Bethel College’s Joe W. Goering Stadium proved to a comfortable home-away-from-home for the Hesston High School football team in a 56-0 win over Clay Center Friday in Class 3A district play.
The entire second half was played with a running clock.
Hesston finishes the regular season 5-3, 3-2 in district play. Clay Center finishes 1-7, 0-5 in district play.
Under the new playoff format, Hesston will get a third seed and plays Wichita Collegiate Friday in Wichita.
“We started with a lot of energy early on,” Hesston coach Tyson Bauerle said. “The energy of our players. They were ready to play. We talked a lot this last week about making the last part of the season, the best part of the season.”
The game was moved to Bethel because Hesston’s stadium was unplayable after last week’s heavy rains.
“We played on (artificial turf) at Smoky Valley,” Bauerle said. “We practiced on it a couple of times.”
Parker Roth had 13 carries for 241 yards and three touchdowns. Cameron Cox had 82 yards rushing and two touchdowns and 65 yards passing and two touchdowns. Grady Toews had 48 yards receiving with a touchdown. Blake Martin caught a 17-yard touchdown pass.
“There were a lot of holes from our O-line,” Roth said. “We just kept it basic. It’s been a good year. We had some unexpected events come up this year, but we overcame them.”
“We just wanted to start fast,” senior quarterback Cameron Cox said. “It wasn’t going to be an easy win, so we decided we wanted to go all out. Things were going our way. People were blocking right and we were hitting the holes. (Turnovers) were big. Max (Arnold) I think had two of those interceptions. We’ll find out who we get, watch some film and get ready for next week.”
For Clay Center, Cooper Glavin passed for 35 yards. Blake Frederick rushed for 47 yards.
Hesston scored on all six possessions of the first half. The last four scores came off turnovers — three interceptions. The Swathers converted all eight two-point conversions to lead 48-0 at the half.
Roth was over 200-yards rushing in the period. Hesston held a 356-112 advantage in total offense.
Hesston opened the second half with a 61-yard drive that ended with a five-yard Roth, who then fumbled the ball but recovered his own fumble in the end zone. The Swathers tried a point-after kick that missed.
Clay Center finally made a defensive stop against the Swather backups at Hesston’s goal line midway in the fourth quarter.
The Tigers had a long run on the final play of the game, but were kept out of the end zone.
Hesston faces a Collegiate team that is 6-2 after a 35-28 win over Clearwater, scoring late in a 60-yard pass from Gabe Fisher to Jack Fox to break a tie game.
1q. H Toews 18-yd. pass from C.Cox (C.Cox run) 9:28
1q. H Roth 87-yd. run (Toews run) 4:19
1q. H C.Cox 41-yd. run (Roth run) 1:41
1q. H C.Cox 18-yd. run (C.Cox run) :00
2q. H Roth 47-yd. run (C.Cox run) 7:47
2q. H Martin 17-yd. pass from C.Cox (Roth run) 1:05
3q. H Roth 5-yd. run, recovered own fumble in the end zone (kick failed) 4:55
Time of poss.;22:33;25:27
RUSHING — Clay Center: Frederick 8-47, Moon 10-32, Ferguson 4-28, Mullin 3-8, Glavin 10-2. Hesston: Roth 13-241, C.Cox 9-82, Arnold 5-47, Toews 4-46, Wingfield 5-10, J.Eilert 3-8, Griffin 3-1, R.Eilert 1-1.
PASSING — Clay Center: Glavin 4-11-3, 35 yards. Hesston: C.Cox 5-6-0, 65 yards.
RECEIVING — Clay Center: Schurle 2-19, Frederick 2-16. Hesston: Toews 4-48, Martin 1-17.
Missed field goals — none.