The Abilene Middle School 7th grade football team improved to 2-1 on the season Thursday night with a 30-8 victory over Concordia. It was the first meeting between the two NCKL rivals since 2019. They were not able to play last year because of Covid.
Thursday night, Abilene got off to a fast start and never looked back. Concordia opened the game with the football and turned it over on downs at their own 39 yard line. The Longhorns needed just one play to score on a Dayven Cuba touchdown run. He scored with 5:35 to play in the first quarter. Ethan Evans added the 2-point conversion to give Abilene an 8-0 lead.
The Panthers went three and out on their next series and their punter was unable to get off the punt. The Longhorns took possession at the Concordia 21 yard line. On the third play of their drive, Cael Casteel would score on a 20 yard run. Evans added the 2-point conversion to extend the Abilene lead to 16-0 with 2:50 to play in the opening quarter. The Longhorn defense came up big again on Concordia’s third series. Murphy Randolph came up with a fumble recovery at the Panther 15 yard line. Randolph had a huge impact on defense for the Longhorns with multiple key tackles. Abilene would make Concordia pay again with another Casteel touchdown run. He scored on a 4th and 8 play at the Panther 13 yard line. Nolan Haslouer added the 2-point conversion to push the lead to 24-0.
The Longhorns final touchdown came on their opening series of the second half. Cuba would score for a second time on a 12 yard run with 5:20 to play in the 3rd quarter. It was the longest drive of the night for Abilene, that spanned 65 yards on 7 plays.
Coach Corey Casteel said, “I was very pleased with our offensive line tonight. Those guys deserve some recognition; Gabe Nichols, Wilburn Vaught, Jaxon Hamilton, Corbin Parson, and Richie Bayha. They did a great job and made some huge holes for our back to run through.”
Concordia got their only score with 38 seconds left in the game on a 52 yard run by Burke Kindel. Kale Schroeder added the 2-point conversion for the final points.
Abilene will step out of league play next Thursday to play Salina South at 4:30 PM. The two schools did not play last year because of Covid.