Carlisle’s heroics spark 2OT THS victory
A week after being held out because of a ding to his noggin, Jeremy Carlisle dove head-first back into action for Tonganoxie High at Santa Fe Trail on Friday night.
The Chieftains’ sophomore running back and safety did so literally in the second overtime of the Kaw Valley League clash, sweeping to the right and going airborne into the end zone to score what proved to be the game-winning touchdown for THS in a 28-21 thriller.
The victory wasn’t certain until Carlisle picked off a Phoenix Anshutz pass on the second play of the Chargers’ possession in the second overtime, spoiling Santa Fe Trail’s homecoming game. When Carlisle secured the game-clinching interception, the THS sideline — including coach Mark Elston, who gave a Tiger Woods-esque fist pump — went wild as Tonganoxie picked up its first KVL win of the season.
“It’s awesome,” Elston said. “We had our chances to put them away and, being a young team, we thought we had it there in the first quarter, and, obviously, teams aren’t going to give up.”
Indeed, the Chieftains (4-1 overall, 1-1 KVL) looked to be on their way to routing SFT (0-5, 0-3) in the first quarter after Carlisle scored on a 6-yard run for his first of three touchdowns on the night and the quarter ended with THS senior quarterback Zack Robinson hitting D.J. Lindsay in stride down the right sideline for a 65-yard touchdown pass.
Unfazed, the Chargers scored 21 unanswered to take the lead. Anshutz found Jesse Bahner for a 22-yard score in the second quarter and Chase McIver and Caleb Cook each had a rushing touchdown in the third.
Tonganoxie trailed for all of 14 seconds, though, because after Cook’s score, Carlisle returned the Chargers’ kickoff 83 yards. Following a Robinson extra point, the game was tied at 21.
THS coach Mark Elston praised Carlisle for coming up big for the Chieftains, especially on the momentum-swinging kickoff return for a touchdown, his third return for a score this season.
“He had struggled in the first half,” Elston said. “He missed a couple of tackles and he missed an interception there on the goal line.”
Lesson learned: “Keep having faith in the kids and they’ll perform.”
The coach was disappointed the team turned the ball over on a fumble in the first overtime after forcing SFT to a field goal miss, but he said the Chieftains made plays when they had to.
“The difference between making those plays and not making those plays has left us at 4-1,” he said.
One of the team’s top playmakers at SFT was sophomore Dylan Scates. In the first quarter, he made an athletic grab to bring down a 33-yard pass, recovered a Chargers fumble and picked off an errant Anshutz pass. Later in the second quarter, he got another interception, and, in the fist overtime, he broke up a would-be touchdown pass.
Both teams were unable to score in the fourth quarter, but THS looked to be in real trouble when it was forced to punt with just more than two minutes remaining in regulation. The Chargers had their way with THS most of the second half, thanks in large part to Cook, who rushed for 132 yards in the second half alone and finished the game with 150 on the ground. Cook was back to return Robinson’s line-drive punt, but muffed it, making his only mistake on an otherwise spectacular night. Jeremie Maus recovered the ball with 2:14 to go in the fourth quarter, taking away the Chargers’ chance at a game-ending scoring drive.
THS will play St. James Academy on Saturday at Bonner Springs. The game kicks off at 1 p.m.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
THS 14 0 7 0 0 7 — 28
SFT 0 7 14 0 0 0 — 21
THS: Zack Robinson 13-63, Jeremy Carlisle 8-33, Austen Holloway 11-32, Jeremie Maus 10-32, Shawn Marin 1-3, Tucker Hollingsworth 1-2.
THS: Robinson 2-7-98.
THS: D.J. Lindsay 1-65, Dylan Scates 1-33.
HOW THEY SCORED
(4:18) Jeremy Carlisle, THS, 6 run. Zack Robinson kick. (Tonganoxie 7, Santa Fe Trail 0).
(:00) D.J. Lindsay, THS, 65 pass from Robinson. Robinson kick. (Tonganoxie 14, Santa Fe Trail 0).
(4:08) Jesse Bahner, SFT, 22 pass from Phoenix Anshutz. Chase McIver kick. (Tonganoxie 14, Santa Fe Trail 7).
(9:23) McIver, SFT, nine run. McIver kick wide left. (Tonganoxie 14, Santa Fe Trail 13).
(4:05) Caleb Cook, SFT, four run. Joey Elliott pass from Anshutz. (Santa Fe Trail 21, Tonganoxie 14).
(3:51) Carlisle, THS, 83 kickoff return. Robinson kick. (Tonganoxie 21, Santa Fe Trail 21).
Carlisle, THS, six run. Robinson kick. (Tonganoxie 28, Santa Fe Trail 21).