For the first time in three weeks, Lawrence High will have its entire No. 1 backfield on offense available to start when the Lions play Shawnee Mission West tonight.
Kickoff between Lawrence (3-1) and SM West (1-3) is 7:30 p.m. at SM South District Stadium.
"Anytime you get your starting group you're pleased with that," LHS head coach Dick Purdy said.
Last week against Olathe South, quarterback J.D. Loudabarger suited up but did not play because of the flu. He went home at halftime. Senior running backs Thomas Daniels and Garrett Attig, both injured in the Olathe North game on Sept. 8, played one offensive series last week after sitting out the Sept. 15 game against SM East.
Despite the injuries, Daniels and Attig remain the team's leading rushers. Daniels has gained 275 yards on 29 carries and Attig has 210 yards on 27 carries.
"Attig is probably 95 percent back (from his ankle injury)," Purdy said.
Starting offensive guards Pat Mason and Cory Brock are back in after missing last week's games because of the flu. Tight end Bryce Crady, recovering from meningitis, practiced on Wednesday and could play some tonight, Purdy said.
"The problems with the kids is that their stamina is tapped when they get back," Purdy said.
A new ailment surfaced this week for the Lions. Linebacker John Nelson had pinkeye and missed practices on Monday and Tuesday.
"We're figuring some way to parlay the linebackers," said Purdy, bothered by the flu this week.
Jo-Jo Polk is questionable for tonight. He left practice early on Wednesday because he did not feel well.
SM West has lost three consecutive games since winning its opener, 9-0 over still winless Leavenworth. The Vikings haven't beaten the Lions since 1988, losing six straight times.
Last year against the Vikings, Lawrence rushed for 358 yards in a 33-14 rout. The Lions led 33-0 before the Vikings scored two TDs in the last six minutes.
"They're a quick football team," Purdy said. "We're about the same size on the lines. They like to throw the ball, close to 50 percent of the time. They're a sweep, off-tackle team and use a lot of formations."
The Vikings are averaging 148.5 yards a game, 100 fewer then the Lions average.
"They've had trouble running the ball down near the goal-line," Purdy said. "Against SM South, they took it in twice inside the five, didn't score and lost 7-2."
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