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Centralia Football Set for Top Five Clash with Olpe
By Jonny Kane
Copyright: MSC Sports
11/08/2018

Class 1A State - Bracket

Year after year the Centralia Panther football team starts the season slow with tough non-league contests that prepare them to make a deep run in the playoffs by the years end.

This season is no different, as the Panthers are into the quarterfinal round of the 1A playoffs after starting the season off 0-2 to two teams who are still alive in the 2A bracket.

Centralia, ranked No. 4 according to kpreps.com, won their eighth straight game last week 41-18 over Troy and now face what will be their toughest test so far going up against No. 2-ranked and undefeated Olpe in what just may be the state title game.

To get to this point the Panthers have done what they do best which is rely on their run game and last week was perfect picture of that as Centralia ran for 365 yards in the win over the Trojans.

The Panthers finished with three guys over 100 yards in the game, as Isaac Gore led the way with 125 yards and four touchdowns. Kamble Haverkamp was also over 100 yards rushing with two touchdowns, while Devon Feldkamp went over 600 yards on the season with a 101 yard effort.

Centralia averages 363 rushing yards per game and is led by Haverkamp who has shown to be one of the top weapons in the state with 1,373 yards on the ground and 19 touchdowns to go along with 670 yards passing and 10 more scores to just two picks.

Gore isn’t far behind Haverkamp as he is also over 1,000 yards rushing on the year with 14 touchdowns averaging 128 yards per game on the ground, while Feldkamp has 645 rushing yards this season with five scores.

While the offense has been stellar the defense has been equally as good for the Panthers as the unit is giving up just 221 total yards per game and has taken the football away from opponents 16 times.

The defense is led by Austin Holthaus who has over 45 tackles and one sack on the year, while Tyler Heinen isn’t far behind with 37 tackles and four sacks this season.

The Panthers will face their toughest test to this point this season going up against an undefeated Olpe team that the schedule and wins to back up their No. 2-ranking in 1A.

The Eagles have already beaten one ranked team this year as they beat Jackson Heights who’s still alive in 1A in week four 20-18, which was one week after they edged out a very good Christ Prep team 13-8.

Last week Olpe won their 10th straight in dominating fashion, as the Eagles led 37-0 at halftime before going on to take down Pleasanton 52-8.

Olpe quarterback Colby Hoelting ran for two touchdowns and threw one to his brother Camden all coming in the first quarter.

The Eagles unfortunately were forced to play once again without senior fullback Blaine Hinrichs who is likely done for the year with a knee injury which is a loss of over 750 rushing yards.

Hinrichs was the second leading rusher for the Eagles behind sophomore Kynden Robert who has rushed for 951 yards and nine touchdowns on the year. Olpe also has three other guys over 100 yards on the ground this season, as Hoelting is at 181, Damon Redeker 164 and Derek Hoelting at 125.

While the ground game has been superb this season the Eagles have shown they can throw the football at a good clip, as Colby Hoelting is nearing 800 yards through the air with 12 touchdowns to just four interceptions.

Camden Hoelting leads Olpe in receiving with 341 yards and six touchdowns, while Kynden Robert is the only other guy that will play Friday night with over 100 yards receiving.

The thing that may give Olpe an advantage Friday night is their special teams as they have four return touchdowns this season with three from Camden Hoelting who has over punt 391 return yards.

Just like Centralia, Olpe also has a strong defense to boast about as the Eagles lead the state with four shutouts and have given up just 44 points all season.

They are led by Colby Hoelting who has compiled 25 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, one interception and one forced fumble. While Chance Garriott only has 11 tackles this season they have all been huge, as all 11 have been for loss.

The secondary has also picked off eight passes this season and returned one for a touchdown with Jordan Barnard leading the way with three interceptions.

It shapes up to be a knock-down, drag out, heavyweight fight Friday night in the first meeting between the two schools since the 2013 sectional round of the playoffs which Centralia won 36-0.

The winner of Friday night's sectional contest with get the winner of Jackson Heights and Pitt-Colgan in the 1A semifinals next week. 

Kickoff for Friday night is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. from Centralia and the game can be heard on 92.1 KMZA or online with pregame getting underway around 6:40 p.m.


©2018 MSC Sports
Hiawatha, KS 66434
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