Offense helps clinch win at Piper
Chieftain football team posts fourth season win; Basehor-Linwood next opponent
If a football teams defense and special teams consistently play well, as Tonganoxies have done this season, fans might forget how good an offense the team has.
But after Fridays 26-14 win at Piper, no one will forget how effective an offense the Chieftains have.
Although Tonganoxies special teams and defensive players performed well last Friday night, it was the offense that had its most productive game of the 2000 season, scoring 20 points.
It was a total team effort, said Coach Mark Elston.
The Chieftains have had some success with the passing game recently, but after finding Pipers weakness early on, the running game did the job for the team.
In fact, the Chieftains only ran four different plays in the second half. None of them was a pass play.
The ground attack was led by junior running back Joseph Sledd, for whom Piper could find no answer.
He carried the ball 44 times for 276 yards.
Joe Sledd played one of the best games Ive ever seen, said Elston. He competed harder than Ive had a kid compete in a long time.
In the third quarter, Sledd, behind solid blocking up front, battled for several tough first downs to keep the ball out of Pipers hands.
It worked: Piper ran three plays the entire quarter.
But Tonganoxie got it done on both sides of the ball. The defense continued its strong play, allowing only one touchdown in the game. Pipers other touchdown was on a kickoff return.
Our defense played excellent after the first quarter, Elston said.
It was the combination of that solid defense and a time-munching offensive ground attack that kept Pipers offense off the field and off the scoreboard.
Add in a special teams crew that scored six points on two Ryan Lowe field goals, and the team played one of its most well-rounded games of the year.
Moving its record to 4-3, the Chieftains are now in second place in District 6.
Elston said the teams recent success had given his players confidence.
The players are believing in each other, he said. We firmly believe that when we step on the field, the game is ours.
The team can move into first place if it can beat first place Basehor-Linwood at Friday nights parents night game in Tonganoxie. Basehor-Linwood, fresh off a 52-28 win over Lansing, also has a 4-3 record.