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Fort Scott 42, Louisburg 20

FORT SCOTT – The Louisburg High School football team began a brand new season Friday when it opened district playoffs at Fort Scott.

The Wildcats didn’t get off to the start it wanted.

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Fort Scott broke open the game in the second half as it scored 21 unanswered points in the third quarter and Louisburg couldn’t catch up in a 42-20 loss.

Louisburg (5-2) couldn’t contain Fort Scott running back Zarek Fewell as the elusive Tiger back finished the game with 214 yards and five touchdowns.

“They just beat us up front,” Louisburg coach Robert Ebenstein said. “They were more physical, they made big plays, we had some guys go down and our depth kind of got exposed. We just have to get better, and we will, but there is some stuff that we definitely need to fix.”

Turnovers and big plays from Fort Scott were the Achilles heel for the Wildcats as two of the Tigers’ touchdowns runs went for 60 and 56 yards. Fort Scott also had an 81-yard pass play that set up another touchdown in the first half.

In the third quarter, turnovers haunted Louisburg as it threw an interception and then fumbled the kickoff that allowed Fort Scott to go in for another score.

“The first third down of the second half, we line up wrong formation wise and we have to punt,” Ebenstein said. “Then we throw an interception. Then we drop a kickoff and it just kind of steamrolled from there.”

Louisburg lineman Garrett Harding brings down Fort Scott’s Zarek Fewell with the help of linebacker Austin Moore on Friday in Fort Scott.

Fewell started the game with a big play for Fort Scott. After the Wildcats were forced to punt on the game’s opening possession, Fewell broke free for a 60-yard touchdown run on the Tigers’ first play from scrimmage.

The Wildcats were able to answer right back as quarterback Madden Rutherford broke free for a 27-yard run that set up as 12-yard touchdown pass from Rutherford to Austin Moore.

Late in the first quarter, Fort Scott quarterback Jesse Jones found receiver Gunnar Brown for an 81-yard pass play that set up another Fewell touchdown. The Tigers got the lead back, but the Wildcats responded as Moore broke free for a 20-yard run on their next drive, which set up a 1-yard touchdown run from Moore, but the extra point was no good.

Fort Scott took a 21-13 lead at halftime, but the Wildcats were still within striking distance. However, penalties and turnovers cost Louisburg and the Tigers were able to capitalize with three consecutive touchdowns.

Moore led Louisburg on the ground with 100 yards rushing, while Rutherford had 89 yards through the air to go along with two touchdowns, including a 30-yard touchdown pass to Desmond Doles to end the game.

Senior Christian Tosterud was all over the field for the Louisburg defense as he led the Wildcats with 10 tackles on the night. Noah Larson and Will Ridley each had a sack and Doles had a fumble recovery in the first half.

Louisburg will try and keep its playoff hopes alive this Friday when it travels to Ottawa. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. The Wildcats’ final district game is at home against Paola next week and they will need to win the next two games to have a strong chance at the postseason.

“Ottawa and Paola are both great teams, and they are going to be big games,” Ebenstein said. “We have to get to work and get better.”

 

LOU               7             6             0             7 – 20

FS                   14           7             21           0 – 42

 

SCORING SUMMARY

First quarter

F: Zarek Fewell 60 run (kick good)

L: Austin Moore 12 pass from Madden Rutherford (Drake Varns kick)

F: Fewell 9 run (kick good)

Second quarter

L: Moore 1 run (kick failed)

L: Fewell 7 run (kick good)

Third quarter:

F: Fewell 56 run (Kick good)

F: Matt Campbell 28 pass from Jesse Jones (kick good)

F: Fewell 5 run (kick good)

Fourth quarter

L: Desmond Doles 30 pass from Rutherford (Varns kick)

 

STATISTICS

RUSHING – Austin Moore 13-100, Madden Rutherford 8-49, Will Ridley 5-20, Ben Minster 1-3, Blue Caplinger 3-(minus) 2. Totals: 30-170.

PASSING – Madden Rutherford 6-14-89

 

RECEIVING – Desmond Doles 2-45, Austin Moore 2-16, Blue Caplinger 1-13, Brayden Gage 2-10, Ben Minster 1-5.

TACKLES – Christian Tosterud 10, Austin Moore 5, Brayden Gage 4, Will Ridley 4, Michael Waldron 4, Noah Larson 4, Blue Caplinger 3, Mitchell Drew 2, Garrett Harding 2, Garrett Lowry 2, Madden Rutherford 1, Josh Casey 1, Kohl Vogel 1, Kiefer Tucker 1, Will Smith 1, Desmond Doles 1.