Jackson Heights Football vs. Wabaunsee
“Right now, you’re looking at one of the big games of the week in the state.”
Those were the words of Jackson Heights High School Cobras head football coach Caleb Wick about the Cobras’ upcoming district match with Valley Heights, set for 7 p.m. Friday at home.
Wick foresees a fierce battle of two 6-0 teams to close out this season’s district play, and he added that his Cobra squad has been getting ready for it after last Friday’s blowout district win over Wabaunsee — the 52-0 score marking the Cobras’ fourth shutout of the year — at Alma.
“They knew how important this game was,” Wick said. “They knew how important it was to play well, just to get ready for this upcoming game. We were definitely more focused in practice, and it showed during the game. It was good that we were able to get a full week of practice under our belt.”
The start time of last Friday’s game was moved up due to the threat of inclement weather that saw some games postponed, Wick noted.
“I felt like it was a great idea by Wabaunsee to move the game up,” he said. “There were a lot of games that got postponed, and one of my friends who’s a coach at Concordia had a two-and-a-half hour weather delay. But I was glad that we were able to move it up and get it in.”
It also meant that the Cobras got off to a quick lead against Wabaunsee sooner, running up the score to 24-0 by the end of the first quarter and going into the lockers at the half with a 38-0 lead.
“I know they had to deal with a couple of injuries, but we were still able to hold their quarterback in check,” Wick said of the Cobras’ first-half efforts. “Both of our running backs (Sebastian Butto and Brady Holliday) were able to get into the 100-yard neighborhood.”
The Cobras came out of the locker with the option of “not running the clock,” Wick said. After consultation with the other coaches, the Cobras’ junior varsity squad was brought out to finish the game — and Wick said they did so in an admirable fashion.
“The JV got in there and shut them down,” Wick said of the team’s 14-0 run in the second half. “They also took a stand when Wabaunsee got it inside the 10-yard line. We were able to stop them, and then the JV offense took the ball and scored on a 90-yard drive, right at the end of the game. We always like to see that.”
Butto ended up scoring two touchdowns on the night, while Holliday, Braden Dohl, Cooper Williams, Garrett Hartman and Conlan Bruggeman each crossed the goal line for six. Wick also noted the work of Bruggeman and Levi Olberding on the defensive side.
“Conlan played his best game on the defensive side of the ball, and Levi played a great game as well,” he said. “If we had two standouts, it would be them. But overall, our defense played great as a unit, just like they’ve done over the course of this season.”
Following Friday’s match with Valley Heights, the Cobras will finish out the regular season with an Oct. 20 home game against Horton, then hit the road for an Oct. 27 match against Centralia.