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Tonganoxie ruins Wildcats’ home opener

Andy Brown / Louisburg Sports Zone
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Louisburg’s (from left) Eli Johnson, Konnor Vohs and Garrett Harding team up to stop a Tonganoxie player at the goal line and force a fumble Friday at Wildcat Stadium.

It wasn’t the way the Louisburg football wanted to kick off its home schedule Friday against Tonganoxie.

Tonganoxie took advantage of some Wildcat mistakes and racked up nearly 500 yards of total offense as it handed Louisburg a 42-6 loss at Wildcat Stadium.

The Chieftains were the more physical team as they won the battle up front and put together several hard hits on the Wildcat players.

“Tonganoxie is very good,” Louisburg coach Robert Ebenstein said. “My hats off to them. They played a complete, physical four-quarter game. They are best public school that I have seen in a long time. They are legit.”

Louisburg (0-2) had to face obstacles throughout the game, including losing players to injury, and it challenged their depth. Running backs Charlie Koontz and Jay Scollin had to leave the game with injuries, as did quarterback Madden Rutherford.

The Chieftains’ defense held Louisburg to just 175 total yards of offense and forced two turnovers. Even with all that, the Wildcats trailed just 21-6 at halftime.

“They really didn’t let us do a whole lot,” Ebenstein said of Tonganoxie. “Then on top of it we lose two starting running backs and our quarterback to injury, and at that point, we were just going to take what we could get. I am really proud of our kids. They fought hard and they never tucked their tails. They didn’t quit and they fought their butts off and I am proud of them for that.”

Tonganoxie (2-0) opened the game with a 79-yard drive that ended in a 2-yard touchdown, and after the Wildcats were forced to punt on their opening possession, the Chieftains drove down the field once again. Except this time, the Wildcat defense forced Tonganoxie to turn the ball over on downs in the red zone.

Jay Scollin (33) and Justin Collins break up a Tonganoxie pass in the endzone Friday.

As it turned out, it was only a minor victory for Louisburg as Tonganoxie put together another possession that ended on a 5-yard score from Elijah Tyner and went up 14-0 late in the first quarter.

Louisburg had an answer as the Wildcats put together a drive of their own that ended with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Ben Wiedenmann from Rutherford. Wiedenmann also had a big game on the ground for Louisburg as he carried the ball 13 times for 103 yards.

The Chieftains stopped any kind of momentum the Wildcats put together as they scored on their next possession to go up 21-6. Tonganoxie looked to increase its lead even more before halftime, but the Wildcat defense had other answers.

The Wildcats forced two turnovers as Weston Guetterman recovered a fumble near the goal line. Then shortly before halftime, Michael Waldron intercepted a pass to keep the deficit at 15 points.

Louisburg’s Brandon Doles (8) and A.J. Reed team up for a tackle Friday against Tonganoxie.

Andy Hupp was all over the field for the Wildcat defense as the junior linebacker recorded a team-high 16 tackles, including six solo stops. Hupp then came in the game at quarterback in the second half for Rutherford.

“Andy has taken minimal reps at quarterback, but he is just a football player and he will do anything we ask of him,” Ebenstein said. “Andy is just a stud and he played well for us.”

Justin Collins and Brandon Doles were next on the team with seven tackles each, while Guetterman, Garrett Harding and Wiedenmann each added six.

Louisburg will try for its first win of the season Friday when they travel to Baldwin. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. on the campus of Baker University.

“We have a winning culture here, so anytime you lose it is tough on the guys,” Ebenstein said. “At the end of the day, these guys are doing what we ask of them. They are lining up every play and getting to where they need to be. We talk to them about life skills and we tell them that sometimes in life you don’t get lucky breaks all the time and it is all about how you respond. Our kids responded and kept fighting. We are going to go to practice and get better and get ready for Baldwin.”

LOU               0             6             0             0 – 6

TON              14           7             7             14 – 42

SCORING SUMMARY

FIRST QUARTER

T: Sam Kleidosty 2 run (Javier Trujillo kick)

T: Elijah Tyner 5 run (Trujillo kick)

SECOND QUARTER

L: Ben Wiedenmann 8 pass from Madden Rutherford (extra point failed)

T: Cooper Cunningham 16 pass from Blake Poje (Trujillo kick)

THIRD QUARTER

T: Tyner 9 run (Trujillo kick)

FOURTH QUARTER

T: Cunningham 2 run (Trujillo kick)

T: Devyn Splichal run (Mendoza kick)

STATISTICS

RUSHING: Ben Wiedenmann 13-103; Madden Rutherford 9-8

PASSING: Madden Rutherford 7-19-73-1

RECEIVING: Ben Wiedenmann 4-23; Weston Guetterman 2-23; Charlie Koontz 1-21; Michael Waldron 1-6

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