Basehor-Linwood ends THS football season
Chieftains finish year 3-6 after loss to archrival
In a game played in wet and muddy conditions, fumbles plagued the Tonganoxie Chieftains in a 27-8 loss in their season finale to the Basehor-Linwood Bobcats. The Chieftains lost five fumbles and threw one interception, which led to all of the Bobcats’ 27 points.
“It was a muddy night, so we knew it was going to be a grind-it-out game,” head coach Al Troyer said. “You’re going to turn the ball over.”
Despite outgaining the Bobcats 341 to 310, the Chieftains never led in the game. The loss dropped the Chieftains to 3-6 (0-3 in district play) and ended their season. Meanwhile, the Bobcats, at 5-4 (2-1) qualified for the playoffs.
“I can’t fault the effort of our kids,” Troyer said. “They fought hard.”
After the Chieftains got a fourth and goal stop on the one-yard line, junior quarterback Jordan Brown couldn’t handle a bad snap and the Bobcats recovered the fumble in the end zone for a 7-0 lead.
After another fumble by the Chieftains, Chas Rollo rumbled down the sideline for a 34-yard touchdown and gave the Bobcats a 14-0 lead.
With the first quarter winding down, the Chieftains were in desperate need of a big play, and sophomore running back Zac Morgan gave them just that.
Morgan busted an 85-yard run, but Nick Fisher, a senior defensive back for the Bobcats, caught up to Morgan at the goal line and forced a fumble. It appeared that Morgan scored the touchdown, but the officials controversially ruled that Morgan had fumbled and the Bobcats recovered it in the end zone for a touchback.
“He (the ref) said he fumbled on the three-yard line,” Troyer said. “We could tell on the instant replay right away that he was down in the end zone before the ball popped out. It looked like he was three yards into the end zone before the fumble.
“The ref that was closer to the play couldn’t see it and didn’t make the call. It was the one further away.”
Troyer said the call fueled his team for the remainder of the game.
In the third quarter, Bobcats’ senior fullback Austin Roberts’ fumble deep in Chieftain territory kept the game within reach.
But after another fumble by Brown, this time on a handoff, the Bobcats scored another touchdown to take a 20-0 lead.
To begin the fourth quarter, the Chieftains stopped the Bobcats for the second time in the red zone on fourth down. Then after Brown, who rushed for 106 yards, exploded for a 72-yard run, and a 25-yard touchdown run by Morgan, the Chieftains were down just 20-8 midway through the fourth quarter.
With just under four minutes remaining, sophomore Mac Thompson threw an interception, and after the Bobcats’ running back Jahron McPherson ran for a 37-yard touchdown, the game was out of reach.
“Hats off to them, they’ll go play in the playoffs,” Troyer said. It’s a great rivalry, and it was a great rivalry game.”
Although Tonganoxie finished below .500 at 3-6, Troyer was pleased with the progress his young team made. The Chieftains, who only lose six graduating seniors, will bring back most of their roster for the 2016 season.
“Tonight set the tempo for the future,” Troyer said. “They played well tonight, and we shut them down at times. I’m excited for the future.”