SMITH CENTER — Ell-Saline had an early 3-0 lead against the Smith Center, but that was as good as it got for the Cardinals.
Smith Center was simply too strong after that and rolled to a 38-10 victory in the second round of the Class 1A playoffs. The Redmen improved to 9-1, while the Cardinals’ season ended at 4-6.
Ell-Saline got a 20-yard field goal by Joe Heischl with 7:09 left in the first quarter, but then Smith Center took control.
The Redmen got a 3-yard touchdown run by Bently Motgomery with 2:17 left in the first and extended their lead to 14-3 right before halftime with a 38-yard run from Griffin Kugler.
Jake Sasse added a 1-yard plunge with 7:47 left in the third quarter, and Nathan Jaeger made it 27-3 with 9:45 left in the game on a 9-yard touchdow run.
Ell-Saline got its lone touchdown with 2:23 left when Kade Wilson found Garrett Phelps for a 10-yard score. Smith Center’s Nate Hendrich added a 21-yard touchdown with five seconds left to seal victory.
The Cardinals were held to 17 yards rushing and 155 yards passing.
TJ Morrical recorded 94 yards of total offense in his final game. Wilson added 57 yards of total offense with Taegan Bradley catching six passes for 71 yards.
Hendrich ran for 103 yards on 16 carries and a score to lead Smith Center.
Smith Center moves on to the 1A sectional round and will play host to Oakley at next Friday. Oakley advanced with a 27-24 upset of Sedgwick.
The Plainsmen fell to the Smith Center, 42-14, in their regular season contest on Oct. 2.
Abell fuels Oakley to comeback win — Ethan Abell led a comeback for Oakley, lifting the Plainsmen to a 27-24 win in the Class 1A playoffs in Sedgwick.
Abell finished with 181 yards on 37 carries with two touchdowns. Hunter Scheck added 64 yards rushing on 17 carries with two touchdowns.
Sedgwick led 17-7 with 8:48 remaining in the third quarter, but gave up three unanswered scores.
Oakley’s Eric Cain hit one of two passes for 26 yards. Cain had two interceptions on defense. Will Schmidt had the reception.
Sedgwick was led by Lance Hoffsommer, who hit 16 of 30 passes for 263 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Hoffsommer also rushed for 38 yards. Ryan Stucky had seven catches for 187 yards and a touchdown.
Sedgwick’s first three drives all stalled out near midfield. Oakley completed its second drive, scoring on a 33-yard Abell run.
Sedgwick finally got the passing game going in the second quarter, scoring on a four-yard pass from Hoffsommer to Blake Huebert.
Virus ends Phillipsburg’s season — The Phillipsburg football team saw its season end because of COVID-19 concerns.
Phillipsburg announced Thursday that its home 2A playoff game against Beloit would be canceled due to positive cases on the football team.
Beloit (4-6) received a 1-0 forfeit and will move on to play at Haven next week.
Phillipsburg ends the season with a 5-4 mark.
Conway Springs edges Plainville — Conway Springs handed Plainville a 14-7 loss on Friday to end the Cardinals season in the Class 1A playoffs.
Plainville finished with a 5-5 mark while Conway Springs (1-1) advanced to play Inman in Conway Springs next week.
Hoxie rolls past South Gray — The Hoxie Indians made quick work of South Gray, cruising to a 50-0 win in one half in the Eight Man Division I playoffs on Friday in Hoxie.
Ashton Dowell threw for 181 yards and three touchdowns.
Cade Gourley rushed for 106 yards and two TDs while Dowell had 72 yards on the ground with a pair of TDs.
Aidan Baalman caught two touchdowns and Caden White also had a TD reception.
Hoxie (8-1) will play at Goessel (5-3) next week.
La Crosse falls to AtticaArgonia — The La Crosse Leopards (5-3) ended their season with a 60-14 loss in the Eight-Man Division I playoff at Argonia.
St. Francis 54, Bucklin 0 — The St. Francis Indians earned a 54-0 win at home over Bucklin in the Eight Man Division II playoffs, moving to 9-0 on the season.
The Indians will play host to Caldwell next week.
Atwood falls to Leoti — Atwood fell to 68-0 on the road to Leoti in the Eight Man Division I playoffs.
Atwood fell to 4-3.
The Salina-Journal and Newton Kansan contributed to this story.