THS thwarts Perry’s quest for perfection
History did not repeat itself Thursday in Perry.
At halftime of Tonganoxie's football game against Perry-Lecompton, PLHS recognized the 1980 football team, which went undefeated in the regular season that year.
Tonganoxie 0 0 7 14 3 -- 24
Perry-Lec. 0 0 13 8 0 -- 21
PL -- Cory McPherson 9 run (McPherson kick)
T -- Daniel Volk 4 run (Jeff Hughes kick)
PL -- Daniel Hemme fell on fumble in end zone (McPherson run failed)
T --homas Hopkins 4 pass from Hughes (Hughes kick)
PL -- David Foltz 4 run (Sean Blosser pass from Foltz)
T -- Hughes 26-yard field goal
On Thursday, Perry-Lecompton entered the final game of the season at 8-0, while Tonganoxie was 7-1.
They needed overtime, but the Chieftains spoiled the Kaws' quest for another undefeated season with a THS victory, 24-21.
A Jeff Hughes field goal in overtime pushed Tonganoxie past Perry-Lecompton, 27-24. The win gave THS a share of the Kaw Valley League title and the outright district title.
"That was awesome," THS coach Mark Elston said. "That was a great high school football game."
Perry-Lecompton, Lansing and Tonganoxie each finished with one loss in league play.
On Thursday, Perry-Lecompton and Tonganoxie squared off in a classic KVL game.
In the first half, both defenses were stifling. Combined, the two teams punted nine times -- Tonganoxie five times and Perry-Lecompton four.
Then came the second half, and it seemed like a different football game.
On the first possession of the second half, Perry-Lecompton drove 55 yards in four plays. Cory McPherson scampered in from nine yards out for the touchdown and then tacked on the extra point and gave PLHS a 7-0 lead with 10:35 left in the third quarter.
The quick score, though, didn't faze the Chieftains.
Tonganoxie answered with a 12-play, 83-yard drive that included four first downs -- three of which were consecutive.
Daniel Volk scored on a 4-yard run. Hughes' extra point tied the game at seven.
On Perry-Lecompton's next possession, the Kaws continued to pound out yards, but PLHS scored its second touchdown in an unconventional manner.
On first-and-goal from the 9-yard-line, Perry-Lecompton again ran the ball. But the Kaws fumbled the football. After about seven players tried to recover the pigskin, Perry-Lecompton's Daniel Hemme fell on the ball -- in the end zone. On the extra-point attempt, Tonganoxie was called for offsides. Instead of an extra-point attempt at the 3-yard-line, the ball was moved half the distance to the goal line with the penalty. Being closer to the goal, the Kaws elected to try for two points, but the Chieftains stuffed the running play and Perry-Lecompton led, 13-7.
On Tonganoxie's next possession, the Chieftains went three-and-out and were forced to punt. THS, however, caught a break when McPherson muffed the punt and Tonganoxie took over at the Perry-Lecompton 26. Tonganoxie, nine plays later, scored on fourth-and-goal. Thomas Hopkins hauled in a four-yard pass from Hughes. Hughes nailed the extra point and Tonganoxie had a 14-13 lead with 6:12 left in the game.
With 1:59 left in the game, Perry-Lecompton took over on its own 5-yard-line after a Tonganoxie punt. THS appeared to deliver a knockout punch after Phil George stripped the ball away from McPherson. Hughes scooped up the ball and ran in five yards for the score. His extra point put THS up, 21-13 with 1:51 left in the game.
Perry-Lecompton, though, had one last drive.
The Kaws' Caleb Denton returned the ensuing kickoff to the Tonganoxie 42. Perry-Lecompton marched down the field and scored on quarterback David Foltz' 4-yard keeper that pulled the Kaws to within two. On the two-point conversion, Foltz found Sean Blosser in the end zone and the hometown crowd was fired up.
In overtime, Tonganoxie had the ball first as each team had four downs in which to score from the opponent's 10-yard-line. The Chieftains only could muster two yards, so Hughes set up for a field goal. His 26-yard kick sailed through the uprights and THS had a 27-24 lead.
On Perry-Lecompton's possession, the Kaws had similar problems moving forward. On fourth-and-10, Perry-Lecompton attempted a 28-yard field goal. But McPherson's attempt went wide left and the Chieftains celebrated a thrilling victory.
Tonganoxie almost was held without a score in the first overtime. On third down, Hughes threw a deflected pass that hit a Perry-Lecompton player in the chest, but he couldn't hold on to the ball for an interception.
Senior Aaron Adcox said the road win was monumental for Tonganoxie.
"You have no idea," Adcox said. "We were so pumped.
It was the biggest game the seniors have ever played in."
The win secured a home game in the first round of the playoffs. Adcox said the Chieftains would be dedicating their playoff games to two fellow seniors --eth Lloyd and Ryan Bennett. Lloyd played in his last high school game Thursday after breaking his arm in the first half against Perry-Lecompton. Bennett, meanwhile, has been out since Sept. 16 with a broken foot, but hopes to have his cast off soon.
"We want to do it for Seth and Ryan," Adcox said.
When Perry-Lecompton lined up for its overtime field goal, Elston anxiously awaited the kick.
"I'm not Catholic and I was saying Hail Marys and rubbing beads," Elston said with a big grin.
Ironically enough, the Chieftains could face Hayden, a Topeka Catholic school, in the second round of the playoffs on Saturday.
With Thursday's victory, Tonganoxie improved to 8-1, making it the third consecutive year the team finished the regular season with that mark.
On Tuesday, Tonganoxie faced off against 4-5 Bishop Ward in bi-district play.
A story about the Ward-Tonganoxie game can be found on page 1A of today's edition of The Mirror.
Perry-Lecompton (8-1) was paired with Lansing (8-1) in its bi-district game.