Tuesday, 18 September 2018
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Sabetha Opens Football Season With Win Over Centralia
By Mike Smith
Copyright: MSC Sports

92.1 KMZA broadcast - Sabetha at Centralia - click here to listen 

Replacing a pair of 1,300+ yard backs won't be easy but the Sabetha Bluejays are looking to do that this year, while the Centralia Panthers are looking to return to form after a rough year last season. The two meet up on the gridiron to open the 2017 football campaign and the Bluejays earned the win 28-6. 

Both teams started with some solid defensive stops until the Sabetha Bluejays put together the first scoring drive of the contest capping it with a 33-yard touchdown run by Joe Gruber making it 7-0. Bluejays found the endzone twice more in the first half and stopped Centralia from a promising drive that ended in the redzone after a Gruber interception, while he had another interception in the first half also. Joe also scored the second touchdown for Sabetha punching it in from one-yard out with 5:04 left in the second quarter, while right before halftime Sabetha again found pay-dirt with a three-yard Wyatt Beyer touchdown with 19.7 seconds left in the first half leading to a 21-0 Sabetha halftime lead. 

Both teams moved the ball effectively as Sabetha ran the ball, while Centralia ran but also sprinkled in the pass. In the second half the Bluejays pushed the led to 28-0 with a one-yard touchdown run by Beyer with 7:32 on the clock in the third quarter. Centralia didn't go away as the Panthers continued to fight and took to the air a bit more than normal for a Panther team of the past and Trenton Flentie hit Kamble Haverkamp for a big play in aerial attack notching a 66-yard touchdown pass making it 28-6 and the game would finish with that score. 

Sabetha in the win registered over 300 yards of total offense with 274 yards on the ground with balance coming out of the backfield. Beyer toted the ball 18 times for 85 yards and two touchdowns, while Mason Engelken added 78 yards on 11 carries and Gruber ran for 65 yards on 15 carries with two scores. Gruber with his rushing performance and two interceptions on defense earned Community National Bank "Player to Bank On" on KMZA radio. 

Centralia in the loss had 267 yards of total offense and was balanced with 142 on the ground and 125 in the air, but three turnovers hurt the Panthers. Flentie was 7-15 for 125 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions while rushing for 68 yards on 12 carries. Haverkamp caught five passes for 87 yards and a touchdown.

The win opens the season for the Bluejays with a 1-0 mark and puts Centralia at 0-1 to start the year. Week two will see Sabetha on the road again at Holton, while Centralia travels to St. Mary's next Friday night. 


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Hiawatha, KS 66434
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