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Indians Defeat Hodgeman County

Advance to Sub-State Championship Game in Claflin

The St. Francis Indians defeated the Jetmore-Hodgeman County Longhorns 30-20 in the Sectional Championship contest on Saturday, November 10, on Greene Field in St. Francis. The win advanced the Indians (11-0) to the Sub-State Championship game to be held in Claflin on Saturday, November 17, at 2:30 p.m. The Indians will play Central Plains High School (11-0) with the winner moving on to compete in the State Championship game to be held on Saturday, November 24, at Fischer Field in Newton, Kansas. Central Plains defeated Hoxie 54-6 to advance. The Central Plains / St. Francis winner will play the winner of the Solomon / Canton-Galva contest also being played on November 17. Both Solomon and Canton-Galva have 10-1 records. To advance to the semi-final round, Canton-Galva defeated Coldwater-South Central 54-52 in overtime; Solomon defeated Attica/Argonia 14-6.

St. Francis won the coin toss and elected to receive. Connor Keller returned the kick-off to the Indian's 33 yard line. On the first scrimmage snap, Brady Dinkel tried the middle of the Hodgeman County (HC) defense earning 5 yards before being tackled by Delton Shelton (205 lb. Sr.). Dinkel's next run up the middle resulted in a 42 yard touchdown with only 47 seconds gone in the contest. Cody Baxter banged over the left side for the conversion points. St. Francis led 8-0.

The kick-off was returned by 201-pound junior running back Eli Salmans to the HC 29. Salmans would prove to be a workhorse for the visitors. On the Longhorn's first snap, sophomore quarterback Isaac Salmans (200 lbs.) carried over the right side earning 8 yards before being tackled by Brady Dinkel. On the next play, Cody Baxter stopped Eli Salmans for a short gain. On 3rd-&-1, E. Salmans banged over the right side for a first down at the SF 39. The next two plays ended in tackles by Hunter Helton; an E. Salmans carry over the right side, and run by Ethan Eckhoff (230 lb. Jr.) up the middle. On 3rd-&-6, E. Salmans powered around the right end and gained just enough for a measured 1st down before being stopped by Dinkel at the 29. Salmans' next run was stuffed by Helton and Cody Baxter. On the following play, Salmans earned two yards over the right side before another Helton tackle. On 3rd-&-8, I. Salmans ran the left side and was tackled by Baxter after a gain of three. Facing 4th-&-5, the Longhorns went to the air for the first time in the contest. Isaac Salmans passed to Spencer Bowman (164 lb. Sr.) in the flat. Again, Helton made the tackle, but not before the Longhorns had earned a first down at the 14. On the next play, Isaac Salmans rounded the right end and scored on a 14 yard touchdown run. The Longhorns mishandled the snap on the conversion attempt, and Richard Johnson tackled E. Salmans preventing the score. With 6:34 left in the first period. The Longhorns had narrowed the margin to 8-6.

Shadryon Blanka returned the kick-off for the Indians. With some indecision as whether the football might go out-of-bounds, the Indians were tackled deep in their own territory. Beginning on the 10 yard line, Brady Dinkel ran over the left side gaining five yards and a bit of breathing room. On the next snap, Jordan Raby earned just enough for a first down. Dinkel's next run was halted by Connor Ruff (174 lb. So.) after a gain of two. Runs by Raby and Dinkel earned a new series at the SF 31. A Raby carry around the left end, a Blanka run over the left side, and a Raby carry to the right earned another Indian first down. The ball was now just past mid-field at the HC 38. The Longhorns were tough defensively, but the Indians were mounting a sustained drive. After a Raby carry into the middle earned 4 yards, Blanka banged ahead for one before being stopped by Isaac Salmans. On 3rd-&-5, Dinkel passed to Cody Baxter on the left sideline earning a first-&-goal at the 8 yard line. On the next play, Dinkel attempted a pass to Richard Johnson that fell incomplete in the end zone. On the play, Hodgeman County was called for pass interference advancing the ball to the 4 yard line. On the next snap, Dinkel ran around the left end scoring a touchdown for St. Francis. The conversion run up the middle was short of the goal. St. Francis led 14-6 with 1:23 left in the first period.

