Tonganoxie takes opener in Perry
Eight turnovers don’t help Kaws’ cause in shutout loss to Chieftains
Season openers usually involve a fair number of mistakes, but for Perry-Lecompton, eight was enough.
The Kaws turned the ball over eight times Friday night, and Tonganoxie capitalized, winning 20-0 at Mason Brunton Field in Perry.
The Chieftains added three miscues of their own, but had just one fumble in the second half.
"You can't turn the ball over that much and win," said Perry-Lecompton coach Mike Paramore. "Give Tonganoxie credit, but we beat ourselves. We haven't really had that much trouble with this in practice, but this is the first time they've seen live bullets."
The Chieftains appeared to have their own tough luck in the first half. After junior linebacker Chuck Riddle intercepted Kaw quarterback Zack Engel at the PLHS 25-yard line, he returned the football to the six. But the Chieftains couldn't crack the end zone, including fourth and less than a yard.
"We didn't line up right on that play and they jammed the middle on us," said Tonganoxie coach Mark Elston. "This was a young team and it was just jitters."
The younger Chieftains lost major momentum when Jared Swafford scampered 38 yards to the Tonganoxie 44 just minutes after the Kaws were pinned inside the one. But then came a fumble two plays later, and the threat was history.
The Kaws also threatened in the third quarter during a drive that went to the Tonganoxie nine-yard line. The Chieftains made their own goal-line stand, and held on to their lead.
Elston might have been concerned with his team having jitters, but one young Chieftain seemed to have no nervousness.
Sophomore Billy Baska tallied 108 yards on seven carries, along with two of the Chieftains' five interceptions. Riddle also had two and junior James Hartshorn had one pick.
Perry-Lecompton finished the game with 189 yards on 39 carries. Tonganoxie accumulated 239 yards on 51 carries.
The Chieftains now enter week two undefeated for the first time in more than six years, something Elston said was needed for his team.
"It was real important to get off to a good start," Elston said.
The Chieftains will look for another win Friday at Leavenworth against Immaculata.
The Raiders lost to Mill Valley 9-6 last Friday, but Elston sees a tough task in a team that went 6-0 last year before enduring key injuries and three losses to end the season.
"They're big and strong and fast," Elston said. "And they're all seniors."
Like father, like son. Perry-Lecompton joined Tonganoxie as having a coaching staff with a father and a son. Mark Elston is the head coach at Tonganoxie, while Don Elston is an assistant. Mark Paramore has the same distinction at PLHS with his father Jim Paramore.
We're not gonna take it . . . De Soto, which finished last season 0-9, started this season 1-0 after thumping Lansing 27-7 Friday in De Soto. Immaculata and Basehor-Linwood, last year's Kaw Valley League co-champions, both started the season with losses.
Tonganoxie (1-0, 1-0) 0 8 0 12 20
Perry-Lecompton (0-1, 0-1) 0 0 0 0 0
T Troy Morando 3-yard run (Morando pass to Mitchell McGinnis)
T Billy Baska 19-yard run (Pat Weyer kick blocked).
T Billy Baska 72-yard run (Two-point conversion fail).
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