THS completes district sweep on Senior Night
This wasn't the ideal way for Tonganoxie to finish the regular season.
But, hey, the Chieftains still registered a win.
Thursday's regular-season finale didn't seem like much of a playoff prelude for Tonganoxie. The Chieftains already had a district title wrapped up before Senior Night at Beatty Field.
And with a 7-1 record, they looked to be the better team against Perry-Lecompton, a 3-5 team just wanting to finish out the year with a victory.
But on the scoreboard, the Kaws made a mismatch look close, thanks to a scrappier second half.
Tonganoxie won, 21-7, but THS sputtered in those final two quarters.
"Give Perry credit," THS coach Mark Elston said. "They kept fighting. They're young and I think they'll be good next year."
Down 21-0 at the half, Perry-Lecompton scored on a 3-yard Cory McPherson run with 6:40 left in the third quarter.
That would be the closest the Kaws would get, thanks to the Chieftain defense. Perry-Lecompton either punted or turned on the ball over on downs on its remaining possessions as Tonganoxie ran its record to 8-1.
"We just got way too big-headed," said senior Zach Ditty. "They came to play, we didn't."
In the first half, though, the Chieftains looked to be on their way to a big rout.
Senior quarterback Ross Starcher ran for a 40-yard touchdown run before Ditty scored on an 80-yard scamper on back-to-back Chieftain series.
But a Sam Mitchell 5-yard run and a Kaleb Lawrence 2-point conversion run in the second quarter would be Tonganoxie's final scores.
THS, however, again didn't have trouble racking up yardage. Starcher alone ran for 245 yards, but Tonganoxie also was flagged for 12 penalties worth 92 yards.
Two of those penalties brought back touchdowns, while THS committed two turnovers.
On the flip side, the Kaws had just two penalties and no turnovers.
Of those 12 THS penalties, one flag was one player's ticket out of the game.
Aaron Adcox was called for a personal foul and thrown out of the game because of its excessive nature. Moments later, Lawrence was called for unsportsmanlike conduct.
At 8-1, Tonganoxie matched last year's overall regular-season record.
That team won a share of the Kaw Valley League title, but this year's team had something last year's squad did not -- a district-title trophy Elston displayed to his players after the game.
Score by quarters
Perry-Lecompton (3-6, 0-3) 0 0 7 0 -- 7
Tonganoxie (8-1, 3-0) 13 8 0 0 -- 21
How they scored
T -- Ross Starcher 40 run (Jeff Hughes kick)
T -- Zach Ditty 80 run (kick failed)
T -- Sam Mitchell 5 run (Kaleb Lawrence run)
PL -- Cory McPherson 3 run (McPherson kick)