Grizzlies and Raiders Clash In Final Non-District Contest

FRONTENAC- Coming into this week 6 match-up, nobody knew which side to pick as these two squads were fairly even matched. Labette County had a 4-1 record with their only loss coming to a still unbeaten Andale. Frontenac was holding on to a 3-2 record with their only losses coming to an always competitive Colgan and a current unbeaten in Galena.

Labette county received the opening kickoff to start the game and brought it out to the 22 yard line.

After running just a few plays, the Grizzlies fumbled the ball and the Raiders took possession on the LCHS 30 yard line. The Raiders then took the ball and drove the short distance to the goal line, where senior Tailback Jake Wilbert would punch it into the end zone and give his team a 7-0 lead with 9:00 remaining in the frist quarter of play.

After a couple of failed possessions by both teams, Labette finally gained some traction and seemed to be moving the ball down the field consistently. The Grizzlies moved the ball into Raiders’ territory and looked to have a good chance at cutting into the lead. But, after a holding penalty and a 12 yard sack, the LCHS offense would face a 3rd and 20 situation from the FHS 40 yard line.

Knowing that they needed solid yardage, Grizzlies quarterback, Easton Dean threw the ball deep down the field trying to connect with receiver Owyn Back. The pass was in to triple coverage though and would be intercepted by Junior defensive back Brendan Ishimura on the 3 yard line.

Just 2 plays later Raiders quarterback Peyton Brown had to escape pressure in his own end zone to find a wide open receiver on the sideline who took the ball deep into Labette’s side of the field .

The Grizzlies’ defense would stiffen, however, and would hold Frontenac to a field goal to make the score 10-0, which wouldn’t change for the rest of the quarter.

The Grizzlies would cut into the lead on just the second play of the second quarter, as Senior Tailback, T.J Mayhue would rumble his way across the goal line with a 1 yard touchdown. That score decreased the Raiders’ lead to 10-7.

After a failed drive by each team, Labette county was forced to punt on the next offensive possession. Senior Tate Phillips handles the punting duties for LCHS and he handled them well on Friday night. On this particular play, Phillips deadened the ball of the FHS 5 yard line.

Just two plays later, FHS’s Brown went to pitch the ball on a busted play, only to find that there was nobody there to receive the toss. Brown would recover the errant pitch, but he was brought down by a host of Grizzlies in his own end zone for a safety.

LCHS would gain more ground as the score went to 10-9 with 8:43 left in the second quarter.

The Grizzlies would then get the ball back on the punt following the safety. They drove methodically down the field with a balanced attack and quarterback Easton Dean would eventually find pay dirt on a 1 yard quarterback sneak play to go up 17-10 with 2:28 on the clock.

Frontenac, however, would strike quickly on their next series with a 69 yard pass play to tie the game up 17-17, which would be the score going into the half.

In the second half it was all Labette County. Easton Dean and T.j Mayhue would each score once more on the ground and they Grizzlies’ would run out the clock to finish out the contest.

The final score ended up being 31-17 in favor of Labette County.

Dean finished 8-20 passing for 104 yards and 1 INT, along with 23 carries for 71 yards and two scores.

Mayhue finished with 17 carries for 103 yards and 2 scores.

KeShaun Anderson also made an impact as he ran for 67 yards on just 5 carries.

Six Grizzlies caught a pass on Friday. Those players were Tanner Russell, Kale Irwin, Owyn Back, Josiah Rexwinkle, Josh Walters, and Mayhue.

Defensively, 8 players tallied over 5 tackles for LCHS. Those players were Ethan Jameson who also recorded an INT, Caleb Haggard who had 2 sacks, Zach McCarty, Tate Phillips, Rogan Bruce, Braden Baker, Shelby Howard and Quiency Jones who also had a fumble recovery.

I caught up with each coach after the game and this is what they had to say,

Coach Price of Labette: “Defensive played great overall, but we gave up 3 huge plays that never should have happened. Offensively, we couldn’t throw the ball very well tonight. Ya know, we weren’t on. You could see that we didn’t have a good week of practice, and we tell the kids that if we don’t practice good then we won’t play good. We didn’t execute the way we wanted to tonight, but thankfully we came out on top.”

 

Coach Smith of Fronenac: “I thought we played extremely hard, Labette played extremely hard as well. I thought it was a very physical game for both teams. It was probably our best game of the year I thought. Our kids came out stayed completely focused. We knew that they were going to be good and I thought we came out and competed, and gave ourselves a chance. We just too many mental mistakes and turnovers. Our defense kept us in the game for sure. Our offense gave them a few points in that first half, but I think we got a little tired the towards then end. Overall, I think we got some good things out of this game to help us going forward into district play next week.

 

Frontenac is now 3-3 on the year and will open up district play this week as they travel to face a 0-6 Parsons team that will be more of a challenge than their record suggests. PHS has put up over 21 points in 4 of their 6 games, and if they could gain some defensive traction, they could be tough to handle.

The Grizzlies improve to an impressive 5-1 record and will also open up district play this week as they will play at home against a 2-4 Independence squad.