Tonganoxie, Paola to meet in football for first time in 35 years
Once upon a local high school league, Tonganoxie and Paola were conference foes and played often.
Both THS and Paola were members of the Pioneer League for 13 years, but the last time the teams played was in 1982.
The two teams now are in the same conference again with Tonganoxie joining the Frontier League this year, but Paola was the only league Tonganoxie did not face during the regular season.
Now with a playoff game on the line, the two teams meet tonight with a 7 p.m. kickoff in Paola.
Tonganoxie (7-2) is the No. 6 seed in the Class 4A East Bracket, while Paola is the No. 3 seed (8-1).
Baldwin advanced to tonight's playoff game with a 45-6 victory at home against Baldwin. THS dropped Chanute, 48-36, last week in Tonganoxie.
The Chieftains opened the season 0-2, but have won seven straight since then. The Panthers were 7-0 with the Frontier League title on the line Oct. 19 when Louisburg won, 25-7. LHS got the Frontier League title and the No. 1 seed in the east bracket.
Tonganoxie lost to Louisburg, 27-7, in Week 2.
THS leads the all-time series with Paola, 9-7. Tonganoxie won the first meeting, 12-6, in 1963 and the last meeting in 1982 by a 12-7 score, according to local football historian and Tonganoxie High alum Jeff Hughes.