Speedy quarterback spoils Chieftains home opener
The task: Keep Bonner Springs quarterback Tyler Jock near the center of the football field. Don't let the speedy senior get to the outside where he can make defenses look at the No. 4 on the back of his jersey.
Tonganoxie had trouble stopping Jock's 240 yards of total offense in Friday's 30-8 home opening loss against Bonner Springs.
Jock's improvisational maneuvers on the field made him tough to tackle. He displayed blazing speed toward the sideline, but could also run it up the gut, like he did on the 63-yard touchdown run on Bonner Springs' opening drive.
"You have to take exact angles and be fundamentally perfect against that speed," THS coach Mark Elston said. "We've played against him for four years and he always makes the first kid miss."
Jock finished the game with 140 rushing yards and two touchdowns. The senior only completed two passes, but one went for 84 yards and a score to Jeremy Walker.
On the bright side for the Chieftains, Elston said they played more physical Friday than they had all season. Senior offensive/defensive lineman Cameron Adcox agreed.
"They didn't beat us physically," Adcox said. "We beat them physically. We had linebackers flying and filling holes that they hadn't the past two weeks. We had guys flying to the ball hitting everybody."
Tonganoxie (0-3) just couldn't catch Bonner Springs (3-0) near the sidelines. Bonner Springs took a 15-0 lead into halftime, courtesy of touchdown runs by Jock and Jonathan Walker.
"Pretty much our whole game plan was just contain, contain, contain," Adcox said. "We knew if we turned (Jock) back inside, we were going to have 10 other guys right there to possibly make that tackle. If you watched the game, you saw their touchdowns came on the outside when we didn't get to contain. I don't want to take anything away from those guys, though. They had great games."
Tonganoxie cut the lead to 15-8 in the third quarter when freshman quarterback Jeremy Carlisle ran the ball up the middle for a two-yard touchdown.
Carlisle and senior Gabe Belobrajdic ignited the drive when they connected on a 66-yard pass, which took Tonganoxie to the BSHS 8-yard line. Belobrajdic found a seam in the BSHS secondary near the left sideline and ran for about 30 yards after the catch.
"We told the kids at halftime if we score on the first drive, it's a whole different ball game," Elston said. "Everyone got pumped up. 15-0 is only two plays. The two (Bonner Springs scoring) plays, we were there, but they just out-athleted us. Our kids were busting their tails to do things, but we just don't have that kind of speed."
The Chieftains squandered an ideal opportunity to score on the first play of the fourth quarter. Carlisle found sophomore wide receiver D.J. Lindsay near the left sideline. Lindsay made several Bonner Springs defenders miss, tiptoed near the sideline while keeping himself in bounds and continued up the field. He forgot the most important part, though. After gaining 28 yards, Lindsay fumbled the ball near the BSHS 14-yard line. Players dove after the football, which traveled all the way into the end zone. The Braves pounced on the ball, then scored two series later to seal the 30-8 victory.
"I walked up to D.J. after the game and said, 'You know what, that's one play," senior running back Kevin Gill said. "Every young guy makes mistakes. Just get over it. He's very quick and definitely has the heart and desire to play varsity football."
Tonganoxie will travel to Mill Valley (3-0) Friday in search of its first win of the season. Mill Valley defeated Piper (1-2), 15-9, last week.
Notes: Injuries have been unkind to Tonganoxie this fall. Two more seniors left Friday's game with injuries. Linebacker Wes Armstrong suffered a strained elbow and separated a previously hurt shoulder, while running back D.J. Gray twisted his ankle. Both players will miss two weeks.