THS posts 590 rushing yards in rout
Basehor-Linwood was far from spoiler Friday night for Tonganoxie's homecoming at Beatty Field.
The improved Bobcats came into the contest with a 3-2 record, but the Chieftains ran right over the visiting Bobcats -- literally.
Tonganoxie ran the ball 82 times for 590 yards in a 55-14 drubbing. In all, 15 Chieftains ran the ball Friday, including quarterback Ross Starcher, who led the team with 236 yards on 17 carries.
Fellow seniors Sam Mitchell and Zach Ditty also had 100 yards each in the victory.
For the Chieftains, homecoming hardly was a distraction.
"I told them in the locker room we'd score on the third play of the game and we did," Tonganoxie coach Mark Elston said. "I also told them we'd be up 14-0 before they knew what happened and the players backed it up."
That third play from scrimmage was a Starcher 56-yard touchdown run. Tonganoxie's other quick score came courtesy of Ditty, to the tune of a 53-yard touchdown run.
The Chieftains had a 20-0 lead after the first quarter and a 33-0 halftime lead thanks to three straight touchdown runs from Mitchell inside the Bobcat 10-yard-line.
Basehor did respond after halftime. The Bobcats scored first on a 1-yard touchdown run by Josh Ishmeal. Jake Proctor then scored on an 80-yard punt return and the Chieftains had a 33-14 lead. That was the end of the Basehor-Linwood rally.
Starcher scored two more touchdowns before Jordan Herron hauled in a 10-yard pass from Jeff Hughes for his first touchdown of the season.
Tonganoxie also was 3-for-7 passing with 70 yards.
THS limited Basehor-Linwood to 52 rushing yards on 25 carries and 103 yards on 3-for-11 passing. Tonganoxie also registered an interception, thanks to Ditty.
Elston credited a successful Friday to an efficient week of practice.
"We got stuff accomplished and got out of there," Elston said, noting that practice times were shorter this week. "We played the best we've played on offense all season."
Tonganoxie punted just once in the game.
Now 5-1 overall and 5-1 in the Kaw Valley League, Tonganoxie will not be crowned league champs for the second consecutive year. Last year, the Chieftains shared the title with Piper, but this year Tonganoxie likely will finish second to Mill Valley. The Jaguars went 6-0 in conference play as the open their Class 5A district play Friday.
THS, meanwhile, opens 4A districts Friday at Bonner Springs. The Braves are winless at 0-6 heading into districts.
"Bonner has improved greatly since the beginning of the year," Elston said. "They moved some big guys out and put some quicker guys in.
"They're going to be up for the ball game. Last year we kind of stole one from them."
Last-minute heroics last year helped Tonganoxie to a 29-25 thriller at Beatty Field.
The teams will meet at 7 p.m. Friday in Bonner Springs.
Tonganoxie 55, Basehor-Linwood 14
BLHS (3-2, 2-2) 0 7 7 0 -- 14
THS (5-1, 5-1) 20 13 14 8 -- 55
How they scored
T -- Ross Starcher 56 run (Jeff Hughes kick)
T -- Zach Ditty 53 run (Hughes kick)
T -- Sam Mitchell 1 run (kick failed)
T -- Mitchell 3 run (kick failed)
T -- Mitchell 7 run (Hughes kick)
BL -- Josh Ishmeal 1 run (Scott Lashbrook kick)
BL -- Jacke Proctor 80 punt return (Lashbrook kick)
T -- Starcher 13 run (Hughes kick)
T -- Starcher 2 run (Hughes kick)
T -- Jordan Herron 10 pass from Jeff Hughes (Matt Drake run)