Defense holds Pembroke until late
Despite a late-game touchdown by Pembroke Hill to take the game, the Tonganoxie High School football team put up its best effort of the season Friday in its 18-13 loss at Pembroke.
"As far as aggressiveness and desire and teamwork, we were extremely improved," Coach Mark Elston said.
Pembroke Hill, which sits on the Kansas-Missouri border, couldn't find a way through the Chieftain defense early in the game. It was held scoreless in the first quarter.
Meanwhile, the Chieftains got things going early, scoring the first points of the game for the second week in a row.
Those points came in the first quarter, when senior Ryan Lowe capped a Chieftain drive into Pembroke territory with a 40-yard field goal.
Soon after, Lowe hit another field goal, this one from 50 yards out.
But Pembroke's offense finally found some success in the second quarter with a long touchdown run. The game was tied 6-6 at the half, after Pembroke missed the extra point.
Pembroke scored again in the third, again missing the extra point. The Chieftains answered right back.
Following the kickoff, Tonganoxie marched the ball back up the field to the eight-yard line, where senior Jacob Sledd ran it in for the score. The extra point was good and the Chieftains took the lead at 13-12.
Tonganoxie held the lead for the rest of the third quarter and most of the fourth, but Pembroke Hill scored with 3:30 left on the clock to win the game.
"It was the best we've played all year," Elston said. "We had a chance to win it, but just didn't pull it out."
Penalties played a factor in the game for the Chieftains.
On one 70-yard Pembroke Hill drive, the Chieftains gave them 65 of those yards in penalties, Elston said.
The Chieftain's next game will begin at 7 p.m., Friday at DeSoto.