SALINA — Salina Central High School running back Malik Veal's 6-yard touchdown run provided the difference in Class 5A District 7 football action on Friday night.
Veal's fourth-quarter score with 8:20 remaining broke a 13-13 tie, sending the Mustangs to a 20-13 victory over Great Bend at Salina District Stadium.
In the other district game, Salina South pounded Hays 35-6, officially eliminating Great Bend (5-3, 0-2) from playoff contention.
The Panthers, trailing 13-6, tied the game on the opening play of the fourth quarter on Josh Lopez's 2-yard scoring run and Mario Espino's extra-point kick.
South was forced to punt after Lopez's score, but the Panthers fumbled the punt and Central's Will Oaks recovered at the GBHS 25-yard line.
On first down from the 15, Matt Cookson's 9-yard gain gave the Mustangs the ball at the 6. Veal then scored his second TD of the game on the next play.
Central (3-5, 1-1) plays Hays (6-2, 1-1) next Friday night to determine the second playoff team from the district. The Panthers will host playoff-bound Salina South (7-1, 2-0) to close their season.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
Class 5A District 7
Salina District Stadium
Salina Central 20, Great Bend 13
GBHS 0 6 0 7 — 13
Central 7 0 6 7 — 20
Salina Central — Ethan Casey 2 pass from Mark Vaughn (Nathan Garlow kick), 2:09
Great Bend — Bryce Beck 1 run (run failed), 0:24
Salina Central — Malik Veal 1 run (kick failed), 3:46
Great Bend — Josh Lopez 2 run (Mario Espino kick), 11:57
Salina Central — Veal 6 run (Garlow kick), 8:20