Going into Senior Night, Salina Central senior Cooper Chard had no rushing touchdowns.
The tailback changed that with a remarkable performance.
Chard ran behind a strong offensive line for 168 yards and four touchdowns, classmate Jackson Kavanagh racked up 323 yards of total offense, and the Mustangs dominated the Newton Railers at Salina Stadium Friday night, 47-14, earning their fourth consecutive victory.
Much like a week ago, Salina Central (4-2, 4-1 AVCTL-I) faced little resistance on the opening drive. The Mustangs orchestrated a 14-play, 76-yard drive that ended with a three-yard TD run by Chard with 6:43 to go in the first. On its second offensive play, Newton (2-4, 2-3) fumbled the ball, recovered by Central junior Brooks Burgoon at the Newton 29. A few plays later, Chard blasted into the end zone from 13 yards out, doubling up the score to 14-0 with 4:50 to play in the opening stanza.
Central turned to a short pass to start the second frame. Kavanagh fluttered a pass to senior Logan Heigele to the near sideline. Heigele had nothing but green ahead of him, making a 68-yard house call for a touchdown. The duo hooked up again, this time on a 35-yard scoring connection a little over three minutes later. Chard put the finishing touches on an impressive first half, sniffing the end zone on a seven-yard scamper, pushing the advantage to 34-0 at the half.
Chard averaged 9.3 yards per carry, finishing with 168 yards and four touchdowns on 18 carries. Heigele had four catches for 127 yards and two touchdowns. Kavanagh was 12-of-16 passing for 241 yards and three touchdowns. He ran 13 times for 82 yards as well.
Salina Central has a quick turnaround, hosting the Maize Eagles (6-0) next Thursday. Coverage begins at 6:45 on Sports Radio 1150 KSAL.
*Photos by Tanner Colvin*