VIAN, OK —
Vian stayed undefeated and moved on to the Class 2A state quarterfinals, topping Salina 41-20 Friday night in a second-round contest.
"We took one on the mouth tonight," SHS head coach Kyle Fowler said.
Salina cut the Vian lead to 27-20 on a 69-yard bomb from Cale Backward to Kyle Johnson early in the fourth quarter, but the Wildcats (9-3) unraveled late.
"The score is certainly no indication of how close this game was," Fowler said. "It was a seven-point game with eight minutes to go, we just turned the ball over and they took advantage."
Vian tacked on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Rylee Simon to Dakota Brown to push its lead to 34-20 midway through the fourth quarter, and Eric Casey closed the door on the 'Cats with a two-yard run late in the fourth.
Salina stayed close for the first 40 minutes. Jon Parsons answered Casey's two-yard scoring run in the first quarter to tie the game at 7.
After a six-yard Simon run in the first quarter and a 70-yard scamper from Casey in the second, Parsons answered again with a one-yard plunge just before halftime to cut the lead to 21-13 at the break.
Backward and Parsons were among the 10 Wildcat seniors who played their final game in a black and gold uniform.
"I'm just extremely proud of them. They gave great effort all year long. It's certainly nothing to be ashamed of," Fowler said. This was Salina's first second-round appearance since 2010, and Fowler's first playoff appearance since he took the head coaching job in 2011.
Vian (12-0) advances to play the winner of Saturday's Hennessey-Washington game.