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Oiler Magic--Central Plains wins state football title
Defense sparks state title
Defensive lineman Brett Liebl (44) pulls down Solomon’s quarterback for a sack in Saturday’s 8-Man Division I State Championship game. - photo by Hugo Gonzalez



NEWTON – Central Plains Oiler Brett Liebl started the Eight-Man 1 championship celebration with a blocked punt.

Teammate Jerred Bieberle finished the Oilers’ 52-6 rout of Solomon with an interception return for a touchdown.

The Oilers’ defense dominated the Gorillas, which gained no first downs and lost 24 yards on 30 offensive plays.

The Oilers (13-0) sacked the Gorillas for nine losses for 50 yards to capture their second state football championship and the eighth in school-district history.

“That’s a great feeling the way we played today,” Liebl said. “Our whole defensive line played together. We tackled the quarterback and never let him get outside. Our defense relies on discipline. We all did our job.”

Bieberle led the rushing game with crisp blocking and delivered the game’s final signature play.

“That was a great way to finish it,” Bieberle said. “We played pretty well today. I tried to play my best football today.”

Steiner said, “Jerred’s a rock star who plays big. Everything we do offensively is based around Jerred’s blocking. He’s so football smart.”

Ends Liebl and Grant Heldstab and nose guard Mason Doll anchored the Oilers’ defense, which dominated the line of scrimmage. Time-after-time, the trio tackled the Gorillas for losses in perfect 60-degree weather.

The Oilers completed a historic defensive season with an 8-man state record nine shutouts and five touchdowns permitted in 13 games. The Oilers outscored teams 628-34.

“It’s the best defensive line we’ve ever coached,” said Central Plains coach Chris Steiner. “They can play with anybody. These guys are fast, strong and really long and athletic.”

Oiler quarterback Myles Menges passed for two touchdowns and Alex Hickel and Lawson Oeser each scored twice.

“It was great to see good things happen for Myles Menges today,” Steiner said. “He’s been patient all season with our offense.”

Liebl ignited the rout with a blocked punt that Mason Doll recovered. Myles Menges scored on a 3-yard run and added the conversion.

Hickel added 11- and 52-yard touchdowns for a 24-0 lead after Myles Menges converted his third 2-point conversion.

Solomon’s Alex Herbel delivered the Gorillas’ lone highlight with a dazzling 68-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

The Oilers closed the first half on Grant Heldstab’s 43-yard touchdown pass and Oeser’s 3-yard scoring dash for a 40-6 halftime lead.

The 15-minute halftime break delayed Solomon’s fate.

Oeser scored on a 39-yard touchdown pass from Menges on the Oilers’ first play. Bieberle completed the 46-point rout with a 19-yard interception return.

“It’s one of the tightest groups we’ve ever had,” Steiner said. “I was proud of the way they performed today. We came to work and played like we were playing the best team in the state today.”

 Solomon 0 6 0 – 6

Central Plains 16 24 12 – 52

CP—Myles Menges 3 run (Devin Ryan recovers fumble in endzone)—9:26

CP—Alex Hickel 11 run (Myles Menges run)—2:17

CP—Hickel 52 run (Myles Menges run)—11:46

S—Alex Herbel 68 kickoff return (pass failed)—11:36

CP—Grant Heldstab 43 pass from Myles Menges (Myles Menges run)—4:57

CP—Lawson Oeser 3 run (Mason Wimmer run)—1:56

CP—Oeser 39 pass from Myles Menges (pass failed)—11:52

CP—Jerred Bieberle 19 interception return)


RUSHING—CP—21-156; Hickel 7-76; Bieberle 4-51; Myles Menges 8-18; Oeser 2-11; S—22-(-21); Braden Neilson 9-(-29); Logan Krause 7-1; Jobe Fowles 6-7

PASSING—CP—Myles Menges 5-7-1, 123; S—Neilson 1-8-1, (-3)

RECEIVING—CP—Heldstab 2-66; Oeser 2-47; Hickel 1-13; Bieberle 1-(-3); S—Krause 1-(-3)

TACKLES—CP—Mason Doll 14, 2 sacks; Brett Liebl 13, 1 sack; Grant Heldstab, 7, 2 sacks


2018—8MAN1—Central Plains 56, South Gray 0; Central Plains 50, Ness City 0; Central Plains 54, Hoxie 6; Central Plains 42, St. Francis 0; Central Plains 52, Solomon 6

2017—8MAN1—Central Plains 58, Macksville 12; Spearville 32, Central Plains 28

2016—8MAN1—Central Plains 60, Argonia-Attica 20; Spearville 58, Central Plains 26 

2015—8MAN1—Central Plains 46, Kiowa County 0; Spearville 58, Central Plains 28 

2014—8MAN1—Central Plains 50, South Central 14; Central Plains 42, Spearville 40; Central Plains 32, Ness City 0; FINALS—Central Plains 42, Hanover 30

2013—8MAN1—Central Plains 36, South Central 14; Hodgeman County 44, Central Plains 36

2011—8MAN1—Central Plains 50, Quinter 22; South Gray 52, Central Plains 6


2002—2A FINALS—Pittsburg Colgan 29, Claflin 8 

2001—2A FINALS—Pittsburg Colgan 23, Claflin 20 

2000—2A FINALS—Pittsburg Colgan 33, Claflin 12

1999—2A FINALS—Claflin 52, Pittsburg Colgan 34 

1998—2A FINALS—Claflin 30, Frankfort 16

1997—2A FINALS—Claflin 22, Centralia 12

1992—8MAN2 FINALS—Claflin 44, Midway-Denton 0

1991—8MAN2 FINALS—Claflin 48, St. Paul 0

1990—8MAN2 FINALS—Hanston 60, Claflin 14

1989—8MAN2 FINALS—Hanston 70, Claflin 24

1984—2A FINALS—Pittsburg Colgan 21, Claflin 14


2009—8MAN1 FINALS—Hanover 66, Quivira Heights 36  

1993—8MAN1 FINALS—Pretty Prairie 36, Quivira Heights 20  

1984—8MAN1 FINALS—Midway-Denton 54, Quivira Heights 34 

1983—8MAN1 FINALS—Quivira Heights 37, Logan 12 

Central Plains football team. - photo by Hugo Gonzalez