Week one of football showed a possible transition in power in the CPL as powerhouse Macksville lost and Otis-Bison barely escaped St. John.
The Oiler football team went 9-2 in its first year in 2011. With its four rushing leaders gone to graduation, Central Plains still showed its scoring ability with 30 points in the first quarter of Friday’s season-opener against Stafford. The Oilers went on to win the game 38-8.
Quarterback Bryce Steiner and all-around man Layne Bieberle provided most of the fireworks. Steiner found the end zone from a yard out for the opening score. The next three touchdowns would come on Steiner passes, all in the first quarter. First, he connected with Colton Zink for an eight-yard score. Then Joe Barton caught a 26-yard touchdown strike. In the final score of the quarter, Bieberle caught a 21-yard pass for a score. In the final Oiler score of the game, Bieberle returned a punt 47 yards to paydirt in the second quarter. He then caught another Steiner pass for the extra two points and 38-0 lead. Stafford scored its lone touchdown in the third quarter.
The Tiger football team is on the way up. After a 6-3 finish last year, St. John opened the 2012 campaign against eight-man power Otis-Bison. Minus a few blunders late in the first half, the Tigers outplayed the Cougars in a 22-20 loss.
The Tiger defense kept Cougar workhorse Dylan Wissman out of the end zone in the first quarter. In the meantime, quarterback Spencer Nusser scored from seven yards out for a 6-0 lead. Wissman finally found the end zone in the final minute of the second quarter, starting a wave of trouble for the Tigers. On the ensuing drive, Nusser was tackle in the end zone for a safety, giving Otis-Bison its first lead at 8-6. Defending a short field, the Tigers were unable to keep out the Cougars, who scored again with 13 seconds remaining.
Neither team scored in the third quarter, and the Tigers struck first in the fourth quarter on a 17-yard pass from Nusser to Dean Wade. Nusser completed the two-point pass to Ethan Long for a 16-14 score with 10:26 to play. Otis-Bison scored but missed on the conversion to leave the door open for St. John. The Tigers did not disappoint with Omar Ramirez catching a three-yard pass from Nusser with 3:32 to play. The two-point try failed, however, and St. John could not make up the difference.
Nusser finished the night with 141 yards and two touchdowns on 11-of-27 passing. Wade had 80 of those yards receiving.
The Eagle football team got off to a strong start with a 54-8 win against Kinsley in Friday’s season-opener. The performance is even stronger than the final score indicates as Ness City led 46-8 at the half.
Most of the offense came on the ground via four runners who combined for 252 yards and six touchdowns. Leading the way, Garrett Flax took 12 carries for 132 yards and three touchdowns. Dalton Gantz added 43 yards and two scores on 10 carries, and Pedro Flores used a 38-yard run to finish with 49 yards on two carries. Quarterback Koltyn Ratliff rushed for 28 yards and threw for another 27 yards and touchdown on 3-of-4 passing.
The Eagle defense was also a factor. Blake McVicker and Joey Rufenacht each recorded two sacks, and McVicker and Ratliff each had interceptions in the win. Will Frusher added a fumble recovery for a score.
The Mustangs have been one of the premiere eight-man teams in central Kansas for several season. With several key players missing in 2012, including longtime quarterback Seth Filbert and running back Adam Oak, Macksville showed its new vulnerability on Friday with a 34-20 loss to CPL-foe Victoria.
The Mustangs would not go away early. Trailing 6-0 in the first quarter, Tanner Tranbarger went 20 yards to tie up the game. He added another score from a yard out in the second quarter to give Macksville a 12-6 edge.
From there, it was all Victoria. The Knights scored the next four touchdowns to take a 34-12 lead into the final quarter. Tranbarger again found the end zone in the final quarter, again from a yard out, but the Mustangs would never get close. Tranbarger rushed for 103 yards in the loss, but struggled in the air, completing just 5-of-23 passes for 79 yards and throwing two interceptions.
The Cougars escaped a shocker on Friday night, narrowly beating out St. John 22-20. The eight-man power used a second quarter safety to defeat the up-and-coming Tigers.
The Cougars failed to find the end zone in the first quarter. Trailing 6-0 in the second quarter, Dylan Wissman finally cross the end line with less than a minute to play in the first half. It was on the next play from scrimmage that the Cougar defense tackled Tiger quarterback Spencer Nusser for the safety. That gave the Cougars an 8-6 lead, and with a short field on its next possession, Kole Urban was able to score with 13 seconds left for a 16-6 halftime lead.
After a scoreless third quarter, St. John would battle in the fourth. Still leading 16-14, Wissman broke a 26-yard run to give his side a 22-14 lead. St. John would score one more time, but the Cougar defense stopped the two-point conversion to hold on for the win. Wissman finished with 173 rushing yards.
Things did not go easily as expected in week one for the returning Class 2-1A runner-up football team, but the Leopards did escape Ellis with a 16-6 win. Despite only three touchdowns in the game, there was some offense as both sides combined for more than 450 yards.
Most of that came on the ground for LaCrosse, and most of their rushing yardage came from Levi Morss, who accounted for 182 yards on 17 carries. Half his yardage came on just two carries: a 50-yard burst, and a 41-yard run that led to the first score of the game in the first quarter. Ellis answered in the second quarter. Still ahead 8-6 in the third quarter, Jack Garcia found the end zone from five yards out for the final tally.
Kip Keeley added 45 yards on 11 carries, and quarterback Garcia finished with 24 rushing yards, and 39 passing yards, completing 3-of-7 pass tries. The Leopard defense again held, sacking Blake Hudson four times, and Keeley and William Storie continued LaCrosse’s strong tradition in the secondary with interceptions.