Lawrence High's eight-play, 88-yard, three-minute drive in the final quarter of its 40-22 loss to Olathe South on Friday didn't mean much in the final outcome.
However, LHS coach Dirk Wedd said the drive could have long-term effects.
"I really felt like that last drive was preparing us to win a football game down the road," said Wedd, whose squad dipped to 3-2 overall and 2-2 in the Sunflower League. "I don't know if it's going to be in district, next Friday night or the state playoffs. I felt what we were preparing for was to win a big football game."
LHS quarterback Rob Scott completed three of four passes for 84 yards on the drive to finish with a season-high 116 passing yards. Derek Bailey had two receptions a 46-yarder on third-and-16 and a 21-yarder that moved the ball to O-South's one-yard line. Mike Morrell had a 17-yard reception following Bailey's 46-yard catch.
"We're capable of making big plays," Wedd said. "We saw some great things."
Lawrence's biggest play capped the Lions' first drive. Senior running back Joe Bell broke loose on a 69-yard TD run.
Also, junior running back Chris Fulton showed flashes of breaking out with a 23-yard run and a 12-yard run on his first two carries.
"Joe Bell really ran the ball hard," Wedd said. "Fulton has the chance to be very good."
Falcons fly in fourth
LHS owned the fourth quarter the first four weeks, outscoring its opponents 20-6 in the final period. Clinging to a 19-16 lead against the Lions, O-South sealed the victory with 21 points in the fourth period.
"We played really hard," Wedd said. "I don't think we wore down. They made plays and we didn't. They stepped up in the fourth quarter and that's something we need to do.
"Their size is pretty impressive. We have a 180-pound center and 180-pound guard and they were blocking 320 pounds most of the night."
No. 1 O-North too tough
Free State High found Olathe North worthy of its No. 1 ranking in Class 6A.
The Eagles, who erupted for 27 second-half points, rolled to a 37-7 victory over Free State last week for their 18th consecutive win.
"They're a big, physical football team with a lot of athletes," Firebird coach Bob Lisher said. "If you make a mistake, they'll capitalize. We made mistakes and the game got away from us."
The Firebirds trailed 3-0 after one quarter. The Eagles, taking advantage of two FSHS fumbles, scored four touchdowns in a 7:37 span in the second quarter.
"Our defense played pretty well the first quarter and a half," Lisher said. "Offensive breakdowns put our defense in a bad position. For the most part, at least early, we were playing well with them."
Free State lineman Mike Folkmann sustained a "serious shin contusion" against Olathe North, Lisher said. Folkmann will be sidelined a day or two in practice this week, Lisher said.
Districts begin next week
With one week remaining before the first round of districts, LHS is the lone team in Class 6A District 4 with a winning record. Lawrence is 3-2. The other three schools Free State, Leavenworth and Topeka combine for a 1-14 record. FSHS and Leavenworth are both 0-5. Topeka, which has lost four in a row by a combined 224-13 score, is 1-4.
The 6A district to watch is No. 3 with Olathe North (5-0), Olathe South (5-0) and Olathe East (4-1).
Free State will entertain Olathe South on Friday for the Firebirds' homecoming at Haskell Stadium. LHS will travel Friday to Olathe to face No. 1 Olathe North at Olathe District Activities Center. Both games will kick off at 7 p.m.