Garden Plain held off a challenge from a 3-6 Independent team in the first round of the Class 3A football playoffs, winning 12-7 at Independent on Tuesday night to advance to Saturday’s second round.
Garden Plain (9-1), the second-place team in its district, had to go on the road for the first round but will be home Saturday to face Halstead. The Dragons (9-1) defeated Southeast-Saline 36-22 at Halstead.
Martin Landwehr scored for Garden Plain in the second quarter, but the two-point conversion was missed and Garden Plain led 6-0 at halftime.
Nicholas Dooley scored for the Owls late in the third quarter for a 12-0 lead before Independent cut the lead to five points with a touchdown with 81/2 minutes remaining.
Chaparral 48, Douglass 16 — At Chaparral, the Roadrunners improved to 9-1 by beating Douglass (3-7). Chaparral scored 20 first-quarter points to take command. Chaparral will play at Hesston (7-3) on Saturday in the second round.
Hesston 48, Sterling 8 — Zach Esau passed for three touchdowns and ran for another as the Swathers advanced with a home victory. Esau completed 8 of 12 passes for 175 yards, 106 of which went to receiver Zach Vogt. Teammate Parker Roth had 12 carries for 118 yards and Esau had 113 yards on 14 tries.