Tigers Emerge Victorious Over Chanute Once Again

FORT SCOTT —

Rematches are always fun in football, especially for Kansas high school football. There are a couple things that make rematches particularly exciting: the team that won the previous matchup will have to prove their dominance with a second win, while the loser of the first one typically plays with a chip on their shoulders and seek redemption. Based on the districts in or state, there are a few regions that allow league opponents to play each other once more in the playoffs due to the proximity of their districts. The SEK (Southeast Kansas) league is one of those, with District Three (3) and Four (4) being matched up in the first round.

Fort Scott came out on top of the early season matchup between themselves and Chanute. Zarek Fewell rushed for about 200 yards in that game as The Tiger’s ground attack dominated the game. After losing to Fort Scott, Chanute dropped to 1-2 on the season. Since that loss, The Blue Comets have gone a 4-2 run and have pulled off their first winning season in Coach Chris Sheild’s tenure.

Fort Scott had quite a bit of momentum coming into Friday’s contest. They had won four (4) straight games scoring: forty-eight (48), forty-two (42), and seventy-one (71) points in three (3) of those games helping them snag the 4A-I District Three (3) championship.

The Tigers struck first blood in this regional matchup as a familiar name, in senior tailback Zarek Fewell, was called yet again. Fewell carried the football in from nine (9) yards out just a little over four (4) minutes into the game. Fewell would soon see the end zone for a second time as he rushed for another score just a few minutes after his first score. Fort Scott then picked off junior quarterback Corbett Kimberlin and set up shop shop in Chanute territory, only to go three (3) and out for the first time in the game. The first quarter ended in a two (2) touchdown advantage for The Tigers with a score of 14-0. Juba Foul tacked on two (2) extra points in the quarter.

Chanute started the second quarter by continuing an impressive drive that lasted thirteen plays and ate up five (5) minutes of the clock. After twelve plays of driving the field, senior back Jack Richard capped of the drive for his offense with a four (4) yard touchdown run. Sophomore placekicker Jacob Adams added the PAT to bring The Comets with a touchdown 14-7.

A call for an illegal receiver downfield, on a scoring halfback pass play, did not stop Fort Scott from responding. After throwing what would’ve been a touchdown pass, Fewell decided he would not be denied the hat trick as he scored on a seventeen (17) yard rushing play. Following an encroachment call on Chanute, Tiger head coach Bob Campbell decided to go for two and his team was successful. On the ensuing possession, Chanute drove deep into Tiger territory once again. Kimberlin was flushed out of the pocket due to a massive rush from the Tiger defense and launched a pass into the end zone. The pass was caught by the fingertips of Briley Peavy, however the play was called back because of another ineligible receiver downfield call. On the play, Kimberlin was slow to get up and did not return after exiting the contest afterward. Fort Scott took a 22-7 lead into halftime.

The two teams swapped scores early in the second half. Senior quarterback Jesse Jones found wide receiver Gunnar Brown for a twenty-nine (29) yard touchdown pass, foul added the extra-point. Chanute responded with a scoring pass play as freshman quarterback Garrett Almond found junior receiver Lane Harvey for a fifty-nine (59) yard completion that went for a score. Soon thereafter, Fewell got his fourth score as his team began to pull away. After an extra-point from Foul the Tigers led Chanute 36-14 heading into the fourth.

Fort Scott scored two (2) more times in the final period of the game and their defense held up well, not giving up another point. The Tigers sealed the regional championship and finished on top with a score of 50-14. Fewell had a phenomenal showing as he ended with 293 yards on thirty (30) carries. Senior Matt Hernandez led the way for Chanute’s rushing offense with 83 yards on fourteen attempts. Garrett Almond did a decently good job filling in for Kimberlin finishing with 121 yards completing six (6) of his twelve (12) passes. Jesse Jones finished eight (8) of twelve (12) for 165 yards on the night.

Chanute ends their most successful season under Shields .500 with a record of 5-5. The Comets have been without starting quarterback Sophomore Ty Bowman earlier in the season, but will return him along with a great majority of their key players next season.

Fort Scott improves to 8-2 on the season and have won five (5) straight now. The Tigers advance to the quarterfinals and will travel to De Soto  (8-1) next Friday. The only loss for De Soto, the Frontier League champion, came against the defending 4A-I state champions Bishop Miege (10-0), whom have won three State Championships in a row. The team that comes out on top of next week’s game will await the winner of Labette County and Miege for the sub-state championship.