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Local Sports News
3A Sub State Preview Holton at Hayden
By Justin Fluke
Copyright: MSC Sports
11/16/2023

Holton and Hayden are set to meet for the second time this season and the second straight year in a Sub-State contest. Hayden won the first meeting of this season by a 24-7 score in week seven despite being outgained by Holton by 70 yards. Holton however had two empty trips that self-destructed in the redzone and couldn't overcome 12 penalties for more than 80 yards that night.

Since the Hayden loss, Holton has rattled off four straight wins and played their best football of the year with a couple 60+ point performances and five straight games of at least 50 rushes and an average of 420 yards per game. The Wildcats (7-4) reached at least seven wins for the 20th time in the last 21 years and are playing in the state semifinals for the fourth straight season. Holton beat Hayden 48-17 a year ago in this round to advance to their eighth state title game. 

Holton is led by Abbott Hundley with 1,332 yards and 14 touchdowns while Kyler Jackson has ran for 728, Cael Frazier 536 and quarterback Eli Hallauer 355, including more than 120 yards and two early touchdowns last week when the Cats beat Frontenac 35-22. Hundley had 240 yards on the ground a week ago at home which was his second playoff game with more than 200 yards rushing. Two senior defensive lineman, Dalton Roush and Jackson Bear pace the Wildcat defense in tackles.  
Holton has not only cleaned up penalties, but they have avoided turnovers the past few weeks and while they have been great on fourth down, they have made several big stops on fourth down plays by their opponents. 

They will need to keep those positives in the Hayden rematch as the Capitol City Wildcats are 11-0 with their closest margin of this year the 17-point victory against Holton. Hayden held 8 of their first 9 opponents to seven points or less and has pulled away with big second halves the past two weeks beating Santa Fe Trail 42-24 and Parsons last Friday on the road 64-19. The Hayden defense is led by senior linebackers Jude Konrade and Carter Charvat and they are 11-0 for the first time since 2005.
 
Hayden's top player Finn Dunshee returned to the field from injury last week for the first time since week four and has 691 yards rushing after running for more than 1,000 last season. Dom Ridley has added 552 yards and 12 scores on the ground and Jensen Schrickel has 627 yards and 6 touchdowns receiving. However, Hayden had to play their backup signal caller last week as Jett Wahlmeier (over 1,370 yards passing and 14 TD this year) was out with an injury. Sophomore Kade Mitchell leads Hayden with 750 yards rushing and had over 100 yards last week as well as a kickoff return for a TD. 

This will be the 17th matchup between Holton and Hayden since 1998 with Coach Brooks Barta 8-9 all time against Hayden in that span.  

Kickoff is at 7 PM with live coverage on The Holton Channel


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