By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Larned stuns Cimarron, 35-30
Indians win playoff game
coach stokes carl nolan
Larned assistant coach Carl Nolan celebrates with head coach A.B. Stokes after a 35-30 upset vctory over Cimarron. - photo by Photo by JANET FLESKE


CIMARRON — Underdog Larned rallied from a 14-0 deficit for a shocking 35-30 victory over Cimarron in Tuesday’s Class 3A football playoffs. The Indians (3-7) will play state-ranked Phillipsburg (10-0) at home in Saturday’s 7 p.m. playoff game at Earl Roberts Field.
The Indians’ last playoff victory was in 1985 when they defeated Haven 10-6 in the Class 4A football playoffs. State champion Norton defeated Larned 35-7 in the quarterfinals.
“They always have a confidence about them,” said Larned coach A.B. Stokes. “Our guys are never scared or rattled. They believe that something’s going to break for them.”
The Indians broke a 21-21 tie on Anthony McConnell’s 35-yard touchdown with 7:09 left in the fourth quarter.
Larned coach gambled on the ensuing kickoff when Max Easley recovered an onside kickoff by Logan Demond for an extra possession. The Indians capitalized when Kolby Keith scored on a 43-yard touchdown for a 35-21 lead with 6:25 left in the fourth quarter.
Easley’s quickness created havoc for Cimarron’s offense.
“Tonight was one of his moments. He made amazing plays,” Stokes said. “What better time to shine than the playoffs and helping your team to a victory.”
Keith scored two rushing touchdowns and gained 167 yards. The Indians rushed for 356 yards on 57 attempts. McConnell had nine carries for 83 yards.
“We’ve developed a philosophy that we are going to wear the defense down,” Stokes said. “We’re rotating our backs every couple of plays.”
The Indians needed the two-touchdown lead when Cimarron receiver Wyatt Bell caught a 5-yard TD pass from quarterback Nick Ast.
Larned ran out the final four minutes when tailback Kolby Keith dashed for back-to-back first downs and fullback Nate Williams converted a third-and-1 for a clinching first down. Stokes elected to have Keith take an intentional safety on the game’s final play from Cimarron’s 35-yard line. With 8.5 seconds on the clock, Keith sprinted back into Larned territory all the way to the endzone, taking a safety as the clock ticked to 00:00.
Cimarron scored two first quarter touchdowns to take a 14-0 lead.
“Man, we’ve got to stop getting down at the start of these games,” he said. “But I’ll tell you what, these kids are fearless and just don’t quit. They’ve got a lot of heart.”
Larned’s McConnell swung the momentum with a 59-yard kickoff return to the Cimarron 26. The Indians’ Shevon Martin would scoot nine yards around end with 9:32 remaining for a 14-7 score after Logan DeMond’s extra point conversion.
Larned’s defense forced a Cimarron punt. Quarterback Carson Smith connected on a 53-yard touchdown pass to Damontay Phillips with 6:02 left before halftime for a 14-14 tie.
Cimarron’s final play of the half nearly scored as a 55-yard pass and run from quarterback Nick Ast to Blake Neuschafer was stopped at the 1-yard-line as time expired.
Larned’s defense shut down Cimarron’s running game to shift the second-half momentum.
Larned’s Anthony McConnell burst 27 yards up the middle for a touchdown with 7:56 left in the third quarter for a 21-14 lead.
Cimarron answered with a 23-yard touchdown pass from Ast to Hunter Dewey for a 21-21 tie.
Larned’s Anthony McConnell scored on a 35-yard run. Larned’s Kolby Keith then burst up the middle for a 43-yard touchdown run that produced a 35-21 lead.
Cimarron’s ast connected with Wyatt Bell for a 5-yard TD with 3:56 remaining for a 35-28 margin after Jesus Aguliar’s conversion.
Cimarron’s Ast rushed for 121 yards and completed 14 of 17 passes for 219 yards, mostly after halftime.
Buddy Tabler contributed information for the article.
Larned 0 14 7 14 — 35
Cimarron 14 0 0 16 — 30
C—Nick Ast 5 run (Jesus Aquilar kick)
C—Blake Neuschafer 15 run (Aquilar kick)
L—Shevin Martin 9 run (Logan Demond kick)
L—Damontay Phillips 53 pass from Carson Smith (Demond kick)
L—Anthony McConnell 26 run (Demond kick)
C—Hunter Dewey 23 pass from Ast (Aquilar kick)
L—McConnell 35 run (Demond kick)
L—Kolby Keith 43 run (Demond kick)
C—Wyatt Bell 5 pass from Ast (Aquilar kick)
C—Team safety
RUSHING—Larned 57-356; Keith 25-167; McConnell 9-83; Brandon Bartz 3-45; Nate Williams 8-30; She-vin Martin 4-25; Jon Herter 3-12; Smith 5-(-6); Cimarron—36-184; Ast 22-121; Blake Neuschafer 8-66; Josh Seabolt 6-(-3).
PASSING_Larned—Smith 2-5-0, 47; Herter 0-1-0; Cimarron—14-17-0, 219
RECEIVING—Larned—Phillips 1-53; Keith 1-(-6); Cimarron—Jaylen Pickle 5-72; Seabolt 5-52; Dewey 1-23; Wyatt Bell 2-17.

2016, 4A-Div. 2—Larned 35, Cimarron 30; Larned vs. Phillipsburg
2013, 4A—Andale 60, Larned 0
1985, 4A—Larned 10, Haven 6; Norton 35, Larned 7
1982, 4A—Chaparral 23, Larned 14
1977, 3A—Goddard 6, Larned 0
1972, 3A—Goodland 24, Larned 14 
1971, 3A—Larned 30, Pratt 28, OT; Wichita Kapaun-Mt. Carmel 28, Larned 14

Garden Plain 12, Wichita Independent 7
Halstead 36, SE Saline 22
Hoisington 56, Lakin 13
Norton 28, Marysville 20
Chaparral 48, Douglass 16
Hesston 48, Sterling 8
Phillipsburg 49, Riley County 27
Larned 35, Cimarron 30
Halstead 9-1 at Garden Plain 9-1
Hoisington 10-0 at Norton 7-3
Chaparral 9-1 at Hesston 7-3, 3 p.m.
Phillipsburg 10-0 at Larned 3-7
Nemaha Central 61, Pleasant Ridge 6
Silver Lake 50, Mission Valley 0
Wellsville 54, Humboldt 6
Galena 42, Fredonia 14
Sabetha 62, Atchison Maur Hill 28
Rossville 41, Perry 14
Osage City 20, Jayhawk-Linn 14
Caney Valley 51, Riverton 14
Nemaha Central 10-0 at Silver Lake 10-0
Wellsville 9-1 vs. Galena 8-2, 2 p.m.
Rossville 9-1 at Sabetha 9-1, 6 p.m.
Caney Valley 8-2 at Osage City 5-5, 3 p.m.