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Indians Defeated In State Championship Game

St. Francis 36 - Canton-Galva 66

On Saturday, November 30, the St. Francis Indians completed an outstanding season finishing as the Kansas 8-man Division I State Runner-Up. The Indians were defeated by a big, athletic, and deep football team from Canton-Galva High School in the State Championship Game held on Fischer Field in Newton, KS, on a cold and windy day. Both teams were undefeated entering the contest. St. Francis completed the season with a 12-1 record. Congratulations to the coaches and players from both high schools for outstanding seasons!

Canton-Galva (CG) won the coin toss and elected to receive the opening kickoff. Brady Dinkel's kick was returned to the CG 8 yard line. On the first play from scrimmage, the Eagles completed a 16-yard quick out to their talented sophomore receiver, Tyson Struber (6'3" 180 lb) for a first down. The next play was snapped almost before the chains were in place as the Eagles used a no-huddle offense. On the second play from scrimmage, Eagle quarterback Landon Everett (5' 11" 178 lb senior) completed a pass to Kinser Colgan (6' 0" 153 lb senior) gaining a couple yards. Everett's next attempt was intended for Struber, but fell incomplete with Brady Dinkel covering well. With the Indian secondary providing good coverage, Jesse Baxter and Adam Krien sacked the Eagle quarterback for a loss on the following play. On 4th down, the Eagles punted the ball. Baxter nearly blocked the punt, but it sailed away successfully.

Brady Dinkel returned the ball to the St. Francis (SF) 32 yard line. On the Indians' first snap, running back Shadryon Blanka carried into the middle for little gain. Dinkel followed with two more runs on the inside and was stopped by Tyson Struber and others. The Eagle defense had immediately proved their skills (allowing less the 6 points per game in their 1st 12 games). Facing 4th-&-7, Dinkel punted the ball back to CG. The kick was a good one; rolling out-of-bounds at the 8 yard line.

Continuing with a no-huddle offensive strategy, the Eagles gained 3 yards on a running play and tried a short pop-pass on the second snap. The pass was overthrown and fell incomplete. On 3rd down, Landon Everett passed to Tyson Struber who was immediately smacked by Brady Dinkel. The reception set up 4th-&-1 at the 17. The Eagles fumbled the football on the 4th-down play and Jayce Nider recovered on the Eagle 7 yard line.

Receiving outstanding field position due to the turnover, the Indians were poised to score. Shadryon Blanka bolted into the end zone on the first snap of the possession. Shadryon began left, cut back to the right side and raced to the pylon. Adam Krien ran for the conversion points. With 7:03 left in the first period, the Indians led 8-0.

Canton-Galva returned the Indians' kick-off a short distance. An option play on first down was turned inside by Colton Neitzel, and Brady Dinkel made the tackle. Before the next snap, The Eagles were penalized for having too many players on the field. Adam Krien stopped the next Eagle running play. On 3rd-&-18, a quick out intended for Kinser Colgan fell incomplete. The Eagles punted the football back to the Indians.

The Indians took possession at their own 33 yard line. A carry by Brady Dinkel and a pitch to Shadryon Blanka earned a new series for the Indians. Adam Krien provided an outstanding block on Blanka's run. Dinkel then earned good yardage before being forced out-of-bounds at the 17 yard line of the Eagles. The Indians were threatening again. Dinkel's next carry moved the ball 5 yards closer to the goal, but on second down the Eagles stopped Dinkel for no gain. Jayce Nider scored on a reverse play following an outstanding block by Krien on 3rd down. The conversion attempt was no good. St. Francis led 14-0 with 3:36 remaining in quarter one.

Brady Dinkel's kick-off sailed into the end zone for a touchback. On the first snap of the possession, the Eagles fumbled on a sweep play, and Colton Neitzel recovered for the Indians.

Setting up at the GC 15 with good field position for the third time in the game, Brady Dinkel rambled for 11 yards on the outside on the first play. On second down, Dinkel ran into the end zone untouched following good blocking by his teammates. Adam Krien scored the conversion points following an aggressive block by Shadryon Blanka. The Indians were now up 22-0.

