NEWTON — Central Plains football coach Chris Steiner felt the positive energy heading into Eight-Man I championship week.
Past players from Claflin High School and Quivira Heights who were opposed to the consolidation of the two schools had come on board with Central Plains High School.
Central Plains won its first football championship as a consolidated school with a 42-30 victory over No. 1 ranked Hanover. Claflin won five titles and Quivira won one state championship.
“This is huge for the consolidation,” Steiner said “It’s amazing how many people we heard from, past football players who were not happy with consolidation. Now, they’re happy and on board and saying, it’s great to be an Oiler. We’ve got more people behind with us, which is great. A lot of people didn’t think we had a chance.”
Layne Bieberle was the Oilers’ standout with three touchdowns, an interception and two pass interference penalties drawn.
“When the clock went down to the last minute mark,” Bieberle said. “ I knew we were in good shape. It’s unbelievable.”
Bieberle, Braedan Crites and Huner Ingham intercepted passes for the Oilers.
“We knew we had to get stops on D,” Crites said. “We ended getting the job done.”
Steiner knew the game would depend on the Oilers’ defense.
“Our defense was huge and did the job,” he said. “We bend but don’t break. We want to get six people to the football. The turnovers were big again.”