Inman runs into state semifinals

Charles Chaney
Inman's Kendryn Blank runs against Conway Springs on Friday, Nov. 13 at Conway Springs High School. The Junior scored three touchdowns as the Teutons advanced to the Class 1A sub-state next week in Oakley.

Inman forced four turnovers as the Teutons advance to their first ever 11-man state semifinal game with the 46-6 win over Conway Springs on Friday night.

The win improves Inman to 9-2 on the season.

“This was a huge win for our program,” Inman head coach Lance Sawyer said. “To be able to beat a team as established as Conway is a great accomplishment.”

They didn’t just beat Conway, they made an example out of them.

Inman scored 26 first-half points and threw up another 20 in the second half as they never trailed and used their dominate defense to hold Conway Springs to only 195 yards of total offense.

“Our defense under Coach Froese has been phenomenal,” Sawyer said. “They were able to force turnovers in the second quarter that put us in position to score points.”

Inman marched down the field in three plays on their opening possession, capped by a 46-yard touchdown run by freshman Tanner Heckel, and it was never any closer than that point.

After Jace Doerksen intercepted a Conway Springs pass, the Teutons raced down the field and junior Kendyn Blank broke off to the right side for the 21-yard touchdown.

They would intercept another pass and it would be Blank again, this time from 40 yards out to make it 19-0 with 8:55 remaining in the half. They would push it to 26-0 when Heckel broke it open for a 10-yard run with 6:01.

“We tackled well and put them in tough spots where they felt like they needed to throw,” Sawyer said.

Conway Springs scored on a 1-yard dive with one second remaining at the break to make it 26-6.

Blank cashed in his third touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter, slicing through the Cardinal defense for a 26-yard score.

“He [Kendyn Blank] had a night,” Sawyer said. “He was able to break tackles and find space when a hole really wasn't there.”

Blank finished with 159 yards on 15 carries and three touchdowns.

Inman finished with 328 yards rushing as a team, with 202 of those coming in the second half as the Teutons put the game away.

Junior quarterback Jace Doerksen finished with 18 yards rushing and went 5 of 10 passing for 62 yards.

“Jace Doerksen is usually mentioned in the offensive section but it was his defense that led the team,” Sawyer said.

Doerksen finished with 16 tackles and had two interceptions to lead the Teutons.

“It is so much fun to continue to be around this group of guys,” Sawyer said. “They are the epitome of team. Every night it seems as though someone different is stepping up and making contributions.”

Inman has appeared in a sub-state before, in 1991. They were an 8-man program, then. They lost to eventual state champion, Sharon Springs.

Inman will now play at Oakley (9-2) in the Class 1A sub-state on Friday, Nov. 20 in a rematch from Week 4. That was a 39-13 win by Inman.

The winner of that will advance to the Class 1A State Championship Game at Fort Hays State the following week.

Inman – 6;20;6;14; – 46

Conway Springs – 0;6;0;0; – 6

1ST (8:29) INMAN – 46-yard TD run by Tanner Heckel (PAT failed).

2ND (11:16) INMAN – 21-yard TD run by Kendyn Blank (run failed.

2ND (8:55) INMAN – 40-yard TD run by Blank (Carter Brown kick).

2ND (6:01) INMAN – 10-yard TD run by Heckel (Brown kick).

2ND (0:01) CONWAY – 2-yard TD run by Jonathan Wright (Cole Schlute kick failed).

3RD (8:04) INMAN – 11-yard TD run by Jace Doerksen (Brown kick failed).

4TH (9:25) INMAN – 26-yard TD run by Blank (Brown kick).

4TH (5:30) INMAN – 6-yard TD run by Harrison Bunk (kick good).

RUSHING: INMAN – Blank 15-159; Brown 8-31; Heckel 6-91; Kondrade 5-11; Doerksen 5-18; Bunk 3-18. CONWAY SPRINGS – Wright 14-35; Hilger 14-62. Schulte 12-35; Smith 4-19; Barnes 1-1.

PASSING C-A-I-YD: INMAN – Doerksen 5-10-0-62. CONWAY SPRINGS – Hilger 4-12-3-43.

RECEIVING: INMAN – Brunk 1-39; Blank 1-6; Johnson 1-5; Heckel 1-3; Brown 1-9. CONWAY SPRINGS – Wright 3-36; Schulte 1-7.