First out-of-state action since 1993 produces sixth 2019 win, 35-7 over Kansas City, Kan.'s Wyandotte Friday, Oct. 18
Having zipped around the blocking attempt of the center, junior nose guard Donald McCracken of the 2019 Chillicothe (Mo.) HS football Hornets tests the strength of the fabric in the jersey of Wyandotte (Kan.) Bulldogs quarterback Torry Moore as McCracken sacks Moore for a 9-yards loss in the third quarter of Friday's (Oct. 18) 35-7 CHS victory. The Hornets improved to 6-2 on the season by capturing their first out-of-state game since 1993. (C-T Photo /WL “Butch” Shaffer)
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — For their program’s first out-of-state trip in just over a quarter-century, the 2019 Chillicothe (Mo.) HS football Hornets made sure to overpack on yards, in addition to taking along some extra points, to make sure the journey succeeded in assuring them a winning season.
Visiting Kansas City, Kan.’s Wyandotte Bulldogs Friday (Oct. 18), the Hornets racked up more than 300 rushing yards in the first half and over 400 for the game, throwing in a couple of touchdown passes as souvenirs of the trip which produced their sixth victory of the season by a 35-7 score.
“A good bounce-back win after our loss last week,” Tim Rulo, CHS head coach, assessed after the action in virtually-perfect weather.
“… I thought our defense played very well and I thought our offense was able to make some adjustments to what (the Bulldogs) were doing early and was able to get some big plays, which was awesome to see.”
Chillicothe (6-2), filling the hole left in their 2019 schedule by fellow Midland Empire Conference member St. Joseph: Bishop LeBlond’s decision after last season to switch from 11-man gridiron play to 8-man, mixed grind-it-out drives, quick strikes, and a bend-but-don’t-break defense to handily subdue their Kansas foe.
In the process, they made it a mathematical certainty that the second season of head coach Tim Rulo’s head coaching tenure at CHS will end on the high side of .500, while suggesting strongly it will conclude far above break-even.
Wary of Wyandotte’s potential offensive unpredictability and explosiveness, Chillicothe effectively played a containment defense and unleashed some lightning bolts of its own.
Only 90 seconds after the opening kickoff they received, the Hornets’ offensive line sprung senior fullback Dawson Wheeler for a 51-yards touchdown burst on a quick-hitter off right guard.
After CHS quarterback Jaden Winder’s option keeper to the left side turned into a 13-yards scoring run and – with the second of Jamacin Carr’s flawless five conversion kicks – made it 14-0 at 7:36 of the opening period, an 11-plays, 80-yards march begun five seconds into the second stanza reached its climax when senior reserve end Julius Humphrey slipped downfield by himself to gather in a 20-yards Winder TD toss 7:13 before halftime.
Wyandotte tried to respond, moving the ball from its own 19 to the CHS 35 before turning the ball over on downs with 3:24 left on the second-period clock. Not quite 15 seconds later, Wheeler and the visitors had tacked on another TD.
Sliding a play seemingly intended to go off right guard again a little wider, “Wheels” found a gap off tackle and, without being touched, galloped 65 yards to paydirt for a 28-0 Chillicothe lead that stood at halftime.
While the Hornets rested in their dressing quarters during an extra-long intermission break on Wyandotte’s “Senior Night,” they had ample reason to need the respite. Unofficially, behind 138 by Wheeler on only six carries, CHS had amassed 324 yards on the artificial turf on 30 first-half running plays.
Its pace slowed significantly in the second half, but the team still rode the offensive line’s strong blocking and backs’ good running to a season-high 419 rushing yards on exactly 50 attempts for the game. That surpassed the 409 the Hornets racked up with 14 more carries in their week two win over Kirksville.
While CHS owned the comfortable 28-points lead at halftime, it was not insurmountable. A massive, penalties-aided, 17-plays, 83-yards, nearly-8-minutes Bulldogs touchdown drive to being the third quarter – capped by elusive quarterback Torry Moore’s 8-yards keeper – underscored that.
