|Matt Elliott. Lawrence Journal World.
There may not be a more exciting game in the Sunflower League all season than what we saw at Free State Athletic Stadium on Friday night. Let's just say the game lived up to it's billing.
After a few early punts, Olathe South got on the board first when Frank Seurer picked off a Kyle McFarland pass and took it 60-yards for a touchdown (coincidentally, McFarland picked off a Seurer pass in the endzone later in the game). Later in the quarter Seurer hit Matt Elliott on a perfectly timed fade route in the front corner of the endzone to give Olathe South a 14-0 lead.
Free State kept things honest when McFarland connected with Tye Hughes on a 40-yard touchdown pass early in the second quarter to make things 14-7. Olathe South countered with a five-yard touchdown run from Russell White to go back up 14. Then things got interesting. Free State capped off their next possession when McFarland hit Blake Winslow on a 10-yard touchdown pass. Then, just before the half, Seurer threw up a pass that was intercepted by Free State's Demarko Bobo and returned 28 yards for a touchdown. That score tied the game at 21. Olathe South was able to throw together a late drive that ended with a 32-yard field goal from Logan Swartz just before the half which gave the Falcons a 24-21 lead at intermission.
Free State opened the second half with a drive and touchdown on an eight-yard run from TJ Cobbs. The score put them ahead, 28-24. Olathe South then went to their power running game, which turned out to be the difference in the contest. They first put together a drive that ended with a 18-yard touchdown run from White, but a botched extra point only put them up two, 30-28. They regained possession early in the fourth quarter and put together another drive which was quickly capped off with a burst from White up the middle on a 50-yard touchdown run. The score and successful two-point conversion gave the Falcons a 38-28 lead. Free State answered once more, putting together a drive that ended with a three-yard touchdown run from Cobbs, making things 38-35.
The Firebirds had one more chance late in the fourth quarter. With under three minutes remaining they drove all the way to the Olathe South 20-yard line. On a second down pass, however, McFarland was intercepted by Chase Hanson in the endzone, effectively ending the game.
SM West 38, Olathe North 7
SM West exercised some demons on Friday night, beating Olathe North for the first time since 2006. The Vikings set the tone early capping off a 15-play, 72-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown plunge from Rob Rice. Later on in the quarter, AJ Verdini gave an option pitch to Brett Sterbach who took the ball 42-yards for a touchdown, giving SM West a 14-0 lead. The Vikings went up 21-0 before the half on a five-yard touchdown pass from Rice to Andre Maloney. SM West's final scores came in the second half on a one-yard run from Sterbach, a 27-yard field goal from Joey Reed, and a 86-yard run from Tory Powell. Olathe North avoided their second shutout in school history when replacement quarterback Dontez Sanchez found Josh Moore on a 15-yard touchdown pass with 17 seconds remaining in the game. Olathe North's starting quarterback Cole Murphy was knocked out of the game with a shoulder injury and did not return.
Lawrence 28, Olathe East 20
Despite getting off to a hot start, LHS nearly handed things away late. The Chesty Lions jumped out to a 20-0 lead in the first half. Their scores happened, in order, on a 64-yard touchdown pass from Brad Strauss to Will Thompson, a five-yard touchdown pass from Strauss to Drake Hofer and a five-yard touchdown run from Strauss. It looked like LHS was going to steamroll Olathe East at that point, but the Hawks responded well. Before halftime Hayden Frazier took a carry 16 yards for a touchdown to lessen LHS' lead to 20-6 at the half.
LHS started off hot again the second half scoring on their opening drive on a seven-yard touchdown pass from Strauss to Erick Mayo to go up 28-6. Olathe East came back later in the quarter with a drive and a four-yard touchdown run from Ryan Woodson, making things 28-12. A botched fourth-down attempt in the fourth quarter allowed Olathe East a short drive and a touchdown on a two-yard run from Woodson, pulling things to 28-20. The Hawks regained possession once more and had a chance to drive and tie the game but a Strauss interception on defense ended the comeback bid.
SM East 44, Olathe Northwest 24
There was no box score available but this game proved to be an offensive slugfest. SM East running back Patrick Blackburn churned out three touchdowns on the ground, while quarterback Jordan Darling completed 18 of his 25 passes for 267 yards and two touchdowns, with both scores going to receiver Connor Rellihan. SM East held a sizable lead throughout the game.
SM South 55, SM North 28
The lopsided final score was not completely indicative of the early action. In fact, at one point in the first half when SM North's Henry Bell added his second rushing touchdown, the Indians only trailed 21-14. However SM South blew the doors off the barn by the end of the second quarter as the Raiders headed to intermission up 41-14. Gabe Guild added 236 yards and three touchdowns, while SM South's quarterback Jon Prueter completed all five of his passes for 107 yards and three touchdowns, two of which went to Nick Oliver. Ra'Keim Abdul also added a touchdown on a 90-yard kickoff return for the Raiders.
Leavenworth 17, SM Northwest 7
After a scoreless first half, Leavenworth broke the game open with a seven-yard touchdown pass from Judson Cole to Jeff George. The 7-0 buffer stood until the Pioneers added a 10-yard touchdown on a run from Jason Randall in the third quarter. SM Northwest answered with a touchdown pass later in the game, but a 37-yard field goal late from Cole capped things off in the Pioneer's favor.
Social Media Standings
Follow me @eliunderwood. I will follow you back. Teams that have the most interaction during the week (follows, Retweets, Tweets @eliunderwood, Favorites, comments, etc.) earn the most cred on the social media standings.
The most interactive Tweeters from each school get their username's listed below their school. I would strongly encourage you to follow these users because of their high volume of interactivity.
1. Olathe South Falcons
The Falcons are going to be very tough to take down from their perch atop the Social Media Standings. I added some 150 followers this past week of which I would estimate at least 100 were Olathe South fans. At halftime of the Olathe South vs. Free State game I received exactly 107 Tweets from the Falcon's student body, hash tagged with #AllFalcons. This all went along with their "I Believe" chant and subsequent powder toss, which can be seen in this YouTube video. Great job, Falcons.
2. SM West Vikings
SM West has embraced the Nordic Nasties nickname, which is awesome. I'm receiving many more SM West followers although I'm confident they can add many more and increase their interaction. After all, the Vikings have a big game this Friday with Olathe East. Surely their fanbase will want to be interactive in the days leading up to the game.
3. SM East Lancers
A shoutout to @big_chiefD for watching all the Lancer's games via web stream in Durango, Colorado, and props to the @SME_Harbinger staff for streaming the games live and @amckit for heading up that process. I like what the Lancers have done on Twitter this year and I'm looking forward to their activity this week prior to the Olathe South game.
Other Notable Users: @Ddderrick23, @wooddog7, @jcarnahan55, @zachcarnahan, @pubhouse_nation, @theRev_Carnahan, @nwatkins2, @Mjayhawker, @ChaseReiling1, @jstarrr15, @jimthejam