Top-ranked LaCrosse (2-1A) and Ness City (Eight-man, Div. I) both moved to 3-0. No. 3 Otis-Bison (Eight-man, Div. II) was not so lucky with a loss to Hoxie.
The No.1 Eagle football continues to fly high. For the third week in a row, Ness City allowed just one touchdown, this time in a 52-8 win against Victoria. The Eagles have now outscored opponents 164-24 in the first three weeks of action.
Friday, Ness City (3-0) did most of its damage on the ground, using six backs to roll up 283 yards. Dalton Gantz put the Eagles on the board from 14 yards out for the first of two touchdowns. Garrett Flax added a first quarter touchdown for a 16-0 lead. Quarterback Koltyn Ratliff threw for the next score, a 27-yard strike to Blake McVicker. Then Ratliff ran in from four yards out for a touchdown. He paced the team with 91 rushing yards on 14 carries, and threw for another 97 yards on 6-of-7 passing. Flax added the longest touchdown of the night from 30 yards out. Gantz finished the night with 77 yards on 12 carries, and Flax added 64 yards on 11 carries. Gantz also had two catches for 54 yards. Defensively, Flax and Will Frusher each picked off passes.
The other top-ranked CPL team also moved to 3-0 on Friday. The Class 2-1A Leopards opened their contest against Minneapolis with 39 unanswered points in a 39-7 win against the Lions.
Running back Levi Morss had a huge night on the ground. The speedy senior wasted no time, going 63-yards for the first score of the game just 1:44 in. He finished with 191 yards on 15 carries. Senior Kip Keeley then took over, scoring the next four touchdowns, splitting duties with two rushing scores and two touchdown receptions from Jack Garcia. With the help of a 52-yard pass from Garcia in the third quarter, Keeley finished with 119 yards on four receptions, adding 48 rushing yards on 12 carries. Garcia has progressed all season, completing 9-of-19 passes for 175 yards in games one and two combined. Friday, the sophomore went 10-of-14 for 200 yards and two scores. Defensively, Garcia added an interception. The Leopard defense has five picks in three games this year.
After a rare 0-2 start, the Mustang football picked up its first win of the year on Friday. Barely. After building a 22-0 lead, Kiowa County scored 24 of the game’s final 30 points, but Macksville was able to hang on for a 28-24 win.
With three Macksville players on the Kansas State football team roster, including longtime quarterback Seth Filbert, new quarterback Tanner Tranbarger stepped up on Friday with a hand in each of the first three scores. He ran in from 15 yards out, then hit Jordan Welch for the two-point try. He added a six-yard touchdown, then went to Adolfo Ibarra for a 50-yard strike before running in the conversion himself for the 22-0 lead late in the third quarter.
Kiowa scored just 34 seconds later, adding a second score midway through the fourth quarter. Tranbarger’s one-yard score with 1:10 to play proved to be the difference as Kiowa added its final score in the final 15 seconds of play.
A few years ago, no one might have guessed that St. John would take down Central Plains on the gridiron. The 2012 Tiger team also already proved itself, but the squad took it a step further on Friday, thumping the Oilers 35-0 to move to 2-1 on the year.
After a scoreless first quarter, St. John finished strong with two scores in the second and fourth quarters. The Tiger defense held the Oilers to just 100 yards of total offense, including just one rushing yard. Ethan Long scored the first touchdown from a yard out midway through the second quarter. He would later add scores of two and 10 yards. Spencer Nusser’s 25-yard pass to Dean Wade in the final minute of the first half gave the Tigers a 14-0 lead. Schuler Brown scored the lone touchdown in the third quarter from 27 yards out just 3:02 into the new half.
For a long time, the Knights dominated eight-man football in Central Kansas. Friday night, Victoria had to take on one of the new leaders in No. 1 Ness City. The Eagles flexed their wings, taking a 36-0 lead into the half before the Knights (1-2) 52-8.
Ness City went on to lead 44-0 before Clayton Roth scored the lone Victoria touchdown from two yards out in the third quarter. The Eagle defense held the Knight ground attack in check all night, allowing just 70 yards on 34 carries. Sam Ottley led the way with 38 yards on 14 carries, and threw for another 81 yards on 9-of-19 passing. He also threw two interceptions. Roth finished his night with 21 yards on nine carries. Noah Dreiling led the receivers with four catches for 48 yards.
The wins haven’t come quite as easily for the Cougar football team this year. Friday night, No. 3 Otis-Bison hung around for three quarters against Hoxie, but the Indians piled on 24 unanswered points in the fourth quarter for a 56-22 win. The Cougars drop to 2-1 and to No. 5 in some polls.
Otis managed just one touchdown in each of the first three quarters, trailing 26-16 at the half, and 32-22 after three quarters. A week after rushing for 307 yards, senior Dylan Wissman was held to a season-low 109 yards and two scores on 24 carries. Quarterback Kole Urban contributed most of the remaining offense with 33 yards on 17 carries, and 47 yards and a score on 4-of-10 passing. Justus Bartonek had two catches for 27 yards, including the touchdown catch. Defensively, Urban led the Cougars with 13 tackles, and Bartonek recorded 12 tackles.
After a week one win, things have gone downhill for the Oiler football team. Friday night, Central Plains managed just one rushing yard in a 35-0 loss to up-and-coming St. John.
With neither side looking stellar on offense, the Oilers turned the ball over four times, simply giving St. John more chances to score. The Tigers turned two Bryce Steiner interceptions into scores in the win, but Central Plains also gave up two offensive tries on fumbles. With just three starters left offensively in the second half after graduation and injuries, Steiner was the lone bright spot of the game for the Oilers, completing 5-of-19 passes for 99 yards.