The home-opener of the 2023 season was a tall task for the Salina Central Mustangs, as they welcomed in the Goddard-Eisenhower Tigers to Salina Stadium on Friday night. The AVCTL-II contest pitted a pair of 1-0 teams against each other, with the Tigers having won the last four meetings in the series.
Salina Central would strike first on a 54 yard touchdown run by tailback Elijah Wilson, just one chunk of his unofficial 173 rushing yards on the night. The Mustangs would botch the extra point try and hold an early 6-0 lead.
Eisenhower would answer back with. 75 yard touchdown run from their quarterback Derek Morgan, the team’s first offensive touchdown of the season.
The Mustangs answered back with another score from Wilson, giving Central a 12-7 lead after a failed two point conversion.
The Tigers would answer back yet again, scoring on a highlight-worthy catch by wide receiver Chase George, who dragged his foot just inside of the back of the end zone to haul in a 38 yard touchdown pass from Morgan and give the Tigers the lead once again. They’d tack on another rushing score from Morgan and take a 20-12 lead into the locker room.
In the second half, the Eisenhower offense would allow the Tigers to pull away, outscoring Central 24-16 in the final 24 minutes of action, guiding the Tigers to a 44-28 win in their AVCTL-II opener.
In total, Central’s Elijah Wilson totaled 255 total yards of offense and two touchdowns. While Quarterback Jack Gordan threw for 300 yards and a score. Hunter Mowery caught 10 passes for 71 yards, while Ryker Grossner would snag seven catches for 65 yards in the loss.
Eisenhower’s Lucas Dickman was impressive on the night, rushing for 208 yards and two scores, while Morgan rushed for a pair of scores and threw for 175 yards and two more scores.
The win improved Eisenhower to 2-0 on the season, their first 2-0 start in program history, as a school that opened in 2011 and began playing football in 2012. They’ll visit Valley Center next week.
Central falls to 1-1 on the season in the loss and will travel out of league to face Emporia High next Friday.
Nex-Tech Wireless Player of the Game: Elijah Wilson
H&R Block of the Game: Anthony Ortigoza-Austin
Eisenhower – 7 – 13 – 17 – 7 / 44
Salina Central – 6 – 6 – 8 – 8 / 28