SEDGWICK — The Sedgwick Cardinal football team remains unbeaten, but the Cardinals were back on their heels for most of the game before outlasting the Meade Buffaloes 34-12 Friday night in the second round of the Class 1A playoffs in Sedgwick.
Meade lined up in the single wing, wing-T and veer, often wildcatting the snap to one of three backs.
Sedgwick beat Meade 49-0 Oct. 11 in Meade.
“We really had a good first half against them last time,” Sedgwick coach Jeff Werner said. “We scored early and had them back on their heels. They played us better in the second half. We expected them to play better than they did in the first game. We really did not tackle well the entire night. We didn’t play well defensively. They threw some of that at us (in the first meeting). Tonight, they basically said they would run the football at us. They threw a lot at us. When you play someone twice, you are able to make adjustments. We made adjustments to things they didn’t run. We struggled a little early. They played hard. By the second half, we hit our stride a little bit.”
Meade attempted three on-side kicks. Sedgwick was able to recover all three. The second one hit a Meade player before traveling 10 yards.
“That was huge,” Werner said. “We put our hands team out there after the first one. We didn’t even have a kick returner. We just put all our skill guys out there and try to recover the ball without returning it.”
Sedgwick got a first-round bye in the playoffs.
“For two years in a row, it has not been a positive in how we played,” Werner said. “It knocks the momentum out of you. We didn’t tackle well.”
The Cardinals were led by running back Kale Schroeder with 18 carries for 201 yards and two touchdowns. Schroeder had an interception on defense. Lance Hoffsommer hit six of 13 passes for 101 yards and a touchdown. Hoffsommer added 54 yards rushing and a touchdown. Qayden Shephard had three catches for 75 yards and a touchdown.
Gannon Resnik had 28 total tackles, seven solo, and rushed for a touchdown. Henry Burns had 18 total tackles.
“We started out slow and had to rely on our offense early,” Schroeder said. “We knew the defense would get it done eventually. We kept grinding. (The interception) was huge. (The week off) hurt us. We started out real slow, but we were able to get it going. Everybody was healthy. That was good. We have to play a lot better on defense (next week).”
Meade, 3-7, was led by Corben Clawson with 105 yards rushing on 27 carries with a touchdown. Caden Martin rushed for 84 yards on 16 carries with a touchdown.
Meade opened the game with a 16-play, 71-yard drive that took more than 10 minutes, scoring on a one-yard Clawson run. The PAT kick bounced off an upright.
Sedgwick recovered the on-side kick, but the Cardinal drive stalled out at the Meade 25. After forcing a punt, Sedgwick used the short field to score on a one-yard run from lineman Resnik. After forcing another punt, Schroeder ran for a 25-yard touchdown run.
Aided by a pair of long penalties, Meade drove the ball to the Sedgwick 15, where the Buffaloes missed a 31-yard field goal with 1.8 seconds left in the half.
The Cardinals recovered an on-side kick at the Meade 49 to open the second half. Sedgwick scored in eight plays on a three-yard Hoffsommer run.
A pass interference penalty on Sedgwick set up a 44-yard Martin run. The two-point conversion pass failed, leaving Meade down two scores.
Again, Sedgwick recovered the on-side kick. Two plays later, Hoffsommer hit Qayden Shepherd on a 54-yard pass.
Another long Meade drive ended on a Schroeder interception at the Cardinal 4 with 9:54 in regulation. Sedgwick gave the ball up on downs at the Meade 22 with 5:10 to play.
Sedgwick got the ball back on a Noah Becker interception with 3:45 to play. Two plays later, Schroeder scored on a 54-yard run.
Sedgwick is 9-0 and takes on 10-0 Smith Center at 6 p.m. Friday at Sedgwick. Smith Center is coming off a 56-14 win over Republic County.
“We’re going to have to play a lot better,” Werner said. “I assume it’s going to be Smith Center. To play Smith Center, you have to play very well. We’ll have another week of practice and we’ll get another chance. That’s the thing about the playoffs, it doesn’t have to be pretty, and it wasn’t, but we’re thrilled to be regional champions for the fourth time in school history. You can’t take that from the kids. They are excited to play in the next round.”
1q. M Clawson 1-yd. run (kick failed) 1:41
2q. S Resnik 1-yd. run (Tillman kick) 8:07
2q. S Schroeder 25-yd. run (Tillman kick) 2:31
3q. S Hoffsommer 3-yd. run (Tillman kick) 9:42
3q. M Martin 44-yd. run (pass failed) 5:25
3q. S Shephard 55-yd. pass from Hoffsommer (Tillman kick) 4:44
4q. S Schroeder 54-yd run (kick failed) 2:59
RUSHING — Meade: Clawson 27-105, Martin 16-84, T.Haynes 12-32. Sedgwick: Schroeder 19-192, Hoffsommer 8-30, Anderson 1-0, Resnik 1-1.
PASSING — Meade: T.Haynes 1-9-2, 21 yards; Clawson 2-5-0, 11 yards. Sedgwick: Hoffsommer 7-14-0, 104 yards.
RECEIVING — Meade: Martin 2-27, Unruh 1-7. Sedgwick: Lacey 1-8, Shepherd 3-75, Stucky 1-14, Schroeder 1-4.
Missed field goals — Mea.: Zeqiri 31 (WL).