BY BUDDY TABLER
Special to the Tribune
HAVEN — In a battle of two elite Central Kansas League quarterbacks, it came down to the all-important extra points as Haven edged Larned Friday in a CKL shootout 46-43.
Both teams scored six touchdowns. Haven converted 5 of six two-point conversions while Larned converted one two-pointer and five extra-point kicks in a 3-point loss.
Haven quarterback Darby Roper was a handful for the Larned defense with 171 yards rushing and 81 yards passing for 252 total yards. Meanwhile, Larned’s Dillan Smith completed 16 of 30 passes for 315 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for 42 yards.
“You saw the two best quarterbacks in the CKL in Dillan Smith and Darby Roper,” said Larned coach Tad Remy. “Roper is an outstanding athlete. We had trouble keeping him in the pocket. When we had them down 21-8, he willed his team back into the game.”
Haven struck first on an 11-yard touchdown run by Roper at 6:57 of the first quarter and a 2-point conversion run made it 8-0. Larned scored the next 21 points on a 4-yard run by Jace Snyder, a 5-yard pass reception by Jack Stelter and a 45-yard pass reception by Fernando Herrera.
Then the fireworks started.
Haven’s Nathan Schmidt ran 12 yards for a touchdown with 91 seconds left in the first half. Larned’s Andreus Tucker returned the ensuing kickoff 79 yards for a touchdown for a 29-16 Larned lead.
On the Indians’ kickoff, Haven’s Darby Roper rambled 95 yards for a touchdown. Following a 2-point conversion, Larned led 29-24 at halftime.
Haven’s offense scored 22 consecutive points to start the second half for a 46-29 lead.
Larned’s offense got untracked, but 14 straight points was not quite enough.
Haven recovered an onside kick with 1:31 remaining in the game and was able to run out the clock.
“The first 21 minutes of the second half really hurt us,” Remy said. “We had two interceptions that really hurt. We didn’t score and let Haven get too big a lead. I was proud of the way our kids battled back but we made too many mistakes.”
Haven enjoyed a big night rushing the football as the Wildcats gained 329 yards on the ground with 7 pass completions for 81 yards.
Larned’s Smith completed 16 of 30 passes for 315 yards. The Indian ground attack netted 113 yards with Jace Snyder 39 yards and Logan Erway 38 yards.
Larned (0-2) will play Pratt (1-2) for Homecoming while Haven (2-1) plays Marion next week.
RUSHING—L—20-122; Smith 9-42; Snyder 5-37; Erway 5-37; Tucker 1-6
PASSING—L—Smith 19-35-0; 356
RECEIVING—L—Stelter 6-134; Herrera 5-85; Tucker 3-80; Snyder 3-31; Erway 1-17; Wilson 1-9
3A DISTRICT 8
9-4—Cheney 38, Kingman 14, Holcomb 29, Cimarron 19; Colby 35, Hugoton 6; Hillsboro 40, Nickerson 14; Hoisington 34, Pratt 13
9-11—Hoisington 35, Larned 19; Cheney 54, Belle Plaine 7; Halstead 36, Nickerson 0; Holcomb 30, Scott City 13;, Hugoton 28, Ulysses 6; Pratt 20, Girard 19
9-18—Haven 46, Larned 43; Holcomb 38, SW Heights 12; Hugoton 63, Guymon, Okla. 13; Cheney 44, Garden Plain 7; Hesston 24, Pratt 15; Atchison Maur Hill 40, Nickerson 6
9-25—*Holcomb at Nickerson; *Hugoton at Cheney; *Pratt at Larned