Chieftains, Jaguars meet in key Kaw Valley contest
It's a game many have pointed to.
Some thought it would be a battle of unbeatens, while others figured it would decide the Kaw Valley League champion.
It's possible neither is true.
After starting the season 3-0 with three routs, Mill Valley dropped a 22-21 decision to Piper and a 45-35 loss to Bonner Springs on Friday and now stand at 3-2.
The Chieftains, meanwhile, are 4-0 in the Kaw Valley League and 5-0 overall, a half-game ahead of Piper in the league standings for first place. The Pirates are 4-1 in the KVL and overall.
Tonganoxie's only scare this season came against Bonner Springs when the Chieftains needed an 80-yard drive in the final minutes for a 29-25 win.
After this week's game, THS plays the team that handed MVHS its first loss -- Piper.
Comparisons of like opponents will end at 7 p.m. Friday when the two teams do battle in Shawnee.
THS coach Mark Elston said it should be a physical game, as it was last year when Mill Valley defeated Tonganoxie, 12-6. The Chieftains committed eight turnovers in the homecoming loss.
But this season, it's Mill Valley's homecoming and the teams have switched fortunes. Last year, Mill Valley entered the game at 5-0, while Tonganoxie was 3-2.
This year the visiting Chieftains are undefeated and the Jaguars are a game above .500.
"They are extremely well-coached," Elston said. "It was physical last year and it should be a real slobber-knocker again this year."
After winning their homecoming game Friday against Santa Fe Trail, the Chieftains will be on hand for Mill Valley's homecoming festivities, something Elston hopes will motivate his team.
"They don't schedule you for homecoming unless they think they can beat you," Elston said.
Tonganoxie 24, Santa Fe Trail 0
Tim Hopkins led the Chieftains with three touchdowns Friday as Tonganoxie avenged last year's loss at Santa Fe Trail.
THS had 398 yards on the evening in the team's first shutout of the season. Dustan Sprowls added a touchdown reception as time expired for the team's fourth touchdown.
The Chieftains held the Chargers to 126 rushing yards and nine receiving yards as SFT fell to 1-4 on the season.
Kaleb Lawrence led Tonganoxie with 18 tackles, while Nick Stein and Luke McCarty each recorded 13.
Billy Baska had 106 yards on 13 carries, while Hopkins had 100 yards on 10 carries.