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Bluejays Fly Past Perry in 3A Playoffs
By Justin Fluke
Copyright: MSC Sports
11/03/2018

Sabetha 26, Perry Lecompton 8

The win streak is now 17 straight for the Sabetha Bluejays who overcame an early 8-0 deficit on Friday night and went on to beat Perry Lecompton for the fourth time at home in the last 13 months.  The Jays scored 26 consecutive points and held their eight opponent this season to a single score or less while improving to 10-0 and advancing to face Parsons in the 3A Sectional next week.

Braedon Cox kicked a pair of 38-yard field goals and also had the only touchdown in the second half, with an 85-yard interception return on defense.  The game featured six turnovers, all in the second half, and four of those were by Perry Lecompton who ended their season with a 7-3 record. 

Both teams went three-and-out on their opening drive with Sabetha optioning to punt on a fourth and one and Perry not being able to overcome an Elliott Strahm sack for a 12-yard loss on the first snap of the contest.  Sophomore quarterback Billy Welch took every snap for the Kaws and put them on the board in the first quarter with a beautiful 45-yard pass and catch to Colton Mallonee.  Welch then ran in the conversion and it was 8-0 after one quarter.  Sabetha answered by converting a couple short fourth downs and marching 60 yards in 14 plays before Gabe Garber hit Ryan Stapleton back pedaling into the corner of the endzone on a 14-yard touchdown. 

The Jays forced a punt and converted a third and 11 as Garber hit Drew Schmelzle for a 57-yard pass with the sophomore tight end breaking numerous tackles and dragging defenders downfield.  Joe Gruber punched it to pay-dirt on a one-yard run to put Sabetha up 14-8 with 4:53 left in the half.  The fourth Perry possession was certainly a game changer as the Kaws drove to the Sabetha 26-yard line, but was stopped on fourth down and one with a controversial spot that infuriated Coach Mike Paramore and the Perry faithful.  On the next snap, Garber found Ryan Stapleton on a 49-yard pass and :15 before intermission, Cox kicked a field goal to make it a two-score lead at 17-8 at the break. 

Perry drives in the second half ended with three interceptions, one fumble and one punt.  However, Sabetha struggled to put the game away with two fumbles and a punt themselves in the fourth quarter before the capitalized on great field position after Kamden Brownlee scooped up a fumble and returned in to the Kaws 23-yard-line.  Four plays later, Cox nailed another field goal from 38 yards out and that capped the scoring with 2:21 to go. 

Sabetha actually passed (170 yards) for more yards then they ran (168) with Garber completing 8 of 11 passes and adding 36 yards rushing on 20 carries.  Gruber had 73 yards on 19 totes and Joel Hackney also had a great game on both sides of the football, finishing with 54 yards rushing for Sabetha.  Senior center Peyton Lippert was flawless on his snaps and directing the offense line to earn Denison State Bank “Lineman of the Game” honors while Cox was a no-brainer for the “Player of the Game” with his two long field goal and two interceptions, including the 85-yard pick six in the third period.  Cauy Rokey had another monster night at linebacker.

Perry Lecompton had 272 total yards, but just 89 rushing on 26 carries.  Kellum, playing less than 100 percent, got 18 of his 26 rushing yards on one play as time expired in the second stanza.  He finished with 82 total yards and more than 2,000 to cap his stellar senior season.  Welch, who again took every snap at quarterback, was 12-14 in the first half for 125 yards, but the Kaws started taken longer shots downfield once they surrendered the lead and Welch was just 9-21 in the second half for 58 total yards with three picks.  Mallonee had 10 receptions for 120 yards.  Perry will lose 16 seniors including eight starters on both sides of the football, but still have three of their top five tacklers back on defense. 

Sabetha will now play at Parsons (8-2), who beat Prairie View 38-23 under first-year Coach Kurt Friess, and now has two playoff wins this season after registering zero the last 42 years. 

The big shocker in 3A was Marysville dominating Topeka Hayden 36-14 as Atreyau Hornbeak ran for 210 yards and Brandon Schroedl passes for 188.  The 3A state runner-up Bulldogs will not host undefeated Galena next week.           


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Hiawatha, KS 66434
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