The Salina Central Mustangs left it all out on the field Friday night as they scratched, clawed, and fought for the full four quarters against the undefeated Goddard Lions. However, the number one team in Class 5A proved to be too much as Goddard pulled away for a 60-13 win.
Goddard quarterback Blake Sullivan, who had played only one half in the past two weeks due to injury, scored on a 1-yard touchdown run with 8:10 to go in the 1st. After a 2-point conversion, Goddard led 8-0.
With 5:34 remaining in the 1st, Central makeshift quarterback Taylon Peters took a Wildcat snap and galloped 78 yards to pay dirt, drawing the Mustangs within one, 8-7. The longest play from scrimmage all night might have been the play that woke a sleeping giant. Goddard would rattle off 31 points unanswered to pull away. It was 39-7 Goddard with 2:58 to go in the 2nd quarter, after a weaving touchdown run by Sullivan from 21 yards away.
Central’s final drive of the 1st half saw a medley of Goddard penalties. The Mustangs capitalized with a Peters 5-yard touchdown run with 24 seconds to go before intermission. It was 39-13 Goddard at halftime.
In the second half, Sullivan found the end zone for the third time on the ground with 9:21 to go, making it 46-13 Lions. He then threw a laser of a pass to Owen Beason from 27 yards out with 8:23 left in the 3rd, giving Goddard a 53-13 lead. With a running clock, the Lions would strike one more time, on a 65 yard jet sweep touchdown run by Kalen Hoefer at the 6:32 mark of the 3rd period.
With Brogen Richardson and Jackson Kavanagh sidelined due to injury, Peters and Logan Horst rotated at quarterback for the Mustangs. Peters finished the night with a season high 211 yards on 18 attempts and two touchdowns. Horst had 17 yards rushing, on 11 carries. Riley Counts had an 80-yard end around touchdown run called back due to a holding penalty in the 4th quarter. He finished the night with 11 yards on two rushing attempts.
For Goddard, running back Ben Bannister had 16 totes for 217 yards; a staggering 13.5 yards per attempt average. Sullivan accounted for five of Goddard’s touchdowns and finished 7-15 passing for 113 yards. He had 60 yards on the ground.
With the first round playoff loss, Salina Central finishes the season 0-9 for the second consecutive season. Goddard moves to 9-0 and hosts Andover next Friday in the second round of the Class 5A playoffs.
By James Westling