Chieftains unable to recover from BSHS third-quarter spurt
Bonner Springs A couple quick punches to the gut Friday night in the form of Bonner Springs High third-quarter touchdowns were enough to thwart the Tonganoxie football team’s chances of ending a three-game losing streak.
A one-point halftime lead turned into a 35-point loss for the Chieftains at David Jaynes Stadium after the Braves scored twice in the first 2:41 of the second half and rolled from that point on to a 48-13 victory.
THS had scored twice in the final three minutes of the first half to take a 13-12 lead into halftime, seemingly grabbing momentum away from Bonner Springs, which had led 12-0 before Tonganoxie junior quarterback Garret Elston threw a pair of touchdown passes to senior receiver Amos White in a 2:51 span.
After the Chieftains’ first TD, they took advantage of a fortuitous bounce on the ensuing kickoff. A lofty kick by White came to a halt along the sideline near the BSHS 20-yard line and before a Braves returner could pick it up, THS seniors Derek Lingo and Ryan Lynch pounced on the ball. Eventually, Lingo secured it at the bottom of a dog pile.
However, the opening minutes of the third quarter were nearly a replay of Tonganoxie’s 13-0 spurt, except things went in Bonner Springs’ favor this time around.
Helped by three Chieftains penalties on the opening drive of the second half, BSHS went 65 yards in seven plays and regained the lead with a 24-yard TD run by JJ Jackson.
On the Braves’ ensuing kickoff, THS muffed a short kick and Bonner Springs (2-3 overall, 1-3 Kaw Valley League) recovered at Tonganoxie’s 33-yard line. Two plays later, BSHS was up 26-13 and the Chieftains (1-4, 1-4) were done.
THS interim coach Matt Bond said the opening minutes of the third quarter derailed what his team had accomplished going into halftime.
“They shifted the momentum pretty quick,” Bond said of the Braves. “They drove the ball down our throat a little bit and then they bounced back on a short kick. “
That being said, Bond thought Tonganoxie should have handled the situation better.
“We’ve just got to bounce back and overcome those things,” he said. “We kind of got it put on us for about a three-minute period there and kids kind of forgot what it was like to have momentum like we had in the second quarter. We’ve got to be able to overcome those things.”
Once Bonner Springs took a 13-point lead, Tonganoxie’s next six possessions ended without a score. The Chieftains punted twice, turned the ball over on downs two times and lost a pair of fumbles.
Bond said he was proud of a lot of his players in defeat but occasionally the team showed troubling characteristics.
“There was times tonight that I addressed a little bit about their effort and about whether we’re gonna stick with this thing and find a way to make ourselves better or we’re gonna point fingers at each other and blame each other and fall off the ship,” he said.
Most of those moments of panic came in the second half as Bonner Springs took control.
“I saw us get down on ourselves and get a little discouraged instead of forgetting about the previous play and just moving on,” Bond said. “We have to do a better job of that.”
Also problematic for Tonganoxie in its fourth straight loss was offensive production. THS had just 171 yards from scrimmage and was limited to 2.8 yards a carry.
While Lingo led the team with 57 rushing yards on 12 carries and Shane Levy had 43 yards on 10 rushes, the Chieftains had just 33 yards on 25 other rushing attempts. Those numbers were significantly impacted by the Braves’ ability to bring down Elston in the backfield for a loss, which happened five times.
Bond said the junior QB was under a lot of pressure because BSHS was bringing linebackers off the edge. When THS linemen missed their blocking assignments, it made things tough on Elston, who threw seven second-half incompletions.
“It caused some problems,” Bond said. “We just have to get them picked up.”
Tonganoxie’s defense was causing some trouble for the Braves in the first half. Junior defensive end Julius Coats wreaked havoc for most of the opening half with one and a half sacks and a tackle for loss. Coats also got to a ball carrier a number of other times. Between Coats’ presence and the play of Dallas Jacobs and Levy at the line of scrimmage, Bonner Springs wasn’t nearly as successful as it was in the second half.
As the Braves scored 36 unanswered points after halftime, Bond said the THS defense struggled. The interim coach said the Chieftains weren’t getting off blocks, especially at their linebacker and secondary positions.
“We’re just not disengaging and getting rid of blocks,” Bond said. “We’re standing on our heels and letting them come to us instead of going to attack them and doing the things we’re taught.”
Tonganoxie has been outscored 174-85 through five games this season.
At 7 p.m. Friday, the Chieftains play host to Lansing (2-3, 2-3) for homecoming.
Bonner Springs 48, Tonganoxie 13
Score by quarters
THS 0 13 0 0 — 13
BSHS 6 6 30 6 — 48
B — JJ Jackson 24 run. Kick failed.
B — Drew Hern 47 fumble recovery. Conversion failed.
T — Amos White 21 pass from Garret Elston. White kick.
T — White 2 pass from Elston. Conversion failed.
B — JJ Jackson 24 run. JJ Jackson pass from Jordan Jackson.
B — JJ Jackson 1 run. Conversion failed.
B — Stevie Williams 37 pass from Jordan Jackson. Williams pass from Jordan Jackson.
B — JJ Jackson 10 run. JJ Jackson run.
B — JJ Jackson 47 run. Conversion failed.
THS rushing: Derek Lingo 12-57, Shane Levy 10-43, Tyler Zinser 4-20, Garret Elston 14-17, Jared Sommers 3-2, Tyler Ford 4-minus-6.
THS passing: Garret Elston 5-12-38.
THS receiving: Amos White 3-25, Derek Lingo 2-13.