Manhattan, KAN. – The Sunflower Showdown was more like the Sunflower Armistice on Saturday in Manhattan. At least for the first half, when the second half hit, the fireworks began.
K-State’s first and only look at scoring in the first half produced a missed field goal by Andrew Hicks. Kansas’ lone score came on a short field goal by Gabriel Ruiz.
The Wildcats were set to receive the second half kickoff, which ended up being recovered by Kansas after the kick checked up at the Kansas State 30 yard line. KU was unable to get points out of the drive, and after a Kansas State sack, actually gave the Wildcats better field position. It then only took Kansas State five plays to march down the field and find the endzone for the first time on a 25 yard Alex Barnes touchdown run.
KU responded on the ensuing drive as Peyton Bender began to lead his offense down the field, which was highlighted by a Khalil Herbert carry that put the ball at the Kansas State 10 yard line. Bender ended the drive with a nine yard touchdown pass to Jeremiah Booker, and just like that Kansas had regained the lead at 10-7.
K-State came down the field trying to answer, and after a great reception by Wykeen Gill, K-State looked like they would face a third down and three to go, but a facemask on KU pushed K-State forward to the 11 yard line. After an Alex Delton eight yard carry, Kansas State would take the lead back with some fancy footwork from Barnes and put another touchdown on the board. On the kickoff, Kansas State forced their first turnover of the game, when Jayhawk return man Pooka Williams and fallen on by K-State’s Landry Weber.
K-State was unable to capitalize after holder Colby Moore botched the hold on a Blake Lynch field goal attempt, two plays later Kansas was back in the endzone on a Steven Sims touchdown reception from Bender, with the PAT, KU took a three point lead.
After exchanging scores the entire second half, K-State made their move on the final Wildcat possession of the game. Quarterback Alex Delton scampered for a 21 yard touchdown to give the ‘Cats the lead for good. A clutch 4th & 2 conversion by Alex Barnes helped set up the game winning score. For good measure, the Wildcats stopped a driving KU team by recovering a Bender fumble at the KSU 41 as Bronson Massie fell on it for the win.
With this win, Bill Snyder has now won 23 games against Kansas and it is 10 straight wins for K-State over the Jayhawks, which is one shy of the record of 11 straight (1993-2003). Up next, Kansas State will take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders next Saturday at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.