8MAN FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW

When the preseason rankings were released way back in August, Sedgwick County sat at #1 and West Grand checked in at #6. Throughout the season, the Cougars remained atop the polls while the Mustangs made a steady climb, finally settling in right behind them. Now, they meet in the campaign’s final clash, with the 8-man championship on the line.
In its hunt for a third consecutive title, Sedgwick County has only allowed 114 total points, holding all but two opponents to 14 or fewer. One of those teams that reached the end zone more than twice was Perkins County, who reached the quarterfinals of Nebraska’s D-1 playoffs. During their playoff run, the Cougars have outscored the opposition 134-14. They have posted victories over McClave, Fowler and Holly.
Offense has not been an issue for the Cougars, either, as they have scored at least 40 points in each of their last nine games. They opened the season with a 27-0 win over Yuma in an 11-man contest and then held off Perkins County 33-28. Entering the final game, their highest scoring game was a 57-14 decision over Merino. Outside of the game with Perkins County, the next closest game for the Cougars was a 48-24 win over Akron. In that contest, Sedgwick County trailed 8-0 after just a few minutes of action, but then scored on six straight possessions.
West Grand brings in the state’s top scoring defense, having allowed 80 points on the season. The bulk of those have come during the playoffs. The Mustangs have held off Norwood (24-14), Sargent (30-24) and Soroco (38-28) to make the championship game. Last week, West Grand trailed Soroco 22-8 at the half, before getting things straightened out. Heading into the postseason, the Mustangs had posted five straight shutouts.
While the Mustangs have not had the same kind of success on offense in the playoffs, they still come in with the most points scored in the state. Thanks to a regular season in which they scored 50 or more points five times, the Mustangs enter the championship game having scored 488 points, 21 more than Sedgwick County. During the regular season, West Grand scored at least 40 points every time they stepped on the field.
Neither program is a stranger to state championship hardware. West Grand owns two titles, as does Sedgwick County, but there is more in the trophy cases. The Mustangs reached five championship games in the 1990s, winning two in a three year span. After finishing second in 1991 and 1995, the Mustangs won titles in 1996 and 1998. They also added another second place finish in 1997. All of that was in Class 1A.
This is the third straight title game for Sedgwick County, who beat Akron 36-6 and 41-11 in the last two championship clashes. Those are the only other appearances in the short history of the co-op program, but the individual communities that make up the co-op have a plethora of hardware. Revere, who is tied with Cherry Creek for the fourth most titles in state history with nine, won titles in 6-man, 8-man and Class A. On top of the school’s nine titles, it also finished second three times. Ovid, who would later become known as Revere, won the Class C-6 championship in 1956 and a Class C-8 crown in 1962. Julesburg owns three championships, winning the Class A crown in 1963, and then Class AA titles in 1964 and 1967. Sedgwick claimed second place in 8-man in 1965.
The game can be seen live through a video stream at www.nfhsnetwork.com.
 

WEST GRAND MUSTANGS (12-0)

PASSING
Brady Gore 1,071 yards 10 TD’s
Luis Dominguez 310 yards 4 TD
RUSHING
Hugh Wheatley 987 yards 14 TD’s
Luis Dominguez 937 yards 25 TD’s
Brady Gore 362 yards 2 TD’s
RECEIVING
Luke Mogck 17-533 yards 5 TD’s
Hugh Wheatley 9-410 yards 4 TD’s
Jake Bentler 16-342 yards 5 TD’s
DEFENSE
Josh O’Hotto 127 tackles 3 sacks — 2 Fum recoveries
Noah Schroeder 103 tackles 5 sacks –
Jordan Knight 94 tackles 2 Fum Recoveries
Luis Dominguez 71 tackles 6 INT’s — 4 Fum Recoveries
Austin Stauffer 65 tackles 5 sacks –
Marcos Ramirez 43 tackles 7 sacks — 2 INT’s — 2 Fum Rec.
Marcus Sanchez 37 tackles 2 INT’s — 2 Fum recoveries
Hugh Wheatley 36 tackles 5 INT’s

 

SEDGWICK COUNTY COUGARS (11-0)

PASSING
Brennan Ehmke 1,627 yards 20 TD’s
Ethan Walter 36 yards 1 TD
RUSHING
Layne Green 1,525 yards 22 TD’s
Beau Parker 733 yards 11 TD’s
Brennan Ehmke 295 yards 8 TD’s
RECEIVING
Cole McKinley 43-864 yards 13 TD’s
Layne Green 10-327 yards 3 TD’s
Terrance Heath 11-301 yards 4 TD’s
DEFENSE
Colton Woodhams 91 tackles 2 Fum recoveries
Dalton Carlson 69 tackles 3 INT’s
Beau Parker 67 tackles 2 INT’s — 2 Fum recoveries
Layne Green 64 tackles 3 Fum recoveries
Ethan Walter 50 tackles
Cole McKinley 43 tackles
Chandon Dunker 35 tackles 2 Fum recoveries
Eric Alcala 34 tackles 2 sacks
Fabian Lopez 3 sacks — 2 Fum recoveries
Brennan Ehmke 3 INT’s
Trevor Barowsky 2 INT’s

 
 

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