|Blake Winslow and Free State managed to beat LHS,|
marking the second year in a row the Firebirds have
finished the regular season at 8-1. Photo LJWorld.
The Firebirds took their second in a row against Lawrence High, outlasting LHS by 18 points after taking a 21-10 lead to halftime. LHS got on the board early when they capped a drive with a 30-yard field goal from Ellis Springe to go up 3-0. Minutes later, Free State answered when Joe Dineen found Khadre Lane on an 81-yard touchdown pass to give the Firebirds a 7-3 edge. LHS matched the touchdown early in the second quarter when Nyle Anderson found Zay Boldridge on a 25-yard touchdown pass to go up 10-7. Free State came back with a 24-yard touchdown pass from Dineen to Zach Bickling, then, just before the half, Keith Loneker recovered a LHS fumble and took it back 53 yards for a touchdown. The third quarter was a stalemate, but Free State was able to get on the board again in the fourth quarter when Dineen scored a touchdown on an eight-yard run.
Olathe East 31, SM South 21
Despite what seemed like a pretty even game overall, Olathe East was able to make more big plays than SM South, and in the end that was the difference. On SM South' first possession a poor exchange resulted in a fumble that Olathe East recovered. On the next play Jalen Branson took a carry 30 yards for a touchdown to give Olathe East a 7-0 lead. On SM South's next possession, another fumbled exchange was taken out of the air by Connor Alexander and returned 22 yards for a touchdown to put the Hawks up 14-0. SM South managed to answer back when Chase Allen found Nick Oliver on a short touchdown pass to make things 14-6. Next, Olathe East's Chris Diddle hit a 25-yard field goal to extend the lead to 17-6. Just before the half SM South put together their best drive of the night, capped by a seven-yard touchdown run from Marshall Bland. The teams went to intermission with Olathe East leading 17-13. In the third quarter SM South committed their fourth turnover of the day, and Olathe East took advantage with a 34-yard touchdown run from Branson on the next play, pushing the lead to 24-13. Midway through the fourth quarter SM South got back into the game when KJ Edwards hit Nick Oliver on a 39-yard reverse wide receiver pass, pulling to within three at 24-21. The Raiders had a chance to tie it late, but their field goal attempt came up short. On the very next play, with SM South needing a late stop, Olathe East's Jordan Brown took a carry 70 yards for a touchdown to put the game away.
Wyandotte 38, Leavenworth 28
No box score was reported. Leavenworth, for the most part, was bottled up in this week nine loss, but for just the second time in three years the Pioneers are going to the playoffs. Leavenworth actually entered the fourth quarter trailing 30-14, but two late touchdowns from Isaiah Ross and Jason Randall pulled them to within 10 in the final tally, and more importantly retained a 1-point edge for Leavenworth over Lawrence in the district points standings. Leavenworth's overall poor performance was much a product of their mere 104 rushing yards, one of the team's lowest production totals in a long time.
SM Northwest 17, SM West 14
This was the closest of the league's week nine do-or-die games, and in the end, turnovers and field goals proved to be the difference. SM Northwest scored first on a 24-yard touchdown pass from Jake Horner to CJ Perez to go up 7-0 in the first quarter. SM West answered later in the quarter on a 27-yard touchdown run from Tarik Watson to tie the game, and the score held through halftime. In the third quarter SM Northwest regained the lead on a 44-yard field goal from Johnathan Killeen. The Cougars came back with another touchdown in the fourth quarter on a seven-yard touchdown run from Justin Moody to go up 17-7. SM West, hamstringed by five fumbles and an interception, managed to pull to within three late when Justin Hobbs score on a three-yard touchdown run, but that was as close as the Vikings would get, as SM Northwest converted enough first downs on their final drive to close out the game.
Olathe North 28, Olathe South 0
You can call this the Gene Wier Special. A shutout victory, buoyed by a smash mouth rushing attack. The Eagles took a commanding 14-point lead in the first quarter on a 23-yard touchdown run from Venus Triplett and a 10-yard touchdown pass from Cole Murphy to Mauricio Chio. The score held through the half. In the third quarter Olathe North scored on a 43-yard touchdown run from Triplett to go up 21-0. A fourth quarter touchdown on a 14-yard pass from Murphy to Chio sealed the deal.
Gardner-Edgerton 56, Olathe Northwest 28
No official box score was reported. Looking at the final statistical recap, the main stat that jumped out was Traevohn Wrench's 228 yards rushing and six touchdowns. The Trailblazers completed a three-game sweep of the Sunflower League, with Wrench scoring 13 touchdowns in those three games. For Olathe Northwest, the Ravens closed out Chip Sherman's first year at the helm at 3-7, but the 0-3 skid in district play seemed all too familiar for a program that's never had a winning record.
SM East 42, SM North 20
No box score was reported. Right on schedule with what we were expecting in this game, SM East's starters pushed the Lancers out to an early lead then one-by-one exited the game as the first half rolled along. SM East's second units proved their worth, outscoring SM North 28-20 through the remainder of the game. With the win, SM East finished the regular season with an 8-1 record for the second time in four years. On the other sideline, SM North's losing streak jumped to 19-straight, a number they'll have to live with all offseason.