Tonganoxie crushes Jeff West; Chieftains meet Holton on Tuesday
Jefferson West was no match for Jeff Hughes and the Tonganoxie Chieftains Thursday night.
Hughes rushed for three touchdowns and threw for another as the Chieftains rolled to a 42-7 victory. The win locked up a runner-up finish in district play. The Chieftains will play a bi-district playoff game Tuesday against Holton, which outlasted Clay Center, 21-6, Thursday in Clay Center. The Wildcats won that contest, a game that started about 80 minutes after its scheduled 7 p.m. kickoff because of a power outage.
In Tonganoxie, the Chieftains (8-1) took an early lead when Daniel Volk capped a 10-play, 64-yard drive with a 5-yard touchdown run up the middle. The two-point conversion attempt failed, but the Chieftains led 6-0 with 8:28 left in the first quarter.
Jeff West answered with an 11-play, 60-yard drive that gobbled up six minutes of clock. Matt Eddington's one-yard plunge up the middle tied the game. Nick Polamari's extra point put Jeff West ahead 7-6 with 2:30 left in the first quarter.
Jeff West's lead lasted all of 36 seconds. That's how long it took for the Chieftains to respond. Hughes ran an option play to the right, tucked the ball away and darted 48 yards to the endzone. He then completed a pass to Zeb Kissinger for the two-point conversion that made it 14-7.
Tonganoxie's lead wasn't safe yet. Jeff West pounded up the middle and marched all the way to the THS four-yard-line before fumbling. Kissinger, however, recovered the ball and thwarted the threat.
D.J. Gray added a six-yard touchdown run up the middle with one minute left in the second quarter. Tonganoxie took the 20-7 cushion into the locker room at the half.
The Chieftain defense sent a statement on the first possession of the second half by forcing a quick three-and-out. The offense then milked five minutes of clock with a 16-play, 49-yard drive in which all but two plays were on the ground. One of the passing plays was a two-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Miles in the corner of the endzone. Volk rushed for the two-point conversion.
Suddenly THS led 28-7 with 5:12 left in the third quarter.
Hughes added touchdown runs of 78 and 41 yards in the fourth quarter that forced the final margin of victory. Hughes finished the game with 238 yards rushing. Volk led the defense with two interceptions and Derek Parrett added two sacks.
In another game of interest, Atchison squeaked past Perry-Lecompton, 25-20, in a soggy game at Perry. Atchison improved to 9-0 on the season and won the Class 4A District 7 title, while PLHS was eliminated from playoff contention. The Kaws finished the season at 6-3. Tonganoxie, which defeated Perry-Lecompton in Week 7, 21-0, finished second in District 7 and will travel Tuesday to Holton. The Wildcats won the District 8 title with the victory against Clay Center, which finished as runner-up in that district.
Holton, the defending 4A champion, will take a 23-game winning streak into the game against Tonganoxie.
Clay Center (8-1), meanwhile, will play at Atchison in the Tigers' opening round playoff game.