Isaac Salmans returned Brady Dinkel's kick-off to the 32 yard line. On the first snap of the possession, Salmans powered for 9 yards over the left side. On the next play, Salmans earned a first down at the SF 37 yard line before being tackled by Hunter Helton. The carry by Salmans ended in a tackle by Richard Johnson ending the first quarter.Salmon's next carry was halted by and Jordan Raby and Shadryon Blanka. On 3rd-&-4, Isaac Salmans tried the left side and earned another 1st down at the 20 before the play ended with a tackle by Brady Dinkel. The next two plays were both carries by Eli Salmans. On the second-down play, HC was penalized for a cut-block backing the Longhorns up to the 30 and making the situation 2nd-&-20. The Longhorns then ran a hook-&-ladder play. Isaac Salmans passed to Spencer Bowman who lateraled to Connor Ruff. Dinkel made the tackle on the play at the 18 yard line. The following play was a pass from Isaac Salmans to Bowman along the right sideline. Again, Dinkel made the stop, but not before the Longhorns had earned a 1st-&-goal at the 5 yard line. On the 1st-down snap, Eli Salmans powered into the middle of the line were he was met by Hunter Helton and a host of other Indians for no gain. Isaac Salmans ran around the left end on the next play and was stopped at the 1. St. Francis took a time-out to discuss strategy. HC mishandled the ensuing snap, and Tiernan Poling made a tackle resulting in a five-yard loss. On 4th-&-goal from the 6, a pass intended for Ruff in the right flat fell incomplete. The Indians had kept a strong Longhorn offense from scoring.

The Indians took possession at the 6 yard line. Before the initial snap of the possession, a procedure penalty on the Indians backed them up inside the 3 yard line. A carry by Dinkel over the left side earned three. On 2nd-&-9, Raby ran over the right side advancing the football to the SF 23 before being forced out-of-bounds by Spencer Bowman. On the next play, Brady Dinkel rounded the left end and out-maneuvered the Longhorn defenders to score on a 57-yard touchdown run. Cody Baxter ran untouched up the middle for the conversion points. With 7:33 remaining in the first half, the Indians had earned a 22-6 advantage.

Jayce Nider stopped Eli Salmans' kick-off return at the HC 19. A four-yard run to the right side by Isaac Salmans preceded two carries by Eli Salmans. The 2nd-down play ended in a tackle by Hunter Helton and Nider; the third-down play was halted by Tiernan Poling and Shadryon Blanka. Though the Indian defense was tough, the Longhorn offense was also powerful, and HC earned a first down at their own 32. On the next play, Jesse Baxter tackled Isaac Salmans after a very short gain. Nider stopped Eli Salmans' carry to the left for a gain of 2. On 3rd-&-7, Isaac Salmans passed to Spencer Bowman in the left flat earning a first down before Jordan Raby made the stop. The Longhorns were now at the Indians' 35. On the next play, a holding penalty on the Longhorns nullified a successful run by Salmans. With the Longhorns facing 1st-&-20, the Indians took a time-out with 4:38 left in the half. On the next snap, Isaac Salmans ran around the left end earning 6 yards before he was tackled by Tiernan Poling. On 2nd down, a pass intended for Bowman fell incomplete deep along the right sideline. Raby had excellent coverage on the play. A third-down pass attempt, a screen to the left side to Eli Salmans, was well-defended by Nider and was also incomplete. Facing 4th-&-4, the Longhorns punted. The ball was downed on the SF 11 yard line.

Brady Dinkel gained two yards on a carry into the middle, and Shadryon Blanka gained three more over the left side before being stopped by Ethan Burns (168 lb. So.). On 3rd-&-5, Dinkel's pass to Connor Keller was a bit over-thrown. Before the 4th-down snap, HC was penalized for encroachment resulting in 4th-&-inches. Though the Indians were deep in their own territory, they did not punt. Dinkel followed strong blocking over the left side for a first down at the SF 21. Another Dinkel carry into the middle earned only one more yard, but Raby's second-down run around the right end set up 3rd-&-5. A quarterback draw by Dinkel advanced the football to the Indians' 32 with 32 seconds left in the half. Dinkel's next run moved the ball to the HC 36. Dinkel then passed to Raby in the left flat and Raby cruised to the HC 21 before being forced out-of-bounds by Efren Chavez (200 lb. So.). With only 20 seconds remaining and a new set of downs, the Indians attacked from the air. A first down pass to Cody Baxter was incomplete near the goal line. A pass intended for Baxter in the right corner of the end zone also fell incomplete on 2nd down stopping the clock at 14.9 seconds. Continuing to attack the end zone, a pass to Raby in the right corner was also unsuccessful. With 5.5 seconds left, a 4th down pass to Connor Keller in the end zone also fell incomplete ending the first half. St. Francis led 22-6 at halftime.

