The Chanute Blue Comets hosted the Independence Bulldogs on Friday. The Comets went into the night with a 3-1 record, and the Bulldogs went to Chanute sporting a 1-3 record. Chanute took the win 21-14, behind a big rushing game from senior quarterback Ty Bowman.
“Overall, it wasn’t my best performance, I struggled (to throw) the ball a little bit. It’s harder to throw when it’s cold outside, so the elements took a toll on me. So I turned it around with my running game, I thought I did pretty good running the ball. My linemen created opportunities and I took advantage of it,” Bowman said.
Bowman finished the game with 157 yards on 16 rush attempts and three touchdowns in the game. Despite going 4/12 for 29 yards with one interception in the air.
Chanute won the opening coin toss and elected to differ. The Blue Comets held Indy to a quick three-and-out. After the punt, Chanute started their first drive from their own 38 yard-line. Chanute pushed down to the Independence 32 and then Bowman carried the ball all the way downfield for his first touchdown of the contest. Senior kicker Jacob Adams nailed the extra point. Comets 7, Bulldogs 0.
Adams would finish the game 3/3 on extra-point attempts and 0/1 on field goal attempts.
After each team punted on their next drives, Indy found themselves with the ball on their own 48. The Bulldogs ended up with a fourth down and two to go. Senior running back Amauryon Farley pounded the ball two yards up for the first, but on the very next play, Independence’s senior quarterback Brayden Coller threw his first interception of the night to Chanute’s Colton Fritch.
Farley ended up gaining 23 yards and a touchdown on nine attempts and Coller finished throwing 3/14 for 12 yards and three interceptions while going 14 yards on three attempts rushing.
Between the two teams, there were six turnovers. Three interceptions and a fumble from Indy, and one interception and a fumble from Chanute.
“We’ve been pretty solid the last two weeks and tonight we weren’t sharp. It wasn’t our night. Fortunately, we had a good enough group of guys to get the job done,” Chanute head coach Clete Frazell said, “You know, it’s not always pretty, football isn’t always pretty. It certainly wasn’t a pretty night for us, but we were tough enough in the second half to get physical and run the ball and get a couple of touchdowns on the board and play tough enough defense to get the job done.”
After the big interception, Chanute would start on their own three yard-line. Fortunately for the Comets, the offensive line held up deep within their own territory. The first quarter would end on this drive. On the first play in the second quarter, Chanute’s Jaden Costin took off for a 32 yard gain. Unfortunately for the Comets, Bowman would then throw his lone interception for the night to Indy’s Wyatt Chism, who ran the ball up an extra 24 yards after the catch.
The Bulldogs now starting on their own 32. After two plays they advanced six yards to bring up third and four. On the next play Chanute’s Garrett Almond got a hand on a Coller pass and sent it back like Basketball Hall of Famer, Dikembe Mutombo blocking a shot.
Chanute’s next drive ended in another punt and Independence started from their own 45. Their drive would end when junior Travareus Wilson coughed up a fumble that would be recovered by Chanute junior Blake Atwood.
The Blue Comets would be held to a three-and-out. Indy would then start on their own 29. On this drive Almond would get an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty called on him, which move Indy up to the Blue Comet 34. Junior Zach Moses would carry the ball 31 yards up field and then another three for what was thought to be a Bulldog touchdown. The play was called back for an illegal block in the back from senior Josh Cole. So, instead Moses ran the ball 11 yards in for the touchdown on the next play. The PAT from Davis Merrick bounced in off the left upright. Bulldogs 7, Comets 7.
Moses racked up 70 yards on seven attempts and a touchdown, along with one reception for five yards. Merrick ended the game 2/2 on extra point attempts.
Indy got the ball back with less than three minutes until halftime after Atwood fumble the kickoff. The Bulldogs started on Chanute’s 32, but Coller threw his second interception of the game. This time, Briley Peavy came down with the ball and continued to run it back a substantial amount but the play was called back a bit on another illegal block in the back call.
Then Bowman ran the ball and fumbled, Indy recovered and started again from Chanute’s 32. Before Indy could accomplish anything, the clock ran down and the second half was over.
On the first drive of the second half, Chanute would start on their own forty. With 7:19 left in the third quarter, Bowman would run in a one-yard touchdown. Comets 14, Bulldogs 7.
The Bulldogs made a big gain on the kickoff return. Now starting from their own 41, Independence spent seven minutes and one second driving the ball down for a touchdown drive capped off by a one yard rush from Farley. Bulldogs 14, Comets 14.
Independence’s defense held the Comets to another punt, but on the punt, Bonglee Oxford fumbled the ball and it was recovered by Atwood for the second time in the contest. On the play immediately after, Bowman ran the ball 33 yards for the third and final Blue Comet touchdown. Comets 21, Bulldogs 14.
“Kid just touched the ball, dropped it. I mean, it was a huge swing in momentum because we go from 3 and out, to getting the ball back. So it was a huge point in the game, for that kid to drop it and us get the ball, we’re just fortunate,” Frazell said.
Peavy grabbed his second interception on the Bulldogs’ next drive and a face mask call against Indy moved the ball another 15 yards up. The Comets started from Indy’s 38. A fourth and seven connection from Bowman to Peavy moved the Comets up ten yards, but then on a fourth and nine from the Bulldogs’ eleven, Adams came on to try for a field goal but missed.
The Bulldogs would not be able to score on their next drive and Chanute walked out with the 21-14 win.