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Perry Lecompton Ready for State Rematch with Andale
By Justin Fluke
Copyright: MSC Sports

Hoping the third time is the charm, Perry Lecompton will try for their first state football championship on Saturday in the 3A title game against an Andale team that has won 24 straight games, including a 35-7 victory against the Kaws a year ago in Hutchinson. Perry brought back a lot of starters and experience in 2020 and has been able to play a full schedule of games, resulting in an 11-1 record for the most win in school history. The Kaws avenged their only loss of the year (10-0) by beating Hayden 20-7 in the second round of the playoffs before topping Prairie View 49-14 and then getting past Big 7 foe Holton for the second time this season 22-9 in Sub-State last week.

Andale (11-0) has allowed only 78 points all season and won their last three games by a combined margin of 144-0 after starting the post-season with a 74-7 victory against Larned. Andale's closest games this year were a 19-point win against Clearwater and a 43-14 triumph against Wichita Collegiate, teams that have beaten for a second time this month 53-0 and last week 49-0 against Collegiate. Going 13-0 last year, Andale's 35-7 season finale against Perry was their second closest game of the year. Coach Dylan Schmidt, a 2001 Andale grad, is 46-2 in four years as head coach after serving as an assistant under Gary O'Hair, who won 150 games in 15 years with the Indians.

Nine of the 12 Perry Lecompton seniors start on a defense that has allowed only nine points per game. It was 10 last week before third-leading tackler, Jaxson Folks suffered a knee injury and will miss this game alongside star QB Billy Welch who went down with a knee injury in week three. Yet, the Kaws just keep overcoming adversity under 20th year Coach Mike Paramore, who guided his team to their first Big 7 League football title this season. 

The Perry defense is led by star senior linebackers Ryley Besler (135 tackles) and Hayden Robb (125 tackles) while Sean Urban and Wesley Monaghan have been terrific up front helping create 23 takeaways this year. 

Thad Metcalfe has played quarterback since week three and thrown for 1,251 yards and 11 scores while leading the team with 1,213 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns this fall. Reichen Rush has stepped into a starting role in the backfield and gained 933 yards with 11 trips to the endzone for a balanced offense that averages 234 yards rushing per game. Of the 155 yards passing per contest, 15 players have caught a pass with Parker Stone returning from a two-week covid quarantine last week to make 8 receptions for 109 yards and a touchdown and pushing his season team-high totals to 28 catches for 544 yards. Three other seniors, Dawson Williams, Hunter Hess and Caidon Quinlan have each hauled in at least 13 catches and more than 280 yards with 10 more TDs.

 Andale, who has outscored their foes by an average of 54-7 has ran for 363 yards per game, passing for about 70 each contests. Eli Rowland leads the Indians ground attack with 1,413 yards and 21 touchdowns while Noah Meyer has added 1,029 and 18 scores and also passed for 325 before a broken finger moved him from QB to runningback. Wyatt Spexarth has thrown for 382 yards since taking over as the signal caller. Rowland also leads the team with 360 receiving yards and seven scores, averaging nearly 10 yards each time he touches the football. Spexarth and Caden Parthermer led the Indian defense in tackles and have five of the team's 22 takeaways. 

Both teams have been great in the return game, but each have struggled in the kicking department converting less than 66 percent of their PAT's. Andale is going for their fifth state title in six tries, all in the last 15 years, while Perry Lecompton came up short in their previous championship tries in 2008 and 2019.  

It's the fourth consecutive year a Big 7 League team has been represented in the 3A State title game. Pregame coverage starts at 12:30 with kickoff at 1:00 PM live from Hutchinson on KNZA 103.9 FM and free online at   

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Hiawatha, KS 66434
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