The Salina Central Mustangs won their 6th-straight game of the season Friday, defeating the Liberal Redskins 42-10 at Salina Stadium in the first round of the Kansas Class 5A State Football Playoffs.
The Mustangs broke open the scoring with a 2-play, 59-yard touchdown drive capped off by a 36-yard passing score from Parker Kavanagh to Logan Losey less than a minute into the game. Later in the first quarter, Parker Kavanagh would punch it in from a yard out to extend the Mustang’s lead to 14-0.
Shortly thereafter, the Mustangs would get pinned deep inside their own territory and on the first play of the second quarter would get swallowed in their own end zone on a safety for Liberal’s first points of the night.
From there, Liberal would retake possession and begin its most successful offensive drive of the game, bearing down on the red zone, when a Brooks Kappelman pass would get intercepted on the goal line by Salina Central’s Avery Richardson who would navigate the full length of the field of a 100-yard pick six. After that play, Liberal would get tabbed with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, forcing SC to kickoff inside of Liberal territory, so the Mustangs would take a shot at an onside kick and recover it.
Three plays later, Central would score again on another Parker Kavanagh keeper, and the Mustangs would lead 28-2 at the half.
The second half would contain a flurry of penalties on each team. So much so that there would be 23 combined accepted penalties in the game, with several more going unaccepted.
Salina Central would add a 1-yard Micah Moore touchdown run and a 7-yard Kenyon McMillon touchdown run in the second half and extend its advantage to its largest of the game, 42-2; however, Liberal would put together a late touchdown drive, capped off by an 8-yard Trystian Juarez score to get the Redskins to within 42-10.
Liberal’s season comes to a close at 4-5 overall, while Salina Central will advance to 7-2 on the season and into the second round of the 5A playoffs. Salina Central will travel to Wichita Northwest next week in a rematch of Central’s final game of the 2020 season.
SCORE BY QUARTER
Liberal – 0 – 2 – 0 – 8 / 10
Salina Central – 14 – 14 – 7 – 7 / 42