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The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High

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The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High

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They ran it back

The Kansas City Chiefs defeat the San Francisco 49ers, capture fourth Super Bowl in team history
A stadium full of Chiefs fans with the words Run it back.
John Gonsior
Chiefs fans pack into a crowded stadium before a playoff game in 2023. The ever-loyal fan base has gotten even more passionate due to the influence of pop superstar Taylor Swift. “Now they need Swift to marry [Chiefs tight end] Travis Kelce,” Speech and Debate coach Cara Borgsmiller said. (John Gonsior, Will Gonsior)

A game for the ages

America saw a thriller on Feb. 11 as the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 in Super Bowl LVIII, a game that featured two Super Bowl-record field goals, as 49ers kicker Jake Moody hit a 55-yard kick but was one-upped later by Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker. A trick play touchdown by 49ers star running back Christian McCaffery and wide receiver Jauan Jennings put the 49ers up early, but a Chiefs comeback punctuated by another field goal — they were something of a theme — by Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker tied the game at the end of regulation. Chiefs wideout Mecole Hardman then called game with his walk-in touchdown in overtime. The game was the first test of new playoff overtime rules requiring both teams to touch the ball. In the past, the first team to score a touchdown was the automatic winner, even if that team started with the ball. The rule change did not affect the game, however. The 49ers settled for their third field goal before Hardman’s touchdown sealed the win.

“The 49ers sabotaged themselves in overtime by not going for a touchdown, but the Chiefs deserved that win,” sophomore Addie Smith said.

The defenses controlled a game that saw each team punt five times despite averaging less than four punts per game this season.

 

Stars of the game

Patrick Mahomes won his third Super Bowl Most Valuable Player award by airing it out 46 times for 34 completions, 333 yards, two touchdowns and an interception as well as rushing nine times for 66 yards. A deep ball to Mecole Hardman for 52 yards was just one example of Mahomes’ talent. Despite having merely one yard at halftime, tight end Travis Kelce turned on the jets as the game went on and finished as Mahomes’ leading receiver with nine catches for 93 yards. On the other side of the ball, cornerback Trent McDuffie had a productive night. McDuffie forced a punt by knocking down this Brock Purdy throw and made plays all over the field. Speaking of Purdy, the 49ers’ signal-caller threw for 255 yards and a touchdown on 38 attempts in a solid outing. The ‘Niners’ offense was fueled by an impressive performance from running back Christian McCaffery, who led the team in rushing and receiving with 80 yards each.

“[McCaffery] was great. Poor guy, [his team let him down],” speech and debate coach Cara Borgsmiller said.

McCaffery wasn’t his team’s only standout. 49ers wideout Jauan Jennings became the second player — former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles being the first — to have a passing and a receiving touchdown in the same Super Bowl. Defensively, linebacker Fred Warner stayed involved and even managed to smother Kelce on a crucial red zone fade route.

 

What this means

This marked back-to-back Super Bowl titles for the Chiefs, who have won their third championship with quarterback Patrick Mahomes at the helm. The win has even the President himself talking about the team as a dynasty. Considering that Mahomes is already third all-time in playoff wins among starting quarterbacks despite being only 28 years old, the expectations of future success remain high. 

“[The Chiefs] have to do it again. They literally declared [themselves] that they have to do it again. If they don’t, it’s a failure,” Borgsmiller said.

Fortunately for the Chiefs, if recent history is any indication, the victory won’t slow their trajectory. The prowess of both teams involved lessens the chance of a Super Bowl hangover

“I think that the Chiefs will carry on with this momentum next season, [while the the 49ers will] do better next season and bounce back even stronger,” Smith said.

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About the Contributor
Will Gonsior, Staff Writer
Pronouns: he/him Grade: 11 Years on staff: 2 What is your favorite piece of literature? "The Count of Monte Cristo." Who is your hero? Borgs. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? Lowkey apples tho.
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