The Abilene Cowboy football team has played one of the toughest schedules in the area this season and it did not change Friday night against Wamego. Abilene’s opponents had a combined record of 36-19 entering Friday night. The Red Raiders defeated Abilene 45-7 to improve to 7-1 on the season and 3-1 in the NCKL. The win was Wamego’s 7th in a row after opening the season with a 41-40 home loss to Concordia in 4 overtimes. Wamego, coached by Salina South graduated Weston Moody, entered the game with the #1 offense and #3 defense in Class 4A.
In Friday’s game, the Red Raiders capitalized off of Cowboy turnovers on their way to a 45-7 victory. Abilene entered the game -16 in the giveaway/takeaway ratio. The Cowboys turned over the football 4 times against Wamego and the Red Raiders turned that into 21 points. Abilene fumbled on the opening possession of the game and it was recovered by Wamego’s Colyer Brummett. The Red Raiders would score 5 plays later on a Hunter Phillimore 1 yard run. He added the 2 point conversion on a reception from Quarterback, Hayden Oviatt to make the score 8-0 with 9:33 to play in the first quarter.
Just 51 seconds into the second quarter, Wamego’s defense came up big with an interception return of around 30 yards by Lane Jeanneret extend the score to 15-0. On the ensuing possession, Abilene would fumble for a second time and the ball was recovered by Wamego’s James DeRouchey. The Red Raiders would make Abilene pay with an Oviatt 24 yard run to make the score 21-0 with 6:19 to play in the opening half. On the Red Raiders next series, Oviatt would connect with Colin Donahue on a 33 yard touchdown pass play with 3:23 left in the half to push the lead to 28-0. The Red Raider special teams would then make their second big play of the half. Wamego blocked an Abilene punt in the first quarter and drove the ball all the way to the 2 yard line but fumbled the ball into the endzone for what was the Red Raiders only turnover of the game. At the end of the first half, with no timeouts, Wamego rushed their field goal unit on the field with time running out and Noah Ficke nailed a 39 yard field goal, to give the Red Raiders a 31-0 advantage at the half.
Wamego opened second half with the football and Oviatt connected with Donahue again, on a 58 yard pass play at the 10:55 mark of the third quarter to make the score 38-0. It was the final drive of the game for Oviatt. The talented Junior, Quarterback, entered the game with 31 total touchdowns and he didn’t disappoint Friday night. He had a hand in 3 touchdowns in the victory over the Cowboys.
Wamego got their final points on Phillimore’s second touchdown run, this time from 2 yards out with 10:30 left in the game. Abilene got on the board with 5:16 left in the game on a Kaleb Becker 36 yard reception from Freshman, Quarterback Aaron Hartman. Becker was named the Nex-Tech Wireless Player of the Game.
The Red Raiders finished with 406 total yards. They had 223 yards passing and 183 yards rushing. Abilene was held to 163 total yards, with 111 of it on the ground.
The Cowboys finished the regular season 0-8 and will travel in the first round of the playoffs to play a team to be determined.