Class 2A championship preview: Beloit vs. Rossville

By Blake Chadwick

Class 2A

Who: Beloit (9-3) vs. Rossville (12-0)

When: 1 p.m. Saturday

Where: Salina District Stadium

Beloit Trojans

Coach Brad Gober

Key players

OL/DL Grady Seyfert, junior, 6-2, 270 pounds (67 total tackles)

TE/DL  Brennan Walker, senior, 6-2, 200 pounds (84 total tackles)

TE Maddox Waters, sophomore, 6’2 200 pounds (190 yards and two touchdowns)

OL Brody Widrig, sophomore, 5-10 260 pounds 

FB Braden Burks, senior, 5-9, 205 pounds (85 total tackles)

DB/OLB Jackson Rexroat, senior, 5-9, 170 pounds (40 total tackles)

DB Owen Eilert, senior, 6-1, 175 pounds (406 passing yards, 7 total touchdowns)

What makes your team special?

“We have a great group of young men who have been completely bought into our program culture. From our character education program to how we play, these kids are just special. They have set lofty goals and have worked extremely hard to meet those goals. We set a vision for ourselves after last fall and our kids did everything in their power to put themselves into this position. Our kids are tough football players and never back down.”

Who have been key players for you this season? 

“Benson Berndt, who unfortunately will be out this week, put this team on his back when our other running backs (Branson Hiserote and Logan Arasmith) went down with season-ending injuries this fall. He led the team with 1,832 yards rushing and 25 TDs this year after rushing for 1,300 as a sophomore. A special player who is devastated that he can’t play this week. Grady Seyfert and Brennan Walker have both played outstanding on the DL and up front on offense (OL and TE). Grady is one of the best players in the state on the OL and DL. Brennan plays with an unbelievable motor and makes a ton of plays for us. Cameron Konkel is our unsung hero up front on both sides of the ball. Braden Burks has been an outstanding four-year starter for us and has led the way for our team to rush for over 3,100 yards this fall. Owen Eilert is our leader. He is steady at QB and has been the best leader I have ever had as a coach.”

Have any players been a surprise?

“Quinn Eilert has been a pleasant surprise on defense this year as a sophomore. We did not know how he would play this year as a sophomore, but he has exceeded all of our expectations as a staff. He has a very bright future in our program. Logan Arasmith (out with an injury) was a fantastic corner for us this fall as a first year starter. He made a ton of plays for us all season. Parker Isbell has been a steady force at ILB for us this fall when our starter (Branson Hiserote) went down with an injury against Norton. He has had a great sophomore campaign.”

What got your team into the state championship game?

“Our team’s grit got us here. A lot of teams would not have been able to make this game with big-time players getting hurt like we have had this year. We have a team full of fighters who believe in each other and trust that the next man up is going to get the job done. From Parker Isbell at LB, Maddox Waters at corner, and Tate Kadel at RB, we have had kids step up all year when we needed them to and the kids have not blinked once.”

What does your team need to do in order to win the state championship game?

“Continue to believe in each other. We have dealt with adversity all season long and we believe it has prepared us for this moment.”

 

Rossville Bulldawgs

Coach Derek Hammes

Key players

QB/DB Torrey Horak, senior, 6-1, 170 pounds (1,112 passing yards, 9 touchdowns and 13 rushing touchdowns)

RB/LB Corey Catron, senior, 5-8, 166 pounds (1,242 rushing yards, 25 rushing touchdowns and 6 passing touchdowns)

OL/DE Brody Leitz, senior, 6-3, 241 pounds (30 total tackles)

RB/LB Raphael Cooney, senior, 6-1, 181 pounds (50 total tackles)

OL/DL Jacob Carver, sophomore, 6-2, 286 pounds (20 total tackles)

What makes your team special? 

“The experience factor is a very important asset to this team. We have several multiple-year starters and championship game experience.” 

Have any players been a surprise? 

Rossville’s secondary would be considered a surprise.  Having to replace 4 of 5 players from last year’s team was a big challenge.  Kade Perine, Tagen Kippes, Kaden Brown and Mcgwyre Leathers have all stepped in and performed at a high level this year.”

What got your team into the playoffs? 

“Rossville battled through late-season injuries to get into the state championship. Rossville’s depth, including running back Corey Catron who stepped in for an injured Torrey Horak at quarterback, was key in the playoff run.”

What does your team need to do to win the state championship? 

To be successful against Beloit, Rossville will need to limit mistakes, protect the passer and play good run defense.”