Responding sturdily to that challenge, Chillicothe made clear that it would brook no WHS comeback. It countered immeiately with an 8-plays, 63-yards touchdown trek, terminated by Winder’s 10-yards scoring throw to senior classmate Colten Sewell with 1:23 left in the third period.
Following the scoreless last stanza, the Hornets headed home for their regular-season finale against St. Joseph: Benton (1-7) next Friday.
“Now, we have some momentum as we go into our ‘Senior Night’ game … against Benton, which is a team I think is building a lot of momentum,” Rulo told the C-T in a post-game interview, “so we have to just continue getting better ourselves.”
A win on its “Senior Night” – and there will be a bunch of players to salute – would give CHS a 7-2 mark and likely the highest seeding rating in Class 3 District 16. However, it likely won’t make the Hornets the top seed for the approaching 8-teams playoffs.
Even though Chillicothe’s triumph Friday coincided with a loss by last week’s district leader, Savannah, and a huge loss by second-place Kansas City: Pembroke Hill, boosting CHS back to the top spot in the ratings, the Hornets’ week seven loss at Savannah will vault SHS’ Savages over them into the top seeding automatically if they remain in those top two positions after next week’s action. With Savannah visiting faltering Kansas City: St. Pius X next, that is the likeliest scenario.
If Savannah suffers a stunning upset at SPX’s hands, Pembroke Hill still would have to defeat Independence: Van Horn – no sure thing – in its finale to possibly jump past the Savages into second and make the Hornets the No. 1 seed.
If Savannah and Pembroke Hill match results next week, Savannah would at least maintain its No. 2 rating and, by the head-to-head advantage, supplant Chillicothe as the No. 1 seed. If Chillicothe and Savannah win next week, Pembroke Hill can’t pass either.
Although the calculations are uncertain, a Chillicothe loss to Benton and Savannah and Pembroke Hill week-9 victories might drop the Hornets to third. If so, that likely limit them to one district game at home, rather than two or more. A triumph over Benton would assure CHS of at least two home district-playoffs contests (assuming a first-round win).
Statistically in the Hornets’ Kansas victory, they had two ballcarriers surpass 100 yards with a third above 75 and a fourth with 50.
Wheeler, lugging the pigskin only twice after halftime and eight times overall, finished with a season-high 144 – his third time in triple digits in 2019. Winder topped 100 for the first time with 103 on only 12 carries, while notching his sixth and seventh TD throws of the season. That aerial scores total matches the most by a CHS quarterback since Tyler Clampitt had nine in 2013.
Total yardage stats Friday tilted heavily the Hornets’ way, 452-252.
CHS, which had 22 separate players involved in at least one tackle, made eight stops for losses totaling 32 yards. It sacked Moore, who still netted 102 rushing yards on 16 attempts, four times in the second half and stopped two pass completions for negative yardage. Isaih Kille had one unassisted sack and shared one with Luke Hopper, while underclassmen Donald McCracken and Damarcus Kelow each got one to continue to share the team lead – now with three apiece.
The Hornets won despite losing the turnovers battle 2-0 – throwing an interception and losing one of its two fumbles – and having a fourth-quarter punt blocked. It also was flagged for seven major penalties, including a high school rarity – targeting. Both live and on video, it did appear two of the major penalties assessed – both for defensive pass interference – were not warranted.
Chillicothe’s most-recent out-of-state contest had been at Fort Madison, Iowa, in 1993. Its 1994 home rematch with that Iowa school was its most-recent game against a non-Missouri opponent. All-time, according to results exhaustively researched by Randy Dean about 25 years ago, CHS now owns an 8-2 mark against schools from outside the state and has not lost to one in over a century.
