Week 5 Cram Session: Tonganoxie (4-0) at Piper (3-1)
Tonganoxie High just keeps moving forward. The Chieftains continue to work toward a high seed in the Class 4A East Bracket and the prospects of a Frontier League title.
Records: Tonganoxie 4-0 overall and 3-0 in Frontier League play; Piper 3-1 and 2-1.
Last week: Weather pushed up the start of Tonganoxie’s road game at Bonner Springs. There also was a delay after halftime due to lightning in the area. THS eventually went up, 40-21, early in the fourth quarter. With the prospect of more threatening weather, the coaches agreed to call the game and make it official, so THS won the weather-shortened game, 40-21. Piper suffered its first loss of the season, a 23-6 setback at Louisburg.
Last meeting: Tonganoxie won, 21-7, in 2018. THS has won the last two meetings.
Series record: Piper leads the series, 20-18. The teams first played in 1965 when THS won, 7-6. They didn’t play again until 1981, but have played each other every year except 2006 and 2007. After a heated contest in 2004 in which THS won on a last-second field goal in Kansas City, Kan., the state had the teams take a two-year hiatus after the 2005 contest due to the 2004 incident. Tonganoxie is 3-6 against the Pirates since 2010.
Coaches: Piper’s Rick Pollard is in his second year as Piper head coach. His record at Piper is 8-6. He previously was offensive line coach at Mill Valley where he was part of two state titles. Tonganoxie’s Al Troyer is in his eighth year at Tonganoxie and 12th year overall. He is 46-29 at THS and 48-63 overall. Troyer was at Larned before coming to Tonganoxie. He also served as an assistant coach and offensive coordinator in the Texas high school football ranks.
Trends: Tonganoxie sits at No. 5 in the Class 4A rankings, according to K Preps. Catch It Kansas has THS at No. 6 and Piper at No. 10. Fellow Frontier League team Paola comes in at No. 3.
Two-minute drill: The PIper-Tonganoxie game will be the MidCo Sports Network Game of the Week. Tonganoxie also has scored 40 or more points in every contest. Last week’s loss to Louisburg marked the first time this year Piper did not hold the opponent to just one touchdown.
— Local high school football historian Jeff Hughes contributed to this story.