2001 Central Football

2001 FootballThe 2001 Salina Central football team was one of six Mustang state championship teams in a span of 13 years from 1993 through 2005, but few teams in Kansas history dominated like this one.

When Central defeated Pittsburg by 35 points in the class 5A state title game (56-21), it matched almost exactly the Mustangs’ average margin of victory over 12 games during their unbeaten season.

Only one team in those 12 games managed to score more than seven points in the first half against the Central defense. The Mustang offense, like it did through much of the regular season, built identical 28-0 leads in the first half of each of its three postseason victories over
Salina South (35-14), Andover (70-25) and Pittsburg.

In the 5A title game, played at Pittsburg’s Carnie Smith stadium, Central scored on eight of its 10 possessions. That included eight rushing touchdowns, four of those in the first half against a Pittsburg defense that had not allowed more than 27 points in a game all season.

Senior running back Donnie Anders set a school single-season record with 3,252 yards rushing, and set a state record while averaging 271.0 yards a game. Anders had 327 yards rushing and five touchdowns in the title game, with the Mustangs also getting scoring runs from Nolan Seim, Jim Christy and Charlie Elsea. The Central defense forced three turnovers in the finale, including two interceptions for Cody Frank.

The Central defense gave up an average of 10.6 points a game in the regular season and the Mustangs extended their district winning streak to 30 games over 10 years.