The Eagles' return of Dinkel's squibb-kick was ended at the 11 yard line by an aggressive tackle by Jayce Nider. On first down, the Eagles tried a reverse play carried by junior running back Braydon Collins (6'1" 193 lb). The play advanced the football near mid-field. Collins carried on the same play on the next snap earning another first down before being tackled by Brady Dinkel. Tyson Struber gained good yardage receiving the ball on an out route on the ensuing play. Struber was tackled by Kobe Tice after a gain of 5 yards. Adam Krien stopped the Eagles' 3rd-down run for no gain. A 4th-down pass intended for Struber fell incomplete on the next play. The Indians had stopped a strong advance from the Eagles.

St. Francis took possession on their own 27 yard line. Brady Dinkel followed Adam Krien for good yardage earning a first down before being forced out-of-bounds. Shadryon Blanka banged for 4 more up the middle on the next play. Blanka's next carry was stopped for no gain. The play ended the first period with St. Francis leading 22-0. Dinkel ran over the left side gaining 2 yards on third down. On 4th down, Dinkel followed good blocking, lowered his shoulder and powered for a first down at the 19 yard line of the Eagles. The Indians were penalized for a false start on the next snap moving the situation to 1st-&-15 at the 24. On Dinkel's next carry, the ball popped loose and was recovered by Tyson Struber for the Eagles. The Eagle defense had stopped the Indians scoring threat.

Canton-Galva set up offense on their own 19 yard line. Adam Krien stopped Struber's carry for no gain on first down. Dinkel's tackle helped the second down pass to fall incomplete. On third down, Landon Everett ran up the middle for 4 yards.  On 4th-&-4 at their own 26, and after a time-out, the Eagles elected to "go-for-it." Everett's pass was intercepted by Jayce Nider.

St. Francis again took possession after the 3rd Eagle turnover of the first half. Several running plays later, the Indians were facing 4th-&-6. Brady Dinkel's pass intended for Shadryon Blanka was intercepted by the Eagles at the 14 yard line ending the Indian possession quickly.

The Eagles soon returned the favor as they fumbled the football on the first snap of their possession. The Indians recovered with 7:08 remaining in the second period.

A carry by Shadryon Blanka on first down was followed by another run on second down. Facing 3rd-&-3, the Indians tried running Brady Dinkel into the middle of the Eagle defense. The carry was good for two yards. A 4th-down carry moved the Indians to 1st-&-goal at the 6. Dinkel picked up 4 yards up the middle on the next play. Blanka then banged into the middle extending the football over the goal line for another Indian touchdown. Adam Krien scored the conversion points following a crushing lead block by Blanka. With 4:03 left in the first half, the Indians were up 30-0.

The Indians squibb-kick was well-covered as usual. On first down, CG ran an option, but Shadryon Blanka ended the play resulting in a three-yard loss. Everett went to the air on the next snap. Kobe Tice was defending the receiver. Tice tipped the football, and Colton Neitzel intercepted it on the deflection. It was the 5th turnover of the first half for the Eagles.

Brady Dinkel carried to the 5 yard line on the first snap of the possession. On the next play, Shadryon Blanka powered into the middle for the 5th St. Francis touchdown of the first half. Adam Krien's conversion attempt was stopped short. With 2:57 remaining in the first half, St. Francis led 36-0.

On the first play of the Eagles' possession, Landon Everett earned a new first down before being stopped by Kobe Tice. On the next snap, Everett ran outside and was forced out-of-bounds by Brady Dinkel. The Eagles fumbled the football on the following play, but recovered. A perfectly thrown third-down pass to Tyson Struber resulted in another first down. The Eagles were finding some offensive success and were now at the SF 4 yard line. Dinkel forced Everett out-of-bounds on the first down play at the three-yard line. Colton Neitzel made a crunching touchdown-saving tackle on the following snap at the one. The Indians were trying hard to keep the Eagles from scoring; but on third down, Everett scored on a QB sneak. Everett added the conversion points reversing direction to move the scoreboard to 36-8 with 1:39 left in the first half.

Brady Dinkel returned the Eagles' kick-off to the 18 yard line. Dinkel earned 6 yards up the middle on first down; but on the next play, Dinkel fumbled and CG recovered at the SF 26.

Landon Everett passed to Trevor Studer for an Eagle touchdown on the first play of the CG possession. The conversion pass attempt fell incomplete, but the Eagles were showing resilience and gaining momentum. The Indians led 36-14 with one minute left in the half.

