TOPEKA — The Abilene 7th grade football team traveled to Topeka Tuesday night to play the Topeka Saints, a club team that feeds Hayden High School. Abilene was originally scheduled to play Concordia this week but the Panthers did not have enough players. The Saints defeated Abilene 38-0, which was the first loss of the season for the now 2-1 Longhorns.
The Saints used big plays all night to score on offense. Abilene turned the ball over on the opening possession of the game. The Saints struck quickly with a 70-yard touchdown run to take a 6-0 lead with 6:08 to play in the first and that would be the score at the end of the quarter.
Pierce Casteel came up with a big defensive play as he recovered a fumble at the Longhorn 4 yard line. Abilene was unable to move the ball and weren’t able to get off a punt attempt and took a safety to extend Topeka’s lead to 8-0 with 6:40 to play in the half.
The Saints then hit the Longhorns with a 30-yard touchdown pass play. Topeka added the two-point conversion to extend their lead to 16-0 with 4:46 to play in the half. The Saints got put into a 3rd and 30 situation after Taygen Funston came up with a sack. Topeka answered though with a 60-yard touchdown run to push their lead to 22-0 with 1:42 left before halftime.
The Saints defense was dominant all night and they scored the final points of the half on a 50-yard fumble return to make the score 30-0 with 38 seconds left before intermission.
The Abilene defense registered another fumble recovery by Kayden Thrower on the Saint’s first drive of the second half. On Topeka’s next possession the Longhorns got sacks on the drive by Lane Hoekman and the biggest one came from Aiden Woods on 4th down to end the Saint’s drive. Topeka did get their longest score of the game on an 81-yard run with 4:26 to play in the game.
“Topeka was by far the toughest, most physical team we have played all year,” Abilene head coach Corey Casteel said. “The first half, we didn’t know what hit us. After halftime, we settled down and decided to play and try to match their intensity. I thought we played much better second half. I’m hoping these guys can take something from this game and improve themselves later in the season.”
Abilene will return to action Thursday, September 24 against Salina South at 4:30 p.m. at Cowboy Stadium.