LARNED— The Larned Indians took the opening kickoff and pounded their way to an opening touchdown and never looked back in a dominating 40-12 win over the third-ranked 2A LaCrosse Leopards.
With 8:25 left in the first quarter quarterback Evan Skelton ran a perfect option play, pitching the ball to Landon Erway who rambled 28 yards for a touchdown. The point after was kicked through the
uprights by David Valadez and Larned had a quick 7-0 lead.
Behind several key passes by quarterback Clayton Herdman, LaCrosse quickly answered. With 5:53 remaining in the opening stanza Herdman connected with Chandler Greathouse for a 28 yard touchdown pass.
A run by Herdman for a two-point conversion was stopped short and the Leopards trailed 7-6. It would be the last score of the night for LaCrosse until the final play of the game when Jasey Woods squirted into the end zone making the final score 40-12.
The rest of the game was dominated by the offensive and defensive lines of Larned as they held the Leopards to only 91 yards rushing on 32 attempts. Meanwhile quarterback Evan Skelton and running back Landon Erway gashed the LaCrosse defense for big gains. The Indians finished the game with 256 yards rushing on 34 attempts. Skelton had 115 yards rushing on 9 attempts and Erway led the Indians with 122 yards on 19 carries. Skelton completed 12 passes out of 16 attempts for 143 yards.
Meanwhile the stingy Larned defense held LaCrosse in three fourth-down attempts at a first down. One proved especially costly as with only 38 seconds left before halftime, LaCrosse coach Jon Webster elected to go for it on a fourth down with fourteen yards to the first down marker from the Leopard’s 18-yard line. A Herdman pass fell incomplete and Larned wasted no time in making the Leopards pay as with 19 seconds left quarterback Evan Skelton scrambled and found Tanner Galliart all alone in the end zone.
The ensuing extra point kick was no good but the damage had been done and Larned took a 34-6 lead into the halftime intermission.
With 5:53 left in the third quarter Skelton again found Galliart in the end zone after scrambling from a broken play. The one-yard touchdown pass moved the score to 40-6 and much of the rest of the game was played with a running clock.
Larned improves to 1-1 and will travel next week to Kingman for a key Central Kansas League game.
LaCrosse falls to 1-1 on the season and next week will host Minneapolis.