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Archive for Saturday, October 9, 1999

Olathe South rocks LHS

October 9, 1999

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Nate Proctor did most of the running and Travis Jackson did most of the shooting as Olathe South lived up to its run-and-shoot offense Friday night at Haskell Stadium.

The offensive-minded Falcons ran roughshod over Lawrence High, amassing 566 yards total offense in a 49-7 romp to spoil the Lions' homecoming and record their first victory ever at Haskell.

"We were really scared of their speed," said LHS coach Dirk Wedd, whose team dropped to 1-5 overall with its fifth loss in a row and 1-4 in the league. "They have so many athletes. They spread the field and the exposed a couple of our weaknesses."

O-South, averaging 51.6 points coming in, rushed for 338 yards and threw for 228 yards. Proctor, a 5-foot-10, 170-pound senior tailback, had 16 carries for 261 yards with four TD runs -- 34, 42, 36 and 7 yards -- all in the first half.

"He's an excellent back," Wedd said. "You have to defend both the pass and run with them."

When Proctor wasn't running, Jackson was throwing. The 6-3, 195-pound junior, the top quarterback in the Sunflower League, completed 13 of 19 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns. He has 1,282 passing yards with three games left.

In the first half, O-South (5-1 overall, 5-1 league) racked up 373 yards offense -- 216 from Proctor -- while scoring on five of seven possessions to build a commanding 35-0 lead.

"We asked them to play like Lions, to show people this program is going to come back and it's going to take a little bit of time and we're not there yet," Wedd said of his halftime talk.

On Lawrence's two denies in the first half, LHS defensive end Mark Huston snuffed one drive when he forced Jackson to fumble following a 10-yard loss on a sack. Lawrence's John Riling recovered the fumble at O-South's 22-yard line.

Then on the Falcons' ensuing possession, LHS defensive back Jason Fender deflected a pass on fourth down.

The Lions wasted two scoring opportunities in the first half when they drove twice inside O-South's 10-yard line.

With 4:29 left in the first quarter, LHS reached O-South's 3-yard line. On fourth and goal, Falcon defensive back Jason Santifer swatted LHS quarterback Bryce McMichael's pass at the goal line.

After Riling's fumble recovery, the Lions marched to O-South's seven, but O-South defensive back Josh Perkins thwarted the drive with an interception in the end zone. Perkins also had an interception with 2:45 left in the first half to set up the Falcons' fourth touchdown.

"We couldn't capitalize," said LHS junior Dustin Gooden, who finished with 108 rushing yards and a touchdown run in his first start at fullback. "We picked it up slightly in the second half, but it was too late."

Relentless O-South, which scored 76 points in a romp of Leavenworth last week, called two timeouts in the final 50 seconds of the first half to set up its fifth score -- Jackson's 31-yard pass to Isom Winton.

Jackson threw for 97 yards in the third quarter to set up the Falcons' final two TDs, providing the Falcons an insurmountable 49-0 lead.

The Falcons pulled their starters after Gooden's two-yard run with 10:04 left in the fourth quarter.

"That's just our offense," said O-South's second-year head coach Mark Littrell, defusing any notion of running it up. "We don't throw the ball to run the score up. We're run and shoot. A major part of our routes are short routes. It was 35-0 at halftime and you saw what happened here four weeks ago (a 56-45 Falcon loss to Free State)."

The Lions hadn't been beaten by more than 40 points since a 49-8 loss to Shawnee Mission North in 1974, Bill Freeman's first year as LHS coach.

Next for LHS is a Class 6A district game next Friday against Topeka High at Washburn University's Moore Bowl. The next three games determine qualifiers for the state playoffs.

"Everyone starts 0-0 and are all on equal ground," Wedd said of the significance of district. "Our most important game is Friday against Topeka. I haven't quit on them and they haven't quit on themselves."

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