CLAFLIN — The Central Plains High School football team’s defense dragged St. John-Hudson to a halt on Friday night.
The Tigers managed only 80 yards of total offense as the Oilers won 54-8.
“We had kind of a slow start again, kind of like against Otis-Bison (last week),” Oilers head coach Chris Steiner said. “I’m not sure why, but we’ve got to get that fixed. I’m not very fond of that.
“But once again, our defense played outstanding. I think there was three or four minutes left in the first half and our stat keeper said that we hadn’t given up a first down yet. Our defense is flying around and having fun. That’s the main thing.”
The Oilers (3-0) tried to establish their ground game early on, rushing the ball 11 times for only 34 yards, but the Tigers stopped Central Plains on fourth-and-6 at the Tigers’ 9-yard line.
St. John (1-2) tried to pick up a first down on a fourth-and-1 on the next drive, but the Oilers stopped fullback Jacob Milton in his tracks, getting the ball on the Tigers’ 17.
Central Plains quarterback Braedan Crites connected with Michael Lamatsch for a 17-yard touchdown on the next play.
That was one of three touchdowns Crites threw for, including a 37-yard shot to Hunter Ingham and a 46-yard bomb to Layne Bieberle.
Crites completed 5 of 11 passes for 118 yards, though he had several passes slip through the open arms of open receivers.
“He’s been sick all week long,” Steiner said of Crites. “He’s been running a fever, but he did a good job again. He’s been great so far this year.
“We could’ve had more completions, but our receivers didn’t come down with some passes. That’s not like them at all.”
Ingham also ran for a 24-yard TD.
It was Central Plains’ defense that kept setting up the offense, as well as shutting down the Tigers, who only managed two first downs in the first half.
“It’s a tough game,” St. John head coach Chris Story said. “We had some guys out, and that killed us a little bit. I think Schuyler (Brown) has some bumps a bruises to work out.
“Overall, there’s a lot of areas and issues where we can fix. We need to do a lot better job moving the ball.”
Bieberle had a pair of interceptions, returning for 44- and 18-yard scores.
Cody Price had a sack for a safety, and a fumble recovery.
Evan Liebl had a pair of sacks.
“Evan Liebl is back healthy, and that’s nice to have,” Steiner said. “Cody was reading a lot better this week.”
Colton Zink crashed into the end zone for 1-yard TD run, and Clark Besthorn raced for a 62-yard score.
St. John scored in the fourth quarter on a 5-yard touchdown run by Andrew Deveney.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
Central Prairie League
Central Plains 54, St. John-Hudson 8
Central Plains 14 28 6 6 — 54
St. John 0 0 0 8 — 8
Central Plains — Michael Lamatsch 13 pass from Braedan Crites (Lamatsch pass from Crites), 2:50
Central Plains — Layne Bieberle 18 interception return (run failed), 1:15
Central Plains — Colton Zink 1 run (pass failed), 10:36
Central Plains — Hunter Ingham 37 pass from Crites (run failed), 7:17
Central Plains — Cody Price safety, 6:23
Central Plains — Ingham 24 run (pass failed), 4:47
Central Plains — Bieberle 47 pass from Crites (Zink run), :21
Central Plains — Bieberle 44 interception return (pass failed), 9:21
St. John — Andrew Deveney 5 run (Schuyler Brown run), 9:06
Central Plains — Clark Besthorn 62 run (run failed), 3:50