Spartans knocked out by Fremont-Mills in playoff quarterfinal
EXIRA (Nov. 2) -- Avenging a season-opening loss on the same field in August, fifth-ranked Fremont-Mills jumped on top early and defeated No. 7 Exira-Elk Horn-Kimballton 61-20 in an Eight-Player football quarterfinal playoff game here last Friday night.
The Knights (10-1) will face New London (10-1) in a state semifinal game at the UNI-Dome Thursday at noon. Exira-EHK finished its season with an overall record of 9-2.
The Spartans defeated F-M 45-27 in Week 1 but the biggest difference in the rematch was Knights’ senior quarterback Mason Vanatta, who finished Friday’s game with 214 rushing yards and five touchdowns on just 15 carries. He also completed 5-of-9 passes for 156 yards, including a 69-yard TD pass to Seth Malcom. In the first game vs. E-EHK, Vanatta completed just 4-of-21 passes and was intercepted twice.
Exira-EHK quickly fell behind 28-0 as its first four drives were either stopped on downs (twice) or resulted in a turnover. The Spartans went to their throwing game but were unable to rally despite a big night from senior quarterback Josh Pettepier, who had missed the previous three games with an injured shoulder. According to information in the Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil, Pettepier completed 30-of-51 passes for 391 yards and two touchdowns - a 17-yarder to Ian Leader and a three-yarder to Cole Burmeister. Trey Nelson also scored on a five-yard pass from Burmeister.
Friday marked the second time in the last three years that Fremont-Mills has defeated E-EHK in the playoffs. The Spartans will graduate eight seniors from this year’s squad, including Pettepier, leading rusher and receiver Cole Burmeister and leading tacklers Trever Schulz and Ian Leader. Additional seniors include Trey Nelson, Jayden Goodwin, Dawson Carey and Aaron Allen.
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