District play to begin Friday against Gardner-Edgerton
Perry The Tonganoxie football team begins a new season Friday.
The Chieftains (1-5) begin district play at Gardner-Edgerton (4-2). DeSoto (2-4) and Eudora (4-2) will be Tonganoxie opponents in subsequent weeks.
The team with the best record after playing the three district games will advance to the playoffs regardless of its previous record.
That's good for the Chieftains who lost another Kaw Valley League game Friday at Perry-Lecompton.
The Kaws dominated, winning 33-9.
"Offensively we were pleased," said Steve Hughes, Tonganoxie football coach. "We played tough. We realized they were going to be good."
Despite the lopsided score, the Chieftains looked strong early in the game.
Perry-Lecompton took the opening kickoff and drove to the Tonganoxie one-yard line.
But the Chieftains' defense forced a fumble and the offense took over on the two-yard line.
The offense marched 98 yards for a touchdown and an early lead.
John Barnes completed 4-5 passes on the drive for 58 yards including a 17-yard completion to Neil Rieger and a 25-yard completion to Aaron Minor on third and 13.
On fourth and one-yard-to-go at the Perry-Lecompton 12, Minor caught Barnes' pass in the right corner of the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown with 11:11 remaining in the second quarter.
"We came to win," Hughes said.
But the Kaws weren't about to roll over and surrender their lead in the league standings or lose on their homecoming night.
Joe Corcoran, Perry-Lecompton's marquee tailback, scored two touchdowns and set up another in the second quarter.
Gary Freeman, Kaw quarterback, also passed for a second-quarter touchdown.
The halftime score was 26-6.
Corcoran ran for 170 yards in the first half.
Freeman was 2-4 for 63 yards.
Mike Cloud also had 50 yards rushing and a touchdown for the Kaws in the first half.
Hughes said that he knew the Kaws were good and that the defensive plan was to try to slow Corcoran.
"We planned on trying to keep him from breaking real big ones and breaking our back," Hughes said.
Unfortunately, the Chieftains were not able to do so in the second quarter.
After the second quarter, the game was much quieter.
Ryan Lowe added another long field goal for Tonganoxie in the fourth quarter.
His 45-yard kick was his fourth kick longer than 40 yards this season.
In his second game this season since returning from a knee injury, Adam Bundy rushed for almost a hundred yards for the second consecutive week.
He had 97 yards on 20 carries.
The Chieftains, trailing by a couple of touchdowns, went to the air often in the second half of the game.
Barnes finished 10-23 with one interception and 120 yards passing.
The offense had 256 total yards on 56 plays.
On defense, Chris Calovich and Jared Walters led the team in tackling.
Calovich had five unassisted and four assisted tackles.
Walters had nine unassisted and three assisted tackles.
Friday, the Chieftains travel to Gardner-Edgerton for the first of three district games.