INDEPENDENCE — In the 102nd meeting all-time between the longtime Montgomery County rivals, Coffeyville-Field Kindley rallied from an early nine-point deficit to take down Independence 48-28 in a Southeast Kansas League matchup last Friday at Emmot Field.
“I was really proud of our toughness,” said FKHS coach Darrin Wegner. “Our kids just kept playing and competing, and that’s what I’m most proud of. It was a great win against a rival, and that is exciting because it means a lot to a lot of people at your school and in your community. But it is over now. We need to move on and keep practicing the way we have been because we have a lot of football left.”
The Golden Tornado picked up their first win of the season as they improved to 1-3 overall and 1-2 in the SEK. Field Kindley will return home on Oct. 4 when it entertains Mulvane in a non-league contest at Coffeyville’s Veterans Memorial Stadium. The Wildcats currently stand at 0-4 overall following last week’s 25-14 home loss to Buhler.
As for Independence, it dropped to 1-3 overall and 1-2 in the SEK. It was definitely a disappointing setback for the Bulldogs, who were coming off a 20-18 home win over Fort Scott one week earlier that snapped the team’s 15-game losing streak dating back to 2017. IHS will hit the road on Oct. 4 as it caps off its league slate at Chanute. The Blue Comets are 3-1 overall following last week’s 51-21 home win over Ottawa.
“I thought our kids played had,” said Bulldog coach John Black. “We dropped a touchdown pass and got a TD not called during the game, so that is at least a 12-point swing. If that doesn’t happen, we would have worked the ball more at the end. We had over 400 yards in offense, which is great, but we also turned it over. That is something we have not been doing this year, and it can’t happen again. The TD that they called short and the turnovers were the difference in the game.”
Independence had the early advantage in the contest, scoring touchdowns on its first two offensive plays of the game — runs of 70 yards by quarterback Brayden Coller and 54 yards by running back Amauryon Farley. Field Kindley battled back within two, 16-14, at the end of the first quarter and eventually tied things up at 22-all at the intermission.
The Golden Tornado took advantage of a Bulldog turnover in the early stages of the second half. They took their first lead of the game on a three-yard touchdown run by Seth Bromley. Although IHS tied things up on a 25-yard scamper by Zach Moses, the ‘Nado got a 14-yard scoring strike from Aaron Rutherford to Brennden Graham, grabbing a 35-28 edge after three quarters.
FKHS pulled away late in the contest to cap off the win. Bromley dove into the end zone from a yard out on fourth down to increase the lead. Moments later, Jaden Erne picked off a Bulldog pass and returned it 27 yards for a score to seal the deal.
Turnovers proved to be a difference in the game — Independence coughing the ball up four times compared to none for Field Kindley. The Golden Tornado had 375 total yards. Rutherford completed 10-of-21 passes for 167 yards while also finishing with a team-high 123 rushing yards on 14 carries. Darell Jones had six receptions for 116 yards.
Independence capped off the game with 418 yards, including 350 on the ground. Wyatt Chism finished with a game-high 128 yards rushing on nine carries.
The Golden Tornado won for the seventh time in the last nine meetings against the Bulldogs. Field Kindley extended its overall edge in the series to 57-42-3.