Chieftains bounce Bonner
It might have been better to call it the Troy Morando show than a high school football game.
Nonetheless, Tonganoxie's senior quarterback led the Chieftains to a 21-7 Kaw Valley League road victory against Bonner Springs Friday night.
Morando burned the Braves with two scores and had a key interception in the second half, helping the Chieftains to their first victory of the season.
On its first drive, THS (1-1) went three-and-out and had to punt. But on their second defensive play of the game, the Chieftains forced a Bonner Springs fumble and recovered it on the BSHS 31-yard line.
On the next play, Morando went to the air and connected with senior Kyle Mayse on a 31-yard touchdown strike. Mayse ran a sharp route and found himself all alone in the BSHS secondary. Morando's pass hit Mayse right in stride and the Chieftains jumped out 6-0.
"Kyle called that play himself," said THS coach Mark Elston. "We ran the same play the first series. He figured out where he could get open."
Actually, the Chieftains went to the pass formation on their first play from scrimmage. This time, Mayse altered his route and then found the end zone.
Bonner Springs (1-1) blocked the extra point, but that was the highlight for the Braves' defense in the first half.
On Tonganoxie's second defensive stand, the Chieftains held Bonner Springs three-and-out. After taking possession at the BSHS 32 yard line, Morando scampered in on an option play from 12 yards out.
Morando's touchdown came on a fourth-and-two, and it all but buried the Braves.
Bonner Springs, though, tried to claw its way back into the game by scoring on a fourth down of its own, late in the second quarter. Brave quarterback Aaron Weathers hit a diving Phillip Henry in the back of the endzone on fourth-and-11 play and that cut the THS lead in half at 14-7.
However, with less than two minutes to go in the half, the Chieftains marched 70 yards and scored the game's final points on a Billy Baska 16-yard run. In the second half, a drastic downpour greeted the teams, something Elston said was an advantage for the Chieftains.
"It helped us out because they like to get wide and on the corners, and on the slick field, it made it tougher for them," Elston said.
Late in the third quarter, Bonner Springs began a desperation drive on its own four-yard line, and in 14 plays had reached the THS 29 yard line.
With the Braves' momentum building, Morando leaped in front of a BSHS receiver and picked the ball off. Morando's 60-yard return gave the Chieftains the ball at the Braves' 30-yard line. THS failed to score, but the interception all but iced the game. THS hopes it has built enough of its own steam. The Chieftains head to De Soto on Friday to take on the 2-0 Wildcats. DHS completed a postponed game against Piper on Monday. The Wildcats led 14-3 at the start of the continuation and finished with a 21-3 victory.
DHS has improved greatly since coach Brad Scott took over in 2000. That year, the Wildcats were 0-9. Last year, they went 1-8, but feature senior Michael Allen again this season. Allen has rushed for more than 2,500 yards the last two seasons.
"It's always a concern when they have one of the premiere backs in the state," Elston said. "We can not allow him to get into the secondary."
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