The Fort Osage Indians are still undefeated.
No. 5-ranked Staley held Fort Osage to their lowest output of the season, while scoring the most points the Indians have given up this season, but it wasn't enough as the No. 2 and now 6-0 Indians overcame a fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Falcons 15-12 Friday at Staley High School.
Through the first 24 minutes of play, defense was the story.
There was only one score in the first two quarters with each team stopping the opposition on downs – Fort Osage did so twice – and getting one takeaway apiece.
The Indians would strike first, with the only points of the half, midway through the first quarter. Ezra Vaoifi rumbled in from 1 yard out to give Fort Osage the 7-0 lead with 7:03 left in the opening quarter.
The seven-point lead held up for the Indians as the teams went to halftime with Fort Osage on top by that same margin.
The Falcons cut into the lead quickly in the second half.
Just two minutes in, on the opening drive of the third quarter, Kahluna Bouchard broke free and raced down the sidelines 80 yards for a TD and Staley's first points of the night. The PAT was missed, however, and the Indians clung to a 7-6 edge with 10 minutes to go in the third.
The Falcons turned to their defense to set up their next score.
With 3:16 to go in the third, Staley recovered a fumble at the Fort Osage 35. Jordan Robben did the honors for Staley this time around, running it in from 11 yards out to make it 12-7 less than one minute later after the two-point conversion failed.
The Falcons threatened to put a stranglehold on the game early in the fourth. A Fort Osage snap went over the head of punter Skylar Thompson and Staley recovered at the Indian 11. The momentum was short-lived, though, as the Falcons fumbled it right back on the next play and the Indians recovered.
On the ensuing drive, Fort Osage drove 89 yards on 16 plays for the game-winning score.
The big play came on fourth-and-7 from the Staley 28 when Thompson hit Jesse McBee for 11 yards. Six plays later, Vaoifi plunged in for his second 1-yard touchdown run of the game. Thompson passed to McBee for the two-point conversion to give Fort Osage a 15-12 advantage with with just more than five minutes to play.
Staley (3-3) had two more cracks at it over the final five minutes, but turned the ball over on downs with 3:10 to go. On the Falcons’ final opportunity the Indians came up with an interception to seal the win.
Though the Indians were held to 227 yards of offense, Vaoifi still topped the century mark with 132 yards on 31 carries to go along with his two scores.
Staley, who had 225 yards offensively, was led by Bouchard's game-high 164 rushing yards.
Because of the impending severe weather, Fort Osage coach Ryan Schartz and Staley coach Fred Bouchard were unavailable for comment following the game.