BRAINERD — When you’ve waited 10 years to reach the playoffs, you want to make the most of it.
The Remington Broncos did just that with a 56-16 win over Salina Sacred Heart Friday in the first round of the Class 1A playoffs at Remington’s field.
"This has been a long time coming for this program," Remington coach Simon McKee said. "In my time here, I’ve had a lot of kids that aren’t on this team who worked for this moment. It’s been a process. To see the fruits of our labor, I’m super proud of the kids. They earned it."
The Broncos rushed for 392 yards, led by Toby Lewis with 13 carries for 132 yards and three touchdowns. Lewis also returned an interception for a score. David Fasnacht rushed for 97 yards and a touchdown. Owen Thiel rushed for two touchdowns.
"Outside counter. We had to go outside," Lewis said. "We had to hit hard with our linemen — pulling guards. I was just following my linemen, my big boys. (The interception) just fell in my hands. It’s great to see the culture changing. It’s really uplifting for us."
"That’s our identity," McKee said. "We run the ball. That’s what the flexbone and wishbone are all about. We want to throw when we want to. Other than that, we’re going to pound the rock."
Sacred Heart was led by Mason Richards, who passed for 79 yards and a touchdown. Richards also caught a touchdown pass. Michael Matteucci had 79 yards receiving with a touchdown.
"We had a lot of upperclassmen hurt who couldn’t play," Sacred Heart coach Shane Richards said. "We were starting a lot of freshmen and sophomores, and this was their first real game time experience. They stepped in and gave me all they had. I couldn’t be more proud of our younger guys. We had guys out of position. We haven’t had a lot of JV games because of low numbers. It’s hard to practice."
After trading three-and-outs, Remington used seven plays to go 75 yards — overcoming two illegal motion penalties and scoring on a nine-yard Thiel run.
Sacred Heart replied with an 11-play, 65-yard drive that ended on a seven-yard pass from Gormley to Richards on fourth down. Gormley threw a shovel pass to Richards for the two-point conversion.
After trading turnovers, Remington scored on a three-yard Lewis run midway in the second quarter. After a defensive stop, Remington needed just three plays to go 42 yards, scoring on a 16-yard Lewis run. The drive was started by a 24-yard Dylan Margreiter punt return and a pass interference penalty.
Lewis opened the second half with a 32-yard pick six on the first play from scrimmage. Lewis followed with a 35-yard touchdown run.
Sacred Heart finally had a play go forward in the second half when Mason Richards hit Michael Matteucci for a 71-yard touchdown pass. Mason Richards ran in the two-point conversion. The on side kick went three yards, but Remington fumbled the ball back on the next play.
The Broncos stopped the Knights on downs at the Remington 47, setting up a 45-yard Nathan Forester touchdown run. Fasnacht put things away with a 48-yard touchdown run with 9:11 to play. Thiel added a 39-yard run for a score.
Sacred Heart ends the year 2-7, losing six seniors.
"We got two wins this season after a no-win last season," Shane Richards said. "We played a lot of great teams. These guys fight to the end every time. These guys won’t give up on me and I won’t give up on them."
Remington is 4-5 and plays Friday at league rival Inman, 7-2. The Broncos lost to the Teutons 54-13 earlier this season.
"They are a very good football team," McKee said. "We’re going to have to play the best game of our year to beat those guys. We’re happy to have another week of practice and be out here a week longer than most teams are."