The start of the 2018 football season didn’t go the way the McIntosh Chiefs expected.
The Chiefs began the front leg of their two-game road stretch with a 32-18 loss to the Mundy’s Mill Tigers on Friday night. The Chiefs fell to 0-1 on the season as the Tigers advanced with their first victory.
“We saw a young team that made some progress tonight,” McIntosh head coach Lee Belknap said. “But, we also saw a lot of young team mistakes. We got to correct the mistakes on offense, defense, and special teams.”
McIntosh jumped out to an early 6-0 lead behind senior quarterback Dane Kinamon and running back Ryan Cate. They marched down the field behind an eight-play drive that saw Kinamon finish it off with a one-yard touchdown.
However, the lead quickly evaporated as Mundy’s Mill responded with a touchdown of their own. Senior wideout Nick Manson caught a 19-yard slant in the end zone. Manson would put his imprint on the game as he carved up the Chiefs with three touchdowns in the game.
The Miami-Ohio commit was a favorite target of Tigers quarterback Kendall Boney. Manson showed elite separation at the line of scrimmage and got open in space. His route running was the difference as he caught touchdowns of 18 and 45 yards.
“We just had a hard time with their superstar player (Manson) and we got to find the way to put the fire out with those types of guys,” Belknap said.
However, the Chiefs hung around for most of the first half.
On their second drive, they found the end zone as Ryan Cate scored on an eight-yard touchdown. The play was set up by a nice pass from Kinamon to receiver Andrew Villiger for 19 yards. Villiger ran a nice inside rub route and was open in the flat.
The score made gave McIntosh it’s second lead of the game. It would be short-lived as Mundy’s Mill continued to attack.
The Tigers made their mark on the ensuing kickoff as return man Javion Jackson scored after sneaking past the Chiefs kick coverage. This changed the score to 14-12 as Mundy’s Mill pulled ahead again. The score remained the same as both teams exited the first quarter.
In the second quarter, there started to be some separation. The Tigers defense started blitzing Kinamon as they broke through the Chiefs offensive line. They consistently rushed four defensive linemen and dropped a linebacker in shell coverage. The strategy worked as McIntosh was unable to efficiently operate their Wing-T attack.
As a result, Mundy’s Mill scored 18 unanswered points to jump out to a 32-12 advantage that expanded through halftime and into the third quarter. Tigers junior running back Raheem Gaines put the cap on the game by returning the second-half kickoff to the house to start the third quarter.
McIntosh responded with a late score in the fourth quarter to stop the offensive drought. Junior quarterback Burton Hahn threw a four-yard touchdown to junior Matthew Allum made the deficit manageable. Still, the score came a little late as the Tigers held on to close it out.
After the game, Belknap said that Kinamon got hit a little bit, but expects him to ready to go as the season progresses.
“He is a little banged up, but he is a tough kid and will be back in there,” Belknap said.
Despite the loss, there were some positives in the Chiefs performance. Kinamon and Cate had a great game and the defense came through at crucial moments. Kinamon was 6-for-8 with 62 passing yards and collected 56 rushing yards. Cate had 112 total yards (70 rushing and 42 receiving) against the Tigers.
Hahn also made a statement on defense He stuffed the Tigers at the goal line and senior cornerback made a nice read on a receiver screen that stopped Mundy’s Mill on third down.
“Our defense was getting to the ball nicely, but we just had a couple missed tackles out there,” Belknap said.
The big takeaway from the season opener was the unforced errors by the Chiefs. They allowed two kickoff return touchdowns and missed two extra points. McIntosh also drew penalties that gave Mundy’s Mill extra chances to capitalize in the game.
As Belknap alluded, the young team mistakes are correctable. They have to watch the film and fix it in practice.
McIntosh will get their chance of redemption in a tough road matchup against Riverwood next week.
“We just have to practice and get reps,” Belknap said. We got to get better each week to be on pace to compete in our region games in four weeks.”