Marvin Diener established himself as one of the state’s all-time great football coaches when he built Salina Central into a Class 5A powerhouse.
During his 19-year tenure at Central, Diener compiled a 170-42 record and won six state championships, 14 regional championships and 11 league titles. Diener added to his resume when he left Central and turned Gardner-Edgerton into a consistent contender with the Trailblazers finishing as 5A state runner-up in 2009.
Over the past few seasons, however, both of Diener’s former programs — he resigned as Gardner coach after last season — had fallen on hard times. Gardner has endured two winless seasons in the last four years, winning a total of six games in that span, while Central came into the 2018 having posted two straight 0-fers and riding an 18-game losing streak.
But under first-year coaches — former Hays High coach Ryan Cornelsen at Gardner-Edgerton and Mike Sandbo at Salina Central — both programs are enjoying a revival in 2018. After beating Olathe Northwest 35-6 on Friday night, Gardner is now 5-0 — its highest win total since 2013.
And with a 48-17 romp past Campus, Central is 4-1 — the Mustangs’ highest win total since going 6-4 in 2014 while matching a 4-5 mark in 2015.
Taylon Peters led the Mustangs’ rout of Campus, rushing for 285 yards and three touchdowns as Central scored 48 straight points after Campus took an early 7-0 lead.
Jackson Kavanagh added a pair of touchdown passes and a scoring run in the first half to jump-start the comeback.
Central, which has only lost to Class 6A No. 1 Derby, has a huge game looming in two weeks with 5A No. 4 and unbeaten Maize. Gardner, meanwhile, faces only one serious hurdle to an unbeaten regular season, a clash with 4-1 SM Northwest in two weeks.
Neither has been able to crack the top five in their respective class just yet, but the successful returns have been a welcome sight for their programs.
Two top-ranked teams suffered losses last week, but only lost its No. 1 ranking.
Overall No. 1 and Class 4A No. 1 Miege dropped a 14-13 decision in the border showdown with Missouri powerhouse Rockhurst, but the narrow defeat didn’t cost the Stags. They remain No. 1 overall and in 4A despite the loss.
However, Eight-Man Division I No. 1 Hoxie, the defending state champion, falls out of the top five after getting thumped 64-30 by St. Francis. The only loss Hoxie suffered during last season’s title campaign came to St. Francis as well.
St. Francis moved into the Division I rankings at No. 5 after the win with Central Plains moving up to replace Hoxie in the No. 1 spot. Burlingame, Clifton-Clyde and Hodgeman County all moved up one spot with Clifton-Clyde picking up an impressive 54-30 win over Victoria.
Only three other classes saw changes in the top five.
Goddard took its first loss of the season, falling 27-2 to 5A unbeaten Maize and dropped from No. 3 to No. 5 in Class 4A with Pittsburg and Paola moving up one spot each to No. 3 and 4, respectively.
In 2A, Garden Plain falls from No. 4 to the others after losing 20-7 to Hutchinson Trinity. Chaparral climbs a spot to No. 4, while Humboldt moves into the rankings at No. 5.
In Class 1A, Colgan’s second straight loss knocked the Panthers out of the top five. Ell-Saline takes Colgan’s spot at No. 4 while Jackson Heights comes in at No. 5.
1. Miege (1) 4-1
Stags fall just short in battle with Missouri powerhouse Rockhurst
2. Wichita Northwest (2) 5-0
Grizzlies run roughshod over previously unbeaten Kapaun
3. Derby (3) 5-0
Panthers post another dominating rout with Igo at QB
4. Free State (4) 5-0
Firebirds manhandle Missouri’s Sedalia-Smith Cotton, 51-0
5. Aquinas (5) 5-0
Young goes over 1,000 yards rushing in Saints’ rout of BV West
6. Manhattan (6) 5-0
Indians roll into rivalry showdown with Junction City
7. Olathe North (7) 4-1
Eagles take care of rival Olathe South 35-14
8. Topeka High (8) 4-1
Trojans’ Thomas, Barksdale run wild against Seaman
9. Blue Valley (9) 3-2
Tigers rebound from blowout loss to Rockhurst
10. Carroll (10) 3-2
Golden Eagles survive wild shootout with Great Bend, 36-33
1. Derby (1) 5-0
2. Free State (2) 5-0
3. Manhattan (3) 5-0
4. Olathe North (4) 4-1
5. Topeka High (5) 4-1
Others — Blue Valley 3-2, Campus 3-2, Gardner-Edgerton 5-0, Junction City 3-2, Olathe South 3-2, SM East 4-1, SM Northwest 4-1, Washburn Rural 4-1.
Notes — It was a big night for some of 6A’s best backs in Week 5. Topeka High’s Ky Thomas ran for 305 yards and three touchdowns in a 62-21 win over Seaman. Free State’s Jax Dineen ran for 114 yards and two TDs in a 51-0 rout of Sedalia-Smith Cotton (Mo.). Manhattan’s Kevontae McDonald burned Emporia for 170 yards and four touchdowns. And Olathe North’s Daymonn Sanchez had 265 yards and three scores in a win over Olathe South.
1. Wichita Northwest (1) 5-0
2. Aquinas (2) 5-0
3. Carroll (3) 3-2
4. Maize (4) 5-0
5. DeSoto (5) 5-0
Others — Great Bend 3-2, Kapaun 4-1, Mill Valley 2-3, Salina Central 4-1, Wichita Heights 3-2.
