OSWEGO — The Oswego Indians did something only done once before in school history on Thursday night.
Win a playoff game.
Oswego thrashed the Central Raiders 54-8 in the first round of the KSHSAA 8-Man I playoffs for just the school’s second-ever playoff win. It was the first home playoff game for Oswego since 2009.
“We’ve come a long ways just in a few years,” Oswego head coach Matt Fowler said. “We’ve had some kids really grow up. The kids get the credit because they work so hard. They’ve brought us here and this will stand on their shoulders for a long time.”
WATCH: Oswego tops Burden-Central 54-8 in the first round of the 8-Man Division I playoffs. Oswego faces Madison for a regional title next week. @Oswego504 @stevemcbrien @FbOswego @koamfox14sports @teal_lance pic.twitter.com/80HKKBLlRh— Jacob Lenard (@j_lenard) October 30, 2020
Oswego established dominance early, scoring three touchdowns in the game’s first six minutes and four in the first quarter en route to a 30-0 advantage.
“We had to be physical and we did a great job of executing and blocking well,” Fowler said. “Defensively, we played well early which helped us get the ball back to get those scores.”
The Indians outgunned Central at the point of attack routinely to set the tone. Oswego ended the game with 257 yards rushing and 36 passing. The Indians’ defense limited Central to minus-3 yards on the ground and 20 yards through the air.
“That’s what (Central) hangs their hat on too,” Fowler said. “So it was a battle of wills to see who would get that established. It was everything on both sides of the ball.”
Jace Landes accounted for four rushing touchdowns while Jake Hutchinson added two. Lance Teal rushed for one score and threw for another to Isac Elkins.
Perhaps the lone point of concern for Oswego was execution on two-point conversions. The Indians were 3-of-7 on point-afters.
“We’ve been really good there,” Fowler said. “It’s something we pride ourselves in. Some nights are just tough. We’ve got to execute better on those. A lot of coaches will tell you those are the hardest three yards in football.”
Oswego, now 8-1 on the season, entered Friday night playing just its seventh live game. Two wins for Indians came via non-COVID-19 related forfeits from Altoona-Midway and Marmaton Valley.
“We were as physically ready to go as you can be at this time of year,” Fowler said. “We have some injuries and guys that aren’t able to play. But we have guys stepping up to fill roles. I think we’re in a good place right now as a team moving forward. Guys feel good about them and they should.”
The Indians will travel to face off against the undefeated, 9-0 Madison Bulldogs next Friday in the second round of the playoffs. Madison smashed West Elk 59-6 on Thursday night.
“Madison is a great football team,” Fowler said. “They’ve been one of the best 8-Man programs for a decade. They won back-to-back titles in 2010 and 2011. It’ll be a great test of us to see where we are as a program.”
Fowler said there won’t be any secrets between the two teams in how they’ll scheme against one another.
“As far as the gameplan,” Fowler said, “at this point in the season, you are what you are. You run what you run best and you try to execute as best as possible to give yourself an opportunity.”
For Oswego, Thursday night’s win was historic. But it also provided an extension to a season in a year marred by uncertainty.
“I’m glad we get to have another week of practice with these guys,” Fowler said, “and we get to take the field another time with them. We get four more practices and one more game.”
Oswego 54, Central 8
Oswego: 30 18 6 — 54
Central: 0 8 0 — 8
OS: Jake Hutchinson 5-yard run, 10:04, 6-0
OS: Lance Teal 24-yard pass to Isac Elkins, 8:10, 14-0
OS: Jace Landes 36-yard run, 6:05, 22-0
OS: Teal 13-yard run, 30-0
OS: Landes 6-yard run, 7:41, 36-0
CE: Tony Brogan 71-yard kickoff return, 7:30, 36-8
OS: Landes 26-yard run, 3:37, 42-8
OS: Landes 10-yard run, 1:20, 48-8
OS: Hutchinson 8-yard run, 10:48, 54-8