Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Topeka West Holds on to Win Opener, 29-26

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Topeka West Holds on to Win Opener, 29-26

Article excerpt

There were plenty of mistakes that John Tetuan and his Topeka West coaching staff will be addressing in the days ahead after being assessed more than 100 yards in penalties and committing a couple of turnovers Thursday night at Hummer Sports Park.

But the Chargers also had plenty of positives to take away from their season-opener, first and foremost a 29-26 non-league win over Kansas City-Wyandotte.

"There's some things to build on," Tetuan said. "There's obviously a lot of things that we can do a lot better but there's a lot of positive things that happened. It's always good to start 1- 0."

Topeka West never trailed after senior quarterback Josh Reynolds hit junior Travis Gardinhire midway through the opening quarter after a bad snap out of punt formation gave the Chargers the ball at the Bulldog 7-yard-line.

And West was seemingly in control after going up 21-6 with 8:14 remaining in the first half on a 1-yard run by senior Michael Mariani, but Wyandotte cut its deficit to 21-19 at halftime and was within the final margin at the start of the fourth quarter before the Chargers came up with a series of key defensive plays to hold the Bulldogs at bay.

"Our first quarter I was really happy with on both sides of the football," Tetuan said. "But first game you're not in game-shape yet and we had guys going down and then our mental state was not good.

"We made some bad penalties in the second half that really hurt us and put us in positions that let them stay in the football game. We just need to keep our foot on the gas pedal and put people away."

Mariani led the Chargers in rushing with 55 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries and he also scored on an 18-yard TD pass from Reynolds, who threw for 98 yards and the two TDs.

Mariani also came up big on several defensive plays, including a pass interception and a big sack in the fourth quarter. …

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