Kaos thrash Junction City, improve to 3-0
When somebody says, "this is football weather," we all tend to know what that means. It's a shared experience we often long for during the dog days of summer. Leaves on the ground, gray sky, perhaps a pot of chili on the stove to warm you up from the driving cold.
That idea would make the weather experienced during Saturday evening's Kansas Kaos game at David Jaynes Stadium the antithesis of "football weather."
Hundreds of fans braved the scorching temperatures to see the Kaos defeat the Junction City Spartans, 35-14. The victory brings the Kaos' record to 3-0, while the Spartans dropped to 0-3. Overall the victory was convincing, but some holes were exposed in the second half that more talented teams may be able to exploit as the season wears on.
The Kaos began the game on defense and forced a quick three and out. Spartans punter Steve Davis fumbled the snap near midfield and was forced to throw a pass that was deflected at the line for an incompletion. The Kaos took little time to show what they had planned on offense. Consecutive runs of 4, 7, 12 and 16 yards put them at the Spartans 10-yard line, before halfback Allen Williams punched it in for the touchdown on a delayed handoff. Do-it-all player Chuck Smiley, who also plays safety and kick returner, tacked on the extra point to take the 7-0 lead.
Smiley's ensuing kickoff was a beautiful bouncing onside kick attempt that was recovered easily by the Kaos. They drove down the field with a combination of running from Williams, running back Clifton Dumas and quarterback Jason Sutherland and scored with a 1-yard plunge by fullback Jeremy Rymer. This time Smiley's extra point attempt was blocked by the Spartans, making the score 13-0.
The Spartans countered with a first down, but couldn't sustain any momentum. Quarterback Andrew Darling threw an interception into the waiting hands of Kaos defensive back Leon Washington at midfield. The Kaos were unable to move the ball and Sutherland was intercepted down the sideline on an ill-fated heave.
In the second quarter the Kaos went on an 11-play drive that ended with a 29-yard touchdown pass from Sutherland to receiver Don Allen that made the score 19-0 after Smiley's extra point sailed wide.
The Spartans answered through the air on the ensuing drive. Darling hit a 34-yard completion and followed that with a 41-yard bomb to receiver Odell Thomas for a touchdown. The extra point attempt was blocked and the Kaos maintained a 19-6 lead.
The Spartans tried to get back in the game with an onside kick of their own, but the Kaos covered the ball at the Spartans 36-yard line. On the first play of the drive Sutherland overthrew a wide-open receiver that would have been an easy touchdown. He didn't let that get to him. The second play of the drive resulted in a 36-yard touchdown pass from Sutherland to Allen on a quick slant pattern, followed by a two-point conversion by Williams that made the score 27-6 in favor of the Kaos at halftime.
The Kaos started with the ball in the second half and wasted little time lighting up the scoreboard once again. On the seventh play of the opening drive, Sutherland scrambled around waiting for a hole to open up in front of him. Nothing came open. He looked right, spun left and took off up the field, then stopped abruptly and pitched backwards to a surprised Allen Williams. Williams, however, was not as shocked as the defense lost sight of the ball. The next thing they knew Williams had scampered 34 yards for a touchdown that made the score 33-7 in favor of the Kaos. The Kaos punched in a two point conversion to up the score to 35-6 before allowing a couple of big pass plays, and another touchdown pass from Darling to Thomas to make the final score 35-14.
Sutherland said he was pleased with the victory but disappointed with the late let-down.
"Sometimes it's hard for some people at this level to keep the intensity up for the whole game when you're up that much," Sutherland said. "That's our downfall right now. We need to come together as a team. We're getting better every game, every practice. Football is a team game and we need to practice more and be able to trust each other more to get better."
Coach Kip Van Hoose said his team hadn't jelled just yet thanks to a lack of practice. He said that explains some of the inconsistent play and occasional lack of focus that the Kaos hope to correct in the coming weeks.
"We performed very well on the offensive side of the ball and caused several turnovers on defense," Van Hoose said. "We'll see next week with the upgrade of opponent : to see if it gets the guys' juices flowing and their excitement level up. Maybe they will stay focused."
The Kaos will play host to the Kansas City Panthers at 7 p.m. Saturday.
The speed and quickness of the spread offense attack that the Panthers run, which has become so prevalent in football at all levels, will test the Kaos in the secondary.
"When we get back to practice we will fine tune some things in our coverage," Van Hoose said of the difficult matchup. "We will adjust our scheme this week but still plan on mostly playing our type of game : tough defense and smash-mouth running on offense. This week we didn't put the nail in the heart like we should, but the coaching staff will work on closing games out like we want to."