This Saturday at Fischer Field in Newton, the Hanover Wildcats will look to win their second straight 8-Man Division II State Championship. As was the case last season, a Central Prairie League team will stand in their way. Hanover will face the Quivira Heights Thunderbirds on Saturday, as kickoff for the 8-Man Division II State Title game is slated for 2:45.
The Wildcats will be appearing in their third straight state championship contest, as they were defeated in the DI game in 2007 by another CPL team, Macksville. Last season, they defeated Victoria 46-14 for the DII championship. Hanover enters the game at 11-1, just like last year, and again their lone loss came at the hands of the Baileyville B&B Falcons who will also be looking for their second straight state title in Division I on Saturday. Jerod Diederich has led the way for Hanover at QB, completing 66 of 104 passes for 1,142 yards and 22 TD’s, compared to just 3 INT’s. Trevor Jueneman is the leading rusher with 97 carries for 736 yards and 13 TD’s, while Taylor Nicholson leads the way with 480 yards and 11 TD’s receiving, but has not played on offense since Week 6 against Hanover. Defensively, the front three down lineman have led the way as Nose Tackle Derrick Gerard has registered 97 total tackles, and Ends Connor Hynek and Chad Alexander have combined for 25 sacks this season. Hanover is outscoring their opponents by an average of 49-13.
Quivira Heights is looking for their first state title since 1983 and had to beat two league rivals to get to this point, winning over Otis-Bison in regionals and last year’s DII runner-up Victoria in Sub-State. The Thunderbirds started the season 1-2, but have since won nine straight games. On the season, they are outscoring their opponents 51-15 and registered four straight shutouts at one point. Quivira Heights has been very balanced on offense, passing for 1,931 yards and running for 1,858. QB Gunnar Phelan has completed 132 of 217 passes for 1,931 yards and 34 TD’s. Jacob Ingham is the team’s leading receiver with 865 yards and 15 TD’s. Jordan Trevino is the team’s rushing leader with 416 yards. On defense, the Thunderbirds have forced 31 turnovers this season, and Brenton Turner leads the way with 147 total tackles.
On paper, Saturday’s contest looks like it could be a shootout between Hanover and Quivira Heights, and we will see how it plays out beginning at 2:45 p.m. in Newton.