Dinkel's initial kick-off went out-of-bounds and the Indians re-kicked to open the second half. Eli Salmans had a strong return to the HC 32 yard line. Isaac Salmans earned four yards on the his first carry of the second half over the right side before being tackled by Tiernan Poling. Cody Baxter stopped Eli Salmans on the next play after a gain of two. On third down, Hunter Helton tackled quarterback Salmans for no gain as he attempted to round the left end. Facing 4th-&-4 and trailing on the scoreboard, the Longhorns elected to "go-for-it" rather than punt. Isaac Salmans rounded the left end and was forced out-of-bounds by Poling, but not before earning enough for a new set of downs at the SF 34. Eli Salmans banged for 5 yards over the left side and was tackled by Poling and Dinkel. Isaac Salmans then tried the right end and was nailed by Jesse Baxter for no gain. On 3rd-&-5, a slant pass to Bowman ended in a Helton tackle and a Longhorn first down at the 23. Richard Johnson stopped Eli Salmans after a gain of one on the following play. On 2nd-&-9, a pass to Bowman over the middle resulted in a Longhorn touchdown at 7:48. The Indians' advantage was narrowed to 22-14.

Shadryon Blanka returned the Longhorn's kick-off to the SF 17 where he was tackled by Bowman. Runs by Dinkel and Raby resulted in a first down at the 30. After a Dinkel gain of five on 1st down, a flag nullified a Raby gain and resulted in a 2nd-&-9 situation for the Indians. A strong run by Blanka over the right side earned the Indians another first down at the HC 36. Three more consecutive carries by Blanka earned another first down for the Indians. Two more crunching Blanka runs moved the situation to 3rd-&-1. A quarterback sneak by Dinkel resulted in a first down at the HC 13. The Indians were showing determined power; they just needed to complete the drive. A carry by Raby over the right side moved the ball to the 8. A carry by Dinkel to the left earned three more. On the next snap, Dinkel ran around the left end into the end zone. Cody Baxter was hit just before the goal line on the the conversion try, but stretched the ball over the goal as he dived forward to net the conversion points. St. Francis led 30-14 with 2:41 remaining. 

Again, the Indians' kick-off went out-of-bounds and resulted in a re-kick. On the re-kick, Eli Salmans returned the football to the HC 29 where a tackle by Cody Baxter stopped his progress. Eli ran around the left end earning four yards before being halted by Jayce Nider and Baxter. A 2nd-down pass intended for Bowman fell incomplete. On third down, a tackle by Jesse Baxter ended Salmans run after two yards. On 4th-&-4 and needing to score, the Longhorns "went-for-it' again. This time, Jayce Nider made a crunching hit on Eli Salmans ending the first down run attempt.

St. Francis took possession on downs at the HC 35. On the first play of the possession, Jordan Raby cruised over the left side all the way to the HC 12. After a two-yard carry over the left side by Brady Dinkel, Dinkel rounded the left end and sprinted for an apparent touchdown. A holding penalty on the Indians nullified the play. Before the next snap, the Indians committed a procedure penalty. Rather than scoring, the Indians were now facing 2nd-&-15. On the next play, Dinkel was forced out-of-bounds by Eli Salmans at the 13 yard line. A third-down pass from Dinkel to Richard Johnson fell incomplete in the right corner of the end zone. On 4th-down, a left end run by Dinkel was stopped just short of the line-to-gain.

Hodgeman County took possession on their own 3 yard line. A four-yard carry by Isaac Salmans ended the third period. Eli Salmans carried over the right side earning a first down at the 14 before being tackled by Shadryon Blanka. A host of Indian defenders stopped the HC quarterback on a dive up the middle on the ensuing snap. On 2nd-&-8, Jesse Baxter's pressure caused an incomplete pass by the Longhorn quarterback. Salmans' 3rd-down pass intended for Bowman on the left side was also incomplete. On 4th-&-8, the Longhorns punted. The punt was shanked out-of bounds at the HC 25 giving the Indians great field position to begin a drive. 

