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Chanute Blue Comets running back Ty Leedy (21) carries the ball in Chanute’s home victory against the Ulysses Tigers in September.

JARED McMASTERS

Chanute’s defense is legit.

As the Blue Comets (5-1) prepare for Friday’s football clash with the Coffeyville Golden Tornado (1-5), that defense will seek its fourth consecutive shutout.

Chanute head coach Clete Frazell has consistently reiterated that he believes his squad has been trending upward since Week 1, when a loss to Circle knocked the wind out of the Blue Comets’ collective ego.

Since allowing 20 points to the Circle Thunderbirds (4-2) in a season-opening loss, Chanute hasn’t conceded more than eight points in a game.

The Blue Comets are led by the No. 1 defense in Class 4A — Chanute limits opponents to 124.5 total yards of offense per game.

Through the first five games of the season, Chanute has 13 takeaways and the Blue Comets have a commanding 79-48 lead in the battle for first downs.

Against a struggling offense like Coffeyville’s, Chanute looks primed to boost those stats and continue its hot streak.

In their last five games, the Golden Tornado are averaging a meek 83.4 yards of offense, one of the worst marks in Class 4A. Over that same span, they’ve seen slightly better results through the air (260 total yards) compared to pounding the ball on the ground (157).

Given Chanute’s defensive clinic this season, favoring one method of attack over another doesn’t seem like it’ll lead to any more significant results.

The Blue Comets have restricted teams to 55 rushing yards and 69.5 passing yards per game, both of which are top-tier numbers in comparison to the rest of Class 4A.

With such a mismatch favoring Chanute’s defense over Coffeyville’s offense, the Golden Tornado’s chances of success will likely be riding on the hopes of a standout performance from their defense to keep the affair close in a low-scoring chess match.

Coffeyville has had better days on the defensive side of the ball after yielding 327 yards per game this season to settle into a spot near the middle of the pack when it comes to defensive rankings.

Even with a schedule that’s featured a majority of offenses that perform better throwing the ball, the Golden Tornado defense has proven to falter when it comes to stopping the run. Nearly 64% of the yards Coffeyville has allowed this season have come on the ground.

Led by an energetic Ty Leedy at running back, Kaiden Seamster’s explosive athleticism and quarterback Eric Erbe’s ability to scramble when necessary, the Chanute offense could be poised to exploit Coffeyville’s rushing defense.

The Blue Comets will be looking to earn their sixth straight victory when they host the Golden Tornado Friday night.

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