Isaiah Maikori intercepted Salina Central’s pass on third down on the game’s opening drive and the Trojans defense never looked back on Friday night.
The defense, which has been one of, if not the best, in all of Class 5A, showed out in front of their home fans, forcing six turnovers in the 35-6 win over Salina Central.
"That defense likes to fly around," Andover head coach Ken Dusenbury said. "Credit coach Murray and his kids. They work hard to get to that point."
Andover held the Mustangs out of the end zone for the first three quarters and if it was not for a single play, a 47-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth, the Trojans would be looking at back-to-back shutouts.
Before the touchdown run, the quarter scoreless streak had reached eight.
"We want to be the best," Born said. "We think we’re the best and we’re going to continue to try and show that every night."
Every time it felt as if Salina Central was building some momentum, the defense who was without Chandler Goodnight, stepped up. They made stops on fourth down. They got to the Parker Kavanaugh, the quarterback and forced fumbles interceptions and a prayer for the ride home.
"Coach Murray really make us work in practice," Born said. "He really wants to get the most out of us."
The defense held Kavanaugh and the Mustangs, who were averaging almost 280 yards passing per game to only 165 on the night. Three different players had an interception and two others forced fumbles.
Andover had a 14-0 lead at halftime after sophomore quarterback Brady Strausz found Ethan Richardson behind the Mustang secondary for the 39-yard touchdown pass. They would later hook up for a 19-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Middleton finished with 88 yards on 23 carries but a 1-yard dive with 6:47 to go in the third made it 21-0 Trojans and the back had been broken.
Josh Sparks broke it open for a 91-yard touchdown run in the fourth to make the score 35-0 and the Trojans were celebrating.
Sophomore Kenyon McMillan broke free through the middle of the Andover defense for a 47-yard touchdown with 6:17 remaining for Salina Central’s only score.
Three different runners finished with at least 70 yards and the Trojans once again ran for a bunch, finishing with 272 on the night. Strausz, in his first game back since his injury, finished 2-of-10 for 51 touchdowns and 51 yards.
"Man, my O-Line is really what help us," Middleton said. "I’m not going to be able to do it without them.
The Trojans will head on the road for two games, starting in Goddard Eisenhower and Campus for the next two weeks.
"We just have to go and keep it business as usual," Born said. "We can go pretty far if we stay focused."
SALINA CENTRAL 0;0;0;6-6
AND — 40-yard INT return for TD by Quintin Born (Carter Champlin kick good).
AND — 39-yard TD reception by Ethan Richardson from Brady Strausz (Champlin kick good).
AND — 1-yard TD run by Max Middleton (Champlin kick good).
AND — 91-yard TD run by Josh Sparks (Champlin kick good).
SC — 47-yard TD run by Kenyon McMillan (Calvin Hemmer kick no good).
RUSHING — SC: McMillan 6-71; Kavanaugh 11-21; Moore 11-15; Losey 1-0; Mac Hemmer 2-(-4). AND — MIDDLEOTN 23-88; Ngo 12-71; Sparks 3-97; Strausz 3-2, Davis 1-8; Pai 1-4; Robinson 1-2. TOTALS — SC 31-105; AND 44-272
PASSING — SC: Kavanaugh 22-33-4 165 yds. AND — Strausz 3-11-0 70 yds.
RECEIVING — SC: Jackson 9-91; Vidrickson 8-40; McMillan 2-16; Moore 2-9; Hogan 1-9. AND – Richardson 2-58; Klein 1-12