(Kenny Felt/Exclusive to the Herald-Tribune)
With Pittsburg's 26-21 victory at Chanute, Fort Scott took sole possession of first place in the Southeast Kansas League. The Tigers are 3-0 in the SEK and 4-0 overall. Pittsburg, which Fort Scott defeated last week, is in second at 3-1, 3-1. Coffeyville (3-1 overall) and Chanute (2-2 overall) are both 2-1 in league games.
The Tigers held Coffeyvile's top player, running back Welsey Collins, to just 26 yards rushing on 16 carries. The total for the Nado would have been lower if backup quarterback Nathan Finley hadn't completed all four of his passes on Coffeyville's last possession for 39 yards after he was inserted into the game for that drive.
However, on a strange play with about 2:30 remaining, Finley had to recover a bad shotgun snap. His pass hit a Nado offensive lineman before it reached his receiver, who fumbled the ball. Fort Scott recovered at its own 25 and was able to run out the clock.
"Defensively, when you shut out a team that is that talented on offense, it speaks volumes about out defense," Fort Scott head coach Bob Campbell said. "Bo Graham, our defensive coordinator, did an outstanding job with the D-coaches. I thought we were very well prepared."
This was the lowest-scoring game in the Fort Scott-Coffeyville series since 1972, when the Tigers won 7-6 at Coffeyville.
Fort Scott scored on the game's opening possession, working the ball downfield 70 yards in 14 plays for Jacob Durossette's one-yard touchdown run with 5:50 on the clock. The extra-point kick failed.
The defense played well enough that Durossette's score would be all it really needed. The Tigers allowed just 37 total yards and one first down in the first half. The Golden Tornado had minus-1 yard passing at the break.
Coffeyville's defense showed why it came into the game as the league's best, allowing just 26 points in its first three games. The Nado played man-to-man on Fort Scott's receivers and played eight men up front. They were able to keep the Tigers from finding running room on the edge and brought pressure on Stark when he went to pass, forcing an incompletion or a scramble.
"Coffeyville was getting a lot of pressure on Johnathan," Campbell said. "He's going to be pretty sore tomorrow."
The Tornado stopped Fort Scott's next possession at the Coffeyville 25-yard line when Nick Wintjen chased Stark down for a sack. They forced another fourth-down turnover at the Nado 15 late in the second quarter.
Coffeyville's first possession of the second half was the first one it was able to sustain. But the Tigers made a fourth-down stop of their own by limiting a fourth-and-5 pass play at the Fort Scott 37 to two yards.
Coffeyville stopped Stark on fourth-and-5 at the Nado 31 early in the fourth. But the Tigers needed just three plays on their next possession to score the clinching touchdown.
Fort Scott took over after a punt at its own 45 with 8:15 to go. Race Kastl broke through the middle of the line for 21 yards on the first play. After the Nado stopped the next play for no gain, Marques Floyd went around the left side and used a block from Jash Pytlowany to score on a 34-yard run with 7:07 remaining.
Coaches speak of overcoming adversity but in Floyd's case, that may have been very true. Prior to that carry, he had been held to minus-4 yards on 10 rushes as the Nado didn't want to let him get outside.
The ensuing possession was a disaster for the Nado. The first play was an incomplete pass. The second play was completely blown up by the Tigers, who chased Collins all around the backfield as he tried to run a wildcat-formation play and nailed him for an 11-yard loss. A delay-of-game penalty made it third-and-26 at their own 20. Stark ended the Nado's misery by picking off starting quarterback Luis Grossi's pass and returning it 11 yards.
Fort Scott finished the game with 15 first downs and 291 total yards. The Tigers toughed out 212 rushing yards on 56 carries with Victor Hughes leading with 69 yards on 17 totes. Stark finished with 61 yards on 16 carries and passed for 79 yards even though he was only able to complete 3 of 9 passes due to Coffeyville's pressure.
Coffeyville finished the night with 6 first downs, 47 rushing yards and 58 passing yards.
The Tigers will travel to Independence, Kan., next Friday to play the winless Bulldogs, who suffered their second consecutive shutout with a 48-0 loss at Andover Friday night.
Coffeyville..... 0 0 0 0 -- 0
Fort Scott..... 6 0 0 6 -- 12
|Team stats||Coffeyville||Fort Scott|
FS -- Jacob Durossette 1 run (kick failed), 5:50 [14, 70, 6:05]
FS -- Marques Floyd 34 run (pass failed), 7:07 [3, 55, 1:08]
RUSHING: Field Kindley -- Collins 16-26, Downing 2-10, J.Jones 3-5, Grossi 4-5, Newton 1-1. Fort Scott -- V.Hughes 17-69, Stark 16-61, Floyd 12-31, Kastl 3-30, Durossette 8-21.
PASSING: Field Kindley -- Grossi 5-10-1-19, Finley 4-4-0-39. Fort Scott -- Stark 3-9-0-79.
RECEIVING: Field Kindley -- Newton 3-19, E.Jones 3-12, Towery 2-23, J.Jones 1-4. Fort Scott -- Hunziker 1-36, Pytlowany 1-32, Durossette 1-11.