BY BUDDY TABLER
Special to the Tribune
LARNED--You knew it was going to be an offensive shootout when after two minutes, both teams had scored.
Hesston hit the bullseye more times than Larned in posting a 56-35 victory Friday evening in Friday’s Central Kansas League football game.
Hesston converted two Larned turnovers into touchdowns for a 35-28 halftime lead and never looked back.
Larned coach A.B. Stokes after the game lamented the mistakes and turnovers.
“We kept just shooting ourselves in the foot,” Stokes said. “We gave away two scores and prevented a couple of our own scores. You just can’t do that.”
Hesston’s Parker Roth rushed for 215 yards and scored three touchdowns. Cameron Cox gained 44 yards. Cox completed 12 passes for 211 yards with Reese Nebel scoring three touchdowns and 172 yards. Hesston (2-1, 2-0 CKL) will entertain Nickerson next week.
Larned rushed for 287 yards with Anthony McConnell gaining 142 yards and Wes Davis 101 yards. Quarterback Carson Smith completed nine passes for 66 yards and two touchdowns. Larned (1-2, 1-2 CKL) will travel to Halstead next week.
On the first play from scrimmage Larned’s McConnell raced 80 yards to paydirt and a quick 7-0 Larned lead.
Hesston wasted little time in answering on a 63-yard touchdown pass from Cox to Nebel and following the conversion kick by Jorge Morales, it was tied 7-7 with 10:02 in the first quarter.
With 1:18 remaining in the first quarter, Larned’s McConnell rambled eight yards to finish a long drive for a 14-7 lead.
On the kickoff, Hesston failed to retain a pooch kick and the Indians recovered at the 34 yard line. Davis plunged in from the 2-yard line and the Indians led 21-7 with 10:15 until halftime.
Hesston’s Roth stole the momentum when he raced 80 yards for a touchdown with 10:02 on the next play for a 21-14 score.
Quarterback Carson Smith fumbled at Larned’s 16-yard line and Hesston’s Jesus Ramirez raced into the end zone for a 21-21 deadlock.
Larned answered with a 6-yard touchdown run by Shevin Martin for a 28-21 lead with 7:31 left.
Hesston ended the half with back-to-back scoring passes from Cox to Nebel for 37 and 36 yards.
Then disaster struck the Indians in this shootout as they fumbled again, this time on their own 36-yard line and Hesston recovered and with eight seconds before halftime.
Cox hit Nebel for his third touchdown reception of the first half. Larned never recovered from the knockout punch of the 35-28 halftime advantage for the Swathers.
The shootout turned into a scoreless standoff in the third quarter but the Swathers hit on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Cox to Roth with 11:16 remaining and they edged to a two-score lead of 42-28. Following a Larned punt Hesston would score again with 7:58 remaining on a 48-yard run by tailback Parker Roth.
McConnell hauled in a pass from quarterback Smith and squirted 16 yards for a touchdown with 7:11, lowering the deficit to 49-35
The Swathers put the final points on the board with a 42-yard touchdown run by Parker Roth with 3:16 left for a 56-35 victory.
SWATHERS 56, INDIANS 35
Hesston 7 28 0 21 -- 56
Larned 14 14 0 7 – 35
L—Anthony McConnell 81 run (Logan DeMond kick), 11:39; H—Reese Nebel 63 pass from Cameron Cox (Jorge Morales kick), 10:02; L—McConnell 8 run (DeMond kick), 1:18; L—Wes Davis 2 run (DeMond kick), 10:15; H—Parker Roth 80 run (Morales kick), 10:02; H—Jesus Ramirez fumble recovery (Morales kick), 8:37; H—Nebel 37 pass from Cox (Morales kick), 4:02; H—Nebel 36 pass from Cox (Morales kick), 0:08; H—Roth 47 run (Morales kick), 7:58; L—McConnell 16 pass from Carson Smith (DeMond kick), 7:11; H—Roth 42 run (Morales kick), 3:16
RUSHING—Hesston—31-259; Roth 20-215; Cox 11-44; Larned—55-287; McConnell 19-142; Davis 15-101; Shevin Martin 5-25; Mason Perez 2-9; Smith 13-7; Tristen Burger 1-3.
PASSING—Hesston—Cox 12-20-1, 211; Larned—Smith 9-18-0, 66; Caleb Nord 0-1-0.
RECEIVING—Hesston—Nebel 7-172; Roth 1-25; Landon Spencer 3-9; Chase McDonald 1-5; Larned—Damontay Phillips 5-40; Brock Skelton 1-14; McConnell 2-12; Martin 1-0.
CENTRAL KANSAS LEAGUE
Pratt 3-0 3-0
Hoisington 2-0 2-1
Hesston 2-0 2-1
Nickerson 2-1 2-1
Smoky Valley 2-1 2-1
Larned 1-2 1-2
Hillsboro 1-2 1-2
Kingman 1-2 1-2
Halstead 1-2 1-2
Haven 0-3 0-3
Lyons 0-3 0-3
Smoky Valley 36, Haven 6
Hesston 56, Larned 35
Hoisington 53, Hillsboro 298
Halstead 48, Kingman 7
Minneapolis 35, Lyons 0
Pratt 28, Nickerson 14