In spite of a record-setting 18 penalties for a total of 120 yards, Lawrence High solidly gunned down the Leavenworth Pioneers, 49-0 Friday night at Leavenworth's Abeles Fields.
The Lions scored seven touchdowns against the hapless Pioneers while five more scoring plays, all in the second half, were nullified by the penalties. The old records were 115 yards penalized against the 1966 and 1951 Lions in a single game, and 15 assessments against the 1966 LHS edition.
The story of the game is pretty well wrapped up in the statistics. The Lawrence eleven racked up 17 first downs to the Pioneers' four while rolling up 380 yards rushing to Leavenworth's 11 on the ground. Each team completed three aerial attempts, but Lawrence's totaled 59 yards to 27 for the Pioneers. The Lions were penalized for over three times as much yardage as the Pioneers' offense netted.
Offensive leaders for the Lawrence gridders were quarterback Larry Dillon and halfback Larry Kimball. Kimball rushed for 145 yards on 12 carries, added two pass receptions for 51 yards and scored two touchdowns. Meanwhile, Dillon was rushing for 64 yards and a score while passing for two more touchdowns and 59 yards.
Lawrence wasted no time getting on the scoreboard in the contest. After receiving the ball at the 47-yard marker following a short Pioneer punt, Kimball carried 12 yards to the 35 where Dillon set sail on a jaunt with 6:44 to go in the first period. George Schuler converted to being a seven-for-seven string of extra point kicks and make the score 7-0.
Taking the kickoff, the Pioneers managed to push into Lion territory before halfback Leland Thomas fumbled. Lawrence took the ball to the Pioneer 30 in six plays where Kimball took off on coach Al Woolard's patented inside double reverse for the second score.
Again the Pioneers just got under way when they were thwarted by safety Ed Lanning's interception. Again, six plays later, the Lions scored. This time of a Dillon Kimball aerial covering 39 yards/
On Leavenworth's next series, linebacker Pat Alexander turned bail-hawk, picking off Dennis Duffin's pass and returning it to the Pioneer 8. Dillon gave the ball to Cerne twice and the hard-running fullback scored on the second outing from the 3 yard line.
Following Schuler's short field goal attempt from the 29, the Pioneers took the ball on their 20. After being thrown back to their 12, punter Don Davison's boot went awry and out of bounds at their 20, setting up the fifth Lion score.
Reserve fullback Clifford Hadl scored on a one-yard plunge. Schuler's extra point try was good the third time he split the uprights after delay of game and illegal procedure penalties forced him to kick from his own 20.
The Lions added two insurance scored in the second half, one on a pass from Dillon to end Steve Koger covering eight yards, and the other on a four yard run by halfback Mike McBride. Five more touchdown plays were nullified.
The number of penalties troubled Woolard after the game, but he explained, "With a 35-point lead, our kids just got a little careless and sluggish."
Woolard said the rash of penalties incurred by his Lions were in part caused by Leavenworth's calling false starting signals when LHS went up to the line of scrimmage.
"Larry Dillon and Mike Cerne told me it was terribly confusing and that we couldn't get our cadence," the coach said. "They said they told the officials it should be a 15-yard penalty, but they didn't do anything about it. It wasn't our kids' fault. It was the tactic of Leavenworth.
"But I'm not complaining about anything in the world," he emphasized.
"Leavenworth had its problems," the Lion mentor admitted, when a bystander pointed out that seven Pioneer starters were on the injured list. The hobbled Pioneers were apparent in the stands when, as cheers calling for raised hands were started, six crutches and a cane became visible, all in the hands of the Leavenworth "Crutch club" as they termed it.
The Lions, now 4-0-1 for the season, travel to Shawnee Mission's District Stadium next Saturday night to take on the Mission North Indians.