Archive for Tuesday, November 8, 2005

LHS football gets another shot at Olathe South

November 8, 2005

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So far, Lawrence High's trek through the Class 6A state football playoffs has been an exercise in dejà vu.

The Lions hope, however, it won't be dejà vu all over again.

In 2004, Lawrence disposed of Blue Valley Northwest, then bowed to Olathe South and had to put away the uniforms.

Now the Lions have eliminated Blue Valley Northwest once again - 40-6 on Friday at Haskell Stadium - and will meet, yep, Olathe South in the second round Friday at the Olathe District Activities Center.

"Anytime you play a team that beat you three times in the last 16 games, it gets your attention," Lawrence High coach Dirk Wedd said.

Indeed, Olathe South has had the Lions' number over the last two seasons. In '04, the Falcons escaped the Lions twice in overtime - 35-34 during the regular season and 20-14 in the playoffs.

Then in the sixth week of this season, O-South spilled the Lions, 14-0, handing them their only defeat. That game was on a Thursday night at ODAC.

"Defensively, we played well enough to win that game," Wedd said, "but they were much more physical than us up front. They're so big and strong, they're hard to kick out of there."

The Lions (9-1) are averaging 34.2 points a game, but they didn't come close to scoring against the Falcons (9-1).

Olathe South's lone loss occurred two weeks ago when archrival Olathe East posted a 28-14 victory. Last week, the Falcons - apparently in a funk - barely escaped Shawnee Mission East, a Sunflower League middle-of-the-roader, 16-7, in its playoff opener.



LHS vs. O-South

When: 7 p.m. Friday Where: ODAC Records: Both teams are 9-1

"(SM) East really deserved to win that game," Wedd said, "but you have to play all 48 minutes."

SM East led, 7-0, with eight minutes remaining, but the Falcons tied it with 7:43 remaining on a 44-yard TD run by Tony Bryant, then went ahead 10-7 with only three seconds remaining on a 32-yard field goal by Kyson Ginavan.

Minutes later, when SM East botched a lateral on the ensuing kickoff, O-South's Jared Wilkes picked up the ball and carried it 29 yards into the end zone after the clock expired.

Putting it another way, the Falcons scored nine points in the last three seconds.

"I'm sure they feel pretty fortunate and will be more focused this week," Wedd said. "I think Olathe South probably had a wake-up call."

The Lions began practicing Monday for their fourth meeting with the Falcons in the last two years with bell-cow ball-carrier Nolan Kellerman on the sideline.

Kellerman, a 5-foot-9, 170-pound senior who leads the Lions' ground-oriented attack with more than 1,000 rushing yards, suffered a left knee strain while being tackled during Friday's game against BV Northwest.

Kellerman has been fitted for a knee brace and has to be listed as questionable.

"He's day-to-day," Wedd said before Monday's drills. "I doubt if he'll practice all week, but I think it'll be hard for him to sit out Friday."

Also, senior defensive end Brendan Halpin suffered a slight concussion and sat out the fourth quarter of the BV Northwest game. Wedd lists Halpin as probable.

Notes: Lawrence High has won as many as nine games for the first time in a decade, or since the 1995 team went 11-1 and captured the Class 6A state title. : Friday's winner will meet the Olathe East-SM West winner in next week's East semifinal.

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