Lansing spoils Tonganoxie homecoming game with big second half
With the first quarter winding down Friday at Beatty Field, Tonganoxie elected to go for the touchdown on fourth-and-goal from the two-yard line. Junior running back Jordan Brown was stuffed and the Chieftains turned the ball over on downs.
It would be a long time before the Chieftains put together another quality drive in a 35-6 loss to the Lansing Lions. The loss dropped THS to 2-1 on the season.
The Chieftains struggled offensively with just 186 total yards, while the Lions had an impressive 398 yards of total offense.
After the first quarter, the game remained scoreless and it appeared to be anybody’s ballgame. The defenses exchanged stops throughout most of the second quarter, too, until senior wide receiver Steve Ray exploded for a 47-yard touchdown run.
After the Lions forced another three and out by the Chieftains, junior wide receiver Isaiah Goodwin caught a touchdown from senior quarterback Nick Redwine with just 39 seconds left in the second quarter to give the Lions a 14-0 lead heading into halftime.
Head coach Al Troyer thought his team missed a chance early in the game to get their foot in the door.
“We definitely did,” Troyer said. “Then we gave up two big plays in the first half. It could have been 0-0, or very easily 7-0 at half.”
The Chieftains got the ball to start the second half, but the Lions forced another three and out. The Lions quickly took advantage with a 30-yard touchdown run by junior running back Quinton McQuillan.
“I thought our defense played well,” Troyer said. “We played a great first quarter and really stuffed them. They were platooning guys and that wore us down. But our guys fought well.”
THS attempted to answer on its next drive, but like most of the night, they went three and out thanks to a sack by the Lions.
“They’re defensive tackles were probably the best we’ve seen,” Troyer said. “They were quick off the ball and gave us fits all night.”
After another Lansing touchdown, the Tonganoxie offense was finally able to gain momentum and move the ball into the red zone for the first time since the first quarter when Troyer replaced quarterback Mason Beach with Brown.
Beach struggled in three quarters, going just 2-for-10 for 33 yards. Brown also threw for 33 yards, but that was on 3-for-4 passing in just the fourth quarter. He also added 51 rushing yards on eight carries.
“I was just trying to get something going; something that worked,” Troyer said.
However, on the first play of the fourth quarter, Brown threw an interception to senior defensive back Ryan McCarthy. Moments later, McQuillan ran for a 78-yard touchdown that pushed the Lions’ lead to 35-0 and end any hope for a Chieftain rally.
They’re a veteran 5A football team,” Troyer said. “Early in the game we stuffed them, and we showed some heart. We’ve got some things that are good for the future.”
But, instead of going away quietly, the Chieftains kept battling and scored a touchdown on a pass from Brown to senior running back Ryan Musick, which Troyer said was a good way to end the game with some momentum.
The starting quarterback for next week’s contest is still unknown, and Troyer said that would be determined by looking at film.
Friday, Tonganoxie will hit the road to take on the De Soto Wildcats in a battle of 2-1 teams.