FRONTENAC — Friday’s 20-8 victory over Columbus was a statement win for the Frontenac High School football team, who improved to 5-3 and received a boost in momentum going into the final week of the season.
The Raiders were clinging onto a six-point lead with the Titans driving down the field in the final minutes of the fourth quarter, but an interception by Brendan Ishimura followed by a 60-yard touchdown run from Jake Wilbert sealed the win.
The Raiders hit the ground running, as they received the opening kickoff and drove the football 71 yards down the field in four plays and scored on a 24-yard touchdown pass from Peyton Brown to Broc Ginavan to go up 7-0.
Senior tailback Jake Wilbert found the endzone from 21-yards out halfway through the second quarter to extend the lead to 14-0.
The Raiders’ defense forced a three-and-out following the touchdown — thanks to a sack by Hayden Pile on third down — but a fumble on the punt return gave the Titans a fresh set of downs at midfield.
Columbus’ offense was held in check again following the fumble and elected to run the ball on fourth-and-short, but the Raiders’ defense stood its ground and forced a turnover on downs.
After a scoreless third quarter, the Titans came through for the their first touchdown of the game on a seven-yard pass and converted the two-point conversion to cut the deficit to 14-8 with just over three minutes remaining in regulation.
The Titans then kept the momentum going on defense and forced the Raiders to punt the ball back to them with over two minutes on the clock.
Two plays into the Titans’ new drive, Ishimura intercepted a pass to give the Raiders the ball and the momentum with time on their side.
On the first play following the interception, Wilbert broke free for a 60-yard touchdown run to put the Frontenac up 20-8.
The Raiders closed out the win by keeping the Titans out of the endzone in the final minute.
Frontenac’s season finale will be at 7 p.m. on Friday in Baxter Springs.
— Jordan Buckamneer is the sports editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @jbuckamneer.