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Gritty redemption: Lancers out-tough Olathe South
Those honking horns you heard out on the streets last night around 10 p.m.?
You’ll have to forgive them. Those crazy kids from SM East were justifiably excited.
Because after two years of seeing their season end at the hands of the Olathe South Falcons – last year’s state 6A football champions — the Lancers on Thursday gutted out a victory that places them squarely atop the Sunflower League heading into midseason.
It’s safe to say that neither team’s typically high-powered offenses had seen defenses as strong as those the Lancers and Falcons put on the field. In fact, the last two meetings between the teams had been shootouts, with the Falcons winning 55-42 in 2011 and 28-24 in 2010. Olathe South put 56 and 38 points on the board its last two games.
But the only score of the night Thursday came on a short-range SM East field goal after the Lancers were denied the endzone despite having first and goal at the four yard line. The Lancers pass attack that had been so effective the previous two games was hampered by tough coverage all night.
But Coach Chip Sherman isn’t complaining.
“Anytime you win a game like that, it’s a good thing,” he said. “But who would’ve thought 3-0? They’re not state champs for nothing. We respect them and are just happy to get the win.”
Thursday’s victory was just the fourth time in 22 meetings that the Lancers have prevailed over the Falcons.
On a down note, Troy Wilkins, likely the Lancers fastest player, tweaked a hamstring on a punt return and had to leave the game. Sherman said he hoped Wilkins would be ready to return to play next Friday, when the Lancers take on 2-1 Olathe East.
A panoramic view of the stadium early in the first quarter: