MULVANE — With the postseason fast approaching, the Coffeyville-Field Kindley Golden Tornado are going to quickly find out what it’s like to play in the western side of Class 4A.
Opening up the back half of the regular season, the ‘Nado came up on the short end of a 28-20 non-league loss to Mulvane on Sept. 28.
“Our kids played incredibly hard against a good team and program,” said FKHS coach Darrin Wegner. “We were shorthanded due to some injuries, and we had kids step up and give us some important minutes. We shot ourselves in the foot, though, in the first half with some turnovers and special teams mistakes. Mulvane is too good a team to give short fields to.”
The Golden Tornado dropped back below .500 at 2-3 overall with three games left in the regular season. FKHS will return home to take on another western opponent in Abilene Friday night at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Coffeyville. The Cowboys are also 2-3 on the season following a 22-20 victory over Class 1A power Pittsburg-Colgan.
“We are just focused on Abilene,” Wegner said. “Our goal is to go 1-0 this week and then worry about the next one when it gets here. It is important for us to play well this week and get back on track.”
Coffeyville was definitely up to the challenge against a Mulvane squad that had split its first four games of the season.
The ‘Nado defense stepped up big early on as Brennden Graham picked off a pass on the first play of the game to set FKHS up inside Wildcat territory. Moments later, Graham was rewarded for his defensive efforts by scoring the game’s first touchdown on offense by way of a 20-yard pass from quarterback Jaylen Logan. The conversion failed, but the Golden Tornado had a 6-0 advantage less than two minutes into the contest.
Coffeyville had some costly mistakes, though, that gave Mulvane great opportunities. One of those came later in the opening period when the ‘Nado fumbled the ball on a punt return. That set up a 24-yard scoring strike from Wildcat quarterback Tab Creekmore to Drew Ellis. Julian Whetzel’s kick gave the host team a 7-6 edge after 12 minutes of action.
FKHS reclaimed the lead early in the second quarter. Logan scrambled and found Tajahn Thomas for a 76-yard touchdown pass. Logan then found C.J. Kelley in the end zone for the conversion to give FKHS a 14-7 advantage with 8:39 left in the first half.
Mulvane grabbed control of the momentum before halftime. Creekmore found Jacob Walker for a 19-yard TD pass to even the score at 14-all. Then after stuffing the Coffeyville punter on a fourth-down play deep inside territory, the Wildcats were back in the end zone on a six-yard run from Cole Diffenbaugh to take a 21-14 advantage at the intermission.
The host team put some distance between the two teams at the start of the second half. In fact, the Wildcats took the opening drive and marched down the field, scoring on a 47-yard touchdown run by Diffenbaugh to push the margin up to 28-14.
Coffeyville tried to make things interesting down the stretch and got back within a possession following a four-yard scamper into the end zone by Logan with 6:59 to go. But the Golden Tornado were unable to make a big play down the stretch and came up on the short end by game’s end.