Salina Central claimed its third-straight Mayor’s Cup victory on Friday night, beating crosstown rival Salina South 54-28 in front of a packed Salina Stadium crowd.
Salina Central struck first on its first play from scrimmage, a 65-yard touchdown pass from Gunnar Gross to Hunter Mowery. Salina South would counter with their own long score on its opening play, a 74-yard run by Carson Power.
After that, Central would march right back down the field and score on another Gunnar Gross pass, this time to Dez Gibson to retake the lead, which they would never relinquish.
The next Salina Central drive resulted in a tough injury to Gross, Central’s all-state quarterback poised for a big season. It was unclear the severity but appeared to be an ankle injury. In Gross’ absence, Head Coach Mark Sandbo thrust junior Jack Gordon into action, and he did not disappoint.
Gordon would throw for a pair of touchdowns and lead the Mustang offense to a runaway win, an impressive showing for a young player put in an unenviable position.
He didn’t do it alone though, as senior tailback Elijah Wilson ran up and down the field and found the end zone four times. The offensive line also deserves their flowers. They made sure Gordon saw a clean pocket for most of the night, as well as paving huge holes for the aforementioned Wilson to utilize.
Salina South struggled to stop the potent Central offense for much of the night, but their own offense grew over the course of the contest. Senior Carson Power commanded the football on the ground, rushing for three touchdowns, while junior quarterback Landon Putman found his footing late and connected on a passing score with Dawson Dooley in the third quarter.
Salina Central improved to 1-0 and will play host to Goddard-Eisenhower next Friday for Hall of Fame night at Salina Stadium. Salina South is now 0-1 and will take on Derby in Wichita in week two.
H&R BLOCK OF THE GAME
South – Ryan Copeland
Central – Gage Gibson
NEX-TECH WIRELESS PLAYER OF THE GAME
South – Layson Sajdak
Central – Jack Gordon
Central – 19 – 21 – 14 – 0 / 54
South – 7 – 7 – 7 – 7 / 28