Axtell Eagles Football – Team Of The Month Presented By Wichita Driving School

By Matt Browning

In a heavy snowstorm, the Axtell Eagles dominated the South Central Timberwolves and defeated them 50-0 to earn their third consecutive 8-Man DII football championship.

Junior quarterback Brandon Schmelzle ran for 121 yards and four touchdowns in the first half on their way to a 50-point lead -which ended the game after the second quarter via 8-Man point rule.

Axtell has three seniors, Sawyer Deters, Grant Buessing, and Grady Buessing, that ended their career with three state titles and a current 39-game winning streak.

Head Coach Eric Detweiler has coached 11 years at Axtell and has compiled a record of 102-24. He won the KS 8 Man Coach of the Year award this year for the third consecutive time.

Colin Shaunessy had a 15-yard interception that he returned for a touchdown and Grant Buessing blocked a punt and recovered the ball in the endzone to give the Eagles defensive touchdowns in the title game.

In 2022, quarterbacked by Isaac Detweiler led the Eagles to historic offensive statistics and many games ending at halftime.  Brandon Schmelzle took over this season and Axtell reloaded and continued their domination.

Schmelzle led Axtell with 797 yards rushing (23 TD’s), and 1,500 yards passing (30 TD’s, zero interceptions).  Running backs Eli Broxterman and Landon Schmitz combined for over 1300 yards and over 30 TD’s.  Eli Broxterman, Grady Buessing, Landon Schmitz, and Rilyn Buessing combined for over 420 receptions, over 1500 receiving yards and 31 touchdowns.

The Eagles scored 734 points in 2023 and their defense only gave up 98 points.  Defensively, Rilyn Buessing and Eli Broxterman led Axtell with over 160 tackles combined for the season, and junior Brandon Schmelzle and freshman Wyatt Detweiler combined for 13 interceptions.