Tonganoxie football blanks Bishop Ward, 42-0
After two consecutive losses, the Tonganoxie High Chieftains looked like the team that started 2-0 in their 42-0 win against the Bishop Ward Cyclones.
The victory improved the team to 3-2 on the season.
“I thought we played well,” coach Al Troyer said. “We’ve struggled the last couple of weeks running the ball, so we made a commitment to getting back to be able to run the football.”
Part of that can be attributed to the injury of sophomore quarterback Mason Beach, who broke his collarbone. Troyer said Beach hopes to return to the field in the last week of the season.
The Chieftains rushed for 387 yards, with senior running back Kyle Fain leading the way with 15 carries for 100 yards. Junior quarterback Jordan Brown added 92 yards and two touchdowns.
The Chieftains rushing attack, led by Brown, and their running backs: Fain and sophomores Zac Morgan and Dalton Bock, propelled them to a 20-0 lead in less than 13 minutes of game time.
“We have a nice rotation of backs that are all capable,” Troyer said.
The Chieftain’s opening drive lasted just over a minute, and after a long run by Fain, Brown finished the drive with a 9-yard touchdown run. On the Cyclones first possession, running back Angelo Sanchez couldn’t control a high snap, and the Chieftains were able to recover a fumble.
After a screen passed picked up a first down on fourth-and-nine, junior running back Conner Brown gave the Chieftains a 12-0 lead on a one-yard rushing touchdown just four minutes into the game.
After the Chieftains intercepted a screen pass, their offense was once again on the move. On the first play of the second quarter, Morgan rushed for a three-yard touchdown to take a 20-0 lead.
“Our focus was moving the ball, and we did a great job of that,” Troyer said.
After the Chieftains failed to recover an onside kick, the Cyclones had the ball with good field position, but weren’t able to do anything with it. After being stuffed on the first three downs, Cyclones’ senior quarterback Jordan Mitchell was sacked on fourth-and-long for a turnover on downs.
Once again, the Chieftains struck quickly. After a long pass from Brown to junior receiver Lane Hecht, Brown rushed for a 12-yard touchdown and a 28-0 lead. Before half, Fain rushed for a one-yard touchdown, Tonganoxie’s fifth rushing touchdown of the half.
On their way to a 34-0 halftime lead, the Chieftain totaled 196 yards in the rushing game.
“I challenged our offensive line,” Troyer said. “We’ve got whipped up front eh last couple of weeks, but they did a great job tonight.”
With the game well out of reach, Troyer said he told his team to play like the score was 0-0 in the second half.
In the Chieftains' first two wins, they had big leads but saw them evaporate in the second half. On Friday, the Chieftains maintained their lead and actually increased it by outscoring the Cyclones 8-0 in the second half.
“We’ve put an emphasis on finishing ballgames,” Troyer said. "We did a great job coming out of halftime, and we finished the game tonight.”
The Chieftain defense played their best game of the season, allowing just 59 total yards and forcing four turnovers while shutting the Cyclones out.
After being on the road for the last two weeks, Tonganoxie will return home this Friday to take on Bonner Springs.