It was a difficult opening night for McPherson’s area football teams on Friday as all came up empty.
• Garden Plain 33, Hesston 27 — The Swathers put up huge offensive numbers, but had no answer for Garden Plain’s Nathan Pauly, who had 286 yards rushing and four touchdowns.
Amazingly, Garden Plain won the game despite being whistled for 23 — that’s right 23 — penalties.
The Swathers wasted some monster performances. Zach Esau threw for 285 yards and Cameron Cox had seven catches for 140. Esau also rushed for 91 yards and Parker Roth added 65. But Garden Plain had more than 400 yards rushing and never trailed, though it could never put the Swathers away.
• Solomon 62, Canton-Galva 16 — The Eagles started four freshmen and while they were game early, the Gorillas showed why they’ll be one of the best 8-man teams in the area.
C-G put all 16 points on the board in the first quarter, but Solomon had 30 of its own, then the Gorillas scored 24 in the second quarter.
C-G’s Reed Wiens was 12 of 24 for 82 yards and also ran for a team-high 21 as the Eagles couldn’t get anything going on the ground.
Dylan Wood scored on a kickoff return and Kinser Colgin had the other C-G TD on a 40-yard pass from Wiens.
C-G coach Dustin Patee said he was proud of how hard his team played, but the youth factor was too much to overcome.
• Centre 34, Little River 28 — Peyton Harvey had a nice game for Little River, but the Redskins fell.
Harvey rushed 12 times for 121 yards and a touchdown, and also caught two passes for 34 yards and another score. Clay Zeller threw for 78 yards, with Hunter Thomas totaling 49 yards in receptions.
Harvey had a big night defensively with 12 tackles and an interception, while Jonah Nelson added nine tackles.
• Halstead 36, Smoky Valley 6 — The Dragons scored the game’s final 24 points as the Vikings had trailed only 12-6 after a quarter.
The TD for Smoky Valley came on a 69-yard pass from Bret Heitschmidt to Kyle Anderson.
The Vikings found it tough sledding against the stout Halstead defense, managing just 183 yards of total offense. Halstead had 313, 301 of that on the ground.
Heitschmidt threw for 105 yards while Anderson was the top rusher with 55 yards on 12 carries. Layke Heimerman pounded out 154 yards on 21 carries to lead Halstead, while Chase VanSteenburg added 94.
• Marion 26, Moundridge 0 — Marion scored two early touchdowns for a 14-0 first-quarter lead and while the Wildcats’ defense played strong, it couldn’t overcome an offense that couldn’t produce a point.
First-year Moundridge coach Jeremiah Meeks took blame for the offense. “I could have done a better job of calling plays,” he said. “I was proud of our guys. They played hard.”
• Trinity Catholic 46, Inman 33 — The Teuton coaching debut of Lance Sawyer was spoiled, though the Teutons certainly came to play.
Sawyer said Keaton Case and Kane Timmesch had big games offensively. He also said good games were turned in by Lucas Barlow and Tyler Gordon.
Case threw for 300 yards, Sawyer said, and Timmesch ran the ball well