COFFEYVILLE – Memories of Briley Peavy returning a walk-off kickoff return for a touchdown last year crept into the minds of the spectators on a chilly Friday night at Coffeyville Stadium.
But this time it was Chanute punt returner Rawley Chard, who returned a kickoff for a 91-yard TD, which put the Blue Comets up 24-20 with 7:43 to go in the game.
On the ensuing drive, however, a one-win team scored a touchdown on an 11-play, 43-yard drive thanks to running back Ethan Camp’s 2-yard TD with 3:07 left in the game on a fourth-and-3 play.
It was the play of the game, and a development that ultimately cemented a 27-24 win for Coffeyville over Chanute.
Chanute High head coach Clete Frazell had thoughts on his defense after the critical drive.
“I didn’t see any defensive miscues. They’ve got a big strong running back that broke tackles and made plays,” Frazell said. “We were where we needed to be. We just didn’t make tackles. We weren’t wrapping up and he (Camp) was just making plays.”
First-year Coffeyville head coach Deonta Wade said he trusted his offensive line and backs to make big plays when they needed to.
“We went with an unbalanced line,” he said. “Put an extra lineman in the game and gave it to our big back. Fortunately, we were able to get into the end zone.”
On the Chanute side, freshman quarterback Kaiden Seamster was able to suit up and play after a nasty collision that knocked him out of the Fort Scott game in just the second quarter last week. Seamster was five of 11 for 59 yards throwing and ran the ball eight times for 29 yards. Running back Ryker Donovan ran the ball 12 times for 19 yards. Chard had four rushes for 36 yards and Garrett Almond, who injured his right hand in practice during the week, rushed six times for 23 yards, and caught the ball five times for 57 yards.
Coffeyville put some drives together thanks to Camp, who rushed the ball 21 times for 176 yards. Quarterback Aaron Rutherford ran five times for 33 yards.
It was a relatively mistake-free game, too, with Chanute staying disciplined and not giving up any penalties, versus a Coffeyville team that committed four penalties for 25 yards.
Coffeyville executed 12 first downs versus CHS’ seven. Fitting for the team that won, but it didn’t look as if the Golden Tornado would win early on.
Following a Braxton Harding 49-yard interception off of Rutherford that went to the 3, running back Ty Leedy jammed it in for a 3-yard TD on a one-play drive.
Chanute played stifling defense on the next possession, before Seamster hooked up with Almond on a 40-yard pass play, which culminated a three-play, 42-yard drive. Both scores were early in the first quarter.
A fumble by Coffeyville in the first quarter and stout defense by Chanute in the second quarter led to the Golden Tornado not scoring until near the end of the first half.
Coffeyville’s Rutherford scored a 1-yard TD run, the final play of a five-play, 46-yard drive near the end of the second.
Chanute led 14-7 at the break and it was looking great. Kicker Tyson Lucas added a cushion for Chanute after booting a 30-yard field goal with 4:47 to go in the third, which capped a 14-play, 66-yard drive that lasted 7:08. That made the score 17-7.
Just a drive later, Rutherford threw a 44-yard TD to receiver Tariq Logan, which put the score at 17-14 Chanute over Coffeyville with 2:21 left in the third, capping a five-play drive.
While Chanute had its chances in the end, momentum swung in Coffeyville’s favor after the Golden Tornado stopped a faked punt attempt on a fourth-and-three play by Chanute in the middle of the field.
Coffeyville, via turn over on downs, started with the ball on the 49, and advanced the ball in three plays, including a 19-yard TD run by Camp with 7:59 to go in the game.
With the score 20-17 Coffeyville over Chanute after a failed PAT, Chard worked his magic.
But this isn’t 2019 – a historical football season for Chanute. This is 2020, a year in which top players on offense and defense have been missing time all year, whether due to injury or quarantine.
Chanute football (2-3) will play Labette County on the road next Friday.