PITTSBURG — The Pittsburg Purple Dragon Football team defeated Chanute 41-27 Friday night, in a high-scoring affair where both teams traded punches throughout.
Pittsburg(2-0) dominated early, with captain Shay Mahnken finding a seam down the sideline for a 40-yard rushing touchdown early in the first quarter, the first score on what would become a busy day for Mahnken against the Blue Comets.
Midway in the quarter, Purple Dragon Sam Roark pushed the scoreline to 12-0, after bouncing to his right near the goal-line for a one-yard plunge into the end-zone.
With the Purple Dragons threatening to take a three-touchdown advantage, Chanute’s Briley Peavy returned an interception for a touchdown to give Chanute its first turnover of the game. Pittsburg stuffed the following two-point conversion attempt, leaving the score at 12-6 early in the second quarter.
Both team’s defenses struggled to contain the big-play throughout the night.
Pittsburg’s Malachi Gatewood responded to the Chanute score by returning the ensuring kickoff over 80 yards before getting tackled in the red-zone.
From there, The Purple Dragons punched in their third rushing touchdown of the game.
Chanute grabbed their second interception of the night inside of their own end-zone, which led to the second Blue Comet touchdown of the half.
Pittsburg took a slim 18-13 advantage into halftime.
After opening the quarter with a big gain through the ground, Mahnken punched in another touchdown, this time from six-yards out, pushing the lead to 25-13.
Blue Comet quarterback Ty Bowman cut into the Purple Dragon advantage once again, escaping the pass rush by rolling to his left, before scrambling for a 25-yard touchdown.
Pittsburg’s Donavin Nelson added his name to the scoring column late in Friday’s matchup, rushing for a touchdown to once again add more cushion to the Pittsburg advantage.
Pittsburg would add another touchdown in the fourth quarter to help seal the win over the Blue Comets.
Mahnken was a catalyst for the Purple Dragon rushing attack throughout the night, breaking tackles for both big plays as well as trucking his way into the end-zone in goal-line situations.
Pittsburg will look to continue their winning ways on the road as they travel to Overland Park to take on Blue Valley North next week.
Blue Valley North, a school that has been a state championship contender in recent years, are currently 0-2 after losing to Bishop Miege 27-20 and Blue Valley 34-7.
Last season, Pittsburg defeated Blue Valley North 34-31 in Pittsburg. Chanute(1-1), will faceoff against rival Iola(0-2) next week.
Iola fell to Parsons in quadruple overtime, 56-48, to open the season, before being defeated 33-21 by Wellsville in week two.
Around the CNC
The Galena Bulldogs topped Girard 48-14 on the road on Friday night. The Trojans(1-1) will look to bounce back versus Columbus(2-0) next week.
Frontenac jumped out to a 20-0 lead over St. Mary’s-Colgan before adverse weather postponed the game to Saturday. The results were not available prior to presstime, please check morningsun.net for the game recap.