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Southwestern Beats C/S/P To Advance To Final

Southwestern's Aidan Kennedy makes a throw down the field against Clymer/Sherman/Panama during a Section VI Class C semifinal Saturday afternoon in Clymer. P-J photo by Scott Reagle

CLYMER — Over the past five years, Southwestern has become a team that has relied on next-level quarterback play and skilled position players to put up points in bunches.

Saturday, with a spot in the Section VI Class C championship game on the line, the Trojans needed 1 yard to take control of the game against Clymer/Sherman/Panama.

Coach Jake Burkholder turned to a power running formation.

His players did not disappoint.

Zishan Munir scored on a 1-yard plunge into the end zone with 8:15 remaining and Southwestern held off the Wolfpack down the stretch en route to a 24-21 victory.

Clymer/Sherman/Panama's Keith Gormley pressures Southwestern quarterback Aidan Kennedy during a Section VI Class C semifinal Saturday afternoon in Clymer. P-J photo by Scott Reagle

The win sends the Trojans into next weekend’s Class C title game against Medina, which beat Eden/North Collins 54-6 on Friday night.

Southwestern took a 17-14 lead into the final 12 minutes Saturday before quarterback Aidan Kennedy led the Trojans on a 11-play 63-yard drive. On third-and-9 from the C/S/P 34-yard line, the junior signal caller scrambled for 32 yards down to the 2-yard line.

Munir was then stopped on first and second down prompting Burkholder to call a timeout. On the next play, Southwestern lined up with left tackle Calvin Ricker and right tackle Drew Wigren in the backfield in front of Munir. The 5-foot-9 back followed his blockers and burst into the end zone for a 24-14 lead after Neves Hoose’s third successful point-after kick on the afternoon.

The Wolfpack answered with a five-play, 55-yard drive that was finished off by Brendon Ramsey’s 24-yard scamper into the end zone. Jordan Svetz added the point-after kick to pull the hosts within three with 6:09 remaining.

C/S/P then got the stop it needed, but the Wolfpack muffed a punt from Kennedy and Garrett Swan fell on the ball at the 35-yard line to give possession back to Southwestern.

The Trojans converted a fourth-and-1, and then with 2:40 remaining Munir broke free for 9 yards on third-and-3 to put the game away.

Southwestern struck first in the opening quarter when it turned a failed fourth-down conversion by the Wolfpack into a 10-play, 50-yard drive that was capped by a Kennedy-to-Ashton Mathews 12-yard touchdown catch in the back of the end zone.

C/S/P answered with a six-play, 43-yard drive that was finished off by 5-foot-10, 235-pound tackle Justin Massing, who pushed forward into the end zone to make it 7-6 with 4:36 left in the first quarter.

Hoose made it 10-6 just over two minutes later when he converted a 26-yard field goal.

The Trojans then made it 17-6 when they drove 90 yards in 15 plays and took over seven minutes off the clock. The longest play of the drive was a 33-yard completion from Kennedy to Swan five plays before Kennedy scored on a 1-yard keeper.

Munir and Nate Johnson had interceptions to end the next two Wolfpack drives and help Southwestern maintain its 11-point lead into halftime.

C/S/P forced a three-and-out on the first drive of the second half and then put together six-play, 63-yard drive that ended on a 3-yard touchdown run by John Swabik.

But the teams traded punts over their next four possessions before Munir’s mid-fourth quarter touchdown helped the Trojans move on to face the Mustangs looking to defend their 2019 sectional title.

NOTES: Kennedy finished 13 of 29 for 162 yards and a touchdown through the air to go along with 69 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Munir ran for 55 yards and a score. … Swabik ran for 115 yards and a touchdown. … Wigren was in on 11 tackles and Ricker was in on six for the Trojans. … Owen Gratto was in on 13 tackles and Zach Chase was in on 11 for the Wolfpack.

SOUTHWESTERN 10 7 0 7 — 24

CLYMER/SHERMAN/PANAMA 6 0 8 7 — 21

Sou–Mathews 12 pass from Kennedy (Hoose kick)

C/S/P–Massing 3 run (run failed)

Sou–Hoose 26 field goal

Sou–Kennedy 1 run (Hoose kick)

C/S/P –Swabik 3 run (Swabik run)

Sou–Munir 1 run (Hoose kick)

C/S/P–Ramsey 24 run (Svetz kick)

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