The City of Andover, Kansas temporarily became known as Turnover City on Friday night. At least that was the case at Jaguar Stadium on the campus of Andover Central High School where the Salina Central Mustangs took the field for their Week 6 game against the Jaguars.
The Mustang defense, much maligned through the first five weeks of the season, turned in a terrific effort, forcing five Jaguar turnovers including four interceptions by Jaxon Kolzow alone. In most cases, gaining five turnovers would be enough to ensure victory, but not when the same number of turnovers are given to the opposition. Yes, the Mustangs were so sloppy that they also had five turnovers, thus offsetting the effort by the defense. Andover Central rode the results of a quick start to a 27-7 win.
The Jaguars took the opening kickoff and marched 65 yards, and the drive was capped by a 2-yard touchdown run by Jacob Rees to put Andover Central up 7-0 with 9:22 left in the first quarter.
The Mustangs would lose a fumble on their second offensive play, and on the ensuing play, Jaguar QB Chase White found wideout Jack Bell for a 24-yard touchdown pass. The PAT failed and the Jaguars led 13-0.
For the rest of the first half, neither team could stop turning the ball over. Mustang QB Parker Kavanagh was picked off twice while Kolzow intercepted White three times.
In the second quarter, Andover Central had two drives that got inside the Mustang 10. On the first, White’s pass to the goal line was picked by Kolzow a yard deep in the endzone. On the next Jaguar series, they had 2nd and goal inside the one yard line and then Jaguar running back Ashton Barkdull lost the ball while being hit right before the goal line and Dakota Hogan fell on the loose ball.
The score remained 13-0 late into the second, but the Mustangs’ inability to move the ball successfully kept putting the defense in rough spots.
Andover Central once again drove inside the Mustang 10. At the five-yard line, Rees fumbled but White alertly hustled over to pick up the ball and run in for a touchdown with 1:51 left in the half. The Jaguars would take a 19-0 lead into halftime.
About halfway through the third quarter, another Jaguar drive ended on a Kolzow INT, this one gave the Mustangs the ball at their own 8. And finally, Salina Central put a drive together. Kavanagh hit EZ Jackson for a 35-yard gain, then Kavanagh busted loose for a 31-yard run, helped by an excellent downfield block by Hogan. Shortly after, Kavanagh threw an 18-yard touchdown to Hogan and with 6:02 left in the third, the Mustangs trailed 19-7.
The defense got another stop and the offense began to move downfield again. From the Jaguar 22, Kavanagh threw to the right side but was intercepted by Bell, who broke a tackle and raced 90 yards for a back-breaking pick-six. White threw a successful two-point conversion pass and with 1:32 left in the third, the Jaguars had reestablished control, leading 27-7.
Both defenses held firm in the fourth quarter and there was no further scoring. Not only did the Mustang defense keep the game competitive most of the way, they did it while having to stay on the field for a long time. The Jaguars held the ball for 30:37 of the 48 minutes. The Mustangs made a concerted effort to establish the run that had worked so well for them a week earlier, but the Jaguar defense got consistent penetration which affected not only the run, but the pass protection as well.
Andover Central moved to 4-1 overall while the Mustangs are 1-5. They are scheduled to play at Goddard next Friday.