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HIGHLIGHTS: Salina Central Runs Into Playoffs

Mike Hammett - November 1, 2013 9:47 pm

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The Salina Central Mustangs are back in the Class 5A playoffs for the first time since 2010 after a 42-14 win over the Hays Indians at Lewis Field in Hays on Friday night.

The two offenses were powerful early. Central opened the scoring on an 8-yard touchdown run by JW Maldaner, but Hays answered with an 18-yard pass from Alex Delton to Hayden Kreutzer. Central responded with a 13-yard scoring run by Maldaner, but Hays again answered on a 27-yard run by Preston Weigel, tying the game at 14 with 10:15 to go in the first half.

The two teams would trade fumbles, and Central would punt back to Hays. The Indians appeared to be going in for a go-ahead touchdown, but Delton fumbled at the Central two yard line. The Mustangs’ Vance Johnson recovered the fumble in the end zone for the touchback.

Three plays later, Malik Veal’s 73-yard touchdown run put the Mustangs up for good at 21-14.

In the second half, Central expanded the lead. After a Hays punt, Veal scored on a 50-yard touchdown run to push the lead to 28-14.

Hays would turn the ball over on downs and throw an interception on its next two drives. Central would score on a 16-yard run by Maldaner and a 5-yard run by Terrell Rodriguez to put the game away.

The Mustangs did most of their work on the ground, picking up 461 rushing yards as a team. Malik Veal had 273 yards on 25 carries with two scores. Maldaner had 95 yards and three touchdowns, while completing just one pass for 15 yards.

The Mustangs outgained Hays 476 to 374.

Salina Central will go on the road next Friday to face Andover in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs as they improve to 4-5. Hays ends its season at 6-3.

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