The Salina Central Mustangs were competitive most of the way, but ultimately fell to the Goddard Lions on the road Friday by a score of 36-18.
Central kicked off to start the game and the defense recovered a fumble on the first play from scrimmage. However, the Mustangs lost 11 yards and turned the ball over on downs back to Goddard.
The Lions got to midfield before having to punt. A short kick gave the Mustangs the ball at their own 36. This time, they marched successfully downfield and on the eleventh play of the drive, running back Kenyon McMillan broke loose for an 18-yard touchdown run. The PAT missed wide left and Central led 6-0 with 4:21 to go in the first quarter.
Once again the Mustang defense came up big, stopping the Lions on fourth down at the Mustang 21. Central began moving the ball effectively and an athletic catch by Logan Losey on a third and long play gave the Mustangs first and goal at the one. Running back Micah Moore rumbled in for the touchdown on the next play for a 12-0 lead after the extra point was blocked.
It was at this point with 11:02 left in the second quarter, when the Lions were awoken from their early slumber. Quarterback Kyler Semrad found a favorite target in wide receiver Jake Shope and that combo could not be stopped for the rest of the half. They connected on TD passes of 15, 32 and 18 yards which propelled Goddard to a 22-12 halftime lead.
The Lions took advantage of a pair of short fields for touchdowns in the third quarter. First, Semrad found Soren Carr for a four-yard TD pass and later on Semrad escaped pressure and sprinted up the middle for a 19-yard score. In between, the Mustangs got back on the board when quarterback Parker Kavanagh found wideout Dakota Hogan over the middle for a 61-yard catch and run touchdown.
The Lions led 36-18 after three quarters and the defenses closed it out from there. Goddard (6-1) accumulated 405 yards of offense while Central gained 317. Semrad was 17 of 26 for 263 yards and four touchdowns while Kavanagh was 15 of 28 for 181 yards and the touchdown toss to Hogan. The Mustangs (1-6) got 75 yards on the ground from Moore and 72 from McMillan.
Central now looks ahead to the anticipated matchup next week with cross-town rival Salina South.