Savannah tops Platte County for district title

By Cole Young The St. Joseph News Press
Posted: October 28, 2011 - 12:17 AM

PLATTE CITY, Mo. — With a trip to the playoffs already in hand, the Savannah Savages entered their regular season finale against Platte County hoping for two chances at revenge.

The first task was avenging the seven-point home loss against Platte County last season. Consider the first step complete. Savannah never trailed in a 28-17 road victory Thursday night, wrapping up the Class 4 District 16 championship and a 9-1 regular season record.

But it’s that one loss that the Savages now want a shot to make right. With their victory, they’ll get a chance at a rematch against Smithville, in the opening round of the playoffs Wednesday night. Smithville plays Excelsior Springs tonight.

In the fourth week of the season, Smithville defeated Savannah 36-29.

“We didn’t give them much of a game the first time,” Savannah coach Mark Cole said. “We made it competitive at the end, but we really wanted a win tonight.

“This means we’ll get them at home. It wasn’t our best effort last time. We want to show how we really can play football.” The new way the Savages seem to be playing is with Blake McFadden at quarterback. Filling in for injured Zane Wilt, McFadden has taken the last two opponents by storm.

After beginning the season as the punter, he began playing safety a week after the loss to Smithville. McFadden, who has a baseball scholarship to Kansas State for next season, added quarterback to his duties as well last week.

After Thursday’s performance, it made it hard to imagine he hasn’t been at the position for all four years of high school. McFadden scored three touchdowns, hauled in an interception and put three punts inside the 20-yard line in the victory.

“He’s a winner; he’s a leader, and he’s a fierce competitor,” Cole said. “He’s pitched in state championships, national-level games, all-star games. He doesn’t know what big-game nerves are.”

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