The six-man playoffs have reached the final four and both semifinals are regular season rematches. The upper half of the bracket features a rematch of last year’s championship game, while the lower half’s match-up has the lone unbeaten left in the classification. Both games are at 1pm on Saturday.
#1 STRATTON/LIBERTY KNIGHTED EAGLES (10-1) AT #5 PEETZ BULLDOGS (8-2)
The top-seeded Knighted Eagles advanced to the semifinals with a 66-22 victory last week over #8 Granada in a contest shortened due to an injury by one of the Bobcats. Stratton/Liberty led 30-8 at the half and the third quarter saw both teams match their first half output. The Knighted Eagles only completed one pass in the contest, but it went for a 23-yard touchdown from Tyson Lichty to Levi Shean. They would not need the passing game as the running attack averaged better than 13 yards per carry. Eltan Yarger led the squad with 109 yards and two scores.
Peetz would need every second to pull off the mild upset of #4 Otis last week. In a rematch of the season-opener won by Otis, Peetz drove down the field in a 78-all time and got the game-winning score with just two seconds remaining as Zach Holtz connected with Bryson Long for a 15-yard TD. The combined tally of 162 points set an all-time postseason scoring record, the second time this season that Peetz has been involved in establishing a new scoring record. Long finished the contest with 146 yards and five touchdowns on the ground to go along with his receiving touchdown. On top of his heroics at the end of the contest, Holtz had a huge special teams’ impact, returning a kick for a touchdown and converting nine of 11 PAT kicks.
The earlier meeting between Peetz and Stratton/Liberty saw the Bulldogs fall behind 36-8 at the half. Stratton/Liberty would go on to win 60-21 behind its power running game. Jaret Lichty ran for 193 yards and Ethan Richmond gained 182 yards, and the duo scored a combined seven touchdowns on the ground. Long led the Bulldogs with 127 yards, 69 on one play, and two scores. In last season’s championship game, Peetz utilized a 24-8 fourth quarter to claim the title, 38-28.
#3 ARICKAREE/WOODLIN INDIAN-MUSTANGS (8-2) AT #2 KIT CARSON WILDCATS (10-0)
Arickaree/Woodlin used a stifling run defense to hold #6 Prairie to a season-low 16 points in last week’s quarterfinal round. The Indian-Mustangs outscored the Mustangs 22-8 in the second half to pull away for the victory. Prairie entered the contest averaging 54 points a game. The Indian-Mustangs have allowed 23 points in their two playoff games.
Kit Carson rode the legs of Joe Bryan to a 54-22 victory over #7 Fleming in the quarters. The junior toted the rock 21 times, gaining 267 yards and scoring four touchdowns. Bryan scored on runs of 63, 45, 4, and 50 yards, the final three coming in a wild third period. TJ Conaway added a pair of touchdowns, one through the air to Cordell Farmer and another on a scoop-and-score. Farmer also had a rushing TD, giving him two scores on the day. The Wildcats had some issues with the Fleming passing attack, allowing over 200 yards in the contest.
This is a week three rematch, as Kit Carson went on the road and claimed a 50-8 victory. Arickaree/Woodlin forced a punt from the back of the end zone on the opening series of the game, but committed a roughing the punter penalty that gave the Wildcats new life on the drive. They would go on to score, aided by more penalties as the Indian-Mustangs lost their composure. Kit Carson had two non-offensive scores in the game, one on a kick return by Joe Bryan and the other on a punt return by Chris Bryan.