From 1991-97, Salina Central dominated the Battle of the Mayor’s Cup.
Now, it’s South’s turn.
The Cougars controlled from start to finish, rolling to a 38-14 victory over the Mustangs at Salina Stadium. It was the seventh consecutive win for South, matching the most by either squad in the rivalry’s 54-game history.
South senior tailback Tanner Parret set the tone. On a third-and-six from the Central 38, he broke loose for a touchdown on the game’s opening drive. Central drove inside the red zone, but turned the ball over on downs. South put together a long drive that bled into the second quarter, ending with a one-yard TD plunge by senior QB Casey Lanoue with 9:12 to play in the half.
The Mustangs strung together a few nice plays before stalling at the Cougar 40-yard line. After both teams traded punts, South had the final drive of the quarter, concluding the half with a 27-yard field goal by senior kicker Fernando Avila-Castro.
The 17-point cushion only grew more in the third with the help of Lanoue. The senior scored on a 36-yard scamper with 7:06 to go in the third. At the 4:22 mark, Lanoue threw a six-yard pass for a score to senior fullback Payton Webb, putting the Cougars ahead 31-0.
Central ended the shut out with a two-yard TD plunge by junior running back Taylon Peters with 6:47 left in the game. South’s Parret added another TD with 2:25 remaining, but Central had the final score on a 33-yard rush by junior Riley Counts.
Salina South had 403 yards on 59 plays while Central racked up 305 yards. The biggest disparity: South was 3-for-4 on fourth-down attempts while Central was 1-for-5.
Birthday boy Parret accumulated 168 yards and two scores on 26 carries. Lanoue finished with 137 rushing yards and two scores. He added another 69 yards and a TD threw the air.
Peters led the charge for Central, settling for 130 yards and a score on 23 carries. Counts had seven rushes for 83 yards and a TD.
Salina South improved to 2-6 and travels to 6-2 Liberal next week to open the Class 5A playoffs. Central’s losing streak increased to 17 games. The Mustangs head to Goddard to start the postseason.