Morning Sun
  • Colgan picks their way to playoff win

  • The Humboldt Cubs and their five-receiver, empty backfield, and pass delirious offense gave the St. Mary’s Colgan Panther defense an endless workout Saturday night at Hutchinson Field.

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  • The Humboldt Cubs and their five-receiver, empty backfield, and pass delirious offense gave the St. Mary’s Colgan Panther defense an endless workout Saturday night at Hutchinson Field.
    Humboldt senior quarterback Nathan Whitcomb attempted 65 passes and the Cubs passed for nearly 500 yards, as three receivers crossed 100 yards. However, six different Colgan players intercepted eight Whitcomb passes and the Panthers used 35 unanswered second-quarter points to win a wild Class 3A regional playoff game, 63-28.
    “It (bend-not-break) really was our gameplan,” Colgan head coach Chuck Smith said. “Just not to give up the big play. The kids hung in there and we made some big plays ourselves. When you intercept eight passes, you’ve given your offense a lot of opportunities and I felt like our offense did some things real well. We beat a good Humboldt team and we’re real glad to have won and ready to go on.”
    The Panthers (8-3) are now in the final eight teams of 3A and play Rossville (10-1) in Rossville next Friday. Rossville defeated Sabetha 28-27 in overtime Saturday night.
    “It’s a long, hard trip,” Smith said. “We’re just glad to be going. I know Rossville’s very good and they’ll be very physical. We’re just glad to still be in the playoffs.”
    Saturday night at Hutchinson Field gave fans — mostly Colgan fans — a treat: 1,051 yards of total offense, 767 passing yards, 91 points, 13 TDs, 13 successful extra-points, four TDs longer than 50 yards, nine interceptions and 20 penalties for over 200 yards of losses on the negative side.
    The first quarter ended in a 14-all score. Colgan scored on long passes from senior quarterback Dyson Dechant to fellow senior Nate Grimaldi (61 yards) and Tucker Hoffman (70). Humboldt answered with a Whitcomb 15-yard run and a 27-yard pass from Whitcomb to his favorite receiver Tanner McNutt.
    Colgan dominated the second quarter on the strength of its takeaways and converting its takeaways into points.
    Without throwing an interception in his first 19 attempts, Whitcomb came unhinged with four interceptions over his last 13 attempts of the first half. Colton Gilbert, Drew Dawson, Luke Marquardt and Hoffman picked him off — Hoffman returned his 84 yards for a touchdown on a birthday to remember.
    Offensive points during this 10-plus minute stretch of the second came from Gilbert (20-yard run), Christian Cedeno (10-yard pass and 33-yard run) and Conner Dayton (49-yard run). The 35 unanswered gave Colgan a 49-14 advantage with 1 minute, 42 seconds left before halftime.
    The Cubs ended their woes on a 28-yard TD pass from Whitcomb to 6-foot-6 receiver Noah Thornbrugh. Colgan led 49-21 at the half.
    “It did click,” Smith said. “But at halftime we didn’t feel real comfortable. We felt like they could score quick. . . . Not only that, gosh, we were getting beat up a little bit. We had a lot of kids on the sideline with injuries and we couldn’t afford to get anybody hurt the second half. A very physical ballgame for both teams and it’s a good win.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Dechant finished his night 9 of 16 passing for 280 yards and four TDs, completing passes to eight different receivers. Dechant finished with one INT.
    Dayton led all ball carriers with 154 yards and two TDs on 14 carries. Cedeno had 68 yards and two TDs on 10 carries; Cedeno added two receptions for 61 yards and one TD.
    Aaron Twarog made all nine extra points.
    Marquardt and Drew Dawson led with two interceptions apiece; Cedeno and Conner Dayton picked up interceptions after halftime.
    Whitcomb threw for 487 yards, three touchdowns and eight interceptions on 36-65. He also led Humboldt with 27 yards rushing on seven carries.
    McNutt led the Cubs with 13 receptions for 177 yards and two TDs. Blake Crawford snagged nine balls for 113 yards. Thornbrugh finished with eight grabs for 109 yards and one TD.
    Humboldt finishes its season 8-3.

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