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Nemaha Central Takes Down Sabetha to Return to Second Straight State Title Game
By Brandon Tadtman
Copyright: MSC Sports
11/17/2023

The Nemaha Central Thunder are heading back to the 2A State Championship game for a second straight season. 

The Thunder held off Big 7 rival Sabetha 17-7 in the Sub-State Championship on Friday night to win their 25th straight game. 

Nemaha Central got on the board first in the opening quarter by covering nearly 70 yards in 8-plus minutes but settled for a 23-yard field goal to take an early 3-0 lead. 

Sabetha responded in what would be their lone score of the game. The Bluejays got a 67-yard run from Colin Menold and Chase Frey capped the two-play, 69-yard drive with a two yard touchdown run to give the Bluejays a 7-3 lead. 

Nemaha Central's next drive covered 6-plus minutes and went into the second quarter covering 65 yards capped off by a Carter Hajek two yard touchdown run to give NC a 10-7 lead. 

After a Sabetha turnover on downs, the Thunder scored one more touchdown before halftime with Hajek capping a 62-yard drive with a three yard run to extend the lead to 17-7. 

Neither team found much success on offense in the second half as both teams went scoreless. Both teams punted on their opening drives of the second half and both teams turned the ball over once in the second half. 

Sabetha's turnover was an interception by Hajek on a fourth and seven play at the Thunder 25 yard line early in the fourth quarter. The Bluejays got the ball one more time late and went four plays and out and the Thunder were able to milk out the rest of the clock. 

Hajek finished the game with 43 carries for 226 yards and two touchdowns. Nemaha Central outgained Sabetha 338-242 in total yards and 264-196 in rushing yards. 

Colin Menold led the Bluejays rushing attack with 15 carries for 109 yards while Chase Frey finished with five carries for 41 yards and a touchdown. 

It's Nemaha Central's fifth straight win over Sabetha and second straight season they end the Bluejays season in the Sub-State Championship game. 

Sabetha will end their season with a record of 10-2 with both losses coming at the hands of Nemaha Central. 

Nemaha Central will face off against Hoisington in a battle of 12-0 teams in Salina next Saturday as the Thunder look to win their second straight State Championship. 

The 2A State Title game will kickoff at 1:00 PM on Saturday, Nov. 25 with the broadcast live on KNZA 103.9 FM. 

**Photo Credit: Dari Hilbert** 


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Hiawatha, KS 66434
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