Big Plays Hurt Central in Loss to Andover

Andover might be known as a defensive-minded team, but the Trojans used big chunks on offense to get a huge win.

Tayton Klein showcased his speed on two long touchdowns, Andover’s defense shut out Salina Central in the final 12 minutes, and the Trojans pulled off a 28-19 win Friday night at Salina Stadium. Andover improved to 2-1 while Central dropped to 1-2.

Defense was on display for the majority of the first half. Central finally broke free after a fumble recovery by Brayden McKnight at the Andover 47-yard line. Receiver Hayden Vidricksen set up a touchdown with a 31-yard reception on a screen pass. A couple plays later, quarterback Parker Kavanagh found fullback Nick Clayton for a four-yard score with 3:23 to play in the first.

Andover’s equalizer – Klein. On a screen pass from signal caller Brady Strausz, Klein sprinted to the far boundary and exploded to the endzone for a 61-yard score. Following a Central punt, Andover hit on another long play. Strausz lobbed a ball to 6’5″ Matt Rudy. Two Central defenders were there, but ran into each other, allowing Rudy to pluck the ball and stride to the goallline for a 54-yard score with 1:16 left in the half.

Andover stretched the margin to a two-score lead on a one-yard quarterback sneak by Strausz midway through the third. Salina Central turned to the quarterback run game with Kavanagh, quickly marching to the Trojan 29. Kavanagh then found a diving Vidricksen in the endzone for a 29-yard score. The PAT was blocked, keeping the deficit at 21-13 with 3:08 remaining in the third.

Central’s defense forced a punt that barely advanced 20 yards, giving the Mustangs excellent field position at their own 49. Kavanagh zipped a pass to tailback Kenyon McMillan, who broke two tackles and raced 38 yards to paydirt. Salina Central failed to nail the two-point conversion, pulling the Stangs to two with 37 seconds to go.

That’s when Andover turned to its main weapon again. Klein took the ensuing kickoff from the three. He received a key block and then weaved through traffic before finding space and creating separation with a 97-yard kickoff return for a score.

Salina Central had one final chance after a punt block by McKnight, but the Mustangs turned the ball over on downs.

Salina Central hits the road next week traveling to Valley Center. Pregame at 6:45 on 1150 KSAL.