Defense keys Tongaonoxie road win
Tonganoxie raced on to the field fired up for kickoff of Friday's game at Basehor-Linwood.
THS coach Mark Elston said his team didn't have a good week of practice last week. Because of that, he preached before the game that the team needed to be intense at all times -- whether on the sideline or in the game. He stressed that they needed to keep up the intensity.
Lineman Kent Fleming, meanwhile, said the team was pumped up because of a Basehor-Linwood sports segment on Sunflower Broadband Channel 6 earlier in the week. During the segment, Bobcat players discussed the upcoming game against Tonganoxie.
"We knew they didn't respect us," Fleming said.
Whatever the motivation, Tonganoxie players were focused on Friday's game.
The Chieftains picked up their fifth straight victory with a 24-3 win at Basehor-Linwood.
Tonganoxie (5-1 overall and 5-1 in the Kaw Valley League) held a 7-3 lead after the first quarter and never looked back after that. The Chieftains scored 10 more points in the second and seven in the third.
Besides not allowing a touchdown, the Tonganoxie defense held Basehor-Linwood to 23 passing yards and 73 rushing yards.
THS, offensively, had 192 rushing yards and 79 passing yards.
Tonganoxie managed a score in the third quarter despite Basehor-Linwood controlling the ball much of that quarter. The Bobcats held onto the ball, but BLHS couldn't muster a score.
"They did a good job of controlling that clock," Elston said.
At one point in the second half, the Bobcats were deep in Tonganoxie territory with a golden opportunity to score a touchdown.
The Chieftains were flagged with back-to-back penalties -- the first for a sideline warning and the second for a personal foul. Regarding the sideline warning, players are supposed to stand inside a "box" marked with a white line on the grass. The "box" didn't appear to be visible, but an official thought the sideline players had stepped outside of the box.
After the two penalties, Elston called a time out.
During the timeout, Fleming said he was upset that Basehor-Linwood had gained so many yards on the two penalties.
On the next play, Fleming plowed through the line and forced a Bobcat fumble. The Chieftains recovered the football on the play.
"There was no way they were going to score," Fleming said.
Now Tonganoxie's attention turns to district play, the final three games of the season, which decide whether teams will advance to the playoffs.
The top two teams from each four-team district advance to the postseason.
Tonganoxie has advanced to the playoffs the last three years. Fleming looks for the Chieftains to make it four straight.
Districts begin at 7 p.m. Friday when Tonganoxie plays Bonner Springs at Beatty Field.
"We're feeling confident," Fleming said. "We want to go 3-0.
"We're not going to take Bonner Springs lightly."
Tonganoxie 24, Basehor 3
Score by quarters
Tonganoxie 7 10 7 0 -- 24
Basehor-Linwood 3 0 0 0 --
How they scored
T -- Brandon Willis 10 run (Jeff Hughes kick)
BL --ordan Kauffman 31 FG
T --illis 1 run (Hughes kick)
T --ughes 24 FG
T -- Daniel Volk 24 pass from Hughes (Hughes kick)