In 2018, Riley County and Southeast of Saline met twice. Southeast of Saline won the regular-season showdown 23-21. Riley County claimed a 33-14 victory in the playoffs.
Add another ‘W’ to the column for the Falcons.
Trailing by two in the fourth quarter, Riley County scored on a 25-yard pass by Garrett Harmison to Avrey Brokenicky, the deciding factor in a 33-29 victory at Southeast of Saline Friday night in Gypsum. With the victory, Riley County claimed the Class 2A District 4 championship.
The largest lead of the night was eight by Southeast of Saline after the first score of the contest. Tailback Bryant Banks plunged into the end zone for a one-yard score in the first period. Riley County responded with back-to-back touchdowns. G. Harmison hooked up with Trey Harmison on a 24-yard score, followed by a 38-yard TD run by Deon Macki Barnes to give the Falcons a 15-8 advantage after the opening stanza.
Southeast of Saline (5-2, 2-2 in District 4) countered with two consecutive scores, both on the ground as quarterback Jaxson Gebhardt raced in from seven yards out and Chase Poague scampered to the goal line for a five-yard score, putting the Trojans ahead 22-15. Right before halftime, Riley County trimmed the deficit to one. G. Harmison found T. Harmison again, this time on a 15-yard connection as time expired to make the score 22-21 at the break.
Both defenses adjusted in the second half, mainly the Falcons’ defensive unit. Southeast of Saline pushed the margin out to eight with a four-yard scoring plunge by Gebhardt, but the Trojans failed to score the rest of the way.
RC’s Macki Barnes pulled the Falcons to within two with a five-yard carry in the third quarter. Then in the fourth, Brokenicky created space, receiving a pass from Harmison for the game-winner.
Riley County received little resistance on third downs as the Falcons went 8-of-13. Southeast of Saline was 4-of-12.
SES’ Gebhardt was 15-of-26 passing for 165 yards with one interception. He ran nine times for 41 yards and a pair of scores. Banks finished with 54 yards and a touchdown on 17 totes.
Southeast of Saline wraps up the season at Council Grove (2-5) next Friday.