Kiowa County football defeated Skyline on Thursday 40-22.

It was not a fit night out for man nor beast, but the Kiowa County and Skyline football teams braved the elements and played a pretty good game Thursday evening at Webster Field- the Mavericks prevailing over the Thunderbirds 40-22 on Skyline’s Senior Night.

With the incessant winds howling out of the north and the temperature plunging, it made ball handling and offensive execution an iffy proposition. The difference in the ball game was turnovers. Each team coughed the ball up some, but the team that did it the least won the game- and that was Kiowa County.

KCHS seized the early momentum when they executed an onside kick on the game’s opening play. The T-Birds held the Mavs on downs at their own 7, but were in a field position hole and ended up punting.

The next sequence was disastrous for Skyline as KCHS scored on a long run on the next play from scrimmage. SHS  fumbled it away on their next possession and on their first play from scrimmage after the recovery, KCHS scored again. The Thunderbirds found themselves down 14-0 in a heartbeat.

With 4:00 still left in the first period, Skyline doggedly began driving from midfield following the KCHS kickoff. A nice drive mixing passes and runs was capped by a 15 yard Carson Lee to Jackson Dunn touchdown pass to let Skyline close to within 14-8 at the end of the first period.

The Thunderbirds appeared to have seized the momentum when they recovered a Maverick fumble of the ensuing kickoff. Kiowa County held on downs, but was forced to punt from deep in their own territory.

Skyline advanced the ball with much of the damage coming on a long Lee-Dunn pass. With 5:13 remaining in the half, Dunn made a spiffy catch in the endzone to give the T-Birds their only lead of the night, 16-14.

With just :51 seconds remaining until intermission, Rhylan Tedder hauled in a Cale Thompson pass and went the distance from midfield to give KCHS the 22-16 advantage at halftime.

The Mavs extended their lead on their first possession after the break, a 65 yard drive ending in a TD. 28-16 Mavericks.

The balance of the 3rd frame passed with the teams taking turns fumbling the ball away deep in the opponent’s territory following long drives.

Q4 opened with Skyline marching, but the drive was thwarted when they put the ball on the ground again at midfield. Cooper Zenger then cashed in another long run for Kiowa County and the Mavs were up 34-16.

A Maverick INT set them up for another score and it was 40-16 KCHS with about 3 minutes left in the contest.

With youngsters on both sides getting some snaps, Skyline marched the ball down the field, culminating in a 20 yd Eli Temanson touchdown run to make the score 40-22. That’s where the game ended as KCHS ran out the clock.

“The boys made some big plays last night that kept us in the game early,” SHS head coach Andrew Nation said. “ We were hurt a lot by the turnovers and we needed to convert their turnovers into points and we didn’t do that.”

“ Our defense on 3rd and 4th down didn’t come through on a couple drives that ended up in points for Kiowa County,” Coach Nation added. “Our effort wasn’t ever in question but we needed to have more discipline to have won that game. Kiowa County was the better team and they earned the win.”

“It wasn’t the way we wanted the seniors to end their playing days at Skyline,” Nation concluded, “but we are really appreciative of their leadership they provided the underclassmen.”