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2022 Class 1A State Football Championship Preview – Presented by Salina Regional Sports Medicine

Class 1A

Who: Inman (11-1) vs. St. Marys (10-2)

When: 1 p.m. Saturday

Where: Lewis Field, Hays

Overview: 

  • Inman looks to bounce back after their 2021 loss to Olpe in the state championship game. 
  • St. Marys is 0-3 in title games. The Bears are looking to get their first state championship in school history. 

Inman Teutons

Coach Lance Sawyer

Key players: 

TE/LB Eli Brunk, senior, 6-5, 190 pounds (111 total tackles, 485 receiving yards and seven touchdowns)

WR/CB  Harrison Brunk, senior, 6-1, 170 pounds (816 receiving yards, and 12 touchdowns)

QB/S Tanner Heckel, junior, 6-0, 175 pounds (44-86 for 842 passing yards, 10 passing touchdowns, three interceptions, 749 rushing yards and 12 rushing touchdowns)

OL/DL Dominic Nuese-Rasmussen, senior, 6-1, 230 pounds (84 total tackles and 18 TFL’s)

OL/LB Zachary Martisko, junior, 6-3, 185 pounds (120 total tackles) 

What makes your team special?

“Our players. We have persevered through a lot of injuries to get to where we are at right now.  We have had a variety of players step up and play key roles throughout the season. They are completely unselfish. Nobody cares who gets the credit; they just want to win.”

Who have been key players for you this season?

“There have been a lot throughout the year to step up and be the “key player.” Josiah Buller has been the guy who has kept us on track. He stepped in when Tanner Heckel was injured at QB and was willing to switch roles when he came back. Eli Brunk and Harrison Brunk have been key throughout the season on both sides of the ball. Eli has been a force on defense and Harrison has been unstoppable on offense. The OL and DL had a rotation of guys playing key minutes but the anchors of those units are Dominic Nuese-Rasmussen and Zaden Johnson. Both are having huge years with great numbers.”

Have any players been a surprise?

“We knew coming in that our senior class was going to be good. We knew that Tanner would step in and do great things at QB. Kellen Schrag, Dawson McConnell, TJ Froese, Caleb Bigler and Zach Martisko have all had great seasons that put us where we are right now. We lost six really good seniors last season but several were hurt going into the championship game. So a lot of these guys played key minutes and have continued to play really well this season.”

What got your team into the state championship game?

“Our defensive line has been the key to the championship run. In order to beat teams like Smith Center and Conway Springs, we had to have a really physical front who was able to stuff the run.  Dawson McConnell, Dominic Nuese-Rasmussen, Zaden Johnson and Eli Gillespie have been pivotal these last two games. Our offense continues to get better each week. We were able to control the ball in both the Smith Center and Conway Springs games. “

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

“Play team defense and continue to win the battle up front. Our defensive line has to be active at getting after the QB and keeping him in the pocket. We have to limit their big plays and hopefully force a couple of turnovers. St Marys is a tremendous team with a lot of great athletes.  We have to keep them from hitting the home run. Offensively, we need to be able to get plenty of touches to our athletes. We need to be able to establish the run and control the clock.”

St. Marys Bears

Coach Kyle Schenk

Key players:

QB Keller Hurla,senior, 6-0, 180 pounds (111-188 for 2096 passing yards, 24 touchdowns, two interceptions, 960 rushing yards, and 18 touchdowns)

WR/LB Kason Gomez, senior, 6-2, 190 pounds (28 receptions, 721 receiving yards, seven touchdowns)

WR/LB James Rezac, senior, 6-0, 220 pounds (47 rushes for 302 yards, five touchdonwns and 60 total tackles)

What makes your team special?

“The team is special because of the senior leadership and work ethic.”

Who have been key players for you this season?

“All of them.”

Have any players been a surprise?

“Nate Hutley, Micheal Gallegos, Brendan McCann.”

What got your team into the state championship game?

“Long hours competing in the weight room, other sports and in the summer.”

What does your team need to do in order to win the state championship game?“Play fast, physical and execute.”

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