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Local Sports News
Holton Heads to Hutchinson to Battle Andale for 3A Title
By Justin Fluke
Copyright: MSC Sports
11/24/2022

The Holton Wildcats (11-1) are set to compete in their eighth state championship game on Saturday and their first appearance since 2015 when they battle #1 ranked Andale (12-0). The Wildcats are trying for a fourth state title with the last trophy coming in 2012.  

The Big 7 Cats have won 11 straight since an opening back and forth 35-28 league setback against Nemaha Central, who is playing for the 2A state title. The Wildcats have beaten all 11 opponents since by at least 20 points including a second victory against Topeka Hayden last week 48-17, despite trailing 17-14 at halftime.

With a super senior class of 15 that have multiple years varsity experience and have been playing football together for more than eight years, Holton has averaged more than 45 points per game while rushing behind a terrific offensive line for 383 yards per contest and nine yards per carry. 

Garyson Booth leads the wishbone ground attack with 1,667 yards and 21 touchdowns on just 123 carries (13.6 yards per carry) despite missing one game and only getting a couple touchdowns in a few other blowout wins. Fellow seniors Jayden Fletcher (708 yards) and Jace Boswell (728) each have 91 carries while missing a couple games and have scored 21 times total. Senior QB Matthew Lierz has added 561 yards on the ground and completed 13 passes for 394 yards with 11 of those receptions resulting in touchdowns and a team-high four to Jackson Bear. Lierz has also made 63-66 PAT"s, handled the eight Holton punts all year and leads the Wildcat defense with five interceptions. Ashton Schrick has added three INT's. 

Boswell is the leading tackler followed closer by Dalton Roush, Rylan Amon, Caleb Hernandez, Booth, Charlie Gilliland and Tyler Phillips for a Holton defense that has given up 14 points per game. Jakari Washington has also ran for more than 300 yards filling in at fullback.

Holton and Coach Brooks Barta are 3-0 against Andale including playoff wins in 2010 (21-8) and most recently in 2013 (24-14). Barta has a record of 257-57 in 27 years at Holton, which includes 58 playoff wins in the Wildcats 25th straight post-season. 

Andale, who is gunning for their fourth consecutive state championship and seventh overall in school history, has won all their games by 32 points this year and scored 43 of their 56 points per game in the first half on average. The Indians are just the fifth program in Kansas to win more than 50 games in a row joining Smith Center (79), Colgan (66), Conway Springs (62) and Claflin (51). They also have the second longest current win streak in the nation next to Austin Westlake’s streak in Texas.

Andale has outscored opponents 2,614-309 with a winning margin of 46.1 points during its 50-game winning streak, which dates back to the first game of the 2019 season. The Andale defense had seven intereptions in their quarterfinal win against Rock Creek and pitched a shutout in that game as well as another shutout in the semifinals last week beating Clay Center 36-0 for shutout number 19 during the 50 game win streak. 

Quarterback Wyatt Spexarth was a season best 7 for 7 and 218 yards with a pair of touchdown passes in a second win this season against Pratt. Senior halfback Cody Parthemer had a season-best 174 rushing yards against Rock Creek and leads the Indians with 112 carries for 949 yards. Junior Gage Prosser has added about 700 yards and senior Riley Marx has nearly 500 on the ground as Andale’s has averaged better than 7.5 yards per attempt. 

Dylan Schmidt is 73-2 as Head Coach at his Alma-mater Andale, with 13 seniors on this years roster that are trying to complete their high school football career with a 51-0 record. 

Both teams play run-heavy smash-mouth football with a lot of talented athletes. Game time is 1:00 PM with pregame coverage starting at 12:25 on KNZA 103.9 FM and free online at http://us7.maindigitalstream.com/3762/


©2022 MSC Sports
Hiawatha, KS 66434
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