NEWTON-The Osborne Bulldogs won their last state title in 2016, when the current senior class was a group of wide-eyed freshman. Osborne lost last year's state title game to Hanover in heartbreaking 58-50 fashion. It would be fair to say this group has some championship experience, and while 3 title game appearances in 4 years is certainly an accomplishment, it just wouldn't mean as much if not finished with a title.
Osborne, led by a senior class of 6 strong, completed that impressive 4 year run with a title, defeating the Axtell Eagles 34-26 at Fischer field in Newton. That outcome was in doubt several times, as Axtell struck first, going up 6-0 on a 5-yard run by freshman Isaac Detwiler. However, Osborne was able to respond in a hurry, cashing in on a 3-yard touchdown by senior Steele Wolters. That knotted things at 6.
The second quarter was more of the same, as the two teams traded touchdowns. It looked as though Osborne would take a 14-12 lead into the break, however, a long hailmary pass from Axtell senior standout Quinn Buessing was hauled in in the end zone by junior Mitchell Buessing. The ensuing two-point conversion was converted, giving the Eagles a 20-14 at halftime.
Osborne received the second half kickoff and wasted little time in driving down the field. Talented senior Darien Holloway broke off a long 45-yard touchdown run tying the game at 20. A successful conversion followed, giving the Bulldogs a 22-20. Buessing and company drove down the field, and Quinn ran in another touchdown, giving the Eagles the 26-22 lead.
A huge credit to the Bulldog defense who stiffened the rest of the way . Ove the last 15 minutes of game time, the Bulldog defense intercepted Buessing twice and Steele Wolters ran in two touchdowns, one with under 2 minute to play, giving the Bulldogs a 34-26 lead. However, the Eagles had the ball back with a 1:55 on the clock and a chance to tie the game. That chance was quickly thwarted when sophomore Mason Schurr intercepted Buessing on a deep post pattern. Osborne could kneel it out from there, giving them their 4th state title in school history!
The Osborne rushing attack was impressive as always, as 3 different rushers crossed the 100-yard mark. Mason Schurr ran 22 times for 120 yards and a touchdown. Darien Holloway finished his impressive career with 20 carries for 129 yards and 2 touchdowns on the day. Steele Wolters, the guard turned quarterback, had a monster day with 13 carries for 116 yards and 3 touchdowns. Quinn Buessing, who was a four year starter for the Eagles and widely regarded as one of the better 8-man passing quarterbacks to ever play, finished 13 of 20 for 158 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also ran in a score, but threw 2 interceptions.
The Eagles finished the season a 11-2, a one win improvement from last year's 10-2 campaign. The Eagles lone state title came in 1993. They have had runner-up showings in 1985 and 2019.
The Bulldogs finished an undefeated season at 13-0. The Bulldogs now have 4 state titles in 5 tries, with 3 of those titles at the 8-man level ('13,'16,'19). Coach Steve Tiernan now has 4 state titles, 2 of which have come with the Bulldogs.