The Mulvane Football team sailed through the districts claiming the district title and is heading into the 2016 state playoffs with some confidence and high hopes. Coach Fennewald’s Wildcats have reached the state playoffs 9 out of the past 10 seasons. With a 7-2 season record and currently on a 4 game winning streak, the Wildcats have outscored their opponents this season 410 to 233. This seasons District Championship is the 5th for the Wildcats in the last 10 years.
This season, the cats have showcased a high powered offense with Jaden Price at the helm behind a stout, experienced line, anchored by seniors Marcus & James Chancellor, Tanner Wichman, Brandon Keil, and Layne Becker. The offense has featured the tandem of Price and Shoemaker in the rushing game and have racked up a total of 1501 and 870 yards respectively and a team total of 2608 rushing yards. Price and Shoemaker have combined for a total of 32 rushing TD’s with Price with 22 and Shoemaker with 10. Price also tied the school record (James Crawford - 1968) for the longest rushing TD with a 97 yard scamper against Rose Hill. No recent Mulvane offense would be complete without a strong passing game. Price has racked up a total of 1247 yards passing and 13 TDs. His primary targets are seniors Dalton Blaine and Chase Myears. Dalton has 680 yards receiving and 8 TD and Chase has 380 yards receiving and 4 TDs.
With the Wildcats losing some All-Class defensive players from the 2015 season, there were some questions before the season started on how the defense would be this year.
Coach Swayne’s defense has risen to the challenges this season and have been pretty solid. Seniors Bryce Parker and Zach Helbing lead the team in tackles with 104 and 102 respectively. Senior Jacob Baker and Sophomore Jeret Plummer lead the defense with tackles for loss with 9 for 28 yards and 7 for 29 yards, and the defense as a team has racked up an impressive 53 tackles for loss for 193 yards. Senior Blake Nash and sophomore Jeret Plummer lead the team in sacks with 3.0 and 2.5 respectively and as a team the Wildcats has recorded 11.0 sacks for 97 yards. Senior Zach Helbing and Junior Brett Nelson lead the team in interceptions with 4 and 3 respectively, each player returning one for a touchdown.
The special teams has been, well, pretty special this season as well. Helbing and Shoemaker share the kickoff return duties and both have put up some solid number. Helbing has 16 kickoff returns for 490 yards and 2 TD’s, with a long of 90 yards. Shoemaker has 9 returns for 260 yards and 1 TD, with a long of 85 yards. Helbing is the primary punt returner and has 5 returns for 207 yards and 1 TD. In comparison, the Wildcats have not allowed a kickoff or punt return for a TD this season. Kicker Bayley Coon has 66 kickoffs under his belt for an impressive 3471 yards and multiple touchbacks. He is 35 for 45 in PAT attempts and 1-2 field goals for a total of 38 points.
The 4A-Division 1 playoffs will feature 7 teams from the AVCTL with Mulvane, Augusta, Buhler, Maize South, McPherson, and Andale. The cats will face Augusta in the Regional game next Friday, November 4th at Lyle Couch Stadium.