Rural runs away with 58-18 win over Highland Park


The Washburn Review

Coming off a big road win over Manhattan the week before, the Washburn Rural Junior Blues were back at home and taking on the Highland Park Scots. 

The Junior Blues continued to roll while the Scots continued to struggle as Washburn Rural ran away with a 58-18 Centennial League win.

“I was happy with the performance early, and we were able to get some young guys into the game and get them some experience on a Friday night, but the most important thing is we got our sixth win,” said Rural coach Steve Buhler.

It was Highland Park which scored first, when junior Tyrell Reed took a rush 71 yards for a touchdown on just the fourth play of the game, providing a 6-0 lead.

That would be the last lead for the Scots as Washburn Rural scored a touchdown of its own four plays later on a pass from sophomore Branton DeWeese to senior Robby Bolin. That was one of two touchdown passes on the day from DeWeese.

Bolin would follow the play with a 27-yard interception return for a touchdown to double the lead.

DSC 2579Washburn Rural's JC Heim (25) celebrates a touchdown with teammate Shane Sexton during Friday's 58-18 Centennial League win over Highland Park. [Photo by Doug Walker/Special to TSN]

The Junior Blues would score three more touchdowns in the quarter, including two from sophomore JC Heim on the ground.

“Our run game and our offensive line was amazing up front and the pass game did really well,” said Heim.

Two 35-yard passing scores from Washburn Rural in the second quarter would make it a 51-6 game at halftime as the offense continued to roll and the defense was suffocating.

“We talked about how we need to gang tackle and everyone needs to come to the ball, we did pretty good,” Heim said.

DSC 2654Washburn Rural's defense sacks Highland Park quarterback Kellan Spruce during Friday's 58-18 Rural win over the Scots. [Photo by Doug Walker/Special to TSN]

The longest play for the Junior Blues came in the third quarter when junior Dayten Smoot took a 49-yard pass from junior Aiden Boleski for a touchdown.

The Scots would score twice in the final quarter including an 83-yard run from junior Tre Richardson right before time expired with the game ending 58-16.

The win moved Washburn Rural to 6-1 on the year while Highland Park fell to 0-7.

Washburn Rural will be back in action next Friday, hosting Seaman for Senior Night.

“It’s a big game for both of us, we got a lot at stake in the brackets that we are playing for so I am looking forward to a great game,” said Buhler. 


Highland Park (0-7) 6 0 0 12

Washburn Rural (6-1) 37 14 7 0

First quarter

Highland Park -- Reed 71 run (conversion failed)

Washburn Rural -- Bolin 17 pass from DeWeese (Smoot kick)

Washburn Rural -- Bolin 27 interception return (Smoot kick)

Washburn Rural -- Lukas Hanks 3 pass from DeWeese (Smoot kick)

Washburn Rural -- Heim 16 run (Smoot kick)

Washburn Rural -- Team safety

Washburn Rural -- Heim 30 run (Smoot kick) 

Second quarter

Washburn Rural -- Tibbetts 35 pass from DeWeese (Smoot kick)

Washburn Rural -- Sabbarini 35 pass from Boleski (Smoot kick)

Third quarter

Washburn Rural -- Smoot 49 pass from Boleski (Smoot kick)

Fourth quarter

Highland Park -- Drew-Gregory 6 pass from Spruce (conversion failed) 58-12

Highland Park -- Tre Richarson 83 run (conversion failed) 58-18

Individual statistics

Rushing- Highland Park: Reed 15-98, Richardson, 2-83, Spruce 7-2, James 4-6, Crawford 1-7. Washburn Rural: Heim 7-93, Keller 2-16, Krueger 3-1, Leonard, 1-5.

Passing- Highland Park: Spruce 6-11-1, 63 yards. Washburn Rural DeWeese 5-7-0, 102; Boleski 3-4-0, 87; Leonard 1-2-0 9. 

Receiving- Highland Park: Drew-Gregory 4-35, McNair 1-2, Richardson, 1-26. Washburn Rural -- Tibbetts 2-72, Smoot 1-49, Sabbarini 1-33, Bolin 1-17, Hanks 2-13, #39 1-9(Not listed on roster), Hayes 1-5.


Seaman blanks Topeka High 20-0 behind stingy defense

Rick Peterson


Seaman's offense ran a little hot and cold Friday night against Topeka High, coming up with some big plays, but missing out on some other scoring opportunities.

But the Viking defense was a constant, posting its second shutout of the season in a 20-0 Centennial League win over the Trojans on Senior Night at Seaman.

Seaman, which improved to 5-2 overall and 4-2 in the league, limited Topeka High (2-5, 2-4) to just 53 yards of total offense while limiting Trojan senior star Tylan Alejos, who had a 400-yard, eight-touchdown game two weeks earlier, to just 55 yards on 25 carries.

"We treated it just like it was anyone else,'' Seaman senior Braden Colley said. "We knew we could dominate, we could stop the run. We knew we could do it and we weren't worried. We weren't scared at all.

"I thought we played really well. Any time you can keep a doughnut on the board of course you played well. We stayed pretty sound with minimal mistakes and we had a good game.''

Seaman coach Jared Swafford agreed.

"When you watch film you know what (Alejos) is capable of and they've got a big offensive line that does a nice job,'' Swafford said. "He's a heck of a runner and he runs hard and we knew we needed to rally to the ball and we put extra emphasis on that.

"We knew he's a big part of what they try to do and we wanted to take that away.''

E TJMpXXIAINwEhCamden Barta .

Topeka High came up with some big defensive plays of its own and the Trojans were still very much in the game into the fourth quarter, trailing by just a 10-0 margin before Seaman broke the game open with a 44-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Camden Barta to senior Brody Gormley with 11:13 remaining.

Viking senior Gavin Wilhelm added his second field goal of the night, a 26-yarder, later in the fourth to account for the final margin.

Seaman turned the ball over on downs to end its first possession of the game after getting as deep as the High 24-yard-line, but the Vikings got on the board midway through the second quarter after a Topeka High mis-play in the punt game led to a 39-yard Wilhelm field goal with 7:07 left before halftime. 

Wilhelm's field goal came after Topeka High punted the ball into the back of a Trojan blocker, allowing Seaman to take over at the High 32.

The Vikings got to the Trojan 15, but High's defense stiffened at that point, forcing Seaman to settle for the field goal.

After forcing a High punt, Seaman used a 31-yard pass play from Barta to senior Casen Stallbaumer and a 27-yard pass from Barta to senior P.J. Vargas to set up the game's first touchdown, a 9-yard Barta run with 3:20 left in the half (Wilhelm kick).

The score remained 10-0 through the third quarter as the Vikings missed a pair of field goal attempts, but Seaman put the game out of reach with the Gormley TD.

Barta completed 15 of 24 passes on the night for 158 yards and a TD while Stallbaumer had eight catches for 63 yards. Barta rushed for a team-high 29 yards on nine carries.

Seaman will travel to Washburn Rural to face the 6-1 Junior Blues next Friday while Topeka High will take on USD 501 rival Topeka West at Hummer Sports Park.

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