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The Student News Site of Renwick School District

Renwick Review

The Student News Site of Renwick School District

Renwick Review

Playoff Push

Playoff+Push
John Bloomquist

The Garden Plain Owls are moving on to week 10 after taking down the visiting Halstead Dragons 21-7. The win improves their winstreak to 7 games and their overall record to 8-1. More importantly they live to fight another week in the playoffs. 

Turnovers were a big story from Friday night’s game. Garden Plain had a number of fumbles on snap exchange in part due to the cold weather. Players were wearing long sleeves, tights, hand warmers, and gloves to stay warm. Ellsworth is a far steeper opponent than Halstead, so ball security is a must in this week 10 matchup. 

Garden Plain had four takeaways on the defensive side of the ball. An interception from junior Cooper Scheer, and three fumbles were the key to the Owls success. The Owls were able to keep the Dragons under control except for one play, where Halstead threw a 66-yard touchdown. 

Last season, the Owls were knocked out of the first round of the playoffs by Ellsworth. This year, Garden Plain seeks revenge against the Bearcats and hopes to advance to week 11. The Owls will get to play Ellsworth at home this year which may also play a factor. Garden Plain has all of their players in the rotation this season, whereas last year they were without two starters for undisclosed reasons in relation to Head Coach Todd Rice’s team contract. 

In last year’s matchup, the score was tied 7-7 going into halftime. An even game was blown open late when an interception was called off for the Owls, and a long touchdown pass late would put the game out of reach. This year, the Owls have proven they can play in close games against the best. Their clock management also plays a big factor in holding off teams to secure the win. 

In the last two weeks, Garden Plain has seen both the good and the bad that Ellsworth has to offer. In their week 8 matchup, the Bearcats could not get anything going, losing to Southeast of Saline 30-0. Many of Ellsworth’s plays resulted in a loss of yards. This was quite the opposite of their week 9 matchup against Haven, where they would win in blowout fashion 42-0.

Garden Plain is significantly better than last year on both sides of the ball. Part of this is due to the return of senior running back Gage Lee. Last season, Lee suffered a season ending shoulder injury against the Chaparral Roadrunners. Lee is ranked 9th in the state in rushing yards in only 7 true games. He is also one of the league’s leaders in rushing yards per game as well. 

The Owls are a ground and pound team. They run the ball over 90% of the time. Their modest 3 to 5 yard gains turn into explosive 20+ yard plays late in games. Explosive runs like this are demoralizing to teams, and can break their hopes of a comeback. 

Lots of great teams have packed it in already this postseason, but the Owls are still alive. At the end of the year, only one team can be crowned the champion. Both of these teams have a great chance of making a deep run into this year’s playoffs. It all comes down to ball security and controlling the clock. 

This week’s matchup against the Ellsworth Bearcats is the KCMC game of the week. Commentary and live, on field footage of the game, will be available on their YouTube channel. Multiple radio stations will also be broadcasting this week 10 clash. Be sure to tune in, or maybe come out on a cold Friday night to see the Owls in action. 

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About the Contributor
Hunter Hayden, Garden Plain HS - Renwick Review
I am Hunter Hayden, and this is my first year writing for the Renwick Review. I am a sophomore at Garden Plain High School. I am a 3 sport athlete (football, basketball, and track) and spend most of my time at practice/games. I appreciate how supportive we are as a community in Renwick. Whether it's a concert, play, sporting event, or even a dance, many show up to show support. Someone who inspires me is Kobe Bryant. My favorite quote of his is, "The moment you give up, is the moment you let someone else win."
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