CHILLICOTHE 35, KCK: WYANDOTTE 7
Chillicothe 14 14 7 0 – 35
Wyandotte 0 0 7 0 – 7
10:30 (1) – (CHS) Dawson Wheeler 51-yards run (Jamacin Carr kick) (4 plays, 73 yards) CHS 7-0
7:36 (1) – (CHS) Jaden Winder 13-yards run (Carr kick) (5 plays, 55 yards) CHS 14-0
7:13 (2) – (CHS) Julius Humphrey 20-yards pass from Winder (Carr kick) (11 plays, 80 yards) CHS 21-0
3:10 (2) – (CHS) Wheeler 65-yards run (Carr kick) (1 play, 65 yards) CHS 28-0
4:05 (3) – (WHS) Torry Moore 12-yards run (kick good) (11 plays, 80 yards) CHS 28-7
1:23 (3) – (CHS) Colten Sewell 10-yards pass from Winder (Carr kick) (8 plays, 63 yards) CHS 35-7
INDIVIDUAL, TEAM STATISTICS
(CHS) Dawson Wheeler 8 carries for 144 yards (2 TDs), Jaden Winder 12-103 (1), Isaih Kille 12-77, Isaak Rasche 4-50, Allen Eakins 4-19, Brock Gott 2-10, Kam Ward 4-6, Hayden Hill 1-5, Dan Hoel 1-4, Gage Leamer 1-3, Colten Sewell 1-(-2). [TOTAL 50-419 (3)] (WHS) Torry Moore 16-102 (1), Eric Merrit 10-33, Malike Calhoun 1-4, Rashad Graves 4-4. [TOTAL 31-143 (1)]
(CHS) Winder 2 comp. in 4 attempts, 33 yards (2 TD/1 int.). (WHS) Moore 12-27, 109 yards (0/0)
(CHS) Julius Humphrey 1 reception for 20 yards (1), Sewell 1-13 (1). [TOTAL 2-33 (2)] (WHS) Calhoun 4-46, Merrit 6-32, Dontae Wilson 1-26, Maurice Brown 1-5. [TOTAL 12-109]
CHILLICOTHE TACKLES (solos)
Wheeler 14 (6), Hill 11 (3), Sewell 9 (4), Isaac Washburn 5 (2), Damarcus Kelow 4 (2), Kille 4 (2), Rasche 4 (1), Donald McCracken 2 (2), Luke Hopper 2 (1), Gott 2 (1), Braxten Johnson 2 (1), Brock Ward 2, Elijah Reynolds 1 (1), Winder 1 (1), Tucker Wagers 1 (1), Brad Hayen 1 (1), Humphrey 1, Trey Tipton 1, Joseph Tullos 1, Jamacin Carr 1.
QUARTERBACK SACKS (season total)
(CHS) Kille 1-1⁄2 (1-1⁄2), McCracken (3), Kelow (3), Hopper 1⁄2 (1⁄2). [TOTAL 3]
TACKLES FOR LOSSES (incl. QB sacks)
Chillicothe 8 for -33 yards (Kille 21⁄2, Washburn 11⁄2, Hayen, Kelow, McCracken, Hopper 1⁄2, Wheeler 1⁄2); Wyandotte 4 for -14 yards.
(WHS) Manual Vasquez (45 yards).
Chillicothe 2 (1). Wyandotte 2 (0).
OPPONENT’S FUMBLES RECOVERED
(WHS) Don Johnson.
(CHS) Sewell 2-28. (WHS) Brown 3-40, Kevonte Jackson 2-14, Wilson 1-13. [TOTAL 6-67]
(CHS) Rasche 1-28.
(CHS) Winder 2-34 (1 blocked). (WHS) n/a 3-95.
(WHS) n/a 0-1 (25 yards)
Chillicothe 7 for 87 yards; Wyandotte 10-75.
Chillicothe (2 passing, 20 rushing); Wyandotte 13 (5 passing, 6 rushing, 2 penalty)