The Skyline Thunderbirds had trouble with consistency in 26-12 loss to Kiowa County.

Putting positive plays together eluded the Skyline Thunderbirds Sept. 7 as they lost to the Kiowa County Mavericks 26-12 at Skyline.

It was a long way from the overwhelming victory the T-Birds collected at the season opener in Burrton on Aug. 31 where they outscored their opponent 54-6 and the game was called at half time for the mercy rule.

A week later and the T-Birds seem to have misplaced the execution book and had a hard time putting two good plays in a row.

Coach Andrew Nation said they had a few positive plays during the game but it was hard for the team to have consistency and put several positive plays together.

The Thunderbird first position was an early indicator of how things would go. There was an early first but a penalty pushed the T-Birds back followed by a loss and then a no gainer to end their first series.

Then some of those positive plays stacked up and Skyline’s Braden Tyler scored a touch down on a 68-yard quarter back keeper. The PAT failed and the T-Birds led 6-0.

But Kiowa came back and while they struggled as well, they put up touchdown of their own at 10:43 in the second quarter with a failed PAT followed by another TD at 6:44 after the T-Birds fumbled the ball. The Mavericks led 14-6 after a two point conversion.

Another fumble on the next T-Bird possession turned the ball back over to the Kiowa.

The Mavericks were moving again late in the first half and the T-Bird defense dug in. But Kiowa punched the ball in with just 0.04 seconds left in the first half to take a 20-6 lead into half time.

Each team scored just once in the second half. Skylines Eli Temanson scored on a 15 yard TD run with just a minute gone in the third quarter for a 20-12 score with the T-Birds just one touchdown behind.

But those elusive good plays and lots of penalties kept Skyline out of the end zone for the rest of the game.

Kiowa also had trouble with penalties but managed one more touchdown on 8:35 left in the fourth quarter.

Late in the fourth quarter, the T-birds did stack up some of those elusive positive plays and registered three first downs in a row. But it was too little, too late as the game ended with the Thunderbirds losing 26-12 as they were advancing down the field.

Nation said while his team was fighting cramps and sickness, they showed some good toughness on defense. Their heads never dropped but on offense they just couldn’t execute when they really needed to.

The guys did have some good plays and every guy on the team had good impactful plays. The problem was putting those plays together. But they never gave up and kept trying.

“These are high character kids,” Nation said.

Nation said he hadn’t coached up to a level he should and there would be a lot of introspection on his part.

Skyline’s next game is 7 p.m. this Friday at Attica-Argonia.