INMAN—After overcoming a 30-10 deficit, forcing overtime and made a come-from-behind victory over Belle Plaines High School 37-36 last Friday, the Inman High School football team has been awarded the McPherson Sentinel Team of the Week on Wednesday.
"I was just excited for the kids to see their hard work paid off," Teutons head coach Lance Sawyer said. "I think it was just big for our kids, and I'm just excited for them."
This overtime victory snapped the Teutons' 9-game losing streak going into last season where Inman went winless all of last year. Now the question is, how were the Teutons able to make a comeback after trailing 30-10 in the third quarter, and outscoring Belle Plains 20-8 all in the second half and tying the ball game 30-30, forcing overtime? According to Sawyer, it started with Inman's leadership from their returning seniors and juniors taking charge at halftime.
"Well I think it was just some of the seniors and upperclassmen just stepped up into the leadership role and understood that if it's going to happen, they have to start doing it, and start pumping everyone up and get people to the right play," Sawyer said. "What I said was limited, and it was the leaders and upperclassmen that did a good job keeping us ready to play."
Inman's defensive end Mason Thiessen was one of those upperclassmen that took the challenge as a leader right after Belle Plains scored their last touchdown early in the third quarter. After Belle Plains scored their last touchdown after a fumble, that's when the spark happened.
"I think early in the second half when they got another touchdown on us, and then we just basically took it step by step every drive, Thiessen said. "We started working together on offense, and we started to figure out what they were doing on defense, which helped us stop them from scoring in the second half."
"It's been great, after not winning a game last season," Thiessen continued. "It was nice to get back on track, knowing the hard work we put in. It's starting to pay off, especially the way we did it when we were down 30-10. It just makes it more special."
The Last thing the Teutons want is a hangover from last week and have started looking past the dramatic win as they focus on Trinity High School. The Celtics' strength is their offense led by their quarterback Kaleb Hammeke. The Teutons' defense will be a factor if they want to go 2-0.
"Their quarterback is good. He pass the ball and run the ball well. He just can run the team," Sawyer said about Trinity. "They also have a running back named (Aaron) Guerrero and their offensive line will be solid up front. They are a well coached upfront team."
As they move forward to their next game, the Teutons are not planning to slow down and are expecting to keep the momentum going.
"It's been so long since we had winning season or won or have done anything like that," Sawyer said. "It's exciting to get back it, but it's mostly about the kids . These kids are so excited for getting awards like that. They know that this only the beginning of what this team could accomplish."
Contact Peter Holland Jr. by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @Petes_Picks_or our sports page @MacCountySports