It’s not how your start the game, it’s how you finish it. That would sum up the game between the Purple Dragons and the Golden Tornado on Friday night.
On the first play of the game, Alex Barnes fumbled the ball and gave Field-Kindley the ball at the Pittsburg 25-yard line. But the Golden Tornado gave the ball right back to the Dragons when Luis Grossi’s pass was intercepted by Ethan Paul-Davis. After that first turnover, the Pittsburg offense turned red hot.
Zack Woods was on the receiving end of a 34-yard touchdown pass from Spencer Bernhardt. Coffeyville responded in quick fashion when James Jones III scored on a 30-yard touchdown to make the score 7-6 at the end of the first quarter.
Pittsburg picked up where they left off and scored on the first play of the second quarter on an Anthony McNeely 11-yard touchdown run. The Dragons extended their score to 21-6 when Bernhardt hooked up with Woods again on a 56-yard pass. On the ensuing kickoff, the explosive James Newton returned the kickoff 92 yards to narrow the score to 21-12.
Pittsburg started to take control of the game when Alex Barnes scored on a 2-yard run, then the Dragon defense made a big stop when Leigh Brantley recovered a Grossi fumble and took it back 15 yards for a touchdown to extend the Pittsburg lead to 34-12. Bernhardt later scored on a 1-yard run to make the score, 41-19. Coffeyville’s Nathan Finley found James Newton for a 55 yard touchdown to make the score 41-25 at halftime.
The second half of the game was a different story as both offenses started to take their foot off the accelerator and the defense started to make a stand. Late in the third quarter, Bernhardt found Jimmy Ritz for a 21-yard touchdown to extend the Pittsburg lead to 48-25. Another big defensive play came on the next Golden Tornado drive when Wesley Collins fumbled the ball, recovered by Keenan Carter. Pittsburg extended their lead to 30 when Alex Barnes score on a 26-yard run.
The teams traded touchdowns, then Coffeyville’s Welsey Collins scored his second touchdown of the night, this time from 29 yards out. On the ensuing kickoff, Field-Kindley recovered an onside kick, and three plays later Field-Kindley scored on a James Jones 17-yard touchdown run to make the score 61-45.
The two teams were not done even with time running out. Pittsburg scored their last touchdown with 2:05 left in the game when Alex Barnes ran for a 30-yard touchdown. Nick Finley found Deffebaugh again on a 20-yard touchdown pass, but Coffeyville’s onside failed and Pittsburg ran out the clock.