Fort Osage's strong 2nd half stops Chrisman

By Michael Smith The Examiner
Posted: November 4, 2017 - 12:10 AM

In the first 32-plus minutes of Friday’s Class 5 District 7 championship game, Fort Osage was having trouble getting anything going against William Chrisman’s defense.

The Bears just took a 10-7 lead on Jaden Thomas’ 35-yard field goal with 4:51 left in the third. Fort’s offense needed a shot of adrenaline.

Enter Kaia Tupinio.

Tupinio, who plays multiple positions and is the Indians’ backup quarterback, subbed in for starting signal caller Ty Baker and made an immediate impact. He and running back Blake Robertson ran the wildcat formation to near perfection, and led the team to a go-ahead touchdown drive late in the third to help Fort Osage take a 24-10 victory at home.

The Indians will get a rematch against Staley – who won the regular season meeting with the Indians 22-15 and defeated Liberty 49-24 Friday in the Class 5 District 8 championship game – in the Class 5 state quarterfinals at 7 p.m. next Friday.

Fort Osage’s offense was ineffective up to that point and Tupinio gave his team the jolt it needed. After a personal foul penalty gave Fort Osage a first down, Tupinio had runs of 8, 13, 5 to get the team to the red zone. Brandon Gregory’s 19-yard run set up the Indians at the Chrisman 1 and fullback Derick Krones punched it in from there to give them a 14-10 edge.

“We were repping a lot of wildcat stuff in practice with everyone,” Tupinio said. “It just worked out well with everyone.

“Lately we’ve been a second-half team. We start slow and the second half comes through and we’re just on it.”

Added Fort Osage head coach Brock Bult of Tupinio: “He does a lot of things for us – receiver, quarterback, tailback. He’s done it all for us when we needed him to. He stepped in when he needed to. He’s a great kid and a great athlete.”

Tupinio rushed for 74 yards on just nine carries. Robertson tallied a team-high 94 yards rushing on 12 carries, 48 yards of which came out of the wildcat formation.

“We had an extra blocker, which always helps,” Robertson said of the wildcat. “All the reps in practice paid off.”

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