By Gallagher Martin
MOUNDRIDGE — The Central Plains football team is beat up and lost key pieces from last year, but the Oilers are still just one year removed from an undefeated state championship season.
Fighting for their playoff lives, the Moundridge High School football team delivered the defending champions a 56-8 defeat in a game that did not make it to the fourth quarter. Moundridge is now 4-3 overall and 2-2 in 8-Man-Division I District 5.
The Wildcats have wins over last year’s state champion and last year’s state runner-up. Moundridge defeated Solomon 52-32 in Week 3.
“I know Central Plains is beat up, but a win is a win; we’re beat up too,” Moundridge head coach Jeremiah Meeks said. “I’m pretty happy with how we’re playing and how the kids are responding.”
Corbin Unruh was fantastic throwing and running the ball. Unruh threw for 87 yards and two touchdowns while leading the team with 94 rushing yards and two more scores.
Daniel Kaufman had a game-high three rushing touchdowns on just six carries. All three of Kaufman’s rushing touchdowns came in the second half.
Unruh opened the game with a 30-yard touchdown pass to Korbin Wedel. On the first play of Moundridge’s next possession, Unruh ran 47 yards for a touchdown.
The Oilers scored the next eight points of the game - two points came by a safety from a bad snap on a punt deep near the goal line. The other six came off a two-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter.
With 11:50 left in the first half, Moundridge led 14-8. The Wildcats scored 42 unanswered to close out the game.
Garrett Doherty went 48 yards untouched for the Wildcats’ next touchdown. Unruh would rush and pass for another touchdown - a 13-yard touchdown to Brady Helms on the first Moundridge offensive play of the second half - while Kaufman’s three touchdowns in the second half provided the rest of the scoring.
The Wildcats dominated in the trenches, rushing for 241 yards on 22 attempts while holding Central Plains to 107 rushing yards on 35 attempts.
“We’re starting to get some things figured out on our offensive and defensive lines,” Meeks said. “We’ve been moving some kids around and challenged some kids and they’re starting to step up. We’re getting healthier up front, and it’s paying dividends for us.”
The Wildcats conclude their regular season at Little River, who has won seven straight after losing to top-ranked Canton-Galva in Week 1. Last season, Little River survived a shootout against Moundridge, 48-46.
“They’ll definitely be the best team we’ve seen so far,” Meeks said. “We’re going to have to play exceptionally well on both sides of the ball.”