Both top-ranked CPL football teams rolled to easy wins on Friday night. LaCrosse had some help from running back Levi Morss, who ran for 356 yards in a key win.
There are big games, then there are nights like Levi Morss had on Friday. In one of the key games of week 4 around the entire state, the speedy senior demolished the Plainville defense, rushing for 356 yards and fourth touchdowns on just 19 carries. The Leopards (4-0) buried the Cardinals 42-22.
LaCrosse led 18-0 before Plainville got on the board. Kip Keeley broke a 50-yard run for the first score, and Morss followed from 70 yards for an early 12-0 lead. Morss’ four-yard burst in the second quarter gave his team the 18-0 lead. Morss added an 80-yard touchdown late in the third quarter, and scored from 67 yards out midway through the fourth quarter. Keeley also had a solid night with 128 yards on eight carries. William Storie scored the other Leopard touchdown. Quarterback Jack Garcia completed 5-of-6 passes for 74 yards. Keeley caught four of those passes for 49 yards. Storie and Taylor Yohe each had interceptions in the win, giving LaCrosse seven picks in four games.
The No. 1 Eagles continued to fly high on Friday night, handing Hodgeman County its second loss of the season in 58-12 fashion. Ness City, now 4-0 on the year, built a 36-12 lead in the first quarter, then outscored the Longhorns 22-0 in the third quarter to complete the win.
Senior Garrett Flax scored three touchdowns on the night, including a 67-yard punt return, and a 60-yard run. He led the Eagles ground attack with 143 yards on 16 carries. Dalton Gantz and Pedro Flores each added rushing touchdowns. Gantz took 14 carries for 49 yards, and Flores added 33 yards on four carries with a 33 yard burst. Senior quarterback Koltyn Ratliff continued his assault on opposing defenses with 106 yards and three touchdowns on 9-of-14 passing. He did throw his first interception of the year. Trevor Hawkins led the receivers with five catches for 63 yards, catching two touchdown passes. Will Frusher had one catch, a 13-yard touchdown. Defensively, Flax and Ratliff each picked off passes. Ness City now has seven interceptions in just four games.
The Tiger football team picked up another CPL win Friday night against perennial-power Macksville. Trailing 8-0 after one quarter, St. John outscored the Mustangs 54-20 the rest of the way for the 54-28 win. St. John is now 3-1 overall and against league opponents.
Senior Ethan Long ran in from a yard out twice for the first two Tiger scores. He finished with 136 yards, adding a 16-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Spencer Nusser also accounted for three scores with runs of five and two yards, and a 12-yard pass to Francisco Calleros. Nusser completed 10-of-13 passes for 87 yards. Running back Schuyler Brown paced the Tiger offense with 162 yards, including the biggest play of the night, a 55-yard touchdown that gave St. John the lead for good in the third quarter.
The Knights saw perhaps the best team in eight-man football last week in a 52-8 loss to Ness City. Friday, Victoria played host to perennial power Central Plains, a team that has struggled in 2012. The Knights took a 24-8 lead into the half en route to a 40-22 win to improve to 2-2 on the year.
Central Plains scored first, but Bryan Dome took a carry on the next drive 70 yards to get the Knights within two. Eric McAlonan added a four-yard touchdown in the quarter and Victoria never trailed again. In the second quarter, Sam Ottley connected with Noah Dreiling for a five-yard touchdown pass, then McAlonan found the end zone from 14 yards out with just 23 ticks left in the half. Ottley contributed to the final two Knight touchdowns in the fourth quarter, first passing to McAlonan for a 14-yard strike, then punching the final score in from a yard out.
Senior Dylan Wissman already held a sizeable lead over other CPL rushers. He added to his total, going 164 and crossing the goal line six times in the first three quarters as the Cougars took care of Pratt-Skyline 58-20. Otis-Bison improves to 3-1 after last week’s loss to Hoxie.
Skyline had an answer to Wissman’s first quarter touchdown from 30 yards out. The senior added scores from 45 and eight yards out in the second quarter. Kole Urban also pitched in, taking an interception return 10 yards to pay dirt. Otis-Bison led 28-6 at the half. The Cougars poured in on in the third quarter with 30 unanswered points. Wissman scored on runs of 24, 18, and 17 yards, and Urban scored from seven yards out. The T-Birds scored the final 14 points in the fourth quarter with the game already in hand for Otis-Bison. Wissman and Justus Bartonek also led the Cougar defense with 15 tackles each.
The Coyote football team dropped its second-straight game, falling to Kiowa County 50-28. Kinsley fell behind 20-12 in the first quarter and 34-20 by halftime. After a scoreless third quarter, the Mavericks outscored the Coyotes 16-8 in the final quarter. Kinsley is now 1-3 overall with an 0-1 record against CPL opponents after a week two loss to Ness City.
Senior running back Tyson Espinosa scored three of the four Kinsley touchdowns with 159 yards on 21 carries. His longest carry went for 54 yards. Tyler Espinosa was a force on special teams, returning two kicks for 99 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown. Quarterback Nathan Frame was able to move the ball some on 8-of-22 passing for 91 yards, but the senior was picked off twice by the Kiowa secondary. Gustavo Chavez caught the majority of the catches for 66 yards on five receptions. Defensively, Brad Newsom and Anthony Avery each recorded sacks. Frame led the team with eight tackles.
For years, the Mustangs have been a constant contender for the CPL Eight-Man football league title. So far in 2012, Macksville is winless in its first two conference tries. Friday night, St. John handed the ‘Stangs a 54-28 loss. Macksville falls to 1-3 on the year.
The Mustangs managed just 76 rushing yards all night. In the first quarter, quarterback Tanner Tranbarger went to the air, finding Billy Burnett for a 17-yard touchdown and an 8-0 lead. The teams would trade scores in the second quarter, taking a 22-22 tie to halftime. Tranbarger continued to do his part with a 71-yard kick return, and a five-yard touchdown throw to Jordan Welch. St. John scored the next 32 points before Burnett caught another pass from Tranbarger, this time from 13-yards out, for the final score of the game. Tranbarger finished the night with 53 yards on 5-of-11 passing.
Claflin, Quiviria Heights, and Victoria were often in the CPL title hunt. Two of those schools pooled into one, but 2012 has not been kind to either Central Plains nor Victoria. Friday, the Oilers could not climb out of the basement, falling to 0-3 in the CPL, 1-3 overall, with a 40-22 loss.
Chris Woolf led the Central Plains offense all night, and put his side on the board first from a yard out just over four minutes into the game. The Knights would score the next 24 points to lead 24-8 at the break. Woolf scored the lone touchdown of the third quarter on a 20-yard burst, but Victoria answered twice to halt any comeback bids. Bryce Steiner took the final play of the game 16 yards for the other Oiler touchdown. Woolf finished with 135 yards on the night. Steiner completed 5-of-17 passes for 104 yards and two interceptions.