Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Burlingame Claws West Elk 63-42 in Quarterfinal Clash

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Burlingame Claws West Elk 63-42 in Quarterfinal Clash

Article excerpt

HOWARD -- As the teams huddled moments before the opening kickoff, a West Elk player said "Here kitty, kitty" in the direction of Burlingame's players, playfully taunting the top-ranked Bearcats. Careful what you wish for.

Burlingame answered the call, racing past the Patriots 63-42 on Friday night in an Eight-Man Division I quarterfinal. The Bearcats advanced to sub-state for the third straight year and will play St. Paul for a trip to the state title game next Friday.

"This feels great, but we've got unfinished business," said junior running back Seth Greenwood, who rushed for 200 yards and five touchdowns. "We knew this was going to be a tough game, and we know next week will be tough."

That unfinished business is losses in back-to-back sub-state games. The Bearcats (11-0) lost to Hanover in 2015 and Osborne in 2016. Those defeats pushed Burlingame through the offseason and an undefeated regular season.

"Hashtag relentess," Greenwood said of the team's motto this season, referring to dozens of tweets in 2017. "This has been our goal all season, getting back here and moving beyond it."

The Bearcats never trailed, but West Elk (10-1) hung tough behind quarterback Cade Miller, who accounted for 328 total yards and five touchdowns. His biggest play was a 78-yard kickoff return to the 1, when he plunged into the end zone with 6:20 left to pull the Patriots within 57-42.

West Elk got the ball back with 3:20 remaining, but Colton Noonan picked off a Miller pass and returned it to the Patriots 19. Greenwood scored on a 3-yard run less than a minute later to put the game away.

"We gave up a lot of points tonight, but that's going to happen sometimes in eight-man, especially against a kid like Miller," said Burlingame coach Jeff Slater. "But we made enough big plays and got enough turnovers, and our line just kept grinding away. We moved the ball all night, and Seth was just outstanding."

The Bearcats opened the shootout three minutes into the game, capitalizing on an interception by Jake Thompson with a six-play, 14-yard drive capped by Greenwood's 3-yard run. Montana Giffin hit Noonan on two-point conversion pass for an 8-0 edge.

West Elk answered on a 22-yard scoring pass from Miler to William Silvey and tied the game at 8-8 on a conversion pass from Miller to Josh Johnson with 7:14 remaining in the first quarter. …

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