By Kai Raymer (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
Kickapoo senior Michael Maugans and most of his varsity teammates spent Thursday night as water boys and sideline helpers.
Cherokee vs. Carver is a big deal, after all.
And the current Chiefs wanted to show their support for the future Chiefs.
“Those younger kids, they look up to us,” Maugans said. “They’re watching every move. It probably made them really happy that we could be there to cheer them on and help them out.”
Friday, on “Future Chiefs” night, Maugans and Kickapoo put on a dominating performance in front of those same players – and hundreds of other south-side middle school and elementary school students.
Kickapoo erupted for 21 first-quarter points and won going away, defeating Parkview 37-7 on Jim Pearson Field at Pottenger Stadium in front of over 4,000 fans.
Maugans had two touchdowns and 124 total yards from scrimmage.
It was a much-needed win for Kickapoo (1-2 overall).
The Chiefs hung tough with Lebanon in an opening-week loss. A bad second half led to a 30-7 loss at Waynesville last week.
“We put together a half two weeks in a row,” said Chiefs coach Nate Thomas. “It was time for us to put a whole game together.”
The Chiefs made sure of that early.
Kickapoo had more first-quarter touchdowns (three) than Parkview had first downs (one).
Parkview fumbled on its first play from scrimmage. Two plays later, Maugans’ 6-yard touchdown run put Kickapoo ahead 7-0.
Maugans added a 1-yard touchdown run later in the quarter. In between, Chiefs quarterback Cross Elmquist found Chase Kruse for an eight-yard touchdown pass.
“We had that mentality like, ‘We’re not stopping until this game is ours,’” Maugans said of the first-quarter onslaught.
The Chiefs recorded a safety on a botched Parkview punt attempt in the second quarter. In the final minute, Elmquist connected with wide out Chandler Taylor for a 24-yard touchdown pass.
Taylor made a leaping catch on the left side of the endzone and got both feet down just inside the out-of-bounds line.
The Chiefs led 30-0 at halftime.
“We’ve been waiting for this,” Maugans said. “I knew we had it in us. We just had to capitalize. We’ve been close. We finally pieced it together.”
Kickapoo controlled the game up front on both sides of the ball.
The offensive line, in particular, had a bounce-back performance.
“Our offensive line was pretty disappointed last week,” Thomas said. “We were really hard on them this week. Our offensive line coach, and us as coaches, know they could play a lot better. They came out tonight with something to prove.”
Thomas praised the selfless attitudes of his players for attending Thursday night’s middle school football games.
“They were in jerseys and took care of water for both teams,” Thomas said. “Then, to see the middle school kids come out of the tunnel with us tonight was pretty special.”
Added Maugans: “I got to watch Cherokee whoop up on Carver, and I went to Cherokee. So I was pretty proud of the Cherokee dudes last night. That’s what made me into what I am now.”
Kickapoo plays at West Plains next Friday. Parkview (1-2 overall) hosts Rolla the same night.
Kickapoo 37, Parkview 7
Parkview 0 0 0 7 – 7
Kickapoo 21 9 7 0 – 37
Kickapoo – Maugans 6 run (Quadrini kick)
Kickapoo – Kruse 8 catch from Elmquist (Quadrini kick)
Kickapoo – Maugans 1 run (Quadrini kick)
Kickapoo – Safety
Kickapoo – Taylor 24 catch from Elmquist (Quadrini kick)
Kickapoo – King 9 run (Quadrini kick)
Parkview – Rogers 21 catch from Burks (Nation kick)
Unofficial stat leaders
Passing: Burks 7-for-15 for 81 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT
Rushing: Trout 9 carries for 53 yards
Receiving: Rogers 2 catches for 30 yards, 1 TD; D. Taylor 3 catches for 39 yards
Passing: Elmquist 8-for-18 for 153 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT
Rushing: Maugans 13 carries for 62 yards, 2 TDs; Elmquist 8 carries for 73 yards; King 3 carries for 21 yards, 1 TD
Receiving: Maugans 3 catches for 62 yards; Kruse 3 catches for 25 yards; C. Taylor 1 catch for 24 yards, 1 TD
Turnovers: Parkview 2, Kickapoo 1