ANDALE — Andale High School’s football playoff tradition is decades old.
Larned’s football tradition is one year old.
Second-ranked Andale won the battle of Indians 60-0 on Tuesday night in a Class 4A playoff opener. Andale tailback Hunter Knoblauch rushed for five touchdowns and gained 171 yards.
Two-time 4A state champion Andale has reached the playoffs 12 straight years and has lost to the state champion or state runner-up seven times in the past 11 years.
Larned is starting a new football playoff tradition with their first playoff trip in 28 years.
Andale intercepted three passes by Easton Palmer and Andale recovered a Larned fumble and an onside kickoff to start the second half.
Andale (10-0) roared to a 46-0 halftime lead that triggered a running clock after halftime. Andale rushed for 377 yards and added 19 yards passing.
Larned coach A.B. Stokes gave full credit to Andale.
“Their offensive line is tremendous,” Stokes said. “Their offensive line is 6-7 yards downfield. Their backs are patient. I was impressed with how well they tackle and how fast they get to the football. They wrapped up when they got there. It’s sound fundamental football.”
Larned finished with 101 yards rushing. Junior back Jeromy Bartz gained momentum after halftime and finished with 52 yards on 10 carries. Landon Erway gained 38 yards rushing. Larned gained 14 yards passing on 5 of 15 attempts.
Larned’s best drive came on the first drive as Andale committed 30 yards in penalties. But it ended when Andale’s Nathan Bergkamp forced a Palmer fumble that Logan Horsch recovered at the Andale 45- yard line.
“I’m extremely pleased as we can be,” Stokes said. “Our boys battled.
“We saw some good things we can build on.”
Stokes said the Larned senior class set a high standard of working hard to achieve a goal.
“We will miss this senior class. I’m happy for this senior class,” he said. “They didn’t win until their junior year. They are a special group. They believed. They laid a unique foundation that you have to have to build a successful program. They can look up to this group.”
Stokes said the senior class believed in what he was teaching.
“They didn’t imagine they would be a playoff team,” he said. “They had a blind investment. Now, they realize we can be a playoff team. We want to be a deep playoff team. Our goal is to work toward a state championship.”
Stokes said it was good to play a state-quality team like Andale.
“We have something to gauge where we are,” he said. “But it means nothing if the kids don’t work hard and get better.”
“One thing you can’t see is the buy-in,” Stokes said. “They want to win. They want to be successful. We’re going down with a smile on our face. Before we beat a good team, you’ve got to see a good team to see where you are.”
Knoblauch started the scoring with a 50-yard touchdown dash on the first offensive snap after a penalty. He added a 42-yard touchdown and a 24-yard scoring run for a 21-0 lead. He added touchdown runs of 3 and 15 yards.
Andale’s Horsch was a defensive force with two interceptions, a fumble recovery and a 20-yard return for a touchdown on one of his interceptions. Andale’s Ben Albert intercepted a pass and Joseph Alpers recovered an onside kickoff.
Andale cashed in two second-half touchdowns, a 30-yard touchdown run by Lucas Reichenberger and a 1-yard quarterback dive by Lane Macari for a 60-0 victory.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
Class 4A State Playoffs
Andale 60, Larned 0
Larned 0 0 0 0 — 0
Andale 27 19 6 8 — 60
A — Hunter Knoblauch 50 run (Layton Johnson kick), 8:31
A — Knoblauch 42 run (Johnson kick), 5:34
A — Knoblauch 24 run (Johnson kick), 4:33
A — Logan Horsch 20 interception return (pass failed), 4:16
A — Knoblauch 3 run (Johnson kick), 9;35
A — Jared Smarsh 30 run (kick failed), 4:49
A — Knoblauch 15 run (kick failed), 0:08
A — Lucas Reichenberger 25 run (run failed), 9:36
A — Lane Macari 1 run (Reichenberger run), 11:55
First Downs 8 20
Total Net Yards 115 397
Rushes-yards 38-101 38-378
Passing 14 19
Comp-Att-Int 5-15-3 1-2-0
Punts-Avg 2-33 0-0
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 1-0
Penalties-Yds 4-20 7-50
RUSHING — Larned, Jeromy Bartz 10-52, Landon Erway 16-38, Evan Skelton 1-13, Gary Barker 1-1, Logan Hoch 1-1, Gage Stude 1-0; Easton Palmer 8-(-4); Andale, Hunter Knoblauch 12-171, Lucas Reichenberger 7-71, Jared Smarsh 2-38, Anthony Capul 2-35, Alec Hein 5-21, Tyler Meis 1-19, Hank Eck 2-14, Bo Knoblauch 1-3, Luke Walstad 1-4, Hayden Bugner 3-1, Lane Macari 1-1, Matthew Maus 1-0.
PASSING — Larned, Palmer 5-10-3, 14; Andale, Smarsh 1-2-0, 19.
RECEIVING — Larned, Brayden Smith 2-4, Jamil Shoemaker 1-10, Grant Unruh 2-0; Andale, Justin Hermreck 1-19.