A back and forth battle between the Salina Central Mustangs and Andover Trojans ended in dramatic fashion as the Mustangs came out on top 22-21 over the Trojans on Friday night at Trojan Stadium.
Andover held the lead most of the night as their deadly ground attack kept the Mustangs at bay. The Trojans had 111 rushing yards at the halftime break as they held a 13-7 lead, but things dramatically shifted after the halftime break.
Salina Central stepped up defensively, limiting Andover to just 60 yards rushing in the second half with 20 of those yards coming on one carry by Andover junior running back Tanner Woolston.
As the second half came to a close Salina Central needed a miracle to get the ball back as they trailed 21-14 with less than a minute to play. Their miracle came in the form of a mental mistake by Andover senior running back Vaiden Law as he ran out of bounds on second down giving the Mustangs a free timeout after they had used all three to stop the clock earlier in the drive.
That mistake allowed the Mustangs one final drive as they took over on downs at their own 45-yard line with 35 seconds left. After a combination of great throws by junior quarterback Jack Gordon and defensive penalties on Andover, the Mustangs had one final chance to get in the endzone with eight seconds left and the ball on the 15-yard line.
Gordon came through as he threw a touchdown pass to senior Hunter Mowery bringing the Mustangs to within one point with just one second on the clock. Head coach Mark Sandbo didn’t want to play for the tie however, as he called for a fake field goal on the extra point.
Mowery successfully completed the fake, completing a pass to senior wide receiver Sam Payne giving Salina Central the 22-21 lead that would become the final score.
The Nex-Tech Wireless player of the game was quarterback Jack Gordon. Gordon finished the night 15-34 passing with 184 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also added 18 yards on the ground including a pair of crucial 10-yard runs in the fourth quarter to keep drives alive.
The H&R Block of the game went to the entire Salina Central field goal protection unit, as their astounding execution of the fake field goal allowed Mowery plenty of time to complete the pass to Payne and led to the Mustang victory.
The Mustangs will now head back home as they welcome Valley Center to town coming up on Friday night.