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Guetterman sparks Wildcat comeback over Spring Hill

Andy Brown / Louisburg Sports Zone
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Louisburg quarterback Weston Guetterman (3) celebrates with his teammates following the Wildcats’ go-ahead touchdown in their 22-14 win over Spring Hill on Friday in their season opener at Wildcat Stadium.

Louisburg found itself trailing Spring Hill on two different occasions during Friday’s season opener, and both times Weston Guetterman found a way to help bring his team back.

The Wildcat senior quarterback took center stage on Senior Night as he rushed for more than 100 yards and scored three touchdowns, including a late fourth quarter score to give Louisburg a 22-14 victory at Wildcat Stadium.

It was the ideal start for Louisburg and its 2020 season.

“It is just truly special,” Guetterman said. “We worked all summer, we had online Zoom workouts back in March and during quarantine. Then we were able to get back on the field and had weights outside. Even thought it was all abnormal, it is really gratifying to finally get out here and play again. It is really nice to get a win on Senior Night too. Hopefully we can get many more.”

Before the game, Louisburg honored its eight seniors as Guetterman, Jay Scollin, Justin Collins, Andy Hupp, Konnor Vohs, Will Patterson, Ben Wiedenmann and Alec Younggren with their parents for their time with the program.

Louisburg controlled the pace from the opening kickoff as the Wildcats put together a 20-play drive that lasted more than 10 minutes, before turning the ball over on downs near the endzone. Spring Hill took the lead first on a 54-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter, but other than that play, the Louisburg defense held strong.

The Wildcats held Spring Hill to just 10 yards of offense outside of the Broncos’ scoring play – and thanks to that effort – Louisburg was able to take the lead at halftime.

Junior running back Kolby Kattau finds some running room during the first quarter of Friday’s game with Spring Hill at Wildcat Stadium.

Guetterman engineered a late scoring drive in the second quarter as he finished it off with an 5-yard touchdown run. He created some more magic when he rolled out to throw for the 2-point conversion, and while being tackled, managed to find an open Brandon Doles to go up 8-6.

“Weston is so quiet and so humble and he just works hard,” Louisburg coach Robert Ebenstein said. “Then he comes out here and puts on beast mode and makes Patrick Mahomes plays in the endzone. I am super happy for him and he deserved every bit of this and he earned it. I think those kids gravitate toward him and I was excited to see that.”

Spring Hill wasted no time getting going in the second half as the Broncos drove down the field and scoring on an 18-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Fletcher Pankey to Zach Knowlton. After a successful 2-point conversion, the Broncos held a 14-8 lead that went into the fourth quarter.

The Louisburg offense once again took control of the game as it put together a 13-play drive that ended with a 14-yard touchdown run from Guetterman to tie the game midway through the quarter after a failed 2-point conversion.

The offensive line of Dominic Owens, Nathan Vincent, JR Rooney, Jay Scollin, Aiden Barker and tight end Brandon Doles provided a lot of blocking up front as did running backs Ben Wiedenmann, Kolby Kattau and Hupp.

Linemen Nathan Vincent (51) and Aiden Barker (54) get off the line of scrimmage to open holes for the Louisburg running attack Friday against Spring Hill.

“It was a good game,” Guetterman said. “We just fought hard and our line did really good and nailed the assignments. The running backs blocked really well and just gave me an opportunity to score. That is all I can ask for. It really wasn’t me doing anything. All I had to do was just run it in.”

Wiedenmann also had a big game on the ground for the Wildcats as he carried the ball 20 times for 144 yards, including a 46-yard scamper that help set up the game-winning score. With 437 left in the game, Guetterman broke free for a 31-yard touchdown and then ran in the 2-point conversion to put Louisburg up 22-14.

Spring Hill had one final opportunity to tie the game, but senior Konnor Vohs picked off a Bronco pass in the redzone to all but seal the win for the Wildcats.

“Konnor is such a quiet, hard-working kid and he is always in the right spot and doing the right thing,” Ebenstein said. “That is the type of play that you see on film and he just made a heck of a play.”

In all, the Wildcat defense was strong as they held Spring Hill to just 204 yards of total offense – 72 of which came on two scoring plays through the air.

Louisburg senior Konnor Vohs (11) celebrates with teammates JR Rooney (62) and Jase Hovey after Vohs recorded the game-sealing interception late in the fourth quarter.

Senior Andy Hupp had a big day on the Wildcat defensive line as he finished with a team-high seven tackles, including three for a loss and a sack. Wiedenmann finished with six stops, while Rooney added five tackles. Doles also came up with four stops, two of which were for a loss.

“They played really well and I thought we were able to settle in,” Ebenstein said of his defense. “I think Spring Hill got better as the game went on. They made some good adjustments. In the first half we held them to 64 yards and 50 of them were on one play. We dominated that first half on both sides, and I need to do a better job of getting us in the endzone.”

Following the game, the Wildcat players made their way over to the sideline – not to slap hands with fans as has been tradition in previous years – but they all took off their helmets, raised them in the air and screamed “Thank you” to those in the stands.

In all that is going on with COVID-19, the players were just happy to be under the Friday Night Lights and wanted to show appreciation for all the support.

“That is what it is all about,” Ebenstein said. “I am glad our kids got to play and I am glad that our kids got to apply all the things they did this spring and summer. Just to come out here and see the people, hear the band and see the lights – this is just what we play for and what it is all about.

“I am super proud of our kids and how focused they were. I think we went for it on fourth down and I think we executed on every single one of them. I told them that I have every confidence in the world in you and let’s go out and execute and that is what they did. They deserved this and they earned it. Hats off to Spring Hill as well because they played their butt off and faced the same adversity we did. The game could have easily went their way, but it feels good to come out on top.”

Louisburg will try to make it two in a row Friday as the Wildcats will travel to Tonganoxie to square off with the state-ranked Chieftains. Tonganoxie defeated Basehor-Linwood in its season opener, 62-28.

“Tonganoxie is going to be solid,” Ebenstein said. “Last year they put it on us pretty good and they had a heck of a team. I know they are going to be ready, but we just have to focus on us. We need to focus on who we are and what we need to do and see how much we can grow from week one to week two.”

SH                  0             6             8             0 – 14

LOU               0             8             0             14 – 22

SCORING SUMMARY

Second Quarter

S: Zach Knowlton 54 pass from Fletcher Pankey (kick failed)

L: Weston Guetterman 5 run (Brandon Doles pass from Guetterman)

Third Quarter

S: Knowlton 18 pass from Pankey (run good)

Fourth quarter

L: Guetterman 14 run (2-point failed)

L: Guetterman 31 run (Guetterman run)

STATISTICS

RUSHING – Ben Wiedenmann 20-144; Weston Guetterman 13-103; Andy Hupp 15-39; Kolby Kattau 4-29; Justin Collins 1-2

PASSING – Guetterman 2-6-28

RECEIVING – Kattau 1-25; Brandon Doles 1-3

TACKLES – Andy Hupp 7, Ben Wiedenmann 6, JR Rooney 5, Brandon Doles 4, Konnor Vohs 4, Kolby Kattau 4, Jase Hovey 3, Aiden Barker 3, Jay Scollin 3, Weston Guetterman 2, Justin Collins 2, Tom Koontz 2, Nathan Vincent 1,         

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