KENESAW — Playing ‘physical’ football, Elgin Public-Pope John built a commanding lead in the first half, then added a final touchdown with under a minute to play to seal a 40 to 26 victory Monday night.
The victory now propels the Wolfpack into the Class D-1 State Championship game to be played Monday, Nov. 21, at 10:15 a.m. at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln.
Arguably the two best teams in Class D-1, both undefeated and unchallenged so far this season, met under perfect November football weather. The stars shined in the sky and on the gridiron on this night.
“We played physical, we talked about it all week. We felt like we were the underdog, they had size. And we didn’t feel like anybody was giving us a lot of credit,” Coach Carlie Wells said after the game. “We knew we had speed and good strength. I think that was one of the main factors tonight… we executed the game plan we talked about.”
After the teams exchanged punts to open the game, the Wolfpack ground out a seven-play, 52-yard drive for the game’s first touchdown. Wolfpack blockers dominated the Blue Devils on the line of scrimmage, allowing Blake Anderson, Ross Schindler and Nash Schindler to plow through holes. Anderson had 28 yards rushing on the drive and finished it off with a four-yard touchdown run for a 6 to 0 lead with 5:58 left in the first quarter.
The Wolfpack came into the game knowing they would have to bottle up Kenesaw quarterback Tyler Schnitzler. In the first half they did just that. With the defense keying on him, the Blue Devils were unable to sustain any drives in the first half.
The Wolfpack’s second scoring drive started on their own 22-yard line. Ross Schindler had a 10-yard run for one first down and Nash Schindler had two big runs for first downs to put the ball on the Kenesaw 25-yard line.
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