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Louisburg survives in playoff win over Atchison

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Louisburg running back Ben Wiedenmann runs away from the Atchison defense for a touchdown Friday during the Wildcats’ first round playoff game at Wildcat Stadium.

Survive and advance.

That is exactly what the Louisburg football team did Friday against Atchison. In their first round playoff game, the Wildcats rallied for a pair of third quarter scores to defeat the Redmen, 14-7, at Wildcat Stadium and were able to move on to the sectional round.

Louisburg had its back against the wall from the start as players were out with injuries, some played through pain and the Wildcats had to sit even more guys who sustained injuries early on in the game.

It was a situation that left the Wildcat coaches scrambling to put guys in the right places. In the end, it all worked out.

“Win and move on was the goal and that is what we did,” Louisburg coach Robert Ebenstein said. “We were pretty banged up and took a while to get some rhythm, but we got the win and that is all that really matters. I am very proud of the toughness and grit that our players showed.”

 It took a little bit for the Wildcats to get their legs under them as they found themselves down 7-0 at halftime after an Atchison touchdown late in the first quarter.

Defense turned out to be the difference in the game as the Wildcats forced four Redmen turnovers, including three fumbles that helped on the two Louisburg scores.

“I thought the defense played tough,” Ebenstein said. “We were even able to move some guys around and they found their fit nicely.”

Brandon Doles, Garrett Harding and Brayden White all recovered fumbles, while Michael Waldron recorded an interception late to keep the Redmen offense off the field. In all, the Wildcats held Atchison to 164 yards of total offense.

Doles led the Wildcats with nine tackles on the night, while Ben Wiedenmann and Harding each finished with eight.

Wiedenmann also did a lot of damage on offense, especially in the second half. The Louisburg junior scored both touchdowns in the third quarter, including one on a 45-yard run to tie the game after a Drake Varns extra point.

Quarterback Madden Rutherford tries to elude an Atchison defender Friday in Louisburg.

On the Wildcats’ next possession, Wiedenmann scored on a 10-yard run with 10 seconds left in the third quarter to put the Wildcats up on top for good. Wiedenmann led Louisburg on the ground with 15 carries for 129 yards. 

“Injuries were our biggest issue, and untimely penalties,” Ebenstein said. “We were definitely trying to get some rhythm, but we could not get it put together in the first half.  We fixed some issues at halftime and played a solid second half.”

Louisburg is now moving onto the regional round where it will travel to No. 3 Chanute, who defeated Fort Scott, 28-7. The Blue Comets are 8-1 on the season and will be a big test for the 6-3 Wildcats.

“Chanute is a solid team at 8-1, but I think there are some things we can do well against them,” Ebenstein said. “They will want to spread us out and let their big talented quarterback make plays so we will be sure to scheme him and not let him make those big plays.”

LOU               0             0             14           0 – 14

ATCH             7             0             0             0 – 7

SCORING SUMMARY

First quarter

A: Elijah Haley 1 run (kick good)

Third quarter

L: Ben Wiedenmann 45 run (Drake Varns kick)

L: Wiedenmann 10 run (Varns kick)

STATISTICS

RUSHING – Ben Wiedenmann 15-129, Madden Rutherford 13-29, Justin Collins 2-5

PASSING – Madden Rutherford 2-14-29

RECEIVING – Michael Waldron 1-25, Ben Wiedenmann 1-4

TACKLES – Brandon Doles 9, Ben Wiedenmann 8, Garrett Harding 8, Michael Waldron 7, Justin Collins 6, Charlie Koontz 6, J.R. Rooney 6, Kolby Kattau 5, Weston Guetterman 4, Konnor Vohs 4, Brayden White 3, Andy Hupp 2, Terrance Foster 1.

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