Ell-Saline Cardinals was back in sub-state semifinal action Friday night as they would travel to Leoti to take on the Class 8-man DI defending champions and #1 team in the class the Wichita County Indians. The Indians were coming in the game on a 24-game winning streak with the Cardinals coming in with a 10-game run of their own. The rushing attack of the Indians proved to be just too much for the Cardinals to handle as they would coast to a 64-28 victory.
Wichita County would strike first with a 3-yard touchdown run by running back Cashton Young and the Indians would take an early lead 8-0.
Then after a Cardinal fumble Indians quarterback Wyatt Gardner would call his own number and scamper in from 16 yards out and Wichita County led 16-0.
The Indians would add another score in the 1st quarter as Wyatt Gardner would connect with Cashton Young on 18-yard touchdown pass and it was quickly 24-0.
Ell-Saline would answer though as they would use just one play as quarterback Marshall Johnson would find Joe Hiechel with a beautiful 43-yard touchdown pass and the Cardinals trailed 24-6 after the 1st quarter.
The Indians would get the scoring started in the 2nd quarter as running back Khris Hermosillo would find paydirt from 14 yards out to extend the Wichita County lead to 32-6.
Ell-Saline would answer again with a 1 play strike, this time it was Johnson finding wide receiver Kas Kramer with a 41-yard touchdown pass as the Cardinals tried to close the gap.
Wichita County would add two more rushing touchdowns before the break, one by Gardner and the other by Hermosillo and the Indians took a 48-14 lead into the locker room.
Ell-Saline would come out of the locker room with something to prove and would score first as Marshall Johnson would connect with Kas Kramer again this time for 18 yards and it was 48-22.
Wichita County would answer though as Cashton Young would score his 2nd rushing touchdown of the game and 3rd touchdown overall.
Ell-Saline would score one more time in the ballgame as Marshall Johnson would throw his 4th touchdown pass of the game and 2nd to Joe Hiechel as the two would connect on a quick slant on 4th and goal.
The Indians would add one more touchdown as well as Hermosillo would pound it in from the 1-yard line for his 3rd score of the game and the Wichita County Indians would win 64-28.
With the loss Ell-Saline finishes their season with a 10-2 overall record.
With the win Wichita County moves to 12-0 on the season and advances to play in a State Championship game in Newton next Saturday. The Indians will try to go back-to-back against a tough Lyndon Tigers team who also comes in at 12-0.
Nex-Tech Wireless Player of the Game: Marshall Johnson
H&R Block of the Game: Defensive Line (Reese Krone, Victor Ruiz-Torres, Jacob Tillberg, Melvin Lutes)
Ell-Saline – 6 – 8 – 14 – 0 / 28
Wichita County – 24 – 24 – 8 – 8 / 64