Monday, 19 March 2018
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Local Sports News
Bluejays Blank Wildcats in Battle of Big 7 Defenses
By Justin Fluke
Copyright: MSC Sports

103.9 KNZA broadcast - Sabetha at Holton - click here to listen 

Sabetha 21, Holton 0

On a night when two teams combined  for only 308 total yards of offense, Sabetha used special teams and defense to grab an early 21-0 lead and hold on for the win in the Big 7 League opener for both 1-0 teams.  The Jays started their first three drives in Holton territory and after turning the ball over on downs at the Holton two-yard-line, they scored on their next three possessions to beat the Wildcats for a second straight year.  

After Holton fumbled their second possession, Joe Gruber opened the scoring with a two yard TD on fourth down to cap a short 20-yard drive.  The Sabetha defense closed the half by forcing three more punts without giving up a first down and Wyatt Beyer returned the second punt 39 yards to the Holton one, before Gruber punched it back in early in the second quarter (14-0).  The Bluejays made it 21-0 with 4:23 left in the second stanza on a nine yard run from Mason Engelken, which was the only Sabetha drive of the game that lasted more than six plays (11 plays 64 yards).  

Sabetha only picked up one first down in the second half on a 28 yard pass from Brandon Brownlee to Blake Frey in the fourth quarter, but the defense didn't allow Holton inside the red zone all night.  Elliott Strahm (junior) had a monster night at the nose guard position and was named the Denison State Bank "Lineman of the Game" while Gabe Garber earned the "Player of the Game" honors as the sophomre was a beast at linebacker registering double-digit tackles and multiple stops behind the line of scrimmage.  

Fellow linebacker, Cauy Rokey (junior), also played a huge part of the Jays defense and Gruber (junior) was active coming up from the safety spot and Corey Geist (junior) earned honorable mention top defensive lineman kudos as the Jays imroved to 2-0 before their home opener against Jeff West (2-0) next week.  Gruber had 57 yards and two scores for the second straight week while Brownlee was a perfect 3-3 passing for 57 yards.

Holton (1-1) registered only 144 total yards with quarterback Mason Strader and fullback Dylan Aeschliman each picking up 34 yards.  The Wildcats played without two starting runningbacks because of injury and sophomore Trey Wright got just 18 yards on a team high 19 carries with a 32 yard touchdown run called back because of penalty, leaving Holton shutout at home in the regular season for the first time ever in Coach Brooks Barta 22 years. The Wildcats, who struggled mightily blocking all night, will face another tough test traveling to Nemaha Central (2-0) next week.    

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Hiawatha, KS 66434
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