Friday Football Preview: South, Central Tune Up for District Play
Mike Hammett - Fri 06:49 AM 10/05/2012
Andover Central Jaguars (2-3, 1-3 AVCTL Division II) at Salina Central Mustangs (1-4, 1-3 AVCTL Division I)
6:05 Inside High School Football, 6:45 Salina Central Pregame, 7:00 Kickoff
SportsRadio 1150 KSAL
Play-by-play: Mike Hammett. Analyst: Justin Dean.
Two traditional powers meet at Salina Stadium, but both are having seasons that neither program is used to seeing. Salina Central and Andover Central have been mainstays in the state playoffs, but both are struggling as district play approaches next week.
The Mustangs are just 1-4 after falling in Maize on a final second pass play. Coach Mike Hall says he thought his team came together more last week than they had all season, and hopes that’s a positive sign coming into this week’s game. However, the Mustang offense is still looking for consistency. Salina Central has yet to start the same backfield in back-to-back games this season due to injuries.
Andover Central has a pair of wins on the season, but is coming off a heartbreaking loss to cross-town rival Andover High. The Jaguars and Trojans played to a 14-all tie at halftime, and neither team scored until the final seconds. Andover lined up to attempt a field goal, but it missed wide. However, a Jaguar was called for roughing the kicker, and the Trojans converted the second chance at the game-winner in a 17-14 victory.
Both teams have questions on offense as they look for consistency, and hope to see improvement from their defenses. Salina Central has rarely missed the playoffs over the past 20 years, while Andover Central has never missed the playoffs in the 10-year program history. Both teams will try to take advantage of one final tune-up before district play.
Class 5A No. 3 Salina South Cougars (4-1, 3-1 AVCTL Division I) at Newton Railers (2-3, 1-3 AVCTL Division I)
6:50 Salina South Pregame, 7:00 Kickoff
Play-by-play: Todd Pittenger. Analyst: Barry Cairns.
The Salina South Cougars are coming off one of the biggest regular season wins in recent years, knocking off perennial power Hutchinson 35-10 last Friday at Gowans Stadium. This week, the Cougars will try to avoid the trap game again, traveling to Newton before facing rival Salina Central next Friday.
The Cougar offense continues to click on all cylinders. The Cougars are averaging 6.8 yards per carry this season, and all-time leading rusher Cody Busby turned in his second straight four touchdown performance last Friday. Salina South needed just three passes in the win over Hutch, completing all three for 105 yards and a touchdown.
The Cougar defense limited Hutch to just 10 points, but did give up 327 rushing yards to the Salthawks, 10 more than they had given up in four games coming in. However, the Cougars did come up with their ninth interception over the last four games.
Newton is a dangerous 2-3 team which features three-year starter Coleman Kingsley at quarterback, running the Railer spread option offense. The Railers run the ball effectively, but also throw it well with running back Jack Kingsley leading the team in rushing yards and receptions. Newton also had a good night on offense against Hutchinson two weeks ago, hanging 29 points on the Salthawks in a 48-29 loss. The Railers put 48 on the board against Goddard Eisenhower last week in just their second win on the season.
Sacred Heart Knights (4-1 overall, 2-1 NCAA) at Russell Broncos (1-4 overall, 1-4 NCAA)
6:50 Pregame, 7:00 Kickoff
Classic Hits 104.9
Play-by-play: Clarke Sanders. Analyst: Pat Martin.
The Sacred Heart Knights bounced back from their first loss of the season with a nice 30-16 win over Minneapolis last week. The Knight offense racked up 317 yards against the Lions, including 199 on the ground. Nick Wuthnow was the big hitter in the run game, going for 121 yards on carries while scoring a touchdown. The Knights were 7-of-15 through the air, but picked up 118 yards, including 61 to Tony Chavez.
The Knight defense played well, holding Minneapolis to 212 yards, but gave up 205 of those yards on the ground. Coach Bruce Graber is looking for his run defense to step up this week against Russell.
The Broncos will run the football right at the Knights, just like the last two opponents. Russell runs the wishbone offense, and stayed in last week’s game with Southeast of Saline for about two and a half quarters before Southeast pulled away late in the game. The Broncos are wrapping up NCAA play tonight before entering district play next week.
Class 3A No. 5 Beloit Trojans (5-0 overall, 3-0 NCAA) at Southeast of Saline Trojans (3-2 overall, 2-1 NCAA)
The Southeast of Saline Trojans have alternated wins and losses this season, and will try to put together back-to-back wins for the first time. However, they face one of the top offenses and defenses in the entire state.
The Beloit Trojans bring in an offense which is putting up 65.2 points per game and is giving up just 7.6 points per game. The Trojans are averaging 414 rushing yards per game, while four different back have racked up over 300 yards on the season. Defensively, the Trojans are giving up just 145 total yards per game.
Southeast of Saline pulled away late from Beloit last week, with Keenan Breen scoring four touchdowns in the 49-22 win over the Broncos. The Trojans are looking for continued improvement this week before visiting rival Sacred Heart next week to start district play.
Ell-Saline Cardinals (4-1 overall, 1-0 Class 2-1A District 6) at Smith Center Redmen (2-3 overall, 1-0 Class 2-1A District 6)
While three more games remain in district play after this week, the winner between Ell-Saline and Smith Center will be in control of the district and have the inside track to a district championship.
The Cardinals are coming off an impressive 22-0 win over one of last year’s 2-1A semifinalists, the Plainville Cardinals. Ell-Saline’s defense struggled to slow Plainville’s power rushing attack in the first half, but adjusted the second half and held Plainville under 20 yards rushing in the second half. Meanwhile, Ell-Saline kicked the offense into high gear in the third quarter, with Garrett Walker hitting Keegan Hays for a 35-yard score and Justin Schmutz added a 1-yard touchdown run to put Ell-Saline up three scores.
Smith Center has had an uncharacteristic season so far, winning just their second game last week in a 30-0 rout of Washington County. The Redmen opened their season with losses to Norton, Beloit and Phillipsburg, and escaped Oberlin with an overtime win. While the Redmen have struggled by their standards over the past few decades, they are coming off a confidence building win, and will still run the football right at Ell-Saline out of coach Roger Barta’s wishbone offense.