Salina South saw the NCAA Division I potential of Maize quarterback Avery Johnson.
The junior four-star signal caller with 17 offers from a variety of schools in different Power Five conferences scored five times, leading the Eagles to a 57-27 win over Salina South Friday night at Salina Stadium. Maize jumped to 4-1 while South fell to 1-4.
Four plays of 55 yards or more were the difference in the first half. On the second Maize drive, Johnson kept the ball on an option play and found paydirt from 61 yards out. Johnson added another score from long range, this time from 62 yards out late in the first. He added a 63-yard bomb to Bryce Cohoon to increase the margin to 21-0 with 45 seconds off the board in the second.
Salina South constructed a scoring drive midway through the second. Quarterback Weston Fries found receiver Carter Copes for a 31-yard connection. Four plays later, Fries hooked up with target Zach Davidson for a 19-yard score on a 4th and 9.
Maize didn’t settle with a 21-7 score. Instead, Johnson rifled a pass to a wide open Landon Helm for 55 yards with under a minute to play. The ensuing play – touchdown, a 15-yard strike from Johnson to Justin Stephens to stretch the lead to 28-7 at the break.
Salina South forced Maize to punt to start the third, but Fries was picked off, setting up an 11-yard TD run by Daeshaun Carter. Maize increased the margin to 43-7 after a 22-yard pass by Johnson to Helm.
The game ended with scores on the next five drives. For South, Fries found Te’Jon McDaniel on a 17-yard score. Then Fries lofted a pass in the back of the end zone for Laken Webb from 17 yards out. Ian Andalon wrapped up the scoring with a three-yard run with 1:27 to go in the game.
Fries had 324 yards of offense with three passing touchdowns.
Salina South heads to Hutchinson next Friday.