Larned High School’s football team shattered a 23-game losing streak that stretched back to 2009.
To say the Indians and their head coach are stoked about the 27-25 win over Ellsworth last Friday might be an understatement.
“It was very big and important to these kids,” Larned head coach AB Stokes said. “They deserved it. They worked their tails off during camp, and they deserved it. I told them that this hard work won’t go in vain.
“Some guys doubting, or not believing in this system, you know, still kind of expecting to do things the old ways. But by the end of Aug. 31, everyone had pretty much bought in. That’s why we were able to get a win so early.”
Stokes did back flips at the team’s pep rally before the game.
“I’m the back-flipping coach,” Stokes said. “That was a tradition I started when I was coaching at Lyons. Just as an assistant, I’d do back flips. It gets the kids fired up. I’m getting a little older. I don’t know how many more back flips I have in me.”
Larned challenges Mid-Central Activities Association foe Ellinwood on Friday night in Ellinwood.
Stokes said that he intends to work on the same things that led his team to its win.
“We’re still focusing on the basics,” Stokes said, “blocking and tackling, not getting blocked and not getting tackled. It’s some little technical things that we saw defensively and offensively that we want to fix.
“We just told them that the goals for this week, we want them dealing with technique. I want a perfect game of slanting, or make sure I take my right read steps for linebackers. Just the same old basics.”
Running back Brady Keith led the Indians with 186 yards and three touchdowns against Ellsworth.
Ellinwood already started its league schedule, falling 38-20 against Thomas More Prep Marian in Hays last Friday.
Patrick Ringering spearheaded the Eagles’ offense, running for 181 yards and two touchdowns.
Quarterback Jared Oelke completed only 2 of 8 passes for 43 yards.
Central Plains (1-0)
at Otis-Bison (1-0)
Both Central Plains and Otis-Bison each have an offense that run through one person.
The Oilers have quarterback Bryce Steiner, and the Cougars have Dylan Wissman.
Steiner accounted for all but one of the touchdowns scored in Central Plains’ 38-8 win over Stafford.
He rushed for a 1-yard touchdown, and completed passes to Colton Zink, Joe Barton and Layne Bieberle for scores.
Wissman rushed for 173 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Cougars over St. John 22-20 in Week 1.
at La Crosse (1-0)
Senior quarterback Hagan Hanzlick led Hoisington’s offense in a 14-6 loss to Great Bend in Week 1.
Hanzlick rushed for 80 yards, while also completing 3 of 11 passes for 79 yards and one touchdown. He also threw an interception.
La Crosse is coming off a 16-6 win over Ellis.
The Leopards are led by senior running back Levi Morss, who rushed for 182 yards and one TD.
at Ness City (1-0)
Macksville quarterback Tanner Tranbarger led the Mustangs in rushing yards, as well as passing.
Tranbarger rushed for 103 yards and three touchdowns on the ground in Macksville’s 34-20 loss to Victoria last Friday. He completed 5 of 23 passes for 79 yards.
Ness City is coming off a 54-8 win over Kinsley.
Senior running back Garratt Flax led the Eagles in Week 1 with 132 yards and two touchdowns.
St. John (0-1)
at Victoria (1-0)
St. John quarterback Spencer Nusser found his rhythm in the pocket against Otis-Bison, making use of 6-foot-7 target Dean Wade.
Nusser completed 11 of 27 passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns. Wade recorded 80 yards in the Tigers’ 22-20 loss.
Victoria quarterback Sam Ottley found success running against Macksville in Week 1. Ottley rushed for 108 yards and two touchdowns.
at Burrton (0-1)
Stafford gave up 30 points in the first quarter against Central Plains.
Ethan Johnson scored the Stafford’s only touchdowns, finishing with a team-leading 86 yards.
Burrton fell 52-0 against Fairfield in Week 1.