8-Man All-Stars showcase in Beloit
Eighty of the best small school football players in the state of Kansas, were coached by 12 very highly qualified coaches on Saturday during the annual Eight Man All Star Football Games at Trojan Field. The first game was contested in 1986 with the hopes that such a contest could find a place in the crowded world of Kansas high school sports. The first game was a big success and the games have been successful every year since.
This past Saturday’s Division I and Division II games were no exception as the Division II game, pitted the West against the East. The contest was close through the first half with the West team holding a slim lead at halftime 24-20. The West gradually extended their lead in the second half taking a 54-28 victory. In the Division I game the West edged out to an 8-6 first half lead. In a game that could be best described as “smash mouth” football the West persevered with a 26-12 win.
The Division II game was the first of the day with a 10 a.m. kickoff. The East squad was directed by head coach Matt Heuer of Hanover assisted by Mike Hevel of Waverly and Brock McMillian of Rock Hills. The head coach of the West squad was Chuck Fessenden of Northern Valley assisted by Lee Smith of Hutch Central Christian and Ben Labertew of Sylvan-Lucas.
The game unfolded in the usual format. Both teams attempted to establish a running game as a basis for their offense. With the quality of athletes playing the game, the result is a stalemate at the line of scrimmage. With the running game stymied, the teams went to the air with their passing game. The team with the most success throwing the ball usually gains the advantage.
The West squad drew first blood when Jeramy Pfaff rushed for a touchdown at the 8:18 mark in the first quarter. Pfaff also ran for the PAT and the West was up 8-0. Three minutes later the East quarterback Daiken Stallbaumer carried the ball over the goal line to close the gap to 8-6. The PAT pass fell incomplete.
An interception of a Darnell Holloway pass that was returned to the 13 yard line set up the next East touchdown. With 1:11 showing on the clock Stallbaumer connected with Koch on a pass play for a touchdown. The pass for the PAT fell incomplete and the East held a 12-8 lead. The first quarter would end with the East leading 12-8.
They stretched the lead with a 7 yard touchdown pass play to Aikens at the 8:15 mark. A successful rush for the point after put the East up 20-8. The East did not take long to retake the lead. With 7:40 on the clock they combined a 41 yard pass play with a 24 yard touchdown run by Grauerholz to score a touchdown. A successful PAT run put the score at 20-16.
In the next series of plays the East would lose the first of three players to leave the game with injuries. On a contested pass reception Xavier Espinoza would leave the field with a shoulder injury not to return. The West would score the final touchdown of the first half when Anton Foust score a touchdown and with a successful PAT they would take a 24-20 lead. They would hold the lead for the remainder of the game.
In the second half the West squad was able to establish a passing game more successfully than the East squad. They moved the ball through the air taking only two and a half minutes to cross with goal line in the third quarter. A 6 yard pass play to Jeramy Pfaff for the touchdown and a pass for the PAT put the West up 32-20.
On the next series of events perhaps the most critical injury of the game took place. Midway through the third quarter the East quarterback, Daiken Stallbaumer, left the game holding his wrist. He would not return to the game. Wide receiver Thomas Aikins moved to quarterback leaving the East minus one of their better receivers.
The East squad would not score in the third quarter and only once more in the game when Cade Cohorst hauled in a 41 yard pass play. The West team would score two times in the third on touchdowns by Miller and Pfaff. The third quarter would end with the West leading 40-20. The West would score twice in the fourth quarter with touchdowns by Faust and Pfaff. The final score was 54-28.
Division II East:
Totaled 14 first downs with 63 rushing yards; 40/24/2 for 314 passing yards; 1-14 yards on punts
Receptions: Thomas Atkins of Hanover 3-99 yards; Zane Colson of Rock Hills 9-70 yards; Hunter Koch of Axtell 9-45 yards; Cade Cohorst of Hanover 3-96 yards
Leading Rushers: Atkins 8-22 yards; Daiken Stallbaumer of Hanover 6-18 yards; Colson 9-18 yards
Leading Passers: Stallbaumer 23/14/2 for 219 yards; Atkins 17/10/0 for 95 yards
Tackles: Colton Carlson of St. Paul 7 solo tackles, 8 assists, 2 QB sacks; Kail Dubbert 1 solo, 7 assists, 1/2 QB sack; Dawson Leimkuhler of Southern Coffey Couty 3 solo, 3 assists; Joel Huffles of Wetmore 2 solo, 5 assists, 1 QB sack; Brody Carlgren of Pike Valley 2 solo, 4 assists; Dereck Gillett 3 solo, 2 assists; Jake Newton 2 solo, 3 assists; Tristan deKoning 2 solo, 3 assists, 1 QB sack; Kyle Naarebout of Centre Lost Springs 1 solo, 3 assists, 1 QB sack; Xavier Esponza of Centre Lost Springs 3 assists, 1 interception; Cole Montgomery of Blue Valley 1 solo, 1 assist; Carson Schneiner of Frankfort 1 solo; Nate Buessing 2 solo; Dailen Stallbaumer of Hanover 1 assist
Division II West:
Totaled 24 first downs with 194 rushing yards; 11/8/7 passing yards for 315 yards; 1-33 yards on punts
Receptions: Caden Bach of Northern Valley 1-41 yards; Kade Miller of Osborne 2-40 yards; Dewalt 2-26 yards; Nick Stutsman of Northern Valley 1-9 yards
Leading Rushers: Anton Foust of Otis-Bison 11-113 yards; Darnell Holloway of Osborne 20-88 yards; Jeramy Pfaff of Minneola 17-70 yards; Brandon Grauerholz of Thunder Ridge 7-61 yards
Leading Passers: Holloway 7/6/0 for 77 yards; Foust 4/2/1 for 44 yards
Tackles: Dalton Hoffman of Dighton 9 solo tackles, 2 assists, 1 interception, 1 deflection; Kade Miller of Osborne 4 solo, 3 assists; Richie Oswalt of Central Christian 3 solo, 2 assists, 1/2 QB sack; Tyler Barrientes of SLU 3 solo, 1 assist; Blair Hoffman of Dighton 2 solo, 1 interception, 1 QB sack, 1 deflection; Anton Foust 2 solo, 1/2 QB sack; Caden Bach of Northern Valley 1 solo, 3 assists; Nick Stutsman of Northern Valley 1 solo, 3 assists; Landon Gering of Thunder Ridge 1 solo, 2 assists; Jordan Wherry of Osborne 1 solo, 1 assist; Nick Malone of South Barber; Samual Princ of SLU 1 assists; Luke Johnson of Wallace County 1 assists