The Abilene Longhorn 7th grade football team defeated Salina South 42-0 Thursday night. With the win Abilene improved to 4-0 on the season and posted its second shutout of the year.

The Longhorns scored on their first play from scrimmage as Weston Rock scored on a 56-yard run. Xander Cox added the two- point conversion on a reception from Aaron Hartman to give Abilene an 8-0 lead with 7:43 to play in the first quarter. Hartman then scored on a 1 yard run with just seconds left in the opening quarter to give the Longhorns a 14-0 lead.

A Hartman to Cole Veal 44-yard pass play set up Abilene’s next touchdown. Thomas Keener scored on the next play on a 10-yard run. Rock then added the two-point conversion to give Abilene a 22-0 lead with 4:56 left in the half.

On the ensuing possession Joseph Welsh striped a Salina South player to get the ball back for the Longhorns on the Cougar 49-yard line. Hartman once again connected with Rock for a touchdown on the first play of the series to increase the Abilene lead to 28-0 with 4:20 left in the half.

The Longhorn defense got another turnover on a play from Gage Taylor. Taylor intercepted a Salina South pass near the Abilene 10-yard line and returned it to the Cougar 27. Hartman connected with Rock for a third and final time on a touchdown pass play, this time from 24 yards out with 1:23 to play in the half. Keener ran in the conversion to give the Longhorns a 36-0 lead at halftime.

The defense forced a third turnover at the 4:36 mark in the third quarter. Landon Taplin forced a fumble and Parker Farr recovered it. Abilene unfortunately had its drive stalled by its only turnover of the game on a fumble. The Longhorns got their final score on a Welsh 15-yard run with 3:47 left in the game.

“I was proud of our kids today,” Abilene head coach Cory Casteel said. “Overall, we played the best football we have all year. We were able to get after South early and often and I don’t think they knew what hit them. We need to clean up some of our penalties, but hopefully this continues into next week.”

Abilene will return home next Thursday to face Clay Center. The Tigers defeat the Longhorns 12-0 last season. Game time is set for 4:30 at Cowboy Stadium.

Contact Ron Preston at sports@abilene-rc.com.

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