8M-II: Axtell cruises to third straight state title

Axtell captures its third consecutive state championship. (photo by Jesy Strnad)
By: Kpreps.com
Nov 25, 2023

Share This Story:

NEWTON – The Axtell Eagles cruised to their third consecutive Eight-Man, Division II state championship with a 50-0 halftime win over South Central.

No opponent this season has been able to limit the Eagles’ high-scoring offense, and South Central was unable to provide much resistance on Saturday even on the snow-covered turf at Newton’s Fischer Field.

Axtell (13-0) scored in all three phases with a defensive and a special teams touchdown, and Eagle standout Brandon Schmelzle’s fourth touchdown with :07 seconds left in the second quarter effectively ended the game at halftime by the 45-point mercy rule.

Landon Schmitz started the scoring barrage with a 23-yard touchdown run to give Axtell a 6-0 lead mid-way through the first quarter. It would end up being Schmitz’s only carry of the game.

Schmelzle scored from 24 yards out a few minutes later to give the Eagles a 14-0 lead after one quarter. His second rushing touchdown pushed to lead to 20-0 early in the second quarter.

Then the Axtell defense got on the board as Colin Shaughnessy jumped in front of a South Central receiver and returned an interception 12 yards for a touchdown.

Axtell again forced the Timberwolves to punt and Grant Buessing blocked the punt and recovered it in the end zone to extend the Eagle lead to 34-0.

Schmelzle would add two more rushing touchdowns in the quarter – the second being in the final seconds – to end the game.

South Central’s (9-4) incredible turnaround season ends with a state runner-up finish in the schools’ first state title game appearance since the consolidation of Coldwater and Protection. The Timberwolves finished 4-5 in 2022.

The Axtell defense limited South Central quarterback J.T. Prusa to 20 yards rushing on 21 attemps. Prusa entered the contest with more than 1,700 yards rushing and 32 rushing touchdowns.

Axtell has now won 39 consecutive games – the longest such streak in the state. The Eagles last loss came on November 6, 2020.

Axtell 50, South Central 0

Axtell (13-0):          14 – 36 | 50

South Central (9-4):   0 -- 0 | 0

Scoring Summary:

First quarter:

6:27 | Axtell – Landon Schmitz 23-yard run (conversion failed), Axtell 6-0

2:24 | Axtell – Brandon Schmelzle 24-yard run (Eli Broxterman run), Axtell 14-0

Second quarter:

9:13 | Axtell – Schmelzle 23-yard run (conversion failed), Axtell 20-0

7:36 | Axtell – Colin Shaughnessy 12-yard interception return (Schmelzle run), Axtell 28-0

5:16 | Axtell – Grant Buessing blocked punt & recovery (conversion failed), Axtell 34-0

3:28 | Axtell – Schmelzle 20-yard run (Rilyn Buessing pass from Schmelzle), Axtell 42-0

:07 | Axtell – Schmelzle 6-yard run (Broxterman pass from Schmelzle), Axtell 50-0



            AXTELL                  SCHS

Rushing                                           16-153                   22-22

Passing (Comp-Att-INT)                  5-8-0                      0-3-2

Passing Yards                                     68                           0

Total yards                                          221                         22

First Downs                                        11                           1

Turnovers                                           0                              3

Penalties                                             3-20                       0-0



Axtell – Schmelzle 12-114; Schmitz 1-23; Rilyn Buessing 1-10; Broxterman 2-6
SCHS – JT Prusa 21-20; Coda Lindsay 1-2;

Axtell – Schmelzle 5-7-0-68; Broxterman 0-1-0-0
SCHS – Prusa 0-3-2-0;

Axtell – Grady Buessing 3-66; Broxterman 1-2; Schmitz 1-0
SCHS – None.



Use your Facebook account to add a comment or start a discussion. Posts are subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment.