Football loses district game
It is hard being a senior. Behind the power of being the top dogs and the excitement of new beginnings after graduation is the residual sadness of endings.
For nine football players, Friday night was their final home game.
Emotions got the best of Chris Calovich and John Barnes, two of the senior leaders for the Chieftains, as they tried to explain how they felt about their last game in the solid red uniforms with white numbers and lettering.
That they wanted win, tried to win, left everything on the field was not in doubt.
There was Calovich, senior linebacker, desperately holding onto a DeSoto runner, ripping him to the ground.
There was Barnes, senior quarterback, rolling to his left, seeing no open receivers and breaking up field, twisting, cutting and fighting for yardage.
There was Adam Bundy, senior running back, carrying the ball for 39 and 42 yards on his first two carries.
But it wasn't enough.
DeSoto rolled up 198 yards 193 on the ground en route to a 21-0 halftime lead.
The Chieftains had 108 yards in the first half, most of it on Bundy's two long runs and a 17-yard scramble around left end by Barnes.
The Chieftains were unable to put together a sustained drive.
Tonganoxie drove to the DeSoto 35 and had a field goal blocked, to the DeSoto 37 and had to punt, and to the DeSoto 24 where the Chieftains turned it over on downs.
Calovich, Barnes, Bundy, Aaron Minor, Jared Walters, David McMahon, Matthew Legg, Jessey Hunter and Neil Rieger will finish their Tonganoxie football careers Thursday night.
The Chieftains were officially eliminated from the playoffs with the loss Friday.
Gardner-Edgerton, which beat Eudora last week and Tonganoxie the week before, should advance from Tonganoxie's district.
Next season, the Chieftains will play in a different district against Basehor-Linwood, Piper and Lansing.
The Chieftains play at 7 p.m. Thursday at Eudora.
Eudora lost to Gardner-Edgerton last week and beat DeSoto the week before that.
It will be the final district game and the final game of the season for the Chieftains.