By KARL YOUNKMAN
The Wellington Daily News
St. Louis has it’s Cardinals to cheer for during the World Series and Sumner County has it’s own flock of Cardinals to follow in the upcoming weekend of high school football.
South Haven High and Conway Springs High were each victorious in the first round of their district games last Friday night. South Haven will travel to Sedan to take on the Devils while Conway Springs entertains Chapparal at home.
It is quite unlikely Chapparal finds anything entertaining about playing the Cardinals of Conway Springs this season. Even though the two teams played an 84-66 shootout last year, this game shapes up to be another Conway Springs dominate victory. The Road Runners are coming off a 32-0 defeat to Douglas High last Friday and Cardinal coach Matt Biehler is aware that they are not the same team as last year.
“They lost a lot of guys to graduation,” Biehler said. “They are a young team. But we are not going to look past them. They have a pretty balanced offense so we have to keep doing what we’ve done all year.”
What Conway Springs has done most of the season is dominate the opposition which is what happened last Friday against Belle Plaine. The Cardinals won 62-6 and rolled up 465 yards of total offense while they were at it. Biehler was happy to see the ball get spread around in this game.
“A lot of guys got to touch the ball against Belle Plaine,” said Biehler. That amounted to nine different players recording yardage for Conway Springs. “We just have to concentrate on moving the chains and try to keep the other team’s offense off the field,” Biehler concluded.
What the Cardinals of Conway Springs do have to concentrate on once the districts are concluded is the playoff schedule. “Now we are not in any way looking past our districts but if once the playoffs start a team is required to play 3 games in ten days,” said Biehler. Such is life in high school football.
After defeating Caldwell High 68-26 last Friday night South Haven’s David Hughes is preparing his team of Cardinals for a road game at Sedan. At 2-4 for the year and coming off a 50-26 defeat to Udall the Devils will be looking forward to playing South Haven on their home field. “They are struggling this year and they’ve had some key injuries,” Hughes explained. “They start four or five sophomores so we may have the edge in experience against them. Their tailback is really good and he runs hard.”
Against Caldwell, it was South Haven’s JT Yunker that did the hard running. Yunker gained 232 yards on 13 carries and scored 5 touchdowns. Hughes’ biggest satisfaction of the game was indeed watching the running game. “I enjoyed watching the sweeps and our offensive line pull blocking,” said Hughes.
Coach Hughes was happy to get Riley Blaylock back in the lineup also. Blaylock started the year as the quarterback for the Cardinals before being injured and will see out the remainder of the season on defense. “Anthony
Hawkins is our QB now but Riley will certainly help us on defense as well providing us with a capable backup at quarterback,” said Hughes.
The Caldwell Bluejays, a team that has suffered mightily with injuries this season, did put up a game effort against South Haven Friday night with Kellen Schmidt rushing for 183 yards and two long touchdowns. Quarterback Colten Ward got his licks in also, rushing for 47 yards and a score and passing for an additional 80 yards. Caldwell will go on the road to face Attica/Argonia this Friday. The Titans of A/A played South Barber tough last Friday only to come up on the short end of a 66-56 score.
Sophomore Alec McDaniel was the offensive force for the Titans, being responsible for 6 touchdowns, 3 rushing and 3 passing. Devon Newberry carried the ball 24 times for 191 yards and two scores of his own. Garret Wells added 105 yards on the ground while hauling in two TD receptions also. Doss Grigsby caught three passes for 48 yards, one for a score.
In other matchups this Friday, Oxford travels to Cedarvale-Dexter and Belle Plaine visits Douglas.