Tuesday, 27 February 2024
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Axtell Completes Three-Peat in the Snow; Decimates South Central 50-0
By Jared Sleppy
Copyright: MSC Sports


Axtell won their third consecutive state title in Newton on a snow Saturday afternoon by a final score of 50-0. They defeated South Central for their 39th consecutive win in mercy rule fashion at halftime.

Landon Schmitz got the scoring started with a 27-yard rushing touchdown on their second possession after both teams exchanged punts.

After Axtell’s defense forced another punt, Brandon Schmelzle got his first score of the afternoon with a 26-yard rushing touchdown to give the Eagles a 14-0 lead with 2:24 remaining in the first quarter.

The Axtell defense once again forced a punt, and Schmelzle would have a punt that was returned for a touchdown overturned by a holding penalty. The flag backed them up to their own 12-yard line, but it didn’t matter because Axtell would go the length of the field for their third score of the day. This time, it was Schmelzle getting his second rushing touchdown from 23 yards out to make it 20-0 with 9:13 remaining in the second quarter.

The Timberwolves felt the need to throw being behind quickly to try to make something happen, and it backfired mightily as Colin Shaughnessy picked off junior quarterback JT Prusa for a pick-six to make it 28-0 Axtell with 7:36 to go.

Special teams was then able to get involved with the Eagles blocking a punt and Grant Buessing diving on it in the endzone for a touchdown to make it 34-0 with 5:21 left in the second quarter.

Wasting no time, the defense forced their second turnover of the game with Eli Broxterman falling on a fumble by Prusa to set them up in positive field position. They cashed in moments later with Schmelzle getting his third score of the game with this one being a 20-yard run to go up 42-0 with 3:31 remaining.

South Central finally got their first first down of the game with 2:22 left in the second quarter, but on the next of downs, they came up a yard short on a fourth down try with 24 seconds left.

On the first play of the next Axtell drive, Schmelzle threw a dime to Grady Buessing over the middle for a 38-yard gain to put them in the red zone for the first time. Two plays later, Schmelzle got in for touchdown number four from four yards away making it 50-0 with just seven seconds remaining.

On a last-ditch effort, Prusa fired one down the field and Schmelzle picked it off for his ninth defensive interception of the season.

Brandon Schmelzle rushed for 114 yards on 12 carries with his four touchdowns. He also went 5-for-7 over the air for 68 passing yards. Grant Buessing also had a monster day for the Eagles. On top of the special teams touchdown, he also had a sack and three total tackles. They are the Players of the Game brought to you by Farmers State Bank.

Axtell finishes the year with a perfect 13-0 and currently has the longest active winning streak in the state of Kansas. They graduate linemen Sawyer Deters and Grant Buessing along with linebacker and wide receiver Grady Buessing.

Next year, they have a chance to be the first team since the division of the eight-man classifications in 1983 to win four consecutive state titles in the same eight-man classification.

They can also become the first team to win four consecutive eight-man titles since Denton-Midway did it five years in a year spanning from 1984-88 (8M-DI in ‘84, ‘87, ‘88; 8M-DII in ‘85 and ’86).

©2024 MSC Sports
Hiawatha, KS 66434
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