SMITH CENTER — The Smith Center Redmen didn’t overwhelm Sacred Heart with sheer numbers.
They more than made up for it with efficiency and surgical precision.
Smith Center needed just 39 plays and 220 yards total offense Friday night to bury Sacred Heart, 53-0, in a Class 1A, District 3 game at Hubbard Stadium.
The Redmen averaged better than 5 1/2 yards per play, and three of their four pass completions went for touchdowns. They also limited Sacred Heart to 145 total yards and an average of 2.6 yards per snap.
With the victory, Smith Center improved to 3-1 overall, 2-0 in district play. Sacred Heart, which was shut out for the third straight game, fell to 0-4, 0-3 in the district.
Smith Center was nearly flawless in the passing game, with Nathan Jaeger completing 3 of 4 passes for 69 yards, all three of them first-half scoring strikes to Griffin Kugler. He also ran for a score.
Chase Maxwell had 45 yards on six carries and a touchdown, with Jake Sasse adding eight attempts for 42 yards and another score to lead a balanced Redmen rushing attack. Nine different players carried the ball for Smith Center.
Quarterback Jacob Gormley had 40 of Sacred Heart’s 74 rushing yards and completed 4 of 19 passes for 37 yards.
Smith Center took control early, scoring on its first possession when Jaeger found Kugler with a 14-yard touchdown pass. Jaeger then scored on a 4-yard run and again connected with Kugler, this time for 40 yards to make it 20-0 with 1:26 left in the opening quarter.
Runs of 7 yards by Maxwell and 5 by Nate Hendrich pushed the advantage to 33-0 before Jaeger wrapped up the half with a 15-yard TD to Kugler on the last play of the half. Smith Center led 39-0 at intermission.
The Redmen completed the scoring in the third quarter on runs of 10 yards by Sasse and 8 by Jason Desbien.
PLAINVILLE 33, ELL SALINE 0 — The Plainville Cardinals racked up 281 yards total offense to 186 for Ell-Saline, but more importantly found the end zone five times without allowing a score.
Ethan Hamilton was 12 of 15 with three touchdowns for 176 of Plainville’s 181 passing yards. Anders Dewey had three catches for 78 yards and touchdowns of 31 and 29 yards, while Ben Hansen caught five, also for 78 yards, with one score.
Hansen also returned a fumble recovery 15 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter.
Dewey opened the scoring less than three minutes into the game on a 31-yard pass from Hamilton, and Kyle Werner’s 1-yard touchdown run with 5:20 left in the quarter made it 13-0 after one.
Plainville led 21-0 at the half on a 29-yard Hamilton-to-Dewey connection. Hansen scored both second-half touchdown on the fumble return and a 14-yard fourth-quarter pass from Hamilton.
For Ell-Saline, which plays host to Sedgwick next Friday, quarterback TJ Morrical completed 6 of 13 passes for 32 yards and rushed for 66 on 13 attempts. Kade Wilson added 41 yards on six carries.
Garrett Phelps was Ell-Saline’s leading receiver with four for 22 yards.
VICTORIA 52, SYLVAN GROVE 22 — The Knights overcame a slow start to remain unbeaten.
THUNDER RIDGE 40, LAKESIDE 28 — The Longhorns moved to 3-1 on the season.
OSBORNE 60, ROCK HILLS 13 — At Mankato, the defending Eight-Man Division II champs rolled behind four touchdowns and 154 yards rushing from Mason Schurr.
INMAN 39, OAKLEY 13 — At Oakley, the Plainsmen suffered their first loss of the season after opening 3-0.
Ethan Abell rushed for 129 yards and a touchdown.
COLBY 18, SMOKY VALLEY 0 — At Lindsborg, Colin Carroll, Zane Betz and Hagan Booi each scored a rushing touchdown apiece and the Eagles defense pitched a shutout.
HOISINGTON 42, PHILLIPSBURG 21 — Phillipsburg led 21-14 but Hoisington scored 28 unanswered to take the win.
LA CROSSE 76, ST. JOHN 0 — At La Crosse, the Leopards put up a staggering 70 points in the first quarter.
Brodie Schmidt had three touchdowns on the ground, while Colby Stull had two rushing TDs. Bryce Conner had two interceptions for the Leopards.
ST. FRANCIS 56, TRIPLAINS-BREWSTER 6 — St. Francis, top ranked in Eight-Man Division II, remained unbeaten.
MINNEAPOLIS 30, NORTON 7 — At Norton, Minneapolis handed the Bluejays their first loss, scoring the first 24 points of the game.
Gavin Sproul had the lone touchdown for Norton, scoring on a four-yard run in the third quarter. Jonah Ruder rushed for 102 yards and passes for 150 yards for the Bluejays.
NATOMA 61, GOLDEN PLAINS 0 — Natoma moved to 3-0 on the season with the rout.
SCOTT CITY 32, GOODLAND 6 — The Cowboys dropped to 2-2 with the loss.
SOUTH GRAY 48, NESS CITY 0 — South Gray moved to 4-0 while Ness City dropped to 1-2 after not playing next week.
SPEARVILLE 14, STOCKTON 7 — Stockton dropped to 0-4 on the season.