Orioles soar past Lone Jack on gridiron
On his first carry from scrimmage since undergoing hernia surgery soon after a 28-26 overtime win over Higginsville in week one, Luke Kapala served notice that he hasn't missed a beat.
Kapala took a handoff from Josh Bushman and sped 64 yards to the end zone, setting the tone for a 66-7 I-70 Conference triumph for the Concordia Orioles over visiting Lone Jack Friday.
"We started out the game with an incomplete pass, and then came back with our basic iso(lation play). He hit the hole and bounced the play out to the sideline and outran the defense," CHS head coach John Cox said.
Before the night was over, Kapala carried the ball seven times for 123 yards and scored four touchdowns.
"Having Luke back is a big plus," Cox said. "I feel like it really balances our offense.
"If Collin (Werths) and Luke aren't out there together, I feel like defenses can key in a little more on one of them."
Kapala's other TDs were much shorter distances of six yards, three yards and three yards.
The Orioles did what they've done over the past two years, scored at will against conference foes.
This time, the Orioles scored three first-quarter touchdowns and added the two-point conversion after each for a 24-0 lead. Four more touchdowns and three two-point conversions in the second quarter increased the advantage to 54-0 by halftime.
Lone Jack broke up the bid for a shutout in the third quarter on a pass from Bryan Moore to Skylar Overlander of 10 yards.
But Kapala scored his last TD in the third quarter, and Wade Nevels scooted 38 yards to the end zone for the Orioles' final points.
Werths, who only touched the ball four times offensively, still scored three touchdowns, one on defense.
About a minute after Kapala's 64-yard scamper, Werths picked off a Moore pass and raced 20 yards to the end zone.
The next Orioles' possession, Werths scored from scrimmage on a 49-yard run.
With the Orioles ahead 38-0, and Lone Jack backed up inside its five, Werths fielded a punt and scooted 20 yards to paydirt.
The other touchdown for the Orioles came defensively as Cale Brunkhorst intercepted another Moore pass and ran it back 31 yards for CHS's final score of the first half with 2 minutes, 26 seconds to play.
"Our defense continues to make plays," Cox said. "We have gotten a lot of defensive touchdowns so far this year, and when we haven't scored off an interception or fumble, our offense has come on the field and capitalized on them."
CHS rushed for 257 yards, including 69 yards in four carries from Werths, Nevels with 38 in one tote and 18 for Bushman in four carries.
Bushman was two of five passing for 22 yards with a 12-yard completion to Kyle Wilson and a 10-yard strike to Brunk-horst.
The Orioles' defense surrendered 118 yards rushing, Dalton Shahan getting 91 yards in 13 carries for LJHS.
Lone Jack also had 64 yards passing, including Moore's five-for-13 for 42 yards.
The 4-0 Orioles are still No. 1 in the latest Class 1 poll and travel to Knob Noster, a Class 2 team and a member of the Missouri River Valley Conference's East Division, in a non-conference game Friday night at 7.
The Panthers are winless, but they are Class 2.
"They have a lot of good athletes, and we can't let them get into space," Cox said. "They have played an extremely hard schedule and will have a lot of good experience against good teams coming into the game.
"We have to continue to improve the basic fundamentals of what we believe will make us successful."
The Panthers have suffered a 42-7 setback at Versailles in week one, a 35-21 loss at Lexington in week two, a 15-7 defeat at home to North Platte in week three and a 59-0 shutout loss at Holden last week.
Concordia shut out the Panthers 44-0 last year. It was a game that was scheduled for CHS but was changed due to a deluge of rain making Dorth Field unplayable.
The 1-3 Mules travel to Santa Fe for an I-70 Conference game Friday night at 7. The Chiefs won 33-18 at Lone Jack last year.