Attempting to gain even more momentum, the Eagles attempted an on-side kick and nearly recovered. Shadryon Blanka secured the football for the Indians. The charged up Eagles' defense stopped Blanka for a 1-yard loss on the Indians' first play. The Eagles took a time-out with 49 seconds left. Dinkel then ran up the middle earning 4 yards. On 3rd down, the Eagles again stuffed the Indians and called time-out. Blanka carried for the final play of the first half. The teams headed to the locker rooms with St. Francis leading 36-14. But....there had been a recent shift of momentum that would carry into the second half.

Brandon Huff (5' 10" 165 lb Jr.) kicked-off for the Eagles to open the second half. Brady Dinkel fielded the ball at the 5 and was tackled a short distance later by Xavier Westbrook (5' 8" 160 lb So.). Two carries by Shardryon Blanka earned 5 yards. Dinkel then ran to the weak side of an overloaded offensive line earning a first down at the SF 35. CG stuffed the next running play for no gain. Two additional plays resulted in zero positive yards for the Indians. Facing 4th-& 10, the Indians punted.

The punt was mishandled by the Eagles, and Jayce Nider nearly secured the football for the Indians inside the 5 yard line. Unfortunately, the ball entered the end zone for a touchback. Trevor Struder carried for two yards on the first snap. A second down pass to Struder was nearly intercepted by Brady Dinkel, but fell incomplete. On 3rd-&-8, a play-action pass, Landon Everrett was forced to run and scrambled for another first down at the CG 28. Everett's next carry was stopped for a 1-yard loss by Jesse Baxter and Jayce Nider. A second down pass was nearly batted down by Baxter. The pass, intended for Kinser Colgan, fell incomplete. Everett connected with Struder on an out route on third down. The play was good for 53 yards, as Struder broke several would-be tackles and sprinted to the end zone. The conversion pass attempt was incomplete. With 7:24 left in the 3rd period, St. Francis led 36-20.

Brady Dinkel returned the kick-off 19 yards to the SF 24 yard line. On the first play of the possession, Shadryon Blanka sprinted for an apparent touchdown, but was called out-of-bounds at the CG 36 yard line. The Indians gained 4 yards on their next run. On second down, Dinkel ran into the middle, fumbled, and Jesse Baxter recovered. Adam Krien was injured on the play, but would later return. St. Francis took a time-out before Dinkel's next carry. The run was good for a few yards and resulted in a 4th-&-1+ near the 27. After a SF time-out, Dinkel powered into the middle but was stopped by the strong CG defense just short of the line-to-gain.

CG took possession at their own 25. Two runs into the middle earned 6 yards for the Eagles. On 3rd down, Everett's pass to Struder was nearly intercepted by Brady Dinkel but resulted in a first down at the SF 28. Another run into the middle gained but one yard. On 2nd down, Everett passed to Struder on a double-move route. The play resulted in another CG touchdown. Dinkel stopped Everett from scoring on the conversion. The Indians' lead had narrowed to 36-26 with 3:36 left in the third period.

Brandon Huff's kick-off sailed into the end zone for a touchback. Carries by Shadryon Blanka and Brady Dinkel moved the situation to 3rd-&-2. St. Francis used another time-out before the ball was snapped again. Blanka fumbled the football but recovered just short of the line to gain. On 4th-&-inches, Blanka banged into the line earning a first down at the 26. The Indians' first down play was stuffed by the Eagles. On 2nd down, Trevor Struder's tackle resulted in a 5-yard loss. The play ended the third period. Facing 3rd-&-15, Dinkel attempted a pass to Adam Krien. The pass fell incomplete with Struder defending. St. Francis punted from their own 20.

The punt was a good one, and the Eagles set up offense at their own 20. On the opening snap of the possession, Landon Everett scored on a quarterback keeper covering 60 yards. Everett reversed direction on the conversion try and added two more points. With 11:30 remaining in the 4th period, the Eagles had pulled within two points (36-34).

