The 2A Sectional meeting between #1 regionally ranked Rossville against 5th ranked St. Mary’s Colgan will come down a tug of war on the ground and defense.
Rossville brings the 4th ranked defense to Hutchinson Field on Friday night. They have allowed just 24 points, 2nd best road scoring defense in 2A East, so far this season. Senior Kaiden Brown leads the Bulldogs with 61 total tackles, including a team-leading 7 tackles last week in the win over Maur Hill. The Bulldogs defensive front line has amassed 12 sacks this season along with 13 fumble recoveries. Rossville’s secondary is evened out with interceptions with six different defensive players with a pick so far this season.
Regardless of on the road or at home, Rossville touts the #1 ranked offense in 2A East. Junior Torrey Horak continues to be a dual-threat passing and running. Last week against the Ravens, Horak rushed for 127 yards and threw for another 134. Horak entered the playoffs as the 2nd leading rusher in 2A East. The Bulldogs have 4 players, in addition to Horak, with over 175 yards rushing this season. 2/3rd’s of the team’s scoring comes via the ground game.
While the St. Mary’s Colgan Panthers do not have the pristine undefeated record like that of Rossville, their schedule has prepared head coach Shawn Seematter’s team for this deep run at the playoffs. Colgan’s two losses were a season opener against 3A Girard and week 3 against long-time rival Frontenac, who also plays at the 3A classification and will face-off against Holton on Friday night.
The Colgan home defense is ranked 6th and 3rd best overall. The Panther offense is the 2nd best home offense, Rossville is number 1.
Colgan’s defense is anchored by the speedy Blaise Dawson. The senior is 4th on the team with 45 total tackles and 3 interceptions along with a fumble caused and recovered. Colgan’s defense averages less than 2 scores a game. Last week was just the 2nd shut out for the Panther defense.
On offense, like the Bulldogs, the Panthers ground game boasts multiple combinations of chewing up yards or scoing quickly. Senior Dom “The Bull” Bevilacqua is up there with Rossville’s Horak in 2A rushing leaders. Balancing “The Bull” is the speedy Dawson. Bevilacqua leads the team with 16 rushing TD’s with Dawson right behind him with 11.
Junior quarterback Jake Wright has amassed 1,103 yards through the air with 12 touchdowns. Senior Gianni Piccini and junior Aiden Fleming combined for 120 yards last week and a touchdown apiece.
The last meeting between the two teams came back in 2015 with Rossville defeating Colgan 42-32 en route to a 14-0 season with a 3A State Championship. We’ve already seen multiple upset this playoffs throughout the state with CNC’s Girard upsetting previously undefeated Columbus in week 9 and last week Nemaha Central knocking off #2 regionally ranked Silver Lake. Anything can happen in the playoffs.
Osage City is fresh off a bye week after Fredonia forfeited their match-up due to COVID-19 concerns. Meanwhile, Nemaha Central gutted out an upset over previous regionally ranked #2 Silver Lake.
Nemaha Central held in check one of the best passers in the 2A East region. They will have to do the same if they hope to make it to the Sub-State East Championship.
Landon Boss leads the Osage City Indians offense with a total of 1,469 passing yards and 24 touchdowns. Boss is also the team leader in rushing with 931 yards. In their game 2 weeks ago against Neodesha, Boss racked up 158 yards passing and 117 yards on the ground.
The Indian’s defense is led by senior Dane Whalen. The defensive tackle leads the team with 58 total tackles, 18 and a half for losses, and 3 sacks. The secondary for Osage City will also pose a problem, should the Thunder’s ground game struggle. 4 different players for Osage City have recorded 2 or more interceptions. Senior Reid Crawford leads the team with 7 interceptions.
Osage City’s defense is the leader in points allowed for 2A East teams with just 84 points given up. Nemaha Central is second with 102. On Offense, Osage City is ranked 3rd overall in 2A East with Nemaha Central ranked 5th.
On the road, Nemaha Central’s defense has played lights out to this point, allowing only 22 points the best in 2A East road defenses. Osage City’s home offense is ranked 3rd best with 219 total points scored on the home side of the scoreboard so far this season. Nemaha Central is 4-0 on the road while Osage City is 5-1.