Pleasanton outlasts Marion
Warriors’season ends on 28-22 heartbreaker
Heading into the first round of the Class 1A state football playoffs Thursday night at Pleasanton, a big question hovered over the Warrior football team.
Which Warrior team was going to show up after a two-hour 30-minute drive just 8 miles from the Missouri-state line?
Would it be the one that pushed Hillsboro to the limit in week 7, only to narrowly fall 18-14, or the one that got nothing going in shutouts by top-5 teams Hutch-Trinity, Sedgwick, and Olpe?
Luckily for the Warrior faithful who made the long journey, the game was almost as exciting as Hillsboro’s.
Unfortunately, the result was still the same with the Bluejays holding off Marion, 28-22 to advance to regionals.
The Warriors’ rugged year ends at 2-7.
The Bluejays were hardly the caliber of teams like Trinity, Olpe, and Sedgwick, beating up on opponents a combined 21-36, their lone loss a 46-0 blowout by stalwart Pittsburg-Colgan.
The Marion defense held the Bluejays scoreless the first quarter amidst miserable field conditions.
But the Warrior offense couldn’t get in gear until the second half.
Pleasanton took a 14-0 lead by halftime with quarterback Caleb Seacrest hitting Blake Pohlmeier for a 59-yard touchdown and Kaden McKee scoring on a 4-yard run.
Down to his final half of high school football, Chase Stringer and the Warriors came out recharged for the second half.
On back-to-back touchdown passes, Stringer went long for senior Eli Hett on completions of 21- and 54-yards to knot up the game at 14-14 with 7:47 left in the third.
The Warriors never got over the hill, though, with the Bluejays going on top 20-14 after Pohlmeier ripped off a 53-yard touchdown on the ensuing drive.
Pohlmeier alone outdid the Warriors’ ground attack, carrying 30 times for a game-high 147 yards and two touchdowns — 54 yards more than Marion’s 93.
Playing his final game as a Warrior, Evann Heidebrecht carried 21 times for 82 yards, but never got in the end zone.
Marion had better luck passing, with Stringer completing 9-of-17 for a game-high 169 yards as part a 262-yard night.
The Warriors’ defense kept the Bluejays in check for the most part, allowing just 307 total yards.
Facing a 28-14 deficit with under a minute left in the season, Stringer fired to fellow-senior Sam Zinn for a 10-yard score with 23 seconds left.
Heidebrecht punched in Marion’s final two points of the year for the 28-22 final.
Joining the quartet of seniors playing their final game were Colton Mercer, Blaine Mermis, Noah Dalrymple, Noah Kukuk, Ethan Darnall, Brandon Nguyen, Kyle Horton, Joey Nickel, and Jared Rahe.
Last modified Nov. 1, 2018