On Friday the 13th, the Salina Central Mustangs were celebrating the football careers of 13 seniors.
Maize knew to quickly let the air out of the jacked crowd.
The Eagles struck gold on their fourth offensive play of the game and never looked back, blowing by the Salina Central Mustangs 39-14 at Salina Stadium.
Maize’s defense set the tone, forcing Central to a quick three-and-out. After getting great field position, senior tailback Dalyn Johnson used his speed to score from 41 yards out with 8:59 to go in the first.
Central had its chance to knot up the score later in the opening stanza. Maize junior quarterback Caleb Grill mishandled a handoff at the Eagle 21-yard line. The Mustangs brought the ball inside the 10, but stalled to settle for a field goal. Junior running back Taylon Peters missed on the kick, leaving Central empty-handed.
Maize’s response was a long drive that bled into the second quarter. Grill dropped back to pass and found senior receiver Brayden Payne on a slant to the middle for a 10-yard TD. Moments later, the Mustangs set up a Wildcat formation. While a man ran in motion, the snap was mistimed, allowing the ball to ricochet off the man right to Maize senior safety Jalen Johnson. Johnson scooped up the ball and scored from 23-yards out to make it 21-0 Maize with 9:33 to go in the half. Senior kick Ethan Kingrey padded the cushion with a 29-yard field goal to put the Eagles in control at the half 24-0.
Central’s two scores came from junior quarterback Brogen Richardson. After a 13-yard TD run by Maize’s Johnson, Richardson led the charge downfield. Senior tight end Logan Horst reeled in a pass in the end zone for a 14-yard TD with 2:51 remaining in the third. Richardson and Johnson each scored on one-yard plunges in the final frame.
Salina Central dropped to 0-7, increasing its losing streak to 16 games. The Mustangs look to snap the skid versus the Salina South Cougars next Friday.