The magical run is over.
Southeast of Saline tried to answer after surrendering a touchdown with 59.8 seconds left, but the Trojans were stopped by an impressive Wichita Collegiate defense with 9.5 seconds to go, advancing the Spartans to the Class 3A state semifinals following a 27-22 victory Friday night in Wichita. Southeast’s incredible season comes to an end with a 9-1 record.
Following a scoreless first period, Collegiate drew first blood with a four-yard touchdown run by Carson Phelps. Southeast of Saline answered with a touchdown and a two-point conversion. Quarterback Jaxson Gebhardt found receiver Eli Harris for a four-yard score, putting Southeast of Saline on top 8-7.
Collegiate regained control just before intermission. Jacob Chugg found the end zone on a 12-yard run and followed with a two-point pass to give Collegiate a 15-8 advantage with 2:38 left in the half.
Southeast of Saline had trouble hanging onto the ball coming out of the break. The Trojans turned the ball over twice. However, the defense kept Southeast of Saline in striking distance, limiting Collegiate to no points in the third.
It didn’t take long in the fourth for Collegiate to score, though. Wesley Fair scored on a one-yard keeper on the first play of the fourth, extending the Collegiate cushion out to 21-8.
Southeast’s brick wall of a defense set up the next score for the Trojans. The defense forced a turnover on downs at the Spartan 10, allowing Gebhardt to scamper to the goal line for a 15-yard touchdown, cutting the deficit to 21-14 with 8:20 to go in the game.
A little over four minutes later, Southeast of Saline reclaimed the lead. Gebhardt lofted a pass to receiver Tyler Breeding, who made an acrobatic catch on a 26-yard touchdown to bring Southeast to within one. The two would hook up again on the two-point conversion, giving the Trojans a 22-21 advantage with 4:06 to play.
Collegiate countered with a huge 84-yard drive, capped off by a seven-yard TD run from Fair, propelling Collegiate to a 27-22 lead with 59.8 seconds to go. Southeast tried to rally, but turned the ball over on downs to end the game.
Collegiate advances to battle Andale in the state semis. Southeast of Saline finished its best season since 2005 when the Trojans claimed a state championship.