By Brad Hallier
ROSE HILL, Kan. – Buhler kept pace with Abilene as the only two one-loss teams in the Class 4A West District on Friday, but it wasn’t always a sight to see.
Buhler had four first-half turnovers and was down by double digits in the second half, but the Crusaders steadied, gradually came back, and finally posted a 34-18 win over Rose Hill.
Ben Clouse continued his strong sophomore year by rushing for 219 yards and three touchdowns on 34 carries. Buhler would need every bit of Clouse’s night, as the Crusaders made mistake after mistake in the first half.
But Buhler led 7-6 after a 4-yard touchdown run from Clouse early in the second quarter.
However, Rose Hill scored the next two touchdowns and led 18-7 early in the third quarter. But Clouse, Mitchel McDaniel and Jeffrey Neill scored consecutive touchdowns, giving Buhler the lead for good.
Buhler finished with 359 yards of offense, including 312 on the ground.
Buhler will wrap up the regular season Thursday at Riverfront Stadium in Wichita by taking on rival McPherson. A Buhler win would force Abilene needing a win over Wamego on Friday to get the No. 1 seed, and Buhler could also get the top seed via points, as the Crusaders trail Abilene by just five points.