Tuesday, 23 October 2018
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Hanover Hangs on Against Axtell in Shootout
By Jonny Kane
Copyright: MSC Sports

Hanover and Axtell entered Friday night’s matchup on the gridiron with the biggest storylines you could have in a high school football game.

Hanover was ranked No. 1 in the state riding a 30 game win streak averaging 50 points per game while giving up just six total points, while Axtell was ranked third in 8-man DII averaging over 50 points per game and giving up just six points per contest.

So what would give?

It turned out to be a game for the history books as Hanover moved their win streak to 31 straight games hanging on to outlast Axtell 50-42 in a game that could be described using any adjective in the word bank.

Early on though it seemed like it could be a runaway victory for the Wildcats. After Axtell forced a three-and-out on Hanover’s opening possession the Eagles had disaster happen, as quarterback Quinn Buessing was picked off for the first time this season and Cade Cohorst ran it in for a score just two minutes in.

Hanover then got up 14-0 on a Daiken Stallbaumer 11-yard touchdown run and it appeared that the Wildcats had all the momentum.

But, Axtell had an answer as running back George Volle got the Eagles on the board with a 15-yard run to make it a 14-6 game after the first quarter.

Hanover answered right back with another Stallbaumer run, this time from 12 yard out to give the Wildcats a 20-6 lead.

Axtell then answered once again, with junior quarterback Quinn Buessing finding pay dirt from five yards out while connecting with Hunter Koch on the 2-point conversion try to pull within six, 20-14.

The Eagles then tied the game with just under a minute left in the first half on a 57-yard touchdown strike from Buessing to Koch, before fireworks to end the half.

The second quarter ended with both teams finding the end zone in the final two seconds, as Hanover received a 3-yard run by Carter Bruna while Thomas Atkins ran in the 2-point conversion to give the Wildcats a 28-0 lead with 1.5 seconds left.

But on the ensuing kickoff Axtell recovered a short kick at midfield, then after Buessing recording a 23-yard run he was hit out of bounds as the clock expired so the Eagles got an untimed down from the Hanover 11 yard line.

The Eagles would convert, as Buessing found J.J. Hart in the left front corner of the end zone to make it a 28-26 game at halftime.

Axtell then took their first lead of the game early on in the third quarter, as Buessing ran it in from 7 yards out while running in the 2-point conversion to give the Eagles a 34-28 lead.

From there Hanover took over, scoring three straight touchdowns to take a 50-34 lead. Stallbaumer had two touchdown runs, while Bruna recorded the third and final touchdown of the night.

Axtell did pull within one score with a minute left on a 23-yard pass from Buessing to Koch, but Hanover recovered the ensuing onside kick and ran the clock out.

In the game the two teams combined for nearly 800 total yards of offense, with Hanover rushing for over 280 yards as a team.

Carter Bruna led the way with 151 yards on the ground and two touchdowns, while Daiken Stallbaumer ran for 91 yards and four scores while also throwing for 149 yards.

Axtell was led by Quinn Buessing who had a huge game, rushing for 101 yards and two touchdowns while throwing for 229 yards and three more scores. Hunter Koch had another big game as well catching nine passes for 159 yards and two touchdowns.

Hanover (6-0, 4-0 districts) will next host Wetmore, while Axtell (5-1, 3-1) will have another huge matchup with Frankfort who is undefeated on the season.

©2018 MSC Sports
Hiawatha, KS 66434
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