SEDAN — With three straight wins to open the season, the Sedan Blue Devils have plenty of momentum heading into the start of district play.

SHS capped off the pre-district portion of its schedule last Friday with a 66-30 thumping of Marmaton Valley at Prather Field.

“I was very pleased with our effort, said Blue Devil coach Mick Holt. “In our first two games, we were very timid and got off to slow starts. In fact, we had to come from behind in both games. All week long, we worked on bringing more effort … to setting the tone early. I really feel the boys responded well by taking our first play from scrimmage to the house, and then forcing Marmaton Valley to a three-and-out on their first possession. It was good to see us jump out to such a great start from the beginning, rather than wait until halftime to improve our play. I was also very pleased with our overall defense. Other than two plays where we had a let down in our secondary, I thought our defense was fantastic.”

This was the home opener for Sedan, which started the season with back-to-back road wins at St. Paul and Oxford. The Blue Devils, who have not qualified for the playoffs since 2009, improved to 3-0 overall on the season as they prepare for Friday’s Eight Man I-District 1 opener at Oswego. The Indians are also unbeaten on the season at 3-0 following a 48-16 winner over Altoona-Midway last week.

Meanwhile, Marmaton Valley remained winless on the season at 0-3 overall. The Wildcats were coming off back-to-back home losses to West Elk and Oswego. They will open up Eight Man II-District 1 action Friday at Southern Coffey County. The Titans are currently 1-2 following a 58-28 loss at Waverly a week ago.

“I was extremely upset with the way we started the game,” said MVHS coach Gavin Cole. “I thought we lacked energy and intensity. We seemed to get better as the game went on, but we again made too many mistakes against a good team. I thought we tackled poorly and made a lot of offensive mistakes you shouldn’t have in your third game. Hopefully playing three good teams here early in the season has prepared us for districts.”

The Blue Devils wasted no time taking control of Friday’s contest against Marmaton Valley. In fact, it took all of 17 seconds for Sedan to get on the scoreboard as Tayte Halderman scampered 65 yards for a touchdown on SHS’ first play from scrimmage. Layton Sears ran in the conversion for an 8-0 lead.

Midway through the opening quarter, it was the Sedan defense increasing the lead. Ronald Davis picked off a pass and ran 25 yards to the end zone. Halderman found Cody Joslin on the conversion pass to push the Blue Devil advantage up to 16-0.

Marmaton Valley tried to get back in the game on a 49-yard pass play from Caiden Elliott to Gage Griffith. Yet, SHS answered on special teams with a 35-yard punt return for six by Halderman. Sears’ conversion run gave the host team a 24-8 edge after 12 minutes of action.

That was the start of 22 unanswered points for SHS, which included a one-yard run by Sears and a 28-yard scoring strike from Halderman to Sears. Although the Wildcats ended that scoring run on a 26-yard TD pass from Elliott to William Lowder, Sedan was back in the end zone with just 52.8 seconds left in the half on a 46-yard pass from Halderman to Sears for a 46-16 advantage at the break.

SHS had a chance to put the game away in the third quarter. Halderman scored on runs of eight and 21 yards. The Blue Devils could have ended the game on the conversion with 3:39 left in the third quarter but came up short with the score at 60-16.

The game would play out to the end, yet Marmaton Valley would get no closer than the final 36-point margin. Sedan added one last score on a five-yard run from Dameion Hatten in the fourth period.

One of the weird stats from the game was total plays from scrimmage. Marmaton Valley actually nearly doubled Sedan’s total plays — 79-43 — yet the Blue Devils had a 349-300 advantage in offensive yards.

SHS rushed the ball for 244 yards, including Halderman with 12 carries for 127 yards. Halderman also completed three of his four passes for 82 yards. In all, he accounted for six of Sedan’s touchdowns in the game, including three rushing, two passing and one on a punt return.

(Photo by Cynthia Hills)

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