Central Plains advances with 50-0 win over Peabody-Burns
CLAFLIN, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - Injuries hurt the Central Plains football team in 2019. In week one, the Oilers went toe-to-toe with a Ness City team that ended last season at 8-2. But injuries piled up and perennially tough Central Plains finished the year at 2-7, missing the playoffs for just the second time in school history.
Injuries have again been a factor in 2020 but this time the Oilers have battled through. Central Plains entered Thursday’s 8-Man, Div. II playoff opener with one tough loss to Victoria. With senior Cole Lamatsch back in the mix, Central Plains advanced to round two with a quick 50-0 rout of Peabody-Burns.
“I’m real thrilled with how our kids played because, being beat up, this could have gone not so well for us,” said Oiler coach Chris Steiner. “It’s good they all showed up for us, played hard, and got the win.”
Defense could have been a question as Peabody running back Noal Reynolds entered the night with 769 yards in seven games. The junior reached the century mark in all seven games this season. Thursday proved to be a different story. A banged up Reynolds was held to just 18 yards on 10 carries, and the Warriors put up just 48 yards of total offense. Peabody did not pick up a first down until nearly midway through the second quarter.
The Oiler offense, meanwhile, rolled most of the night. After a turnover to start the game, Central Plains scored on each of its final six drives. Junior Dawson McNeal accounted for three of those scores, running 21 yards on the second Oiler drive for the first points of the night.
Central Plains also benefited from a short field much of the night, taking over on the Warrior half on five different drives. Senior Michael Menges scored from nine yards out on the third Oiler drive for a 16-0 score with 2:58 to play in the first.
McNeal took the first play of the next Oiler drive 26 yards for the score. After a Warrior turnover on downs, Central Plains finally slowed on offense. Facing fourth-and-17, junior Cole Lamatsch pulled in a diving catch from Michael Laymon to keep the drive alive. Laymon punched it in from a yard out two plays later for a 32-0 lead.
Lamatsch was huge in his first real game back from an injury suffered against Victoria in week five. He picked off a pass on the next Peabody possession, and his unlikely 47-yard punt return late in the game set up the mercy-rule win.
“I started him on defense last week and he was in for one series and didn’t look real good injury-wise,” Steiner said. “When (Jacob) Oberle went out I had to bring him in. The longer the game went on the stronger he got. It’s great to have him back. He’s still not 100 percent but having him back on the offensive side of the ball is huge for us.”
Laymon found a wide-open Karter Beck for a 45-yard strike but that 2-point try failed. A few minutes later, McNeal scored his third touchdown of the game but that 2-point try also failed to set the score at 44-0 with 2:46 to play in the first half.
Peabody stopped the clock three times on the ensuing possession and a personal foul penalty backed up the Warriors. That set up the big punt return from Lamatsch to secure the early win.
Junior quarterback Philip Young paced the Warrior ground attack with 27 yards on eight carries. He completed just one of his eight pass attempts for 10 yards with an interception.
McNeal had the big night for Central Plains with 85 yards and three scores on seven touches. Laymon added 43 yards on seven carries, and Menges finished with 30 yards on four attempts. Laymon missed on his first two pass tries of the night but completed his final two for a total of 67 yards and a touchdown.
Peabody-Burns still claims a winning season at 5-4. Central Plains moves to 6-1 overall and plays the winner of Friday night’s game between Wilson and Caldwell.
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