SALINA, OK —
Salina's Cale Backward scored on a three-yard run in the waning moments Friday night to help the Wildcats cap an important 16-12 comeback win against Colcord.
Salina (4-1, 2-0 District 2A-8) has ripped off four straight wins and is now a top contender for one of the top two seeds in its district.
Salina has already equaled its 2012 win total (4) through just five games.
The 'Cats fell behind 6-0 in the first quarter on a 73-yard Brandon Harper touchdown run. Backward answered for Salina in the second quarter with a five-yard run, and Kyle Johnson tacked on a 26-yard field goal to give the Wildcats a 10-6 halftime edge.
Colcord quarterback Caleb Sawyer tossed a 14-yard score in the third quarter to retake the lead at 12-10, but the Hornets (3-2, 1-1 2A-8) would not find the end zone the rest of the way.
Backward once again led the 'Cats down the field in the fourth quarter for the game-winning score. He finished with 27 yards on six carries.
Salina forced Colcord to punt with two minutes to go, and the Salina offense converted a pair of crucial first downs to seal the win.
Backward finished 8-of-14 through the air for 86 yards and no interceptions. Jon Parsons ran the ball 18 times for 86 yards to lead the Wildcats.
Salina won the turnover battle 3-1. After fumbling the ball away on its second offensive play, the Wildcats didn't cough it up and forced three turnovers — two fumbles, recovered by Jared Mellowbug and Trent Ballou, and a Tyler Underwood interception.
The Wildcats face Wyandotte, the team that stole an 18-15 win and the final playoff spot from them last season, in action next Friday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.