Sweet Springs advances to district semis over Santa Fe
Quarterfinals — Class 1 District 5 — Sweet Springs HS
(6) Santa Fe 20
(3) Sweet Springs
Familiar foes faced off in the first round of the Class 1 District 5 tournament when Sweet Springs High School played host to the Santa Fe High School Chiefs. The Greyhounds got ahold of the Chiefs early on and didn’t let go, earning a 54-20 season-extending victory.
After an 18-0 deficit to end the first quarter, the Greyhounds were aided by short fields and fell into even more of a roll in the second quarter, outscoring SFHS 38-6 in the period.
Santa Fe fans know the Chiefs have no quit left in them, and they proved it by scoring 14 unanswered points in the second half despite a margin that very likely wouldn’t be shrinking enough to jeopardize the final result.
Santa Fe senior Dakota Boehmer threw for 140 yards on 8/18 passing with a pair of touchdown tosses to one interception.
Junior Hunter Ballenger led Santa Fe receivers with four catches for 45 yards and a touchdown, while junior Drew Schmidt pulled down one pass for a 30-yard touchdown. Lane Borchers added a 35-yard completion, and junior Collin Kuecker turned his only catch into a gain of 30 yards.
Ballenger lent his talents to the backfield, rushing six times for 37 yards, while senior Austin Edwards took seven handoffs for 57 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore Owen Hostetter also juiced 23 yards out of just five carries.
Edwards also led the team in tackles, with 10.
For the victorious Greyhounds, they once again were able to get the most of their ground game, pounding the rock 35 times as a team for 259 yards.
Sophomore Cole Lovercamp rumbled for 110 yards and two touchdowns, while senior Hunter Sims got two touchdowns on six carries and 50 yards.
Junior Grant Knipmeyer also earned a touchdown in addition to 22 yards over six carries. Senior Jacob Hall needed just four carries to win 62 yards and a touchdown.
Sims also threw eight times, completing six passes for two touchdowns and 110 yards. Hall caught two passes for 25 yards and a touchdown, while Wade Phillips collected 45 yards on two completions, including a 37-yard touchdown.
Defensively, Hall finished with seven tackles and an interception. Seniors Jarrett Fuehring and Dylan Hayworth finished with eight tackles each.
Chiefs head coach Alex McClafferty was reflective after the game, saying, “I’m very proud to have coached these seniors for the last three years: Alex Edwards, Logan Tracy, and Christian Hurlburt. Amazing young men who will leave this program in better shape than when they came in.”
Additionally, McClafferty said: “Thank you to all the fans and community-members who supported us this season. We showed much improvement from last season and I could not ask for more from this team. Congratulations, seniors, to a great high school career, and I can not wait to see what the future holds in store for you.”
The Chiefs end their season at 3-7 with the loss.
The Greyhounds move to 7-3 and a date with the two-seeded Slater HS Wildcats (7-3) in the Class 1 District 5 semifinal round on Friday, Nov. 9.
Before a 40-0 victory in the opening round, Slater was on a three-game skid after starting off with an extremely convincing 6-0 start featuring two shutouts.