All area teams fall on tough Friday night
A grass field, a missed opportunity to take control, dropped passes and a Tonganoxie team determined to make a statement added up to a very difficult Friday night for Lansing Lions' football.
The host Chieftains got off the deck following a superb Lions' defensive play to tie the score in the second half, and responded like the 4-1 team they'd soon become to take control in a mildly surprising 28-21 win over the Lions.
Lansing (3-2), a team that played all of its first four games on turf, locked horns with a Tonganoxie grass field and the change in footing may have had some effect on the outcome.
Not rear as much as the Chieftains did.
“The field was no factor at all, no factor whatsoever, both teams played on it and was the same for both teams,” Lansing head coach John McCall said. “It’s frustrating to lose and our hats are off to Tonganoxie’s players and staff. They did a great job. We just got to get better. This was not the performance we wanted.
“We have to learn from it and get better.”
The 1-2 Landing running punch of Quinton McQuillan and Henry Myrick, a week removed from a nearly combined 300 yards, were held by Tonganoxie to 68 yards on 21 carries.
“We couldn’t run the football,” McCall said. “When you don’t have the ability to run the football and we had some new guys in, it’s just one of those nights.”
Tonganoxie struck first on a Jordan Brown touchdown run to jump out to a 7-0 lead in the initial four minutes of the contest.
But the Lions wouldn't be daunted as they answered the Chieftains with a strong drive to tie the game at 7-aa.
The two teams waged back-and-forth in a game of mini threats and plenty of penalties as the game stayed even.
Neither could gain any real momentum until Tonganoxie mounted a strong drive that consumed five minutes and culminated in a 14-7 lead for the Chieftains with just over two minutes left before halftime.
The hosts held that edge to the locker room.
Soon after the game's mojo shifted 102 minutes after the break when junior Joe Hill intercepted a Tongie quarterback pitch and ran it back 15 yards to the house and the 14-14 tie.
Alas, they failed to seize control on the defensive end and the Chieftains responded with a gut punch of a drive that wrapped with Brown's second scoring run and a 21-14 THS lead with 8:10 left in the third quarter.
A defensive stop and another scoring drive for Tonganoxie put Lansing in a 28-14 hole with just over 15 minutes left in the game.
Lansing mounted a late and impressive drive sparked by some hard running and the Jenkins-Douglas combination that helped the Lions along.
Jenkins hit Douglas for a five-yard score with 3:38 left to breathe life into the Lansing hopes.
Tonganoxie recovered the ensuing onside kickoff and managed to knock out about 75 seconds before punting the ball back to the Lions who started the biggest drive of the game from their own 40, but were unable to cash in and the hosts held on for the win.
OTHER FINAL SCORES
Olathe Northwest 34, LEAVENWORTH 0
Jayhawk-Linn 32, PLEASANT RIDGE 16 Oskaloosa 60,