Big-time shutout: Tonganoxie High rolls against 6A’s Shawnee Mission East
Halfway through the second quarter of Tonganoxie High’s football game against Shawnee Mission East, the score could have read “Dallas Bond 21, SM East 0.”
The senior caught two touchdown passes in the first quarter and another in the second, helping Tonganoxie on its way to a 35-0 victory against the visiting Lancers on Friday at Beatty Field.
THS senior quarterback Blake Poje found Bond for touchdown passes of 22 and 18 yards in the first quarter and then a third with about 7 minutes left in the second quarter. On that play, Poje roamed around in the backfield looking for a target and then zeroed in on Bond’s No. 84 in the back of the north end zone for a big score.
Bond finished the game with 70 yards on four catches.
Poje, meanwhile, completed 13 of his 17 passes for 193 passing yards. He had four touchdowns altogether, with a fourth coming on a 28-yard pass play to Sam Kleidosty. The junior made the catch and then used some nifty moves for yards after the catch and eventually scored on the play. He also caught the two-point conversion for Tonganoxie’s final score of the night. He had 68 receiving yards on five catches and 14 rushing yards on two carries.
Senior Tyler Bowden scored Tonganoxie’s other touchdown on the ground. He had 150 rushing yards on 28 carries. Senior Jackson Stevens also had 28 yards on 4 carries, while junior Devyn Splichal ran the ball once for four yards.
Bowden also had 38 receiving yards on three catches. Senior Mitch Geiger also caught a pass for 17 yards.
“It felt pretty good,” THS coach Al Troyer said about Friday’s victory. “Our kids rose to the occasion.”
Defensively, senior Branden Martin led the team in tackles with 9 (4 solo). Bond and junior Connor Bruch each had 6 tackles (Bond 4 solo and Bruch 3 solo). Kleidosty had 4 (3 solos), while senior Tucker Isaacs both had 3 (2 solo each). Senior Jerrod Lowe registered 2 (both assisted), while Geiger had 2 (1 solo) of his on. Senior Tamar Brown and Splichal each had a solo tackle, while Maxwell had an unassisted tackle.
Marten also recovered two fumbles. Poje and Maxwell each disrupted a SM East pass as well.
Troyer said he also was proud of the Tonganoxie defense, which recorded its second shutout of the season. THS also blanked Piper, 29-0, on Oct. 3.
Tonganoxie came oh so close to another score in the first half. Leading 14-0, THS had driven down to about the half-yard line, but a false start pushed the team back 5 yards. Freshman kicker Jackson Williams, who connected on a 41-yard field goal the week before, then missed a 22-yard attempt after the false start penalty.
The Chieftains have been accustomed to Bowden leading the offensive charge on the ground, but Tonganoxie was able to mix it up even more Friday. THS has shown the ability to move the ball on the ground and through the air, but against SME, Tonganoxie’s balanced attacked amassed 205 rushing yards and 193 passing yards, with all but one score coming through the air. The most balance came in Week 1 when rushing and passing yards were almost identical and video-game level. THS had 353 rushing yards and 354 passing yards for a whopping 708 total yards in a 62-28 victory against Basehor-Linwood.
Tonganoxie has one more game left before the Class 4A playoffs begin.
THS (6-1 overall and 3-1 in Frontier League play) travels south to take on conference foe Ottawa (1-6 and 1-6). The Cyclones are coming off a 35-7 loss at Louisburg. OHS has lost five straight after slipping by Baldwin, 33-32, in Week 2.
The Chieftains likely will finish the season as Frontier League runner-up, unless Louisburg (4-3 and 4-2) can spring an upset on league leader Paola (7-0 and 6-0) this Friday.
Paola is ranked No. 1 in 4A, while Tonganoxie is No. 2 in the Kpreps rankings.
The playoff picture currently has Paola as the No. 1 seed in the East Bracket, while Fort Scott is No. 2 at 5-0. Tonganoxie is No. 3 and Lansing No. 4 (4-2).
If the playoffs started today, No. 3 Tonganoxie would face Labette County (2-5) on Oct. 30 at home and then would face the winner of No. 6 Louisburg (4-3) and No. 11 Coffeyville (2-4) the following week. Many playoff positions could change after Friday’s games, but if higher seeds won out, THS would then play No. 2 Fort Scott in a third playoff game and then could face No. 1 Paola in the substate round in a rematch of that 35-28 thriller in Week 3 at PHS.
The state championship would pit the East and West bracket winners against each other on Nov. 28 at Hummer Sports Park in Topeka.
McPherson (6-1) and Andover Central (5-1) currently are the top two seeds in the West Bracket.
Tonganoxie 35, SM East 0
Score by quarters
Shawnee Mission East 0 0 0 0 — 0
Tonganoxie High 7 14 6 8 — 35
How they scored
6:53 — Dallas Bond 22-yard pass from Blake Poje. Jackson McWilliams PAT good. Tonganoxie 7, SM East 0
11:00 — Bond 18 pass from Poje. McWilliams PAT good. Tonganoxie 14, Shawnee Mission East 0
7:08 — Bond 3 pass from Poje. McWilliams PAT good. Tonganoxie 21, Shawnee Mission East 0
8:46 — Tyler Bowden 3 run. McWilliams PAT no good. Tonganoxie 27, Shawnee Mission East 0
11:45 — Kleidosty 28 pass from Poje. Kleidosty 2-point conversion pass from Poje good. Tonganoxie 35, Shawnee Mission East 0
Total plays: Tonganoxie 56, SM East 39
First downs: Tonganoxie 19, SM East 9
Penalties: Tonganoxie 5/60, SM East 3/35
Offensive numbers this season vs. opponents
(rushing yards/passing yards total)
Basehor-Linwood: 353/354 707
Louisburg: 243/52 295
Paola: 241/57 298
Eudora: 420/137 557
Piper: 228/192 428
Southern Boone: 292/125 417
Shawnee Mission East: 205/193 398