucky, but I have always said, ‘You’ve got to be a little bit lucky to win a state championship,’ so we are glad that luck was on our side that time.”

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