Chieftains drop football finale
After going scoreless through the first half against Lansing in the season finale on Thursday, Tonganoxie struck quickly in the second half on a Billy Baska kickoff return.
Unfortunately for the Chieftains, lightning struck twice.
The Lions scored on an 82-yard kickoff return on the next play after Baska's 83-yard return tied the game at six.
"We went from the top of the mountain to the bottom of the pit in the span of 25 seconds," THS football coach Mark Elston said.
Actually, Tonganoxie had more opportunities than the kickoff return.
The Chieftains were inside the 15-yard line four times against Lansing, including one drive that ended on the six with an interception. THS also had the edge in yards, outgaining the Lions 246-197. LHS had just 19 yards rushing in the second half, along with 68 yards passing.
Lansing, though, had the more important advantage the Lions had no turnovers compared to the Chieftains' four.
"The stats don't lie," Elston said.
With the win, Lansing tied Mill Valley for second in the Kaw Valley League with 5-2 records in the conference.
After leading or sharing first place in the KVL for seven weeks, Tonganoxie fell to sixth place with a 4-3 conference record and 5-4 overall record. After finishing 5-4 last season, THS has consecutive winning campaigns after four straight losing seasons.
Two seasons under his belt
After two seasons as a head coach, Elston now has a 10-8 record at Tonganoxie.
Sophomore Billy Baska was injured early in the fourth quarter at Lansing. Junior quarterback Troy Morando was moved to Baska's running back position and sophomore quarterback Justin Walker finished the game at quarterback.
Lansing 19, Tonganoxie 6
THS (5-4, 4-3) 0 0 6 0 6
LHS (5-4, 5-2) 0 6 7 6 19
L Troy Medill 11 run (kick failed)
T Billy Baska 83 kickoff return (pass failed)
L 82 kickoff return (kick good)
L Medill 3 run (kick failed).