(PIc by Doug Neufeld)
HAYS – At the Saturday Class 1A State Championship Game, the Inman football team lost an absolute heartbreaker in the final seconds, 44-41, to St. Mary’s.
With the loss, the Teutons finished their 2022 season with a 10-2 mark while losing in the state title game for the second season in a row.
After playing eight minutes of quiet football, the Teutons put two scores on the board in the final four minutes of the first quarter with a five-yard scoring run by Tanner Heckel followed a minute later with Heckel connecting with Harrison Brunk for a 42-yard scoring pass play giving Inman an early 12-0 lead at the end of the quarter.
St. Mary’s bounced back and dominated the first 11 minutes of the second quarter by scoring three times and taking a 22-12 lead before Tanner Heckel rambled into the end zone from 30 yards out to pull Inman back to within three at 22-19 by the time the teams headed to the halftime break.
Coming out of the halftime break the two teams alternated scores with Inman taking a short lived 26-22 lead on a four-yard scoring run by Samuel Shober. St. Mary’s came back less than a minute later with a 28-yard scoring pass play to retake the lead at 30-26 before the Teutons Tanner Heckel connected again with Harrison Brunk for a long scoring pass play of 48 yards to retake a thin three-point, 33-30 advantage. St. Mary’s added another score with just over four minutes left in the quarter on a 28-yard dash to the end zone, giving them a five-point, 38-33 lead heading into the final 12 minutes of play.
When Tanner Heckel connected again with Harrison Brunk for a lengthy scoring pass play of 28 yards and followed it with a pass to Eli Brunk for a two-point conversion, the Teutons had a three point, 41-38 lead with just over nine minutes to go in the season.
One more long drive was all St. Mary’s needed and they drove down to the Inman goal line and crashed in for a score from the one with just 13 seconds left to play to earn the Class 1A title with a 44-41 win.
It was an offensive game as the two teams combined for 954 yards in total offense on 114 plays with St. Mary’s getting off 64 snaps good for 514 yards net and the Teutons picking up 440 net yards of offense on 50 plays.
The Bears quarterback, Keller Hurla, nipped the Teuton defense for 403 net yards passing as they completed 21-of-33 passes while running 25 times for 94 of the teams 111 yards on 31 rushes. St. Mary’s at times were their own worst enemy as they were penalized 99 yards on nine flags while turning the ball over four times, once by a fumble and three times on interceptions.
For the Teuton defense, they were led by Zachary Martisko who recorded 15 tackles of which 10 were solo stops while Tanner Heckel had 10 stops of which eight were solo while also forcing a fumble and picking off a pair of interceptions. Josiah Buller and Brant Mikulecky combined for 12 tackles with six being solo stops while Buller had the teams third interception.
Inman’s offense had the ball for over six minutes less time than the Bears while having issues themselves with seven penalties for a minus-68 yards and fumbling four times, losing three.
Playing a more balanced attack, the Teutons ran the ball 35 times for 173 yard while Tanner Heckel completed nine-of-fifteen throws for 267 yards. Heckel also led Inman in rushing as he picked up 137 net yards on 18 carries.
Harrison Brunk closed out his Teuton career by having a monster game, torching the Bear defenders for 243 yards on six pass receptions or 40.5 yards every time he caught a throw from Heckel.
INMAN TEUTONS vs St. Mary’s at Class 1A State Title Game
SCORING: St. Mary’s 0-22-16-6=44; TEUTONS 12-7-14-8=41
TEUTONS (3:42): Tanner Heckel scored on a 5-yard run (2-Point Conversion Failed) 0-6
TEUTONS (2:42): Harrison Brunk scored on a 42-yard pass play from Tanner Heckel (2-Point Conversion Failed) 0-12
St. Mary’s (9:25): Scored on a 1-yard run (2-Point Conversion was Good) 8-12
St. Mary’s (7:20): Scored on a 47-yard run (2-Point Conversion was Good) 16-12
St. Mary’s (1:53): Scored on a 7-yard pass play (2-Point Conversion Failed) 22-12
TEUTONS (1:05): Tanner Heckel scored on a 30-yard run (Felix Farnebo Kick) 22-19
TEUTONS (10:12): Samuel Shober scored on a 4-yard run (Felix Farnebo Kick) 22-26
St. Mary’s (9:19): Scored on a 28-yard pass play (2-Point Conversion was Good) 30-26
TEUTONS (8:09): Harrison Brunk scored on a 48-yard pass play from Tanner Heckel (Felix Farnebo Kick) 30-33
St. Mary’s (4:08): Scored on a 28-yard pass play (2-Point Conversion was Good) 38-33
TEUTONS (9:28): Harrison Brunk scored on a 28-yard pass play from Tanner Heckel (2-Point Conversion – Eli Brunk pass from Tanner Heckel) 38-41
St. Mary’s (00:13): Scored on a 1-yard run (2-Point Conversion Failed) 44-41
St. Mary’s: 1st Downs – 25; Total Offense – 64 for 514; Passing – 21/33 for 403, 3 scores, 3 interceptions; Rushing – 31 for 111; Fumbles – 1/1; Penalties – 9/99; Time of Possession – 26:37.
TEUTONS: 1st Downs – 16; Total Offense – 50 for 440; Passing – 9/15 for 267, 3 scores, 1 interception; Rushing – 35 for 173; Fumbles – 4/3; Penalties – 7/68; Time of Possession – 21:23.
TEUTON INDIVIDUAL STATS:
Passing: Tanner Heckel – 9/15 for 267, 3 scores, 1 interception.
Rushing: Tanner Heckel – 18 for 137, 2 scores; Samuel Shober – 9 for 29, 1 score; Kellen Schrag – 4 for 4; Josiah Buller – 4 for 3.
Receiving: Harrison Brunk – 6 for 243, 3 scores; Eli Brunk – 2 for 25; Garrett Froese – 1 for -1.
Defense: Zachary Martisko – 15, 10 solo, 0.5 sacks, 0.5 for loss; Tanner Heckel – 10, 8 solo, 1 for loss, 1 forced fumble, 2 interceptions; Josiah Buller – 6, 4 solo, 1 interception; Brant Mikulecky – 6, 2 solo; Kellen Schrag – 5, 3 solo; Harrison Brunk – 4, 2 solo; Dominic Nuese-Rasmussen – 4, 1 solo; Eli Brunk – 3, 2 solo, 1 sack, 1 for loss, 1 fumble recovery; Zaden Johnson – 3, 1 solo, 0.5 sacks, 1.5 for loss; Dawson McConnell – 2, 1 solo; Samuel Shober – 2; Felix Farnebo – 2; 0.5 sacks, 0.5 for loss; Garrett Froese – 1, 0.5 sacks, 0.5 for loss; Caleb Bigler – 1.
(The Staff covering McPherson County Activities can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org)