Jays claim regional championship, move on to sectionals

The Sabetha High School football team holds the 2017 Regional Champions plaque following a win over Perry-Lecompton on Saturday, November 4. Photo submitted by Carrie Strahm.

Two playoff wins — a Halloween night battle in Atchison followed by a home contest on Saturday — are showing the mental and physical toughness of the Sabetha High School Bluejay football team.

With a Bi-District win over Maur Hill on Tuesday, Oct. 31, and a Regional win over Perry-Lecompton on Saturday, Nov. 4, the Bluejays will now advance to Sectionals.

The Jays take on the 9-2 Osage City Indians at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10. The Indians advanced after a 37-21 win over Caney Valley in a shootout at home.

Bi-District

The Bluejays met the 7-2 Maur Hill Ravens in Bi-District action last Tuesday, Oct. 31, both teams with win or go home mentality. The cold, damp conditions made ball security an issue, and the Jays turned it over twice in the first half. But after a slow start, Sabetha hit the accelerator and took the victory 56-14.

The Jays fumbled on their first possession and only scored once in the first quarter on a 6-yard carry to the end zone by Mason Engelken.

“We started slow on offense until we figured them out and then we got things rolling,” said Head Coach Garrett Michael.

Sabetha had a turnover to start the second quarter, and it seemed the pendulum might swing in favor of the Ravens, but it was a temporary misstep.

“The second quarter was huge in terms of momentum,” Michael said. “When you can hold a playoff team to 20 total rushing yards, you are playing physical and disciplined.”

Wyatt Beyer had two scores in the second frame, the longest on a 65-yard tote, and Gabe Garber found the end zone from 48 yards out to make the score 28-0.

Maur Hill scored seconds before the end of the half and after a squib kick gave Sabetha possession near mid-field, Brandon Brownlee connected with Riley Herrman on a 67-yard pitch and catch for the touchdown. The Jays led 34-7 at the intermission.

Engelken had his second touchdown of the night from 34 yards out on his team’s first possession of the second half. Garber found the end zone in the third period, and Brownlee scored late in the third to give Sabetha a 56-7 advantage headed into the final stanza.

The Ravens scored late in the fourth quarter, but it was all Bluejays in this Bi-District contest as Sabetha advanced over Maur Hill 56-14.

Braeden Cox was six for seven in P.A.T. kicks, and the Bluejays amassed 470 yards of total offense in the win. Beyer led his team in rushing with 120 yards with two touchdowns.

“I loved our team’s preparation for the last few weeks,” Michael said. “We have to take care of ourselves, because we will have played three games in 10 days.”

Regionals

Sabetha and Perry met on the gridiron back in week five with the Jays coming out on top, but their meeting in the Regional playoff last Saturday, Nov. 4, gave both teams a win or go home motivation. The Bluejays chewed up the turf, logging 86 plays, and held the Kaws to just one score to earn the regional championship, 28-6.

Sabetha took the opening kickoff and marched 64 yards on 11 plays to the end zone when Gabe Garber took it in from a yard out. A two point conversion from quarterback Brandon Brownlee to Joseph Gruber gave the Jays an 8-0 boost.

Perry went three and out on their first possession, and Wyatt Beyer took the ensuing punt to the end zone for a score, but a penalty brought the ball back to Sabetha territory. After a drive, Brownlee punched into the end from a yard out late in the first period, and the Jays led 15-0.

Perry scored late in the half but had the P.A.T. blocked by Ryan Stapleton and Cauy Rokey to make the score 15-6. After the kickoff, the Bluejays rambled 60 yards in a little over a minute and punctuated the drive with a 4-yard tote to pay dirt from Gruber. Sabetha led 21-6 at the break.

“We love how physical our kids played in all phases of the game,” said Head Coach Garrett Michael.

Sabetha’s defense limited the Kaws on the ground and had a pair of huge defensive stops, one in each half, to keep Perry out of the end zone.

“Perry’s quarterback [Dalton Kellum] had almost 238 yards rushing against St. Marys, and our defense held him to just 43 yards,” Michael said.

Gruber had his second touchdown of the night early in the fourth quarter and led his team in rushing with 23 carries for 181 yards. Garber had 78 yards and a score.

Sabetha’s pass defense had a bend but don’t break mentality and nearly eliminated big play potential.

“Our special teams did a great job of stopping their dangerous return game,” Michael said.

Beyer and Gruber each had a pick in the fourth quarter to stop the passing game, and the Bluejays advance to the next round with a 28-6 victory over Perry.

11.4.2017 Regionals

INDIVIDUAL RESULTS

 

TAC

SKS

INT

FUM RCY

#      REC

REC  YDS

#         RU

RU YDS

Cole Oehn

5

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Joel Hackney

0

0

0

0

0

0

8

36

Joe Gruber

5

0

1

0

0

0

23

181

Ryan Stapleton

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Brandon Brownlee

0

0

0

0

0

0

11

41

Andrew Frazee

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Mason Engelken

0

0

0

0

0

0

15

55

Wyatt Beyer

1

0

1

0

0

0

13

51

Kamden Brownlee

6

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Gabe Garber

8

0

0

0

0

0

13

78

Riley Herrmann

8

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Isaac Sunderland

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

David Dyke

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Cauy Rokey

18

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Elliot Strahm

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

TEAM TOTALS

           
 

SHS

OPP

           

FIRST DOWNS

27

8

THIRD DOWN CONV.

8/18

3/13

FOURTH DOWN CONV.

5/9

1/4

# RUSHES

84

27

RUSHING YARDS

442

47

RUSHING AVG. YARDS

5.3

1.7

           

PASSING YARDS

0

99

           

# COMPLETIONS

0

9

           

# PASSES

2

22

           

# INTERCEPTIONS

0

2

           

PUNTING YARDS

42

19

           

FUMBLES/LOST

1

0

           

PENALTIES/LOST YARDS

10/105

2/20

           

TOTAL OFFENSE

442

146

           

 

10.31.2017 Bi District

INDIVIDUAL RESULTS

 

TAC

SKS

INT

FUM RCY

#      REC

REC  YDS

#         RU

RU YDS

Cole Oehn

5

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Tristan Edelman

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Joel Hackney

2

0

0

0

0

0

7

37

Joe Gruber

4

0

0

0

0

0

9

50

Ryan Stapleton

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Brandon Brownlee

6

0

0

0

0

0

3

7

Andrew Frazee

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Mason Engelken

1

0

0

0

0

0

10

85

Wyatt Beyer

6

0

0

0

0

0

10

120

Kamden Brownlee

2

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Gabe Garber

9

0

1

0

0

0

8

94

Riley Herrmann

3

0

0

0

1

67

0

0

David Dyke

3

0

0

0

1

10

0

0

Walker Lowdermilk

4

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Josh Compo

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Elliot Strahm

2

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Kaleb Grimm

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Seth Burdick

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

TEAM TOTALS

           
 

SHS

OPP

           

FIRST DOWNS

22

13

THIRD DOWN CONV.

4/8

2/12

FOURTH DOWN CONV.

3/3

1/3

# RUSHES

49

19

RUSHING YARDS

393

20

RUSHING AVG. YARDS

8

1.1

PASSING YARDS

77

176

# COMPLETIONS

2

17

# PASSES

4

36

# INTERCEPTIONS

0

1

PUNTING YARDS

44

31.7

FUMBLES/LOST

2/2

1/0

PENALTIES/LOST YARDS

2/30

1/10

TOTAL OFFENSE

470

196

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