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Rock Creek football players celebrate with their regional championship plaque after beating Hayden 21-14 in Topeka last week. Rock Creek now will host Frontenac on Friday in the sectional round of the Class 3A playoffs.

Rock Creek picked up a pivotal 28-21 road win over Hayden in the Class 3A playoffs on Friday. The Mustangs knocked off a team that came into the matchup with just one loss on the season.

The Mustangs (7-3) trailed by a touchdown in the fourth quarter, but came back to beat the Wildcats with two touchdowns from quarterback Dalton Whitworth to wide receiver Ethan Burgess.

Hayden jumped out to a 13-0 lead on rushing touchdowns in the first and second quarters.

Rock Creek got back within a score on a 17-yard pass from Whitworth to Vinduska and went into the half trailing 13-7.

The Mustangs grabbed their first lead of the game in the third quarter on a 11-yard Jaydon Winans run.

Hayden (8-2) moved back ahead on a 75-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter before Whitworth and Burgess finished things with 65- and 27-yard touchdown passes.

Whitworth ended the day 14-for-21 for 247 yards.

Vinduska had six catches for 121 yards and Burgess had four for 108 yards.

Matthew Wainwright led the way defensively with 14 tackles (three solo), followed by Kody Howard with 11 (one solo) and Yanci Spiller with 10 (four solo). Logan Sturdy and Gavin Meyer each had interceptions in the game.

The Mustangs return home this week for the sectional round of the playoffs where they’ll host Frontenac (8-2). The Raiders took down an 8-2 Galena squad 31-6 in regionals on Friday.

Depleted Riley County falls to Concordia

An undefeated season fell asunder for Riley County on Friday. Blame injuries. And five turnovers over the course of the game.

Riley County lost 30-14 in the regional round of the 3A playoffs to a Concordia team it beat 48-7 on Oct. 15.

The Falcons (9-1) were without starting senior quarterback Trey Harmison, who was sidelined after suffering a season-ending injury in the team’s regular-season finale.

Concordia (8-2) struck first on a 65-yard interception return, but the Falcons responded on a 9-yard run by Korin Koenig. Riley County trailed 8-6 after a failed two-point conversion.

Concordia scored twice in the second quarter to push its lead to 24-6.

Neither team scored in the third quarter, but in the fourth, senior running back Blake Brokenicky found the end zone from 30 yards out on a pass from quarterback Kolton Payne to get back within 10.

The Panthers finished their victory with a 67-yard touchdown run.

Payne went 7-for-14 for 87 yards and a touchdown and three interceptions.

Koenig had five rushes for 29 yards, Zak Zeller had four catches for 47 yards and Brokenicky had two catches for 40 yards.

Defensively, Zeller had nine tackles and Koenig had seven. Zeller also recovered a fumble.

The Falcons graduate 14 seniors, including Harmison, Brokenicky, Koenig, Truman Bessmer, Ty Webber, Cody Pfaff, Camden Foltz, Brooks Redden, Jace Ricketts, Ayden Bath, Justin Stallbaumer, Konner Stadel, Collin Rankin and Nathan Imergoot.

Wabaunsee comes up short versus Lyndon

Wabaunsee wrapped up a historic season Friday with a 44-33 road loss to Lyndon in a Class 1A regional championship matchup.

The Chargers ended their year with a 7-3 record, which marked the first winning season since 1997. They finished one win shy of tying the single-season school record for wins.

Both Lyndon (6-3) and Wabaunsee scored twice in the first quarter, but the Tigers left the quarter with a two-point lead thanks to a pair of successful two-point conversions.

The Chargers’ two touchdowns came on a 80-yard kickoff return from Aiden Boeckman and a 78-yard touchdown pass from Cade Oliver to Eli Oliver.

In the second quarter, Lyndon added two more touchdowns to Wabaunsee’s one — another pass from Oliver-to-Oliver, this time from 31 yards out — pushing the Tigers’ lead to 30-20 at the half.

Both teams added a score in the third. Oliver connected with Brandon Meseke on a 26-yard pass and kicked an extra point, while Lyndon had another successful two-point conversion, giving the hosts an 11-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.

The Tigers added a final touchdown in the early portion of the final period to push their advantage to 17.

Oliver scored on a 9-yard run for the final score of the game.

Oliver went 14-for-24 for 275 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions.

Meseke had six catches for 97 yards and Oliver had four catches for 112 yards.

Tate Deever led the way for Wabaunsee’s defense, recording 18 tackles. Next in line was Cade Oliver, who had 14 tackles, followed by Zach Frank (13), Wyatt Wurtz (12), Bryton Reves (11), Lanson Parry (11) and Maverick Havenstein (11).

The Chargers lose five key seniors from this year’s team, including Cade Oliver, Meseke, Boeckman, Jackson Havenstein and Caden Yonke.

Valley Heights loses Centralia rematch

Valley Heights had a rematch with Twin Valley League rival Centralia in the regional round of the 1A playoffs. The result was the same as the first, as the Mustangs found themselves on the losing end of a 41-0 decision.

Individual stats were unavailable as of press time.

The Mustangs (4-5) lose seniors Trenton L’Ecuyer, Treyton Claycamp, Tanner Meadows and Conner House to graduation. Centralia (7-2) moves on to face Lyndon, a team it shut out, 26-0, on Oct. 15.

Frankfort ends season versus Thunder Ridge

Frankfort ran up against undefeated Thunder Ridge on Friday for the second time this season. And just like the first meeting in Kensington, the Wildcats walked away with a road loss.

Thunder Ridge won, 58-8, to end Frankfort’s 2021 campaign in the regional round of the 8-Player Division II playoffs.

Frankfort (7-3) also lost to Thunder Ridge, 60-12, on Oct. 15.

Frankfort’s lone touchdown came in the first quarter on a 61-yard touchdown run for Caden Dalinghaus which tied the game at eight after a two-point conversion.

The Longhorns went on to score 50 straight to close out the game.

Dalinghaus went on to rush for 67 yards on nine rushes. Grant Steffes and Ethan Armstrong each had a catch (19 and 12 yards respectively).

Lane Loiseau had eight tackles (three solo) to lead the way for Frankfort followed by Wyatt Keller who had seven (three solo).

The Wildcats graduate eight seniors including Armstrong, Samuel Gros, Dalinghaus, Steffes, Peyton Gerstner, Hugo Bonete, Zavier Brandt and Kersten Bottcher.

With the victory, the Longhorns (10-0) advance to the sectional round.

A titanic matchup awaits, as two of the top four teams in 8-Player Div. II will square off, with No. 2 Thunder Ridge travels to Lebo to face No. 4 Lebo High (9-1).