Notes — Coming off a 24-6 loss to Derby and with a rivalry showdown with Kapaun looming in Week 6, Carroll had somewhat of a trap game Friday night against Great Bend. And the Golden Eagles nearly got snagged by the Panther trap. Brady Bockover scored the game-winner with just over two minutes left and Carroll’s defense made a goal-line stand in the final minute to preserve a 36-33 victory. Great Bend had three plays from the six but couldn’t score and missed a tying field goal at the end.
1. Miege (1) 4-1
2. McPherson (2) 5-0
3. Pittsburg (4) 5-0
4. Paola (5) 5-0
5. Goddard (3) 4-1
Others — Basehor-Linwood 4-1, Chanute 4-1, Fort Scott 3-2, KC Piper 3-2, Labette County 3-2, Louisburg 5-0, Tonganoxie 3-2, Wellington 4-1.
Notes — Call it an instant classic. Miege and Missouri powerhouse Rockhurst hadn’t met on the gridiron since 1986 and their first meeting since was everything expected. Rockhurst took a 14-7 lead into the fourth quarter and the game seemed headed to overtime when the Stags scored with just over six minutes left. Instead, the Stags faked the extra point and QB Sam Pedrotti was stopped just short of the winning conversion as Rockhurst held on for a 14-13 win.
1. Sabetha (1);5-0
2. Andale (2) 5-0
3. Scott City (3) 5-0
4. Pratt (4) 5-0
5. Galena (5) 5-0
Others — Caney Valley 4-1, Chapman 5-0, Colby 5-0, Hayden 3-2, Jefferson West 4-1, Parsons 4-1, Perry-Lecompton 4-1, Prairie View 4-1, Smoky Valley 5-0, Wichita Collegiate 4-1.
Notes — It was business as usual for the top five with Galena’s 34-16 win over previously unbeaten Caney Valley the closest game. Chapman continued its breakthrough season with a 47-26 win over Rock Creek as the Irish have posted their highest win total in more than a decade.
1. Conway Springs (1) 5-0
2. Silver Lake (2) 5-0
3. Phillipsburg (3) 5-0
4. Chaparral (5) 5-0
5. Humboldt (NR) 5-0
Others — Cimarron 4-1, Garden Plain 4-1, Hoisington 4-1, Hutchinson Trinity 4-1, Lakin 5-0, Maur Hill 4-1, Mission Valley 4-1, Nemaha Central 3-2, Osage City 5-0, Riley County 4-1, Rossville 3-2, Southeast-Saline 4-1.
Notes — After taking a big Heart of America win over Ell-Saline in Week 3, Hutchinson Trinity was ready to prove it could hang with the Central Plains powers it would see in district play. The Celtics pushed Conway Springs last week in a loss, but then showed they belong by knocking off Garden Plain 20-7. Trinity opened the game with a 90-yard kickoff return touchdown by Kaleb Hammeke and he added a TD pass in the first quarter as well.
1. Smith Center (1) 4-1
2. Elkhart (2) 5-0
3. Olpe (3) 5-0
4. Ell-Saline (5) 4-1
5. Jackson Heights (NR) 4-1
Others — Centralia 3-2, Colgan 3-2, Hillsboro 4-1, Oakley 3-2, Plainville 3-2, Pleasanton 5-0, Sedgwick 4-1, Troy 3-2, Valley Heights 3-2.
Notes — A week after taking its first loss to Centralia, Colgan couldn’t quite rebound. Abilene rallied for a 22-20 victory over the Panthers. Jackson Heights replaces Colgan in the rankings after topping Valley Heights 22-14. The two couldn’t quite duplicate last year’s wild shootout won by Jackson Heights, but still traded punches in another thriller.
EIGHT-MAN DIVISION I
1. Central Plains (2) 5-0
2. Burlingame (3) 5-0
3. Clifton-Clyde (4) 5-0
4. Hodgeman County (5) 5-0
5. St. Francis (NR) 5-0
Others — Caldwell 5-0, Hoxie 4-1, Leoti 4-1, Little River 4-1, Madison 5-0, Ness City 4-1, Oswego 4-1, Sedan 4-1, Solomon 5-0, South Central 4-1, Spearville 4-1, Udall 4-1, Victoria 3-2.
Notes — Hoxie has suffered just two losses over the last year and a half. Both have come to St. Francis. Hoxie lost 18-6 last year in district play, but rallied to win the Eight-Man Division I state title. Looking to avenge that loss, the Indians instead saw St. Francis dominate Friday’s showdown for a 64-30 victory that knocked Hoxie out of the top five.
EIGHT-MAN DIVISION II
1. Hanover (1);5-0
2. South Barber (2);5-0
3. Axtell (3);5-0
4. Osborne (4);5-0
5. Rock Hills (5);4-1
Others — Beloit-St. John’s 4-1, Frankfort 5-0, Northern Valley 4-1, Otis-Bison 4-1, Stafford 4-1, St. Paul 4-1, Waverly 4-1.
Notes — It was a pretty easy week for not only the top five, but also the teams falling in the “Others” category. The best game of the week came between Sylvan-Lucas and Thunder Ridge as Sylvan-Lucas handed the Longhorns their second loss with a 52-48 victory despite 218 yards and three touchdowns from Brandon Grauerholz. Sylvan-Lucas gets a big showdown with Northern Valley this week with the Huskies’ lone loss coming to Thunder Ridge.