By Aaron Pyle
Morning Sun Staff
Marking the first meeting since 2015, the Southeast Lancers and St. Mary’s Colgan Panthers met for a Class 2A District 1 showdown at Hutchinson Field.
The Panthers prevailed 34-12 on a partly cloudy Thursday night for their second consecutive victory.
The contest featured a battle of the running backs. Sophomore Cooper Simmons and senior Jalen VanBecelaere have provided a heavy chunk of the offense this season for the Panthers. The Lancers have focused a heavy amount of the offense on seniors Cooper Hamblin and Cullen Mutz.
After a stop on defense to open the first quarter, the Panthers (2-3, 2-0 2A-1) found themselves with ideal field position. A bad snap and a muffed punt by Southeast placed the Panthers at the Lancers 35-yard line.
Following the turnover, Colgan’s Simmons shifted his way through the middle of the field for a 34-yard touchdown. However, the Panthers missed the extra-point attempt after a bad snap.
The two sides then exchanged possessions until Simmons found the end zone once again. Simmons juked and shifted his way through defenders down the sideline for a 64-yard touchdown and a 12-0 lead with eight minutes remaining in the second quarter.
Southeast (3-2, 1-1) quickly answered back on the next drive on a screen pass from Nate Jacobs to Mutz, who took the ball downfield for a 64-yard touchdown. Jacobs’ pass for the twopoint conversion failed.
Tucker Harrell extended the lead on the ensuing kickoff, picking up the ball near the Lancers’ end zone and returning it for a 92-yard touchdown. Colgan missed the two-point pass for an 18-6 lead.
Colgan came out firing to open the second half as Harrell found the end zone again off a 78-yard kickoff return. VanBecelaere ran in the two-point conversion, extending the lead to 26-6.
Hamblin and Mutz kept the chains moving for the Lancers on the ensuing drive, moving the ball into the red zone. Marching to near the goal line, the Lancers capped a 60-yard drive with a seven-yard touchdown up the middle by Cash Windsor. However, the Lancers suffered a penalty on the twopoint conversion and trailed 2612 near the midway mark of the third quarter.
In the final minutes of the third quarter, the Panthers marched down the field, pushing the ball into Lancer territory. Colgan finished off the 55-yard drive with a six-yard touchdown run up the middle from VanBecelaere in the opening minute of the final quarter. The senior also ran in the twopoint conversion to extend the lead to 34-12.
“Obviously we’re happy with the win but we’ve got a lot we have to clean up,” Colgan coach Shawn Seematter said. “I’m anxious to get into film tonight and see what we need to work at. Overall, I’m proud of the kids for the way they fought but we still have a long way to go to get better.”
Next Friday, the Panthers (23, 2-0 2A-1) travel to Neodesha to battle the Blue Streaks while the Lancers travel to Riverton to face the Rams.
ST. MARY’S COLGAN 34, SOUTHEAST 12
Southeast 0 6 6 0 — 12 SM Colgan 6 12 8 8 — 34
SMC: Simmons 45 run (run failed) SMC: Simmons 64 run (pass failed) SEHS: Mutz 64 pass from Jacobs (pass failed) SMC: Harrell 92 kickoff return (PAT failed) SMC: Harrell 78 kickoff return (Van-Becelaere run) SEHS: Windsor 7 run (PAT failed) SMC: VanBecelaere 5 run (VanBecelaere run)
Southeast’s Cullen Mutz runs with the ball while attempting to evade Colgan players at Hutchinson Field on Thursday.
SETH POTTER / MORNING SUN
Colgan’s Tucker Harrell (9) sprints toward the end zone and scores a touchdown with Southeast players in pursuit at Hutchinson Field on Thursday. SETH POTTER / MORNING SUN