Tigers pull away in second half over Iola



October 26, 2013 - 12:00 AM

FORT SCOTT — A couple of goal-line stands, followed a bit later by a broken play resulting in a touchdown had Iola High thinking victory Friday evening.
But almost as quickly as the Mustangs pulled even with host Fort Scott, the Tigers were there with a quick response.
Moments earlier, Iola’s Jacob Rhoads had turned a fumbled snap into a 49-yard touchdown run to tie the Tigers, 7-7, early in third quarter.
But a pair of long Tiger pass plays followed, including Mason Knopp’s 37-yard scoring strike to Jash Pytlowany to put Fort Scott back on top, 14-7.
“Once they scored so quickly, we started pressing after that,” Mustang head coach Doug Kerr said.
A pair of Iola turnovers led to two more Tiger scores to put the game away, 27-13.
The loss drops Iola to 4-4 on the season, and more importantly, eliminates the Mustangs from postseason contention at 0-2 in Class 4A, District 6 play.
Elsewhere Friday, Chanute’s 56-6 victory over Anderson County means Fort Scott and the Blue Comets will play Thursday, with both teams assured of a playoff berth. The winner will take the district title.
Iola responded quickly after Fort Scott retook the lead. Brice Aiello’s acrobatic catch down the right sideline garnered 28 yards and put the Mustangs at first and 10 on the Tiger 15. But two short runs coupled with a holding penalty — one of nine accepted penalties against the Mustangs — essentially ended the drive.
The holding penalties stuck in Kerr’s craw throughout the game, although he declined to cite the officiating as the reasons for the loss.
But still…
“We were flagged for holding nine times,” he noted (some penalties were declined). “I don’t think we’ve had nine holding penalties since I’ve been here.”
On another occasion, the refs ordered a redo after an inadvertent whistle on a Kastl run left fans wondering if the Mustangs had stopped him for a loss, or if he was going to get credit for breaking loose after breaking free from the defenders’ grasp and galloping into Iola territory.
Still another oddity featured off-setting pass interference penalties on the receiver and defender on a fade toss into the end zone.
Nevertheless, Iola held on defense and looked to tie the score through a series of effective runs.
That’s when the turnover bug bit.
Iola made it to midfield when a Tiger defender jarred the football from Mustang quarterback Tyler McIntosh’s grasp on a third-down scramble early. Fort Scott recovered and scored three plays later on Race Kastl’s five-yard run early in the fourth quarter.
An interception snuffed Iola’s next drive at midfield. The Tigers scored on Kastl’s second touchdown of the night, this one from three yards out, to put the game out of reach.
Iola’s last-gasp hopes were snuffed after Kaden Macha plowed in on a two-yard touchdown with 50 seconds left in the game. Fort Scott recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock.

THE OFFICIATING had both teams’ coaches barking their discontent.
Iola missed out on a potential fumble recovery and long return in the first quarter when the officials whistled Kastl down as the ball popped into the arms of a Mustang defender.
“That quick whistle sort of set the tone,” Kerr said, although Iola later recovered another Tiger fumble deep in Mustang territory to end the drive.
Iola got one first down, but went no further, and Fort Scott took possession at the Mustang 37 after a long punt return.
Knopp found Chris Allen on an 18-yard touchdown pass with 1:49 left in the first period to put the Tigers on top, 7-0.
Fort Scott twice more drove deep into Iola territory later in the half, only to be stuffed by the Mustang defense.
Aiello and a host of Iola defenders stopped Kastl well short of the first down marker on a fourth-down pass at the Iola 17.
Then, the Tigers had first-and-goal on their next drive, only to go nowhere on three straight runs. Cody Conner blasted Tiger receiver Carter Young for a four-yard loss on the fourth-down pass.
Iola went into halftime still trailing, but optimistic.
“I’m proud of how hard the kids played,” Kerr said. “There was some hard hitting, and we were able to make some offensive adjustments after halftime. I know we were getting frustrated offensively, but that’s a good defensive team over there.”
Still, the loss left Kerr with a sense of disappointment.
“They paid us a compliment after the game and talked about how hard we played,” Kerr said. “But we’re not in this for moral victories. We just want victories.”
Rhoads led the ground attack with 75 yards on three carries. Macha rushed for 44 yards on seven carries. John Whitworth and Aiello both had 27 yards on the ground. McIntosh was 3 of 8 passing for 31 yards, including the 28-yarder to Aiello.
Shane Walden and Rhoads each had 11 tackles to pace the Iola defense. Conner recovered a Tiger fumble. Bryce Misenhelter added eight tackles, Macha 7.
Knopp completed 12 of 14 passes for 168 yards for Fort Scott. Kastl rushed for a game-high 102 yards on 13 carries.
Iola wraps up the 2013 campaign at 7 p.m. Thursday against Anderson County at Riverside Park. Senior Night festivities will precede kickoff.
Fort Scott    7-0-7-13—27
Iola    0-0-7-6—13
FS — Allen 18 yd pass from Knopp (Allen kick)
Iola — Rhoads 49 yd kick (Macias kick)
FS — Pytlowany 37 yd pass from Knopp (Allen kick)
FS — Kastl 5 yd run (Allen kick)
FS — Kastl 2 yd run (PAT blocked)
Iola — Macha 2 yd run (pass failed)
    Iola    FS
First Downs    8    17
Rushes-yds    35-186    39-207
Passing yds    31    168
Total offense    217    375
Passing    3-8-1    12-14-0
Fumbles-lost    1-1    2-1
Punts/avg    3/35    0/0
Penalties-yds    9-84    5-40
Individual statistics
Iola — Rhoads, 3-75; Macha, 7-44; Whitworth, 8-27; Aiello, 5-27; Kauth, 4-15; McIntosh, 7-12; Walden, 1-1. Fort Scott — Kastl, 13-102;  Quinney, 7-47; Brown, 5-22; Young, 9-21; Knopp, 4-8; Thurston, 1-7.
Iola — McIntosh, 3-8-31 yards. Fort Scott — Knopp, 12-14-168 yards
Iola — Aiello, 1-28; Kauth, 1-4; Zimmerman, 1-(Minus-1)
Iola — Rhoads, 1; Walden, 11; Macha, 7; Conner, 3; Zimmerman, 2; Latta, 5; Kauth, 3; Aiello, 3; Whitworth, 2; Wier, 4; Maxwell, 4; Misenhelter, 8; Hopkins, 1; Macias, 1; Powelson, 1.

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