Kaos rout Renegades
The Kansas Kaos delivered a message on Saturday night to the rest of the Missouri Division of the NAFL: Any winning division teams will have to go through Bonner Springs.
The Kaos blanked their opponents, the Cass County Renegades, by a score of 34-0 to improve to 2-0 on the season. A week ago they handily defeated the Junction City Spartans on the road by a score of 30-3.
Cass County never got anything going on Saturday night as a result of the Kaos' stingy defense. Solid play by the linebackers was the main reason the Renegades were held off the board the entire night and the scheme was about as well-executed as you could ask for this early in the season. Couple that with solid tackling and you have a recipe for a great defense.
However, the defense does not get all the credit for the victory. The offensive line is the unit that ended up with the game ball. The beef up front pushed the Renegades up and down the field with precision and power allowing the Kaos' running game to pretty much get what they wanted.
"I was really impressed with the line's play," said first-year head coach Kip Van Hoose. "They played so well and they pretty much don't have any backups to let them rest, which is even more impressive."
With the line dominating up front and opening truck-size holes, the very consistent one-two punch of running backs Alan Williams and Clifton Dumas got rolling early. They averaged 6 yards a carry and had seven runs of more than 10 yards each.
Second-year quarterback Jason Sutherland chipped in with several scrambles of his own, and even chucked a touchdown pass. The offensive game plan calls for a short, controlled passing game for which the Kaos are still working out the timing.
Sutherland completed 50 percent of his passes - a decent number when the team is running the ball at will, but a number that needs to improve when opponents start stacking eight men in the box to limit the running attack. When the outcome of the game was already decided, Sutherland had two passes intercepted. Overall, Sutherland has done what he has needed to do to this point in the year and Van Hoose said Sutherland has displayed tremendous leadership qualities.
To this point the Kaos have had very little to complain about while outscoring their opponents 64-3 in the first two games, but coaches are never completely satisfied.
"I'm pretty excited, but we still have lots of things to work on," Van Hoose said.
They have struggled mightily in the red zone, for instance. In each of the first two games they have left four or five touchdowns on the field. It has been mainly due to execution.
"It is really deflating to the offense when you have second and goal on the two-yard line and you get a holding penalty," Van Hoose said. "Just no excuse for that. We need to have the mentality that you have got to finish. Execution is so important."
The coaching staff will attempt to put in some new formations in practice to help scoring efficiency in the red zone that is hovering around 50 percent.
The kicking game is another area that has caused concern for the Kaos because of a lack of experience.
So far the Kaos have been impressed with the facilities at Bonner Springs High School - especially the field turf.
The Kaos are off for the next two weeks. They play host to Junction City at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 19.
They will take the two weeks to practice on special situations and to stay sharp.
"Football is our passion and we can't wait until our next game," Van Hoose said. "Two steps down, eight more to go until the playoffs."