The Andover Trojans ended both their winning streak and their season Friday when the Salina Central Mustangs defeated them.
The Trojans lost 48-12 to the Mustangs.
The first quarter of the game was uneventful, with neither team scoring, nor gaining any significant plays over the other. However, things started getting difficult for the Trojans in the second quarter.
Salina Central scored early in the second quarter, leading the Trojans by seven points. Soon after, senior Steven Young gained 67 yards for the Trojans, bringing them to the two-yard mark on the field. After a couple of plays where they were pushed back a few yards, junior Cole Rasmussen gained the last two yards and scored a Trojan touchdown. The score was then the closest it was during the game: 7-6 in favor of the Mustangs.
At 5:28 in the second quarter, Salina Central scored again, extending their lead to 14-6. The Mustangs scored again shortly after, bringing their lead over Andover to 21-6.
However, the Trojans didn’t let the Mustangs stay that far ahead for too long, with senior Miles Starks catching a long pass, gaining 55 yards for the Trojans and scoring the only other Trojan touchdown. The game went into halftime with a score of 21-12.
In the third quarter, Salina Central bounced back into the game. They scored three times during the third quarter, extending their lead 42-12 by the end of the third quarter.
During the final quarter, the Mustangs kept extending their lead. With two more Mustang touchdowns, Salina Central eventually took victory over the Trojans with a 48-12 win, allowing the Mustangs to continue on with the playoffs.
Head coach Mike Lee attributed part of the loss to Salina Central’s physical side.
“They physically whipped us,” Lee said. “We hung in there the first half and you can’t come out and go dead in the fourth quarter like we did and they had a lot to do with that.”
Lee said that he thinks his team is not physically big up front.
“They just kept pounding and pounding on us,” he said. “They’re a good team. They’re gonna be a solid playoff team.”
In addition, Lee said he was feeling optimistic at halftime, when the Mustangs only led by nine points.
“We were thinking we were in decent shape at halftime and they just physically took us,” he said. “You gotta make plays when you get a chance to make them and we didn’t necessarily do that, especially in the third quarter.”
Page 2 of 2 - Lee said despite Salina Central’s record (4-5 going into the game), it was deceiving when looking at their plays on film.
“You look at who’s beat them and real good teams have beat them,” Lee said. “They’ve got good players, they’re a good team. And they played better than us tonight.”
While Lee isn’t thinking much about next season, he mentioned that his team is relatively young and that a number of good players will return next year. In addition, Lee said he wants his team to remember the success they had this season.
“That’s what you try to tell high school kids after the game,” he said about their record of 9-1. “They’re not gonna think about it now, but down the road, they will remember some really big players and some really good games.”