Overland Park One-for-22 in passing through his first three outings, Shane Robinson was like a rent check on the second of the month.
But Robinson, Lawrence High's quarterback, completed five of 10 passes for 66 yards Friday night as the fourth-ranked Lions squashed Shawnee Mission South, 24-7, in Sunflower League football at SM South District Stadium.
"It was just a matter of time," said split end Mike Reese, who caught four of the five passes for 48 yards. "We should be hitting those with regularity."
LHS had trouble finding running room early with the Raiders bunched up on the line of scrimmage. Enter Robinson and Reese, who connected for all four first-half completions.
"WHEN WE weren't able to move on the ground, we had to put it up," Lion coach Dick Purdy said. "We got a few completions, and it opened up and we went back to the run."
Complemented by a tactical air attack, Lawrence's ground forces were able to roll, racking up 234 yards on 47 carries. Michael Cosey led the way, carrying 20 times for 117 yards, and Adam Green was close behind with 70 yards in 15 totes.
"It opened up a lot after we completed a few passes," said Cosey, who scored two touchdowns on a pair of one-yard runs. "They played more soft. They backed off. They weren't up on the line like at the beginning of the game."
Robinson wasn't sure SM South backed off that much, just that they backed off enough.
"They had to start respecting our pass," he said. "The secondary had to fill the lanes, and that gave Adam and Michael and Stevie (Walker) more room to cut. And with their ability, they don't need much."
ALTHOUGH THEY didn't score in the first quarter, the Lions set the stage with an 18-play, 60-yard drive that included two complete passes and ended with a failed field goal.
They would have the ball just twice more in the first half, and they would score both times.
It was Robinson who started Lawrence's first scoring drive, ducking through a hole in the middle for a 20-yard run. Cosey went 13 more on the next play, Green added 27 yards in two carries to put LHS on the one, and Cosey scored on first down.
The second TD drive was a methodical marvel. Lawrence took the ball at its own 30 with 3:17 left in the second quarter. After a five-yard run by Walker, Robinson hit Reese twice more to reach midfield. Four rushes took the Lions to the SM South 15, where Cosey took the handoff, was hit at the 10 and shoved his defender back-sideways to the one. He scored on the next play.
"HE HIT ME, and I kept driving with my legs," Cosey said with a smile. "I guess when the coaches have us pushing the (blocking) sled at practice it's for a reason."
SM South finished the first half with just 46 yards. The Raiders' touchdown came in the third quarter, thanks in large part to a 52-yard bomb that took them deep into LHS territory. Most of their 182 total yards came on that drive and a fruitless fourth-quarter possession.
"We lost our edge, and that's a little disappointing," Purdy said. "But they played good defense. We had the best offensive game against them anybody has had this year, so I guess I feel good about that."
SM South fell to 1-3. The Lions, 3-1, will return to Haskell Stadium next Friday to meet winless SM East.