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(Eastern Kansas Sports will livestream the Humboldt Cubs 1st round playoff game against Central Heights. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel to be notified when we go live on Thursday night by clicking here.)

CHEROKEE – While there was drama in the district standings and possible scenarios, the Humboldt Cubs made it no doubt who the Class 2A District 1 champion was on Friday night with a 50-18 win over Southeast-Cherokee.

“We’ve had to put things back together. It’s never ‘plug-and-play’. We lost 4 or 5 All-State players from last year. It’s what we preach every year: win a district title and win a state title. To get that first goal is always a plus for sure,” said Humboldt head coach Logan Wyrick.

The Cubs outrushed the Lancers 426 to 278, led by stand-out senior Conor Haviland’s 339-yards night, that included 4 touchdowns. Haviland also was 3-for-3 with 43 yards passing and 1 touchdown. Humboldt’s offense also had success running with seniors Kyle Kobold, Isiah Coronado, and Cooper Jaro. Coronado and Jaro recorded the teams two other rushing touchdowns while Kolbold hauled in the lone touchdown reception.

“We consider our running game a three-headed monster. As a group, (Kobold, Coronado, Jaro) are averaging 8 yards per carry, so if any individual did that it would stand out. As a group, that’s pretty special. We find different ways to use each of their talents to make our offense successful. Also, credit goes to the guys up front for blocking and opening up holes. Our offense doesn’t go without them,” credited Wyrick.

Southeast kept pace with the Cubs in the 1st quarter, trailing only 14-6 and limiting Humboldt’s offense to only 1 touchdown for the remainder of the half with a score at halftime of 20-6.

Humboldt scored more in the 3rd quarter alone than they did all of the 1st half with 22 points, putting the game well in hand by a lead of 44-12. Both teams would score in the 4th, and Humboldt secured their 2nd straight district title with a final score of 50-18.

Humboldt’s defense recorded 3 turnovers, including freshman Trey Sommer and Joshua Hull’s interceptions. Jackson Aikins recovered a fumble caused by Kyle Kobold.

“We’re getting some different ways to get the defense going. We try to do some different things to cause turnovers. Ripping the ball out, things like that, seeing that pop-up is always a plus. The more possessions we can get our offense, the better our chances will be.”

Southeast’s Zaden Hendricks led his team in rushing with 110 yards and one touchdown. Bryce Petersen contributed with 79 yards and a touchdown along with Gage Oplotnik’s 55 yards on the ground and 1 touchdown.

Humboldt concludes the regular season with a perfect 8-0 record and will host Central Heights, who is 2-6 overall and out of the Flint Hills League. Coach Wyrick pointed some challenges that the Cubs will face on Thursday night.

“Some of our varsity starters haven’t really played for us in the playoffs. So this is their first experience with it. Central Heights has talent on skill positions, but they also have athleticism on the frontline. It’s the postseason. If you don’t bring your best, you could be done before it begins.”

Southeast concludes the regular season 6-2 and will travel to Osage City, who is 5-3 on the year.

(Eastern Kansas Sports will livestream the Humboldt Cubs 1st round playoff game against Central Heights. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel to be notified when we go live on Thursday night by clicking here.)

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