Salina Central comes back to beat Jaguars, 25-24

The Salina Central Mustangs pushed their winning streak to four games as they won a tight contest 25-24 over the Andover Central Jaguars on Friday night at Jaguar Stadium in Andover. The win moves Salina Central to 5-1 this season, 3-1 in AVCTL-II. The Jaguars fall, 1-3 in AVCTL-II with the loss.


The game began with each team trading fumbles as Salina Central running back Elijah Wilson and Andover Central running back Maddox Archibald each lost a fumble on their team’s respective second possessions.


Andover Central got the scoring started as Jace Adler hauled in an 18-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jace Jefferson. That gave Andover Central a 7-0 lead after the first quarter.


The Mustangs responded on their first drive of the second quarter with a 13-play touchdown drive ending with an 8-yard touchdown reception by Ryker Grossner from quarterback Jack Gordon. The Mustangs missed the ensuing PAT, one of three missed extra points on the night.


The Gordon to Grossner connection was integral to the first half. Grossner hauled in 10 passes for 78 yards in half number one, many of those receptions giving the Mustangs a much needed first down.


Andover Central was able to take a 17-6 lead into halftime as they added points on a 30-yard run by Maddox Archibald and a 27-yard field goal by Drew Wilborn, the field goal coming after a second fumble by the Mustangs.


After rushing for just 60 yards in the first half the Mustangs showed a renewed focus on the ground game in the second half. Salina Central rushed for 188 yards as a team in the half, including 184 yards rushing from Elijiah Wilson, who also ran in a pair of touchdowns.


Even more impressive than the offensive showing in the second half was the defensive showing for the Mustangs. Salina Central, after allowing 200 yards of offense in half number one, allowed just 72 yards of offense for Andover Central in the second half.


The Mustangs took their first lead of the game with 3:23 left in the game thanks to a 12-yard touchdown run by Wilson. The touchdown tied the game at 24-24, while the Mustangs took the lead on their one and only successful extra point attempt by Elijiah Duxler which made it 25-24.


Our Nex-Tech wireless player of the game was Elijiah Wilson as he finished the night with 34 carries for 242 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Wilson was the bell-cow back for the second half and was an integral part of his team’s victory.


The H&R Block of the Game goes to defensive lineman James MacKinney, who had a pancake block on Maddox Archibald after Archibald fumbled a swing pass from Jefferson in the second half. MacKinney proceeded to bowl over Archibald, moving him out of the play and allowing the Mustangs to recover a crucial late-game fumble.


Salina Central will now head back home to take on Goddard in their penultimate game of the season next Friday night.