Encroachment on the Longhorns before the first snap aided the Indians' cause a bit more. Two carries by Shadryon Blanka advanced the ball near the 13 yard line resulting in a first down. Two carries into the middle of the Longhorn defense, one by Dinkel and one by Raby, moved the ball to the five yard line. Two plays later, Cody Baxter carried the football around the left end for an apparent touchdown. An illegal block by the Indians erased the play and created a 4th-&-8 situation. On the final play of the series, Raby was forced out-of-bounds by Eli Salmans between the 6 & 7 yard lines.

The Longhorns took possession on downs with 8:37 left in the contest. Hodgeman County called time-out to discuss strategy. On the first snap of the possession, Isaac Salmans completed a deep pass on the left sideline to Bowman. The play would have moved the Longhorns deep into Indian territory, but the catch was ruled out-of-bounds. A 2nd-down pass to Dalton Lee (140 lb. So.) in the left flat earned a first down at the 16 yard line. Another pass to Bowman on the opposite side netted 9 yards on the next play. After an incomplete pass, Eli Salmans earned a first down on a carry around the right end. He was tackled by Nider, Raby, and Dinkel at the HC 30. Cody Baxter sacked the Longhorn quarterback for a five-yard loss slowing the Longhorns momentum. On 2nd-&-15, Tiernan Poling intercepted Salmans' pass ending the Longhorn possession with 6:33 remaining.

The Indians set up offense at the HC 35. Cody Baxter carried the football for the Indians around the left end, but a flag for an illegal shift nullified the play. On 1st-&15, Dinkel gained four over the right side before being tackled by Drew Dansel (171 lb. Fr.). On the next play, Baxter was tackled for a 1-yard loss by Ethan Burns (168 lb. So.). A third-down run by Dinkel earned four yards setting up a 4th-&-8. The 4th-down pass from Dinkel to Richard Johnson was dropped resulting in a change of possession.

The Longhorns took possession with 3:58 left in the contest on their own 34. After a first-down pass attempt to Dansel fell incomplete, a Salmans to Salmons pass was successful. Dinkel forced Salmans out-of-bounds just inches short of the line-to-gain. Isaac Salmans ran up the middle for a first down at the Indians' 33 on the next play. Another pass from Salmans to Salmans in the left flat earned a first down at the 22. The same pass play was incomplete on the following snap. A 2nd-down pass from Salmans to Bowman ended with a force-out by Dinkel, but the Longhorns had earned another first down a the 10. A hard run by Eli Salmans into the middle netted a big gain and ended with a tackle by Dinkel 18 inches from the goal. On 2nd-&-goal, Isaac Salmons scored on a quarterback sneak. The Indians needed a stop on the conversion attempt to prevent the determined Longhorns from pulling within one score. The Longhorns failed to score on the conversion try due to a fumble. With 2:49 remaining, the Indians led 30-20.

As expected, the HC kick-off was an onside kick. The Longhorns recovered just short of mid-field with 2:47 remaining after first-touching by St. Francis. On the first snap, Jayce Nider sacked quarterback Salmans for a 7-yard loss. A screen pass to Eli Salmans in the right flat resulted in a 10-yard gain on the next play before Jordan Raby made the tackle. A third down pass fell incomplete stopping the clock at 1:46 due to pressure from Hunter Helton.  Using no-huddle offense, a 4th-down screen pass from Salmans to Salmans in the left flat resulted in a big gain to the Indians' 25 yard line. After another incomplete pass, Isaac Salmans was sacked by Nider and Cody Baxter. On 3rd-&-16, Isaac Salmans was again pressured by Baxter and Nider, and flipped the ball to Eli Salmans, but a holding penalty erased the play. With 56.6 seconds left, Hodgeman County called time-out. The final play of the possession, a pass from Salmans to Bowman was complete. A tackle by Blanka prevented the Longhorns from reaching the line-to-gain.

St. Francis took over at their own 21 with 49.6 seconds left. The Indians kneeled on the ball to expire the clock. St. Francis defeated a very good Hodgeman County team 30-20 to advance to the Sub-State Championship contest against Claflin-Central Plains.

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St. Francis 100 College Street St. Francis, KS  67756

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