SEDGWICK — The Sedgwick Cardinal football team suffered from some un-Cardinal like offensive miscues in the fourth quarters in a 27-24 loss to the Oakley Plainsmen Friday in the second round of the Class 1A playoffs in Sedgwick.
Ethan Abell led a comeback for the Plainsmen with 181 yards on 37 carries with two touchdowns. Hunter Scheck added 64 yards rushing on 17 carries with two touchdowns.
Sedgwick led 17-7 with 8:48 remaining in the third quarter, but gave up three unanswered scores.
"We had some opportunities," Sedgwick coach Jeff Werner said. "In playoff games, you have to take advantage of opportunities, and we didn’t do that. We turned the ball twice after two good defensive stands. We just shot ourselves in the foot. They’re an outstanding team and we never got our offense going in the second half. We usually wear other teams down with our tempo. We got the lead. I thought we had them on their heels when we got up by 10. We just were one play away on third-and-long, and they made a long pass. If we would have made them punt there, they were on their heels. We were an onside kick away again from getting the ball back. I’m proud of our effort."
Eric Cain hit one of two passes for 26 yards. Cain had two interceptions on defense. Will Schmidt had the reception.
Sedgwick was led by Lance Hoffsommer, who hit 16 of 30 passes for 263 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Hoffsommer also rushed for 38 yards. Ryan Stucky had seven catches for 187 yards and a touchdown.
Sedgwick’s first three drives all stalled out near midfield. Oakley completed its second drive, scoring on a 33-yard Abell run.
Sedgwick finally got the passing game going in the second quarter, scoring on a four-yard pass from Hoffsommer to Blake Huebert.
The Cardinals made a defensive stop on fourth down at their own 35 with 11.5 seconds left in the half. Sedgwick got to the Oakley 30 in two plays, where Connor Tillman nailed a 45-yard field goal.
Sedgwick opened the second half with a three-and-out defensive series, then went 65 yards in eight plays, scoring on an 11-yard pass from Hoffsommer to Jeff Nold.
Oakley finally got its running game back on track, going 64 yards in 12 plays, scoring on a one-yard Scheck run. Oakley was aided by an offside call on Sedgwick on third-and-five.
The Cardinals gave up the ball on downs at their own 43. It took the Plainsmen eight plays to score. Scheck scored on a one-yard run on fourth down with 8:29 in regulation. The PAT kick hit the upright and bounced off.
A Sedgwick drive was stopped on a Cain interception and 49-yard return. Sedgwick stopped Oakley on downs at the Cardinal 7 with 4:26 in regulation. The Cardinals fumbled the ball back on the next play, setting up an Abell touchdown.
Cain intercepted the ball with 4:00 remaining. Sedgwick got the ball back on downs at the 17, where Hoffsommer hit Stucky for 83 yards with 1:26 in regulation. Oakley recovered the on-side kick and was able to run out the clock.
Oakley, 8-2, faces 9-1 Smith Center Friday in the quarterfinals at Smith Center.
Sedgwick ends the season 8-2. The Cardinals lose eight seniors.
"We’re losing a very good group of seniors," Werner said. "Henry Burns, I don’t know if anybody is better as a receiver-safety combo kid than him. He plays with a lot of heart. We’re returning a good chunk of guys. We have to get back to the weight room. That’s one thing we were always good at. We’re not as good as we were in the weight room. We have a good group of juniors to lead us next year. Anytime you have a quarterback in high school football, you have a chance."