Class 3A football championship preview: Andale vs. Frontenac

By Blake Chadwick

Class 3A

Who: Andale (12-0) vs. Frontenac (10-2)

When: 1 p.m., Saturday

Where: Hutchinson Community College

Overview: 

  • Andale comes into the game winning 37 straight games and is looking to win their third straight 3A state championship. 
  • Frontenac plans to upset the powerhouse in Andale. 

Andale Indians

Coach Dylan Schmidt

Key Players

QB Wyatt Spexarth junior, 6-3, 175 pounds

RB/DB Cody Parthemer, junior, 190 pounds 

RB/DL Jonah Meyer, junior, 170 pounds 

TE/DB Nathan Nemechek, senior, 200 pounds

What makes your team special?

“I have been very impressed with our team first attitude and kids’ willingness to commit to the common good.  We have a lot of selfless guys!”

Who have been key players for you this season?

“It’s been a total team effort… all the kids on our team are key!”

Have any players been a surprise?

“No surprises but very proud of our guys upfront on the O-line that don’t get a lot of credit: Jack Kraus, Clay Glasscock, Beau Kerschen, Daniel Reichart, Garrett McCaskill.” 

What got your team into the state championship game?

“Taking care of the football and taking it away on defense — 37-7 on turnover margin this season!”

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

“Continue to win the turnover margin, play great defense, and be able to run the ball.”

Frontenac Raiders

Coach Mark Smith

Key players

DT/OT Cruz Blair, senior, 6-1, 240 pounds, 

DE/OT Landon Dean, senior, 6-5, 245 pounds

QB/LB Collin McCartney, senior, 6-2, 195 pounds

RB/LB Justice Compton, senior, 6-1, 180 pounds, 

RB/CB Mario Menghini, junior, 6-3, 195 pounds, 

OLB Peyton Wilderman, senior, 5-9, 145 pounds, 

FS Dawson Lapping, senior, 5-10, 160 pounds, 

What makes your team special? 

“We have a great group of seniors that have worked hard to get to this point.  We have great team chemistry right now, and we are playing our best football of the season over the last month.  We are battle tested, and our kids will play extremely hard and physical.”

Who have been key players for you this season?

“Our defense has been very special all season for us.  Our key players on defense start on the defensive line. Cruz Blair,  Landon Dean, Collin McCartney and Lane Franklin (injured last Friday) have led the way up front. They have controlled the line of scrimmage in most games and set the tone for our entire defense. We have an athletic and fast set of LBs and safeties led by Justice Compton at LB. Brady Stanley (injured last Friday) and Peyton Wilderman have been tremendous tacklers for us on the edge all season at OLB. Our DBs are led by Mario Menghini at CB with 6 INT’s, Dawson Lapping at FS, and Micael Doria at CB.

“Our OL and our running game has been the key to our successful playoff run this season.  Once again, we will have to lean on our OL to get us rolling on Saturday. We have a great trio in the back field led by QB Collin McCartney and RB’s Justice Compton and Mario Menghini. They have combined to run for over 2,500 yards in 36 TD’s combined. Mario Menghini, Justice Compton, Kaston Fields and Aaron Doria have made some big plays at WR for the Frontenac Raiders this season in the passing game.”

Have any players been a surprise?

“We had high expectations going into this season, but Justice Compton has had an All-State caliber season for the Raiders at RB/LB.  He is one of our team leaders and has been one of the most consistent performers all season. Dawson Lapping has been huge at FS/TE.  We moved him to TE after we moved Landon Dean from TE to OT to help the team, and Dawson has played so hard for the Raiders. Peyton Wilderman and Brady Stanley have had tremendous seasons at OLB’s. Trentyn Harris has made huge strides from last year on the OL and been a big part of our success as well. Kaston Fields seems to make 1-2 big plays every game for us as well. Michael Doria has been great at CB for us, and his twin brother Aaron has stepped up at WR as well.“

What got your team into the state championship game?

“Our team has a very strong bond right now, and we have a great group of 18 seniors that have brought the team together.  Our team believes every time that we go out on the field that we will win.  Our kids have worked so hard in the weight room to get to this point.  Our kids have a lot of fun, enjoy coming to practice, work hard and are reaping the rewards right now by playing their best football in the playoffs.”

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

“We know that we are big underdogs going into the game against Andale.  They have a special thing going right now, and they play extremely hard and physical as well.  Our team will have to continue to play great defense, stop the run and win the battle up front on both sides.  We must win the turnover battle, and the special team/field position game on Saturday.  Our kids will have to stick together and believe like they have during our playoff run.  We are excited for the challenge ahead against Andale.”