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Louisburg 27, Tonganoxie 7

TONGANOXIE – The field was muddy. It was almost impossible to keep the footballs dry and the players couldn’t ever quite find their footing.

But for the Louisburg High School football team, life couldn’t have been better.

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The Wildcats took to the road Friday to face off with Tonganoxie and they left with their second win of the season. Louisburg scored two quick touchdowns to start the game and never looked back in a 27-7 win over the Chieftains at Tonganoxie High School.

“I was very proud of our kids, going on the road to another team’s home opener is always tough, but then to go out and do it in the rain with the mud was great to see,” Louisburg coach Robert Ebenstein said. “I thought we grew up a little bit and showed that composure that you would like to see in those situations.”

Louisburg (2-0) dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball as the Wildcats put together long drives that found the end zone, and then on the other side of the ball, the Louisburg defense held Tonganoxie to just 175 yards of total offense – 76 of which were on a long pass play for a touchdown.

The offensive line of Noah Larson, Kiefer Tucker, Brayden White, Jonathan DePriest, Garrett Harding and tight end Michael Waldron helped pave the way for 300 yards of total offense in not ideal conditions.

It opened up running room for running backs Austin Moore, Brayden Gage and Blue Caplinger to run the ball, and for quarterback Madden Rutherford to get the ball down the field.

The Wildcats took advantage of what limited opportunities they had as they had just six possessions for the game, and scored on four of them.

“We scored four times, had one punt, and one possession that was ended short due to the half,” Ebenstein said. “We did a great job of playing smart. Our blocking was solid, not only by the offensive line, but our backs and receivers could be seen 20 yards down field throwing blocks. I was very pleased with their effort.”

Defensively, the Wildcats were also able to force two turnovers. Larson recovered a fumble, while Brandon Cooper intercepted a pass late to help seal the win.

Harding was busy up front as he led the Wildcats with seven tackles, while Moore and White each tallied six to lead the Louisburg defense.

“The defense gave up 99 yards if you take out the 76-yard pass,” Ebenstein said. “We allowed only two yards per rush. I was very pleased with our defense and the defensive game plan. Our staff had a great plan, taught it to the players and the players executed very well, minus a couple plays.”

Louisburg seniors Cole Williams (60) and Gabe Rader bring down a Tonganoxie player on Friday.

Moore had a another strong game for the Wildcats offensively as he led the team with 90 yards on 19 carries to go along with three touchdowns and 39 yards receiving. Caplinger recorded the Wildcats’ other score in the fourth quarter.

Louisburg got out to fast start on its first possession as quarterback Madden Rutherford scrambled around to keep the drive alive as he found sophomore receiver Weston Guetterman on a two different occasions, including 13-yard pass where Rutherford mishandled the snap was a still able to roll out and find Guetterman for a first down.

Moore took it from there as he scored on a 4-yard touchdown run. He later found the endzone on Louisburg’s next possession on a 1-yard touchdown that was set up by a 35-yard run from Rutherford. The Louisburg quarterback completed 8 of 11 passes for 104 yards and also had 62 yards on the ground.

Tonganoxie cut into the Wildcats’ 12-0 lead in the second quarter when it converted a 76-yard touchdown pass, but that would be all the Louisburg defense would give up.

The Wildcats added two more scores in the second half on touchdown runs from Moore and Caplinger to keep their perfect season intact, despite rough playing conditions.

Sophomore receiver Weston Guetterman jumps up to make a catch early in Friday’s game at Tonganoxie.

“The situations were not ideal, but they were not ideal for both teams,” Ebenstein said. “I thought our guys did a great job of taking care of the football. We didn’t have any turnovers and only had to punt one time, and that was on a series where we mishandled a snap and didn’t execute well on third down.

“We made some minor adjustments during the first couple of drives, just based on how Tongie lined up. In the second half, we decided to go under center and kill the clock a bit with a lead and I thought we did a solid job of keeping the ball away from their offense.”

Louisburg will try to make it three wins in a row this Friday when it hosts Baldwin at Wildcat Stadium. The Bulldogs are currently 1-1 on the season with a win over Ottawa and a loss to Piper.

“Baldwin is going to be tough,” Ebenstein said. “They have a similar style as us where they want to control the line of scrimmage and establish the run. I think the team who does those little things right and plays with most energy will end up winning. It should be a good game.”

 

LOU               12           0             8             7 – 27

TON              0             7             0             0 – 7

 

SCORING SUMMARY

First quarter

L: Austin Moore 4 run (kick failed)

L: Moore 1 run (run failed)

 

Second quarter

T: Dallas Bond 76 pass from Hayden Robbins (kick good)

 

Third quarter

L: Moore 3 run (Moore run)

 

Fourth quarter

L: Blue Caplinger 8 run (Drake Varns kick)

 

STATISTICS

RUSHING: Austin Moore 19-90; Madden Rutherford 10-62; Blue Caplinger 5-26

PASSING: Madden Rutherford 8-11-104

RECEIVING: Austin Moore 3-39; Weston Guetterman 2-23; Michael Waldron 1-11; Josh Casey 1-8; Brayden Gage 1-6.

TACKLES: Garrett Harding 7, Austin Moore 6; Brayden White 6, Andy Hupp 5, Kiefer Tucker 5, Jorge LeBron 4, Beckett Rasmussen 3, Noah Larson 3, Brayden Gage 2, Brian Houck 2, Brandon Cooper 2, Cole Williams 2, Gabe Rader 1, Charlie Koontz 1, Ben Wiedenmann 1, Jay Scollin 1, Tanner Belcher 1