By NICK SLOAN, NJSloan212@gmail.com
Just as he entered his junior season with a bang, Tonganoxie Chieftains running back Cole Holloway concluded his regular season with a monster game.
But this time, Holloway's performance was instrumental in a very unexpected district championship for the Chieftains.
Improving to 4-5 on the season, Tonganoxie edged out Basehor-Linwood 18-11 in a game that not only sent the Chieftains to the postseason, but one that left their rivals from Basehor-Linwood High School out in the cold.
Early on, the game was unfolding as most expected it to - Basehor dominating on the scoreboard. Ben Johnson caught a nine-yard touchdown pass from Tanner Garver early in the second quarter. A two-point conversion later, Basehor led 8-0.
A 22-yard field goal from Gage Wiser extended the lead to 11-0.
Holloway finished the game with 232 yards on 38 carries, scoring two touchdowns in the game. His first touchdown of the night came from 19 yards out, cutting into the Basehor lead. An Eric Tate 28-yard field goal right before halftime tied the game at 11.
The score would remain tied until early in the fourth quarter.
Holloway scored his second touchdown of the game, this one coming from five yards out.
Along with Holloway, Shane Levy stepped up big for the Chieftains. He had 123 yards on 14 carries. Tonganoxie was pretty much a one-dimensional team on the night, passing for just 36 yards in the game.
But that one-dimension was strong, as the Chieftains finished with 349 yards on the ground.
Basehor running back Drew Potter finished his career with 96 rushing yards. Tanner Garver wrapped up his career with 58 passing yards and the touchdown pass to Johnson, who finished with four catches and 30 yards.
It's the first time Basehor will not play in the postseason since 2006. It's Tonganoxie's first district title since 2005.