IOLA – The year is 1987. An unknown cartoon called “The Simpsons” debuted on TV. A gallon of gas cost .89 cents. It also marks the last time the Iola Mustangs defeated the Chanute Blue Comets in a high school varsity football game.
Friday night the Chanute Blue Comets improved to 2-1 on the season with the win over Iola, who is now 0-3 to start 2018. Chanute’s defense would record a season high 82 tackles and 4 turnover’s, 2 of which would be taken for touchdowns.
“We started the game sloppy at first. We started the reverse of the week before.” said Chanute head coach Chris Shields.
The ballgame began with Iola attempting an onside kick to start the game. They would not only recover the ball but also convert on two 4th down plays that would help them find the endzone thanks to Casen Barker. The extra point would fail, Iola takes the early 6-0 lead in the 1st quarter.
“We were prepared for that. We talked about it all week. They got it and drove down and scored.” said Shields.
Chanute would have some success in driving the ball in their opening drive, however Iola’s defense would come up with an early turnover. Blue Comet quarterback Ty Bowman would throw an interception in the endzone ending a steady drive by Chanute. The first quarter would end with Iola leading 6-0.
“It goes right through our receivers hand and face mask. It’s just one of those freak things” said Shields on his team’s turnover.
The 2nd quarter saw both teams battle back and forth for field position until late in the frame. Chanute running back Qualin Powell would give the Blue Comets their first lead of the game on a 1 yard run. Jacob Adams would connect on the extra point attempt with 1:06 to go before halftime lifting Chanute to a 7-6 lead.
Chanute would get the ball back and add to their lead just before halftime. Ty Bowman would throw a 38 yard pass to Briley Peavy to add to Chanute’s lead. Adams chipped in the extra point and at halftime Chanute led 14-6.
“We only had 3 drives in the 1st half. It was much needed for us to get those quick scores for our offense headed into halftime. Our defense gave up three 4th down conversions. We gave up too many long 3rd downs.” commented Shields.
Iola started the 2nd half with the ball and similar to how Chanute’s first drive of the game started, Iola would turn it over on a fumble that was recovered by the Jacob McDonald for the Chanute defense and it was the momentum swing Chanute was looking for.
After the turnover, Chanute’s offense would strike again. Ty Bowman found Jadin Costin on a 22 yard throw. Adams once again connected on the extra point and Chanute held a firm 21-6 lead with 7:31 to go in the 3rd quarter.
Iola’s 2nd drive of the 2nd half was stifled by the Chanute defense and the Blue Comets offense used that momentum to their advantage to score once again. Quarterback Ty Bowman would this time use his feet to score on a 33 yard run following a low snap. Adams was reliable once again with the extra point attempt and Chanute added to their lead 28-6 with 5:28 to go in the 3rd quarter.
Iola’s final score of the game would come on their 3rd drive of the 2nd half. Isaac Badders trucked his way to the endzone on an 18 yard run. The Mustangs converted on a 2 point conversion but still trailed 28-14 with 1:04 left in the 3rd quarter.
In the 4th quarter Chanute would use a mixture of offensive power and defensive prowess to put the game away. Qualin Powell would open up the quarter with a 1 yard run. Mixed with an Adams extra point kick Chanute pushed it to a 35-14 lead. Mason Manbeck would come up with 2 pick-six’s late to put the game away. First it was a 36 yard interception. Adam’s kick was good. Then on the following drive, after changing quarterback, Manbeck would pick off the Mustang offense once again with an 18 yard interception. Adam’s kick was good for the final score of 49-14.
“He’s another kid that hasn’t played the last few years, but glad he’s back. When you haven’t played for a few years, it takes a while to get back in to it. Mason is a bright kid and what it’s done is given us a lot of depth.” said Shields.
Chanute quarterback Ty Bowman went 11-16 with 169 yards passing, 2 touchdowns and an interception. He would also have 7 rushing attempts, 84 yards and a rushing touchdown.
“I thought Bowman played well. He had a few throws get away from him. The interception was one of those weird things, it was like a gift from the football gods.” “Some of his runs were those freak things where they were bad snaps.
Briley Peavy would follow Bowman in rushing with 44 yards on the ground. He also had 93 yards receiving on 3 catches, one of which was a touchdown. Qualin Powell had 3 yards rushing with 2 touchdowns for Chanute. Jadin Costin’s lone reception was for 22 yards in the endzone.
Chanute will travel to Ottawa on Friday night, who are 0-3 to start the season and lost to Paola 59-13.
“I don’t put a lot of stock in to records. Ottawa has lost to some good football teams.” commented Shields in previewing next week’s game. “We got to execute better, it’s not so much what the other team is doing. We need to continue to get better on all 3 stages of the game.”
Iola will open up district play next week on the road against winless Anderson County who lost 41-7 to Santa Fe Trail.