THS football suffers first loss at Mill Valley
School, KVL, Overall
Bonner Springs, 4-0, 4-0
Mill Valley, 3-0, 4-0
Tonganoxie, 2-1, 3-1
Lansing, 2-2, 2-2
Piper, 1-2, 1-3
Basehor-Linwood, 1-3, 1-3
Turner, 1-3, 1-3
Bishop Ward, 0-3, 0-4
For the most part, the first three weeks of Tonganoxie High’s season featured mistake-free football. Friday’s trip to Mill Valley showed how quickly mistakes can derail a win streak.
Turnovers and dropped passes plagued the Chieftains in a 27-7 loss to the Class 5A Jaguars. THS (3-1, 2-1 Kaw Valley League) entered the game with just two turnovers, but gave the ball away three times in its first loss of the season.
Following a scoreless first quarter, in which the Chieftain defense stopped Mill Valley (4-0, 3-0) inside the THS 10-yard line, the Jaguar defense capitalized on a mistake by quarterback Tyler Ford. Ford had a pass over the middle intercepted by T.J. Phillips, who returned it 57 yards for the first points of the game.
The score provided Mill Valley a spark after its offense failed to cash in on its first two scoring chances. The Jaguars drove to the Chieftain 1 on their game-opening drive, but Jordan Boudreaux intercepted quarterback Ty Bruce in the end zone. Aided by a Shane Levy fumble, MVHS had a short field and got back in the red zone on its next possession, but James Grizzle ended the threat with a sack at the 15 on fourth down.
“The defense came down and stopped them and played well,” coach Al Troyer said. “(The pick-six) was a big swing.”
Mill Valley made it 14-0 on a one-yard scoring run by Tyler Garrison with 6:49 left until halftime. Neither team scored again before the break.
THS receivers broke free behind the defense several times in the first half, but had trouble hauling in passes. Ford overshot his targets on a few attempts, but several incompletions went through receivers’ hands.
“We played well, but we can’t win ball games when we can’t catch the ball,” Troyer said. “We had so many drops tonight that were five or six yards behind the secondary. We had our opportunities. They’re a good ball club, and they capitalized on our mistakes.”
The Chieftains went three-and-out to open the second half. Bruce, who ran for 101 yards and threw for 88 more, scored from eight yards out on the ensuing possession. Christian Jegen capped off Jaguar scoring with a 48-yard punt return touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
THS avoided a shutout when Ford found Carl Hecht for a three-yard score in the game’s final minutes.
“We never give up,” Troyer said. “Even last year when we were getting beat 59-0, they were still fighting hard. That’s the nature of these kids. They’re going to fight no matter what, and they showed that tonight on that last drive.”
Despite the final score, Troyer’s squad outgained Mill Valley, 276-259. Cole Holloway led all ball carriers, rushing 18 times for 105 yards. Ford was 15-of-29 passing for 118 yards, but was picked off twice. Mill Valley’s Nick Wilson complemented Bruce’s rushing performance with 69 yards on 14 carries.
Tonganoxie will travel Friday to Bishop Ward. The Chieftains defeated the Cyclones last season, 30-16.
Score by quarters
THS 0 0 0 7 — 7
MVHS 0 14 7 6 — 27
MVHS — T.J. Phillips 57 interception return (Connor Mills kick), 11:46
MVHS — Tyler Garrison 1 run (Mills kick), 6:49
MVHS — Ty Bruce 8 run (Mills kick), 7:49
MVHS — Christian Jegen 48 punt return (kick failed), 11:38
THS — Carl Hecht 3 pass from Tyler Ford (Eric Tate kick), 1:14
MVHS: Ty Bruce 29-101, Nick Wilson 14-69, Tyler Garrison 1-1, Micah Clarke 1-0; THS: Cole Holloway 18-105, Shane Levy 8-31, Jared Sommers 1-14, Tyler Ford 4-8.
MVHS: Bruce 6-14-1 88; THS: Ford 15-29-2 118.
MVHS: Zach Hanna 2-47, Chase Midyett 3-35, Zach Deverill 1-6; THS: Levy 7-41, Maleak Gibson 4-34, Hecht 2-25, Sommers 1-17, Ben Johnson 1-1.