Each year, when Salina South and Salina Central square off on the gridiron, the saying “you can throw the records out the window,” will be heard leading up to kickoff. It’s true. Each year, it doesn’t matter who has more wins, or is ranked higher, nothing is certain.
Except one thing — something “odd,” will always happen.
This year, the odd occurrence? Fireworks. Not on the scoreboard, but literal fireworks exploding during the game. They stemmed from the parking lot just to the north of Salina Stadium and made their presence known mid-play late in the fourth quarter, and may have led directly to a Salina South fumble that took place on that play, as just about all those in attendance jumped out of their skin.
Outside of that, the 2021 edition of the Mayor’s Cup was never quite as dramatic as years past.
Following a scoreless first quarter, Central would see tailback Kenyon McMillon rip off long touchdown runs of 22 and 59 yards to give the Mustangs a 14-0 advantage just before halftime.
Then, South quarterback Weston Fries would fire a pass to the sideline toward a heavily covered receiver, where it would be intercepted by Central’s Jaxon Kolzow, who returned it for a touchdown.
The Mustangs would lead 21-0 at the half, a comfortable lead for most, but the Mustangs found themselves in a similar position last year before Salina South would come from 21-down to win 34-28. This year, there would be no comeback.
In the third quarter, Micah Moore would shove the football into the end zone on a tough five yard score, increasing Central’s lead to 28-0 just 90 seconds into the second half. Following that, Kenyon McMillon would find pay dirt for the third time, just five minutes later, giving Salina Central a 35-0 lead with just five minutes left in the third period.
McMillon unofficially carried the football 14 times, amassing 227 yards and three touchdowns as the unquestioned player of the game.
Weston Fries would get the Cougars on the board three minutes later, finding Te’Jon McDaniel in the end zone for an eight yard TD pass to get within 35-7, but that’s as close as the Cougars would get.
Parker Kavanagh would find receiver Logan Losey shortly thereafter for a 25 yard score, pushing the Mustang lead to 42-7, and just three minutes later Kavanagh would punch it in himself on an 11 yard run.
At 49-7, the Mustangs knew they had the win in hand, but the Cougars would keep fighting, putting one last score on the board on a pass from Weston Fries to Zach Davidson.
That’s where the contest would end. A dominant 49-14 win for Salina Central over South in the 58th Mayor’s Cup. The victory was Central’s third in the last four years over South, and Central’s 34th victory all-time in the rivalry.
Now, the two teams will turn their attentions to the post season, with South sitting at 1-7 on the season, and Central at 6-2. Playoff seeding and matchups will be announced in the coming hours.
SCORE BY QUARTER
Salina Central – 0 / 21 / 14 / 14 – 49
Salina South – 0 / 0 / 7 / 7 – 14