WAMEGO – The Abilene Middle School football teams improved to 2-0 with wins over NCKL rival Wamego Thursday evening at Wamego.
The 8th grade Longhorn team took care of business winning 24-8 behind an offense that clicking on all cylinders.
“Wow, that was a fun game,” Abilene head coach Mark Willey said. “We set the tone with an amazing opening drive. We had great execution, mixing up the run and the pass.”
The Longhorns scored on a four-yard run in the opening quarter by Zach Miller. Kyson Becker ran for the two-point conversion to give Abilene an 8-0 lead going into the second period.
In the second quarter, Abilene quarterback Stockton Timbrook found Brax Fisher on a 94-yard scoring play. Miller ran in the conversion and the Longhorns led 16-0 in the second period.
“We got great pass protection on the second score,” Willey said. “Stockton put it right on the money to Brax.”
Wamego scored from three yards out and had a two-point conversion in the third quarter to cut the Longhorn lead in half at 16-8.
But Timbrook came back in the fourth period and tossed a 48-yard scoring pass to Becker and then Becker passed to Timbrook on the conversion try and the Longhorns won 24-8.
“Becker caught a one-yard pass and took it to the house to ice the game,” Willey said. “We do not keep stats, but I bet Stockton set a record tonight for passing yards. He threw it well and all the receivers, Becker, Fisher and Judah Armstrong all had nice catches.”
Willey thought the Longhorn defense played decent but thinks they can be more aggressive and get off the field faster.
Abilene improves to 2-0 and will host Fort Riley on Thursday.
Seventh grade wins 12-6
The seventh grade Longhorns also improved to 2-0 with a 12-6 win at Wamego. This was the first victory for the seventh grade over Wamego since 2014.
The Abilene defense came up big late in the first quarter after being put in a tough spot. The Longhorns fumbled the football at their own 36-yard line but the Red Raiders gave it right back on an interception by Parker Farr.
Farr intercepted a pass at his own 31-yard line and returned it to the Wamego 22. Abilene scored six plays later on a Landon Taplin three-yard run to give the Longhorns a 6-0 lead with 4:30 to play in the first half.
That score held throughout the half. The Longhorns scored on their first possession of the third period on a Weston Rock 52-yard touchdown run to give Abilene a 12-0 advantage with 6:34 to play in the third quarter. Wamego answered on the ensuing possession with a 54-touchdown run to narrow the deficit to 12-6 with 5:40 to play in the third.
The fourth quarter saw Abilene put the game away with big plays on both sides of the ball. Wamego started their final possession at its own 48-yard line with 3:40 to go in the game. The drive lasted one play as Rock caused a fumble that was recovered by Tyler Green.
Abilene then ran out the clock thanks in part to a key conversion on fourth down by AMS quarterback Aaron Hartman who connected with Cole Veal on a fourth and four play at the Wamego 37-yard line with 1:53 left in the game. Veal gained yardage to the 27 and the Longhorns ran out the clock.
“I have been very impressed with our defense in the first two games,” head coach Corey Casteel said. “We have only given up six points that came on one big play that Wamego was able to pop. Joseph Welsh and Zane Macoubrie are our middle linebackers and they do a great job of getting kids lined up correctly getting coach (Trent) Sanchez’s calls in and all around leading our defense. They do a great job along with the entire defensive unit.”
Abilene will now face Fort Riley at Cowboy Stadium on Thursday at 4:30. The Longhorns defeated the Troopers 28-26 last year after being down 14 points in the fourth quarter.