Brothers look to lead respective teams to state footballl titles in neighboring towns
This year’s Kansas high school football state championships will have two brothers leading their respective teams to titles in separate classes.
Coach Matt Heuer will look to win his second straight 8-Man Division II title Saturday when Hanover (12-0) takes on Hodgeman County (10-2) on Saturday at Newton-Fischer Field in Newton.
In Class 3A, brother Dustin Heuer will lead Marysville (12-1) against Sabetha (12-1) on Saturday at Gowans Stadium in Hutchinson. MHS upset previously undefeated and No. 1 Phillipsburg, 30-24, this past Friday at Phillipsburg. Sabetha defeated previously unbeaten Silver Lake, 17-14. State championship often match teams from different areas of the state, but Marysville and Sabetha are about 40 miles apart on or near U.S. Highway 36.
Matt Heuer has been a part of all four of his alma mater’s four state championships. Dustin Heuer is about 16 miles down the road from his alma mater. Marysville is playing in its first state championship game since 2009, but Dustin Heuer has rejuvenated a program that spiraled since that state title season.
Dustin took over in 2013. MHS went 0-9 the previous season and was winless his first two seasons with the Bulldogs. MHS went 6-4 in 2015 and 7-3 in 2016, falling in the first round of the 3A playoffs to Norton.
There will be eight teams in total crowned as Kansas State High School Activities Association football champions on Saturday.
In 6A, Blue Valley North (8-4) will take on Derby (11-1) at Emporia State’s Welch Stadium.
The 5A championship will be a battle of private schools, as St. Thomas Aquinas (11-1) takes on Wichita’s Bishop Carroll (11-1) at Carnie Smith Stadium in Pittsburg.
In 4A Division I, Bishop Miege (12-0) will look to rout another team for yet another 4A-DI state title. Andale (12-0) takes on Miege on Saturday at the Hummer Sports Complex in Topeka. Miege defeated De Soto, 56-24 last week. DHS defeated Tonganoxie, 42-7, in the first round of the playoffs. Though DHS was able to put points on the board in a rematch from earlier this season in district play, Miege actually had a larger margin of victory (32) this time after shutting out De Soto, 31-0, in districts.
Miege has won four straight state titles.
The 4A D-II championship will take place at USD 305 District Stadium in Salina. Holcomb (11-1) takes on Frontenac (9-3) in that game.
Smith Center (11-1) battles Pittsburg’s St. Mary’s Colgan (10-2) Saturday at Lewis Field Stadium on the Fort Hays State University campus for the 2-1A championship.
And in 8-man D-I, St. Paul (11-1) and Hoxie (11-1) will battle each other in Newton.
Hanover and Bishop Miege won’t be the only teams trying to repeat this season as state champions in their respective classes.
Derby looks to win its third straight 6A title at Emporia and fourth in the last five seasons.
Bishop Carroll looks to win its first crown since 2015.
Lawrence High has the most state football titles all-time with 10, while Wichita’s Kapaun Mount Carmel and Pittsburg’s St. Mary’s Colgan each have nine.
Silver Lake and Smith Center and Olathe North each have eight. Midway-Denton, which consolidated with Highland to form Doniphan West, also won eight state championships when it was its own school. Midway-Denton was an 8-man powerhouse before eventually closing due to consolidation.
Bishop Miege, Conway Springs and Victoria are the other top state title winners all-time. Each of those schools has seven state titles to their credit.
Next year’s playoffs will see some changes, with Class 2-1A to become separate classes 2A and 1A. All teams will advance to the playoffs, with teams being seeded at the end of the regular season instead of pre-determined districts decided every two years.