To open 2018, the Salina Central Mustangs ended an 18-game losing skid.
The streak busters were at it again at Salina Stadium.
Senior Taylon Peters racked up over 200 yards of total offense, classmate Ben Driver and the defense held South out of the end zone, and the Mustangs snapped a seven-game spell against the Cougars with a 27-3 victory in the Battle for the Mayor’s Cup. SC’s last win against South was on Oct. 15, 2010 when the Stangs won 31-28.
The first half featured a defensive battle as neither defense wanted to budge. Central quarterback Jackson Kavanagh drove the ball deep into Cougars territory, but South sophomore corner A.J. Johnson picked off a pass at the one to stop the attack.
Later in the quarter, SC stared at a 4th and 10 from the South 32-yard line, and Kavanagh delivered a missile to junior Logan Heigele for the game’s first TD with 7:03 remaining in the half. South had a chance to score with little time remaining, but quarterback Terran Galloway tossed an interception down the middle to SC senior Michael Russell, keeping the score at 7-0 at the half.
Late in the third frame, the Cougars strung together a solid offensive drive. South stalled near the 10, though, settling for a 29-yard field goal by Eric Rincon with 3:18 left.
Central took over from there with its big play capability. After a sack, Jackson Kavanagh had to exit the game. His freshman brother, Parker, stepped in, lobbed a screen pass to Peters, who took the pigskin to the house for a 58-yard TD with 1:17 to play in the third.
Driver set up the next scoring drive for the Mustangs after a punt return to the Cougar 24. The ensuing play was a scoring scamper by Peters early in the fourth. Driver iced the game with a 22-yard TD catch from Jackson Kavanagh and added an interception for good measure, making him the Salina Ortho Player of the Game. Peters finished with 152 yards and a TD on 24 carries to go with the TD reception.
Salina Central (2-1, 1-1 AVCTL-I) stays at Salina Stadium Friday to battle Hutchinson on Sports Radio 1150 KSAL. Salina South (0-3, 0-1) heads to Haysville to challenge the Campus Colts on Y93.7.