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Ark City pulls away in second half to beat Coffeyville in 4A regional

COFFEYVILLE — Four turnovers, including three in the second half alone, doomed the Coffeyville-Field Kindley Golden Tornado Friday night in their 28-6 loss to Arkansas City in the regional round of the Class 4A playoffs at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

The ‘Nado managed just 88 yards in the second half as they surrendered 21 unanswered points to the Bulldogs. ACHS’ Ike Abrams rushed for 165 yards and two touchdowns, including a game-clinching score with 3:27 remaining to seal the deal.

Coffeyville — the No. 5 seed in the west bracket — closed out the season with a 5-5 overall record. The Golden Tornado advanced to the regional round by beating El Dorado 46-12 in last week’s opening round.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs improved to 4-6 and advanced to next week’s sectional round at McPherson (10-0) — a 48-17 winner over Ulysses in another regional matchup Friday. Arkansas City entered the postseason as the No. 13 seed in the west bracket but has since captured back-to-back road wins over higher seeds, including last week’s 29-26 opening-round decision at Mulvane.

Arkansas City had a narrow 7-6 lead at the intermission but blew things open in the second half. A key part of that was the play of Abrams. The 6-0, 205-pound senior carried the ball 11 times for 106 yards in the third quarter alone and finished the game with 23 rushes for 158 yards.

Both teams had a tough time keeping hold of the ball in the third quarter with four combined turnovers. Yet, the Bulldogs eventually started to open things up a bit.

Midway through the period, ACHS marched down the field on a nine-play, 66-yard drive. Quarterback Cevin Clark capped off the possession with a one-yard dive into the end zone to bump the lead up to 14-6 with 2:41 left in the quarter.

The Bulldog defense stepped up moments later as it forced the Golden Tornado into a fumble. Recovering the ball at the ‘Nado 41, it took ACHS only three plays to get back in the end zone. This time, Abrams broke loose for a 27-yard scamper for six to help push the visitors’ lead up to 21-6.

Arkansas City eventually put the finishing touch on the victory in the final period. The Bulldogs ran nearly five minutes off the clock before Abrams punched in his second score on a three-yard run with just 3:27 to go.

ACHS forced a fumble on Coffeyville’s final possession and was able to kneel on it twice as the final seconds ticked off the clock for the victory.

Coffeyville had its chances in the first half of play. In fact, after a scoreless first quarter, the Golden Tornado had a chance to grab the led early in the second period. Faced with a third-and-goal from the ACHS three-yard line, the Bulldogs put pressure on Golden Tornado quarterback Jaylen Logan, who heaved up a pass and was picked off in the end zone by ACHS’ Jamauri Jordan.

That gave the Bulldogs plenty of momentum as they went right down the field on their next possession. Chewing up nearly 4 1/2 minutes off the clock, ACHS went 80 yards in 11 plays, capped off with Clark’s three-yard touchdown pass to AJ Wilson. Clark’s extra point gave ACHS a 7-0 lead with 4:25 left in the half.

Coffeyville answered that drive with one of its own, though. Logan made up for his earlier miscue by scrambling 16 yards for a touchdown with 1:35 left. On the conversion, the Golden Tornado used the swinging gate play, but it came up unsuccessful and left the Bulldog lead at 7-6 at the intermission.

The Golden Tornado closed out the game with 285 yards, including 192 through the air off 16-of-27 passing from Logan.

Arkansas City finished with 389 total yards, including 299 on the ground and 90 through the air. The Bulldogs did most of their damage in the second half with 227 yards in the final two quarters.

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