Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Thunder Look to Shock Streaking Wildcats

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Thunder Look to Shock Streaking Wildcats

Article excerpt

HOLTON -- One by one the streaks have fallen.

Centralia's 27-game Twin Valley League winning streak. Lyndon's 25-game regular-season run in the Flint Hills League.

While those runs were dominating, they weren't even close to the longest active league winning streak in the area. That belongs to Holton, which enters Friday night's home showdown with undefeated Nemaha Central on a 48-game Big Seven League win streak -- dating back to a 2007 loss to Sabetha in Week 4.

The longer it goes on, the more it could become a burden. Only Holton coach Brooks Barta hasn't seen any indication of that at all.

"I think our kids have confidence inside our league and really have confidence every game we walk into," Barta said. "That gets talked about a lot, but it's really not their streak. The streak they're concerned about is just trying to win the league championship this year and get ready for a district that looks like it's going to be pretty good."

Holton survived a close call two weeks ago, escaping with a 14- 13 win over Sabetha. This week's challenge could be even greater as Nemaha not only comes in 4-0, but also has been dominant in its first four games.

A 31-8 win over Sabetha in the season opener is the Thunder's closest game. Overall, Nemaha Central has outscored its four foes 196-20 and it hasn't allowed more than one touchdown in any game.

"This is probably the best team we've had here in the last few years," Nemaha coach Warren Seitz said. "We're pretty balanced on offense as far as the run and pass and our defense has been playing really well. We've had good line play on both sides and we're pretty good at the skill spots. So far we've played with a lot of confidence."

The big question facing the Thunder is will its early-season swagger carry over into Friday's game. Nemaha hasn't beaten Holton since 1995.

Last year, the Thunder were in a somewhat similar position, entering the Holton game with a 4-0 mark having survived early tests against Sabetha and Riverside. But back-to-back touchdown runs of 90 and 80 yards by Holton broke open a tie game and two Nemaha turnovers thwarted any hopes of recovering as Holton walked off with a 28-6 victory. …

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