The flexbone offense can be a tricky one to master.
Campus quarterback Braelyn Jay is making progress.
The junior signal caller opened his second season in the new Colts’ offense with a six-touchdown performance to lead Campus to a 37-32 victory over Salina Central Friday night at Salina Stadium. Campus defeated Central for just the third time in program history.
Salina Central (0-1) jumped on Campus right away. Campus muffed the opening kickoff, and three plays later, the Mustangs found the end zone. Junior quarterback Parker Kavanagh hooked up with junior Logan Losey and he did the rest, scoring on a 20-yard screen play 53 seconds into the game.
Campus (1-0) would punt on the next drive, leaving the door open for Salina Central to blast through. Instead, the Mustangs turned the ball over on downs. Campus’ next drive took just three plays, the last being a 42-yard touchdown pass by Jay to senior Tate Rico, knotting up the score at 6-6 with 6:44 to play.
The Mustangs jumped back ahead following Campus’ second miscue of the game. Central sophomore Brooks Richardson recovered a fumble and brought the ball to the Campus 34. Central inched closer and closer to the goal line and crossed it on a one-yard TD run by junior tailback Micah Moore, putting the Mustangs ahead 13-6 with 3:24 remaining in the first.
The Colts answered with a 10-play drive that featured three long passes. The final one on the drive was completed on a field goal attempt. A low snap was picked up by Rico, who threw the ball to junior tight end Hunter Long for a gain of 18 yards. Later, Jay sniffed out the end zone, scoring from one yard out to bring Campus to within one, 13-12, with 10:31 to go in the half.
Salina Central’s first miscue shortly followed. Kavanagh tried to find senior EZ Jackson. However, the miscommunication between the two resulted in an interception at the Campus 45. The Colts then grabbed their first advantage of the game on a 27-yard connection between Jay and Rico. The 18-13 score lasted for the remaining 6:34 of the first half.
Both offenses couldn’t be stopped in the second half as the first four drives culminated with touchdowns. Central marched 80 yards on 12 plays to start, capped by an eight-yard pass from Kavanagh to Jackson. Campus followed with an 11-play, 65-yard drive that ended with a three-yard scamper by Jay.
Central’s next drive was much quicker, traveling 77 yards on four plays. Moore finished off the third with a 31-yard scamper. Campus jumped back ahead, bleeding nearly six minutes off the clock in the process. Jay found the end zone again from a yard out, giving Campus a 30-25 lead with 6:02 to go.
Salina Central failed to score on the next drive, handing the ball over on downs at its own 38-yard line. Jay put the finishing touches on the game, sprinting nine yards to the goal line for the dagger. Kavanagh did find junior Hayden Vidrickson on a 39-yard heave, but time would run out for the Mustangs.
Jay stole the spotlight, completing 11 passes for 196 yards and two scores and added four rushing TD’s. Rico had five catches for 138 yards and a pair of scores.
Kavanagh was 21-of-31 passing for 254 yards and three touchdowns. Moore ran for 61 and two scores on 10 carries. Losey recorded eight catches for 92 yards and a score to earn the Nex-Tech Wireless Player of the Game.
Salina Central heads to Goddard-Eisenhower next week, embarking on its first-ever AVCTL-II game. Pregame coverage begins at 6:45 on Sports Radio 1150 KSAL.