Hayden and Holton gear up for Sub-State

Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 5:54 PM CST
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HOLTON, Kan. (WIBW) - Hayden and Holton football have quite the rematch in the KSHSAA football playoffs on Friday night.

The two are facing off for the second time this season in Sub-States, where Holton will look to grab another win, while Hayden will look for revenge. When these two met in the regular season, Holton won 37-13.

”I mean it was sort of an embarrassing loss, a little bit,” said Hayden running back Finn Dunshee. “I think we had pretty high expectations for ourselves. That first Holton game was sort of a shell shock for us. Very humbling.”

The 10-1 Hayden Wildcats have dominated in nearly all of their games this season, averaging 41 points per game, and only allowing an average of 16 on defense. Star running back Finn Dunshee has been responsible for a lot of those points scored.

“Our coach actually gives us a quote every week,” said Dunshee. “All it takes is all you got, is one of them. I’m happy we’ve made it this far.”

“Every year I come into the year with, the team has expectations to be in the State Championship,” said Hayden guard/defensive end Joe Otting. “That’s always been the goal.”

The 10-1 Holton Wildcats are the only team that’s beaten Hayden all season, and they bring a lot of power to the table, especially in their backfield.

“Big credit to our line,” said Holton quarterback Matthew Lierz. “We didn’t know what we were gonna really have this year for our line. We didn’t know how big they were gonna be, but we’re fast. We’re a lot faster than I thought we were gonna be, and bigger.”

One of the biggest offensive weapons on Holton’s roster is running back Garyson Booth, who just last week rushed for over 350 yards and 4 touchdowns.

“I’ve been working throughout the whole summer and last year to get to where I am,” said Booth. “It’s awesome. It’s just a dream. We’ve all been dreaming since peewee football and flag football and we’ve all been together. We all have great chemistry and everything.”

Joining Booth in the backfield is Jace Boswell, who’s been putting up plenty of numbers for Holton too, and is looking forward to try for another win against Hayden.

“We’re just gonna try to do the same thing we did last time,” said Boswell. “Our offensive line really stepped up last game. They were calling a lot of stuff out for us, helping us out as far as holes. We audibled a couple of plays. They really stepped up for us and helped us out.”

With a state berth on the line, these two teams have a fire under them. Neither will go down easy on Friday night.

“I’m already hyped up for this game, and I just want to get there,” said Booth. “We haven’t been there since 2015, and I’m ready to get back.”

“I’m excited to rematch them again,” said Otting. Holton’s got a great team down there. 3 good backs, they all run hard, and I’m excited to play them.”

Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m., and you can watch the highlights during Kansas Prep Zone at about 10:15 p.m.