Brady Dinkel returned the Eagles kick-off to the SF 26. Dinkel's first down carry lost a yard. Everett's crunching tackle resulted in a loss of two more yards on the following play. The 3rd-down pass from Dinkel to Shadryon Blanka was overthrown. The Indians punted once again. Due to off-setting flags on the punt, the punt was re-kicked. The Eagles nearly blocked the second punt. The punt was very short and rolled out-of-bounds about 10 yards downfield. The Eagles were penalized 5 yards for running into the kicker. Again, the Indians punted. The punt rolled into the end zone.

Landon Everett earned 5 yards on his first carry of the possession before he was tackled by Kobe Tice, On 2nd down, the Indians held the Eagles' quarterback for no gain. A third-down pass to Trevor Struder earned a first down near the mid-field stripe. Another run into the middle netted 8 yards. On 2nd-&-2, Everett ran up the middle to the SF 21. Jesse Baxter was injured on the play and did not return to the game. Shannon Rethke replaced Baxter at the defensive end position. Josiah Sims stopped the Eagle ball carrier at the 12 on the following play. Shadryon Blanka made the tackle on the next play, but the result was first-&-goal at the 9 yard line. The Eagles were overpowering the Indians. Everett scored on an 9-yard carry on the next snap. Everett ran for the conversion points also. With 6:45 left in the game, CG took the lead 36-42. The Eagles had scored 42 unanswered points to take the lead.

Brady Dinkel's return advanced the ball to the 25. The Indians attempted a screen pass on first down, but the play was blown up by the Eagles. On 2nd-&-13, Dinkel's pass was overthrown and intercepted by Trevor Struder. Shadryon Blanka made the tackle on Struder at the 27 yard line.

Landon Everett scored on the first play of the possession sprinting up the middle for 27 yards. A holding penalty on CG on the conversion set up a retry. Everett's pass to Struder for the conversion points earned just enough yardage to add the additional points. The score moved to 36-50 with 5:40 remaining.

Dinkel returned Huff's kick to the 12 yard line. Dinkel was forced to scramble on the first snap, but earned another first down at the SF 23. On the ensuing play, Dinkel was hit as he released the pass. The ball was intercepted by Huff. Huff nearly scored, but was forced out-of-bounds at the 4 yard line.

Brayden Collins scored another Eagle touchdown on the next play. Collins also accounted for the conversion points. With 4:47 left in the contest, the Indians had fallen behind 36-58.

Breaking several tackles enroute, Josiah Sims returned the kick-off to the 24 yard line. The Indians were penalized for delay of game before the first snap of the possession; possibly due to new players filling in for several injured Indians. The Indians' first two offensive plays, one run and one pass, resulted in a loss of 5 yards. The next two resulted in zero gain; the final being a pass from Shadryon Blanka to Josiah Sims that fell incomplete. Brady Dinkel was on the side with an injury.

CG took possession at the SF 20 yard line with 3 minutes left to play. Allowing other players a chance to play in the state championship contest, the Indians placed mostly substitute players on the field. Two carries by Brayden Collins moved the ball to the 2 yard line. Collins scored on the next play running up the middle. CG used substitute players on the conversion try. Andre Patton scored the final two points for the Eagles. With 1:47 remaining, the scoreboard showed St. Francis 36 - Canton-Galva 66. 

Josiah Sims again ran hard on the kick return picking up a few yards. Sims earned 6 more on first down and then broke all the way to the SF 35 on second down before being forced out-of-bounds with 11 seconds remaining in the game. Shadryon Blanka's run ended the game.

Both teams had gave their all. The extra depth of the Eagles proved to be a major factor in the contest. Congratulations to both teams and coaching staffs for outstanding seasons.

Landon Everett finished the championship game completing 10 of 19 passes for 197 yards, 3 TDs, and 2 interceptions. He also ran 17 times earning 148 yards and 4 touchdowns. (For the season Everett has 1533 yards passing, 1310 yards rushing, and accounted for 59 touchdowns.)

Brady Dinkel carried 33 times for 161 yards and 1 touchdown in the game. Shadryon Blanka has 23 carries for 53 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Tyson Struder had 8 catches for 188 yards and 3 touchdowns. Brayden Collins earned 99 yards on 18 carries and scored 2 touchdowns. Everett, Collins and Huff each recorded and interception for Canton-Galva.

Seniors Jaron Berig, Brady Dinkel, and Jayce Nider played their final game in a Indian uniform.

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