Tonganoxie football holds on again after big lead for 2nd victory of season
Through three quarters, the Tonganoxie High football team dominated Turner on its way to a 42-12 lead. Like week one, when the Chieftains almost blew a 24-point lead, they allowed the Bears to rally in the fourth quarter Friday, but were able to hang on for their second win of the season.
After their 30-point fourth quarter lead was trimmed to nine, Tonganoxie held on and defeated Turner, 48-39, to improve to 2-0. The Chieftains were led by sophomore quarterback Mason Beach and junior running back Jordan Brown. In week one, Beach and Brown split time at quarterback, and head coach Al Troyer suggested that would continue until he saw some separation. Friday, Beach got all of the snaps at quarterback, excluding the wildcat formation, and had an extremely efficient night going 7-for-10 for 165 yards and three touchdowns.
“Mason (Beach) was throwing perfect passes,” Troyer said. “He was dropping some dimes out there tonight.”
Brown moved to the running back position, where he was the leader in the Chietains’ rushing assault with 25 carries for 223 yards and five touchdowns. Sophomore running back Zac Morgan added 63 yards and a touchdown one seven carries, and junior running back Conner Brown.
“We ran the ball better than we did a week ago,” Troyer said. “Mason (Beach) and Jordan (Brown) were the perfect combination tonight. They were great.”
Even though the close final score didn’t show it, the Chieftains were in control for most of the game. However, it was the Bears who had the chance to draw first blood.
On their first drive, the Bears moved the ball into the red zone with their rushing attack, and even appeared to score a touchdown to gain a 6-0 lead. However, a penalty turned the touchdown into third down and-15. Chieftain senior free safety Dalton Trimble returned an interception for a touchdown, a play that seemed to change the complexion of the game.
“Oh man, it was huge,” Troyer said. “That quick turnover changed momentum. Our kids did a great job.”
The Chieftains kept the momentum by recovering an onside kick, which resulted in a touchdown pass from Beach to junior wide receiver Keaton Rickard to give them a 14-0 lead.
“Our kids came out hard,” Troyer said. “They had some big kids up front, so we didn’t know how that was going to play out.”
On the very next kickoff, the Chieftain recovered their second onside kick, and scored on a two-play drive capped off by a touchdown run by Morgan to take a 22-0 lead.
“We definitely saw something in the onside kick tonight,” said Troyer, whose team later converted a third onside kick.
After two more touchdowns from both teams, the Chieftain’s took a 34-12 lead into the half.
The Chieftain added to their lead in the third quarter, and it looked as though they would cruise to a routine victory.
However, a long touchdown run by senior wide receiver Andre Jackson and a recovered onside kick pulled the Bears to within 42-19 and gave them some momentum.
After another touchdown by the Bears, the Chieftains responded with their biggest drive of the game, which ended with a rushing touchdown by Brown that effectively put the game out of reach.
“I think we kind of relaxed a bit too much,” Troyer said. “We’re young, we’ve just got to grow up a little and put them away.”
Next Friday, Tonganoxie will look to improve to 3-0 when its hosts Lansing for this year’s homecoming game, which starts at 7 p.m. at Beatty Field.