LARNED – On Halloween night, a night of tricks and treats, it was the Pratt Greenbacks that pulled the trick and got the treat as they edged by the Larned Indians 21-19 in football action Friday. The win allows Pratt to advance in the 4A Division II playoffs and the loss ended the Larned season.
The trick came with 7:22 left in the second quarter. Pratt had the ball on the Larned 49-yard line. They ran a reverse with with slotback Derek Barnard ending up with the ball and he tossed a pass to a wide open Jacob Caldwell who was all alone behind the Indian defense. The score and point after gave the Greenbacks a 21-7 lead.
The score stunned Larned but they regained their composure and went on a drive that was aided by a pass completion of 19 yards from quarterback Evan Skelton to end Tyler Stelter. With 1:55 left on the clock before halftime, running back Landon Erway scampered 11 yards for a touchdown. The conversion kick by David Valadez failed and Larned trailed Pratt at halftime 21-13.
The first half was dominated by Pratt and the second half was dominated by Larned as the Indian defense stiffened and slowed the potent Greenback running attack. Following several nice runs by Erway, Evan Skelton hit Isiah Perez with a pass of 21 yards that moved the ball to the Pratt 29.
With only 59 seconds remaining in the third quarter Pratt’s Hunter Kaufman intercepted a Skelton pass in the end zone ending a long Larned drive.
After the Larned defense held Pratt to another three and out to start the fourth quarter Larned returned a punt to the Pratt 37. On the next play Larned’s Landon Erway dashed for 32 yards to the 5 and on the very next play with 11:28 remaining, Evan Skelton scored on a 5-yard run.
A two-point conversion run by Skelton was stopped just inches from the goal line, leaving the score 21-19 favoring Pratt.
The final 10 minutes of the game were marked by Larned’s defense shutting down the Pratt offense and forcing punts. Running back Landon Erway dashed 20 yards to the Pratt 41 but with only 2:39 left in the game Skelton was stopped short on a fourth and one, giving the ball to Pratt.
On the very next play the Greenbacks fumbled and it was recovered by Larned linebacker Jeromy Bartz on the Pratt 33-yard line. Quarterback Evan Skelton rambled 15 yards on a keeper to set the Indians up with a first down at the Pratt 18 with under two minutes left.
That drive stalled and on 4th and 9 with just over a minute left Larned attempted a fake field goal that did not gain the first down and the Pratt offense was then able to run out the clock and celebrate the 21-19 victory.
Pratt’s offense produced 43 rushing attempts for 194 yards and one pass completion in five attempts for 49 yards and a touchdown. Most of this production was in the first half.
Larned ran the ball 40 times for 220 yards and quarterback Evan Skelton completed 15 passes out of 22 attempts for 119 yards
Pratt will move on into next week’s playoffs with a 5-4 record. Larned’s season ended with a 4-5 record.