Mustangs turn back Topeka West, collect second straight title

This time it didnâÂÂt come quite as easily.

Yet when the Class 5A title game ended Saturday at Kansas UniversityâÂÂs Memorial Stadium, Salina Central not only had claimed another championship with a 14-6 victory against Topeka West, but it had made school history.

âÂÂThis is a first,â screamed SCHS coach Marvin Diener, who has won five titles in the past 10 years but never any back-to-back.

Central, which won its past two titles in 1999 and last year by a combined score of 80-21, survived its second struggle with West this season. The 12-1 Mustangs defeated the 10-3 Chargers 21-20 in an overtime game eight weeks ago.

Saturday was similar.

The two teams had combined for just 132 yards offensively at halftime. Each rushed 19 times with Central outgaining West 38-37.

The only score came after West fumbled on a reverse deep in its territory, allowing Mustang running back Nolan Seim to smash his way in from three yards out with four minutes left in the second quarter.

âÂÂWe just turned it over too far in our own territory,â said West coach Warren Seitz, whose team went 1-8 only two years ago.

And not just once.

West wavered again in the third, throwing a screen pass for a 16-yard loss and giving the Mustangs the ball on the Chargersâ 24-yard line.

Seim needed two touches, a 14-yarder and 10-yard scoring sprint, to break the game open.

The Chargers put together a final charge in the fourth when quarterback Daniel Heflin hit Chris Snell on a 36-yard shot.

A missed conversion and a failure to stop Central on a fourth-and-two late in the fourth took West nearly completely out.

The final blow came when Heflin just missed Mario Thomas – who certainly would have scored if he had caught the ball past his defender near midfield – on third down with a minute and a half left and then came up a yard short on fourth-and-17.

âÂÂIt doesnâÂÂt get old,â Diener said of winning, âÂÂbut it gets really hard.âÂÂ

Salina Central 14, Topeka West 6

Topeka West (10-3) 0 0 0 6 – 6

Salina Central (12-1) 0 7 7 0 – 14

Second Quarter

SC – Nolan Seim 3 run (Billy Mencanin kick) 4:00

Third Quarter

SC – Seim 14 run (Mencanin kick) 6:17

Fourth Quarter

TW – Chris Snell 36 pass from Daniel Heflin (pass failed) 9:16