ANDOVER — It was an unorthodox win for the Pittsburg High School football team on Friday, as the Purple Dragons persevered through adversity to grind out a 12-7 road victory over Andover Central.
Chase Johnson was the man under center for the Purple Dragons in the fourth quarter after starting quarterback Chase Curtis and backup Ty Roark exited the game with a pair of injuries, but Johnson got the job done, as he found Tye Cicero on a three-yard touchdown pass late in the contest to help seal the win.
Roark entered the game as quarterback on the fifth play of the opening drive after Curtis was carted off the field with a leg injury and gave the Purple Dragons a 6-0 lead in the final minutes of the first quarter on a 76-yard pass to Jhalani Long.
The Jaguars were knocking on the door in the second quarter, as they took the ball into the red zone in a drive which lasted over five minutes of game time, but the Purple Dragons’ defense stalled the offense and forced a missed field goal from 21-yards out.
The Purple Dragons picked up some offensive momentum halfway through the third quarter after Brandis Evans picked up 21 yards to move the ball into Jaguars’ territory and Roark found Dylan White on a 27-yard pass to move the ball down to the seven-yard line.
Things went south for PHS in the red zone when a loose ball was recovered by the Jaguars on the same play Roark left the game with an injury.
Pittsburg started the next offensive drive in the early going of the fourth quarter at the Jaguar’s 47-yard line, following a turnover on downs.
The Purple Dragons capitalized on the quality field position, as Johnson found Cicero in the end zone from three yards out to increase the lead to 12-0.
Andover Central answered with a touchdown at the two-minute mark of the fourth quarter and forced the Purple Dragons to punt the ball away in the next possession.
The Jaguars took over at their own 18-yard line with just under a minute remaining in regulation, but came up short of the end zone, as Nathan Neef recorded the game-ending tackle.
— Jordan Buckamneer is the sports editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @jbuckamneer.