Hutch comeback sends Ike home with loss


By Travis Mounts

The Eisenhower Tigers football team had a great start to Friday’s game against the Hutchinson Salthawks at Gowans Stadium in Hutchinson, leading by as many as 20 points, but the Salthawks had the best finish in a come-from-behind 27-20 win over the Tigers.
Already leading 14-7 after the first quarter, the Tigers found the end zone for a third time in the first half to go up 20-7. Senior quarterback Tyner Horn connected with sophomore Carter Pabst for a 22-yard touchdown, the duo’s third scoring play of the game.
Horn hooked up with Pabst for a 91-yard touchdown just 15 seconds into the game. After a Hutchinson score, the duo scored again on a 14-yard pass play.
Hutchinson got a score before halftime to pull to within 6 points, 20-14, at halftime.
The Salthawks got a big spark to start the second half as Daniel Hernandez returned the opening kickoff 70 yards for a touchdown that put them ahead 21-20. They led the rest of the game.
Another touchdown in the third quarter put Hutchinson up 27-20.
The Salthawks’ defense held the Tigers scoreless through the second half. Their defense made Eisenhower’s offense one-dimensional, holding the Tigers to just 24 yards on 28 rushing attempts.
Hutchinson gained 349 yards of offense, with 127 passing and 222 running. Eisenhower had 290 yards of offense, with 262 coming through the air.
But the Tigers were very successful with that one dimension of offense. Horn was 18-for-27 passing for 288 yards, and he connected with Pabst seven times for 179 yards. Horn also was intercepted twice.
Carson Roy had 73 yards on eight catches. Lucas Dickman made three receptions for another 36 receiving yards.
“It’s really good,” Eisenhower head coach Darrin Fisher said of the Tigers’ passing performance. “One hundred seventy-nine yards and three touchdowns for a sophomore (Pabst), that’s pretty outstanding.”
However, Fisher would rather run to victory. Hutchinson was good with its defensive blocking.
Improving the running game will be a focus this week.
“We need to improve on that,” Fisher said.
He noted the Tigers also had problems containing the edge on defense and they missed too many tackles.
Troubles aside, the Tigers were competitive in the game. A potential touchdown in the second quarter was called back, which Fisher said hurt. Momentum swung more when the Salthawks scored to open the second half.
The Tigers also were denied on a fourth-and-goal play in the fourth quarter that Fisher thought was in. That play would have given Pabst a fourth touchdown.
Eisenhower plays the first of back-to-back home games this Friday. The Tigers will host the Salina Central Mustangs, who are coming off a 52-28 win over their crosstown rivals, the Salina South Cougars.
This week’s focus will be on maintaining offensive blocks. Central features a strong running game, with a good running back and a quarterback who can use his legs.
The game starts at 7 p.m. at Goddard District Stadium.