The Kickapoo Chiefs made a statement Friday night that they are back and aim to stay at the top with a 55-26 win over Parkview at JFK Stadium.
The Chiefs are the returning Class 6, District 4 champions and you wouldn’t know by their performance that they graduated a big chunk of their offense that led them to the title.
“Especially after losing all those guys last year, we’ve got a lot of younger guys and guys playing their first games, but they were stepping up really well and I thought they did a good job,” said Kickapoo quarterback Chris Lawson. “This week in practice we really got our teammates going and I didn’t think we could have been more ready.”
Lawson, Kickapoo’s three year starting quarterback, led the Chief offense by throwing 19-27 for 250 yards and two touchdowns with another touchdown on the ground.
The Chiefs came out firing with a 28-0 early lead including two rushing touchdowns by senior running back Maverick McGee.
It looked like a rout for Kickapoo, but Parkview’s Mario Sanchez connected with Marcus Walton on a 50-yard pass play to show the Vikings were still alive. Then Sanchez threw a 35-yard bomb to Gage Clark in the end zone with 15.9 seconds left in the first half to swing the momentum in their favor.
Kickapoo answered with a Lawson pass to Corey Dye for a 63-yard touchdown to end the half and send the Chiefs to the locker room with a 34-14 lead.
McGee opened the second half with his longest touchdown run of the night to keep up the pace for the Kickapoo offense. Parkview scored twice more but couldn’t contain the Chiefs who won the game 55-26.
McGee finished the night with 161 yards on 19 carries with 3 touchdowns. Dye picked up 111 yards on 5 attempts.
“There’s always a lot of unknowns in week one, but overall I think we got the effort out of our kids that we needed,” said Kickapoo coach Kurt Thompson. “Maverick’s a good football player and that was something that we did know coming into the game. We saw him do that last year and he’s only going to get better all this year.”
Parkview coach Anthony Hays said while the Vikings didn’t perform as he had hoped, he was pleased with their never-give-up attitude.
“I’m obviously displeased with our execution and turnovers—we didn’t make some plays when we needed to—but I am proud that they never gave up,” he said. “They kept fighting and I think with that attitude we’ll be able to clean some of the mistakes up.”
Parkview will remain at home for week 2, hosting the Joplin Eagles.
Lawson and the rest of the Chiefs are looking forward to playing their home opener against Rolla.
“I’m looking forward to everything about it,” said Lawson. “It’s my senior season, first home game and we’re all pumped up. After a game like tonight, how could you not be?”
Kickapoo 55, Parkview 26 Kickapoo 14-20-15-6—55 Parkview 0-14-6-6—26
First quarter Kickapoo-Maverick McGee 9-yard run (kick fail) Kickapoo-McGee 12-yard run (Jamar Sappington catch)
Second quarter Kickapoo-Chris Lawson 16-yard run (Joshua Scheiderer kick) Kickapoo-Robbie Merced 10-yard catch (kick fail) Parkview-Marcus Walton 50-yard catch (Alex Joy kick) Parkview-Gage Clark 35-yard catch (Joy kick) Kickapoo-Corey Dye 63-yard catch (Scheiderer kick)
Third quarter Kickapoo-McGee 20-yard run (Merced catch) Kickapoo-Devin Kruse 15-yard run (Scheiderer kick) Parkview-Blake Delacruz 25-yard run (kick fail)
Fourth quarter Kickapoo-Dalton Coates 4-yard run (kick fail) Parkview-Trevor Boice 40-yard run (kick fail)