Ell-Saline was unable to pull off the upset tonight against the heavily-favored Smith Center Redmen, falling 34-10 against the district champs and defending 1A state runner-up.
Ell-Saline came out hot, stopping the Redmen on their first drive and then getting a 39-yard field goal from Joe Hieschel to make it a 3-0 game. Smith Center responded with an eighty-yard touchdown drive with Bentley Montgomery punching it in from three yards out. The teams traded punts until all-state wideout Griffin Kugler took a reverse 38-yards to the house for the Redmen right before the half to make it 14-3 going to the locker rooms. The second half was more of the same, with Jake Sasse scoring from three yards and Nate Jaeger scoring from eight. A late touchdown strike from Kade Wilson to Garrett Phelps made it 27-10, but a late garbage time TD for Smith Center made it a 34-10 final.
The Redmen move on to face the winner of Sedgwick and Oakley next week, and Ell-Saline will now be moving onto their winter sport seasons following a 4-6 campaign.