Tonganoxie football season ends with shutout loss
Meriden Something had to give.
The Tonganoxie and Jeff West High School football teams both entered the final game of the regular season looking to snap losing streaks and end the season on a positive note. Tonganoxie had not won since the opening game of the season, and Jeff West was trying to rebound after five straight losses.
Turnovers punished the Chieftains starting on the opening possession and continued throughout a 46-0 defeat to Jeff West on Thursday in Meriden. Junior Garret Elston fumbled the ball on the opening drive, which ended up being the first of three fumbles of the game.
This was the final game in a Tonganoxie uniform for seven seniors, who head coach Matt Bond addressed in the locker room after the game.
“I’m proud of the seniors,” Bond said. “They played extremely hard and they represented us well.”
The Tigers struck first with just over a minute remaining in the first quarter on an 85-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ian Mullins to receiver Mik Barancik. The Tigers had a 26-point second quarter, which included two touchdown passes by Mullins, of 62 and 21 yards respectively, and two rushing touchdowns. The Chieftains fumbled the ball two more times before the half.
Mullins threw two more touchdown passes in the second half, one for 58 yards and the other for 57 yards.
Ford threw for 93 yards and an interception, with 45 of those yards coming in the first quarter. Elston converted on two fourth-and-one plays before throwing an interception with two minutes remaining in the third quarter.
The Chieftains will return a core group of players next season, and Bond said he likes what he sees for the future of the program.
“We’ve got some young guys that, you know, if they continue to work hard and do the things we ask them to do, they can absolutely help us bounce around a little bit next year,” Bond said.
Tonganoxie ended the season 1-8, while Jeff West improved to 4-5.