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Archive for Tuesday, September 15, 1998

DEFENSE DESPITE SUFFERING A 30-0 LOSS TO MANHATTAN ON FRIDAY NIGHT. IT WAS THE FIRST TIME LHS HAD BEEN BLANKED SINCE THE 1994 CLASS 6A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP.

September 15, 1998

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Video from Lawrence High's 30-0 football loss to Manhattan on Friday won't be added to the LHS archives.

Manhattan disassembled the Lions, limiting Lawrence to a paltry 39 yards total offense -- 24 yards rushing and 15 yards passing.

``We didn't come out of that game with very much,'' said LHS coach Dick Purdy of the Lions' first shutout loss since a 21-0 setback to Derby in the 1994 Class 6A state championship.

Lawrence (1-1) hadn't been shut out in the regular season since a 24-0 loss to Shawnee Mission West on Sept. 16, 1987.

``That was not a focal point at all,'' Manhattan head coach Butch Albright said of the shutout. ``I didn't even think of it. A win looks as good as a shutout.''

Manhattan, which had lost 54-0 to top-ranked Wichita Northwest the previous week, devoured the Lions' offensive line, stuffing Lawrence's two quarterbacks -- Riley Scott and Bryce McMichael -- for negative 47 yards on eight attempts.

Two of Manhattan's sacks resulted in fumbles deep in LHS territory. The Indians recovered a loose ball at Lawrence's three-yard line in the second quarter and scored three plays later. Midway through the second quarter, Manhattan pounced on a fumble at Lawrence's 19 and needed five plays to reach the end zone.

``Defensively we have things to build on,'' Purdy said. ``Somehow we need to find more speed to put on the defense. Our younger players are going to have to mature a lot faster.''

LHS surrendered 164 yards rushing and 78 passing. Manhattan running back Grant Hoover, a 5-foot-9, 145-pound junior, did the most damage with 17 carries for 94 yards and two touchdown runs.

Lacking depth, the Lions had seven players who started for both the offense and the defense.

``There was some fatigue,'' Purdy said. ``We don't have any players we can put in there in a game of that caliber or they're going to get hurt.''

Senior fullback Tony Thomas was hurt again. Thomas, who rushed for 144 yards in the season-opener, reaggravated an ankle injury in the third quarter against Manhattan and missed the final period.

He finished with 12 yards on 11 carries and is doubtful for Thursday's game against Shawnee Mission West.

However, Purdy said senior running back Ryan Phelps may be available for this week's game. Phelps is recovering from a broken arm.

Also, junior cornerback Charles Brown may see action. He has been sidelined with a knee injury.

Kickoff for the LHS-SM West contest is 7 p.m. at SM South. West (1-1) is coming off a 28-14 loss to Olathe East.

-- Steve Rottinghaus' phone message number is 832-7152. His e-mail address is srottinghaus@ljworld.com

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