On Friday, the Chanute Blue Comets hosted the Pittsburg Purple Dragons. Pittsburg took the 34-10 win behind Caiden Barber’s 16 rushing attempts for 165 yards and two touchdowns as well as Grant Roelfs’s ten attempts for 135 yards and three touchdowns.
“I saw our guys step up and play more physical football. So that was good to see, we had some mistakes that cost us the chance to be in the game. I was just proud of the way they competed for four quarters and they didn’t quit,” Chanute’s head coach Clete Frazell siad, “I didn’t hear any complaining by the players on the sideline, so that’s always a good thing, when they stay together as a team in a loss and it says a lot about the future coming up, and I’m excited to see where it goes from here.”
Pitt won the toss but ended up punting on their first drive. The Blue Comets then took the ball at their own twenty yard-line. Their strong running attack pushed them down to a 4th & 6 from Pittsburg’s 24 yard-line. Tyson Lucas put in the 43-yard field goal to put Chanute up 3-0 with 2:57 left in the first quarter.
Lucas ended the game 1/1 on field goals and 1/1 on extra points.
“In the situation we’re in with the new quarterback and Kam did a good job tonight but in the situation we’re in we really wanted to be able to run the football and control the clock. That first drive was exactly what we wanted,” Frazell said, “We went all the way down the field and stalled up and kicked a 43-yard field goal or whatever it was. That’s exactly what we wanted to do all night and unfortunately, we took some shots. We knew we were going to run the ball a lot, so we had to take some shots to back their defense off, and tell them we’re going to throw it deep to and unfortunately, two of those got picked.”
Pittsburg took off and Roelfs scored his first touchdown on a 10-yard rush. Kicker Jackson McKechnie missed the extra point. Purple Dragons led 6-3 at the end of the first quarter.
McKechnie finished the contest 1/1 on field goal and 1/4 on extra points.
Early in the second quarter Comets’ quarterback Kam Koester threw the first of his two interceptions. The Dragons started on Chanute’s 46 yard-line. Pitt drove down to the Blue Comets’ one yard-line and Barber punched the ball in for his first touchdown. McKechnie missed the extra point, Pittsburg led 12-3 with 8:57 left in the second quarter.
Koester completed 11 passes on 21 attempts for 136 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. He also had one pass deflection.
Later in the quarter, Pittsburg quarterback Cooper Hayden connected with LJ butcher for 76 yards down to the Chanute six yard-line. Roelfs then capped off the drive with his second TD and McKechnie made the extra point attempt. Both teams punted back and forth and then late in the quarter McKechnie put in a 27-yard field goal. Pittsburg led 22-3 at halftime.
Hayden was 6/11 for 164 yards as well as rushing four times for 19 yards at the end of the contest. Butcher only had that one reception and one target for 76 yards with a pass deflection as well.
Neither team would score in the third quarter, but Barber scored a 13-yard touchdown seven seconds into the fourth. On the extra point attempt, a bobbled snap leading to a sack on the extra point attempt. The Purple Dragons led 28-3 after three quarters.
Pittsburg scored their last touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 42-yard touchdown run by Roelfs. Chanute’s Ty Leedy blocked the extra point attempt. Pittsburg up 34-3 with 9;17 left in the fourth. The next kick return saw Jackson Coombs get injured, leaving Chanute with no healthy running backs. They played five receivers for the rest of the game. Koester connected with Garrett Almond for a 31-yard touchdown. Lucas put in the extra point. Final score 34-10.
Almond finished the game with five receptions on nine targets for 66 receiving yards. He also had seven rushing attempts for 26 yards.
“[We had] a lot of missing people to be honest.We’re missing some players, to a point where, at the end of the game we had to go five wide receivers because we had no running backs left,” Frazell said, “Quarantines and injuries are killing us right now and we just don’t have everybody that we should have on the field.”