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Archive for Saturday, October 3, 1992

Lions punish Shawnee Mission West

October 3, 1992

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Pick an offensive category. Any offensive category.

Lawrence High's football team likely had its season-best performance in it on Friday night in a 42-7 Sunflower League football drubbing of Shawnee Mission West at Haskell Stadium.

First downs? Yep. The top-ranked Lions had 15, four more than their previous best.

Rushing yards? Yes. LHS rushed for 365 yards, its first 300-yard performance of the season.

Total offense? Uh huh. The Lions managed an NFL-like 437 yards, another season-best.

Points scored? There, too, LHS had its best showing, topping the previous high of 35 points.

Passing yards? Uh, OK, that wasn't a season-best, but it was close. Quarterback John Catlin, benched for part of last Friday's 35-13 victory over Olathe South, hit three of four passes for 72 yards and a touchdown. His previous best was an 83-yard night against SM South.

"Coach made sure our minds were on what we're supposed to do," Catlin said. "Everyone executed well. I'm not really that surprised with how well we played. I was surprised with the score, but I didn't expect anything different."

The Lions, 5-0 overall and in the Sunflower League, dominated from start to finish. LHS took a touchback on the opening kickoff and covered 80 yards in seven plays despite two illegal procedure calls and scored on Jason Thoren's 20-yard run just 3 minutes into the game.

Lawrence's defense threw the Vikings (2-3 overall, 1-3 in the league) for a seven-yard loss. Brett Beach returned the ensuing punt 44 yards to the SM West nine, and, three plays later, Steve Walker scored Thoren ran the conversion and LHS led, 14-0.

"Our offense was kicking tonight," said linebacker-reserve fullback Pat Eckert. "It got us excited in the huddle. If the offense is putting it on the line, we've got to do it, too."

The Lions didn't do it on the Vikes' next possession. SM West drove 70 yards in 16 plays, pulled within 14-7, and forced a fumble on the kickoff. That drive, however, stalled on the LHS 32.

LHS took possession, Catlin scored on a 75-yard option keeper, and, on their next possession, the Lions regained control, 28-7, after Catlin's 15-yard touchdown pass to Walker just before halftime.

"This was a great improvement over last week," said senior end J. Paul Mosier, who caught two Catlin passes for 54 yards. "Our offense came together great this week."

Consider:

LHS had three rushers with at least 80 yards. Walker had a game-high 110 yards on 10 carries, Catlin had 88 on three carries and Thoren 82 on 10 totes.

Lawrence's scoring drives were of 80, nine, 75, 68, 52 and 94 yards. The 94-yarder, following an LHS goal-line stand, lasted 10 plays.

The Lions didn't punt once. They scored on six of their eight possessions. They turned over once on downs and fumbled away another possession.

"Everything we tried worked," Lawrence coach Dick Purdy said. "It was one of those nights. We executed a whole lot better and we didn't have a lot of fumbles."

Defensively, LHS allowed 189 total yards. It also allowed a 107-yard rushing performance by SM West junior Marcus Newsome, but he had to carry 28 times to crack the 100-yard mark.

"It wasn't one of the defense's better nights," Purdy said. "But they only got seven points. We had a good goal-line stand. We had more missed assignments than we needed to have, but, mainly, Newsome took it to us."

The Lions will next face SM North on Friday at the Indians' field. The Indians are 2-3 overall, 1-3 in the Sunflower League.

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