BY BUDDY TABLER
Special to the News
LARNED — The Larned Indians defense forced three turnovers in a 49-6 Central Kansas League victory over Haven Friday.
The stingy Larned defense held Haven to only 30 yards rushing on 31 attempts. Haven quarterback Thane Unruh completed 11 of 17 for 115 yards, but was intercepted two times.
Larned’s Landon Erway rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns to spark a 244-yard rushing attack. Quarterback Evan Skelton rushed for a TD and completed TD passes to Isiah Perez and Tanner Galliart. Gary Barker and Max Easley scored TDs.
Larned (3-3) travels to Holcomb (4-2) to open Class 4A District play. Haven (1-5) travels to Clearwater.
Larned coach A.B. Stokes said, “This is the kind of performance we needed before beginning District play next week at Holcomb. A good momentum-builder.”
The Indians converted a fumble recovery for a 7-0 lead. Behind running backs Gary Barker and Landon Erway the Indians gashed the Haven defense for big runs. With 10:48 remaining in the first quarter Erway scooted 14 yards for a TD. With 7:43 remaining in the first quarter Erway rambled for 29 yards and a touchdown for a 14-0 lead.
Larned’s Colby Keith had a long punt return to the Haven 33-yard line. Behind Barker and Erway the Indians were quickly on the 5-yard line and with 6:13 remaining QB Evan Skelton scored on a keeper up the middle and following a successful kick for the extra point by David Valadez the Indians led 21-0.
The Indians led 28-0 following a 31-yard pass to wide receiver Tanner Galliart that moved the Indians to first and goal on the 1-yard line and with 55 seconds remaining Gary Barker scored on a blast off tackle and Indian fans prepared to enjoy the halftime festivities.
Larned moved into Haven territory behind a power running game to start the second half. A 15-yard pass for a touchdown from quarterback Evan Skelton was gathered in by Isiah Perez and the Indians had pushed their margin to 35-0 which started a running clock for the rest of the game.
Following a couple of penalties by Larned and two pass completions, the Wildcats finally scored. Quarterback Thane Unruh connected with wide receiver Jeff Hendrixson for a 12-yard touchdown pass. A pass attempt for a two-point conversion was broken up, leaving the score 35-6.
Haven attempted an on-side kick, but Larned recovered with excellent field position. A 25-yard run by Larned’s Gary Barker moved the Indians into scoring territory. With 5:13 remaining, Tanner Galliart latched onto a 13-yard touchdown pass from Skelton pushing the margin to 42-6.
With 2:40 remaining in the game, Larned’s Colby Keith intercepted an Unruh pass and returned it to the Haven 20-yard line. With 1:24 left on the clock Larned running back Max Easley ran 9 yards for a touchdown. Following the successful conversion kick the scoreboard blinked out what would become the final score, 49-6 Larned rushed for 244 yards on 32 carries. Barker had 11 carries for 73 yards and one touchdown and Erway had 115 yards on 11 carries and two touchdowns. Skelton was 3 for 5 passing for 62 yards and two touchdowns. The Indian defense recovered one fumble and intercepted two passes.
Halstead 5-0 6-0
Sterling 3-2 4-2
Hesston 3-1 5-1
Smoky Valley 2-3 2-4
Haven 1-4 1-5
Hillsboro 0-4 0-6
Hoisington 4-0 6-0
Kingman 3-2 3-3
Pratt 3-1 4-2
Nickerson 2-3 2-4
Larned 1-3 3-3
Lyons 0-4 1-5
Larned 49, Haven 6
Hoisington 41, Smoky Valley 6
Halstead 50, Halstead 6
Lyons 39, Hillsboro 6
Hesston 14, Pratt 7
Sterling 28, Kingman 27