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High School Sports

High School Sports

Lawrence football drops heartbreaker

Lawrence High runner Tyrae Jenkins finds some open field during the first half of LHS' homecoming night loss.

Lawrence High runner Tyrae Jenkins finds some open field during the first half of LHS' homecoming night loss.

October 3, 2009

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LHS falls again, this time by three

Lawrence High lost to Olathe South, 26-23, on its homecoming. Enlarge video

Lawrence High’s football team found a new way to lose a game Friday night.

During the first four weeks of the season — all losses — the Lions saw inefficiencies on offense and defense lead to their demise. Friday night, in a 26-23 setback to Olathe South at LHS, it was special teams that let the Lions down.

“Special teams hurt us all night,” LHS coach Dirk Wedd said.

Of the four Olathe South touchdowns, three were set up by huge returns in the kicking game, including a 70-yard punt return by Kendal Harland late in the third quarter that set up a two-yard TD run from Nick Sands that gave the Falcons the lead for good.

Until that point, the Lions had outplayed the Falcons and controlled most of the game. LHS opened the contest with a drive for the ages. It covered 71 yards in 19 plays — all runs — and shaved more than 11 minutes off the clock. The monster drive was capped by a one-yard touchdown run from Tyrae Jenkins (32 carries, 151 yards) and used all but 53 seconds of the first quarter.

“That’s Lawrence High football,” sophomore running back Jeffrey Belaire said. “It might not be what people want to see, but it’s what we do.”

The smash-mouth drive also drew high praise from the guys in blue and gold across the field.

“I’ll tell you what, anybody who knows anything about football knows that that was football,” Olathe South head coach Jeff Gourley said. “It might not have been pretty, it might not have been flashy, but by golly we didn’t get the ball until there were 53 seconds left in the first quarter. That’s the best 0-4 football team I’ve ever seen.”

While Gourley and crew were lamenting the Lions’ effectiveness on the opening drive, the LHS players simply were focused on what was in front of them.

“Anybody’s blockable,” junior offensive lineman Jamal Brown said. “I’m just hitting anybody that comes across my face. I’m just trying to help our backs get yards and our team get points.”

For most of the first half, Brown’s simplistic plan worked to perfection. On more than one occasion in the first half the 6-2, 350-pound tackle occupied two Falcons with the same block. The rest of the LHS O-Line followed his lead, and that produced back-to-back scoring drives to open the game.

After a key stop on fourth down killed the Falcons’ opening drive, LHS rolled up a more pedestrian 12-play, seven-minute scoring drive and suddenly led, 15-0. After following Brown and Co. down the field for 58 yards, LHS scored its second TD on a seven-yard bootleg run by junior quarterback Chris Gaston. The call for the bootleg came at the perfect time, as the Falcons attempted to plug the middle and left no one outside to contain Gaston, who walked into the end zone untouched.

“At that point, I thought we had it,” said Belaire, who ran 17 times for 63 yards and a touchdown. “I know we still had two more quarters to play, but that two-touchdown lead felt good. This one brought tears to my eyes because we had it in our hands.”

The next six minutes might have determined the outcome. Instead of protecting their lead and looking to add to it in the second half, the Lions let the Falcons score twice in the second quarter — on a 34-yard run by Harland and a 22-yard pass from Tanner Dutton to Marquis Addison with 20 seconds left in the half — and were forced to play from behind for much of the second half.

The Falcons scored 26 unanswered points before LHS found the end zone again on Belaire’s one-yard TD run with 2:46 to play. That capped an 80-yard, 15-play drive that gave the Lions a chance. The LHS defense responded by stopping O-South (3-2) three-and-out on the ensuing drive, but a 53-yard punt from Brad Gourley pinned LHS (0-5) at its own one-yard line with 2:16 to play. The Lions advanced as far as their own 25, but could not produce a game-winning drive.

“The kids are starting to be sold on doing things the right way and playing with great effort every snap,” Wedd said. “We have 26 state championship banners hanging in the gym, and we’re never going to accept moral victories. But this group took a huge step forward tonight.”

Comments

Jim Fisher 4 years, 6 months ago

“I’ll tell you what, anybody who knows anything about football knows that that was football,” Olathe South head coach Jeff Gourley said. Translation: "Thanks Coach Wedd for using up seven minutes in the fourth quarter to score one touchdown, when you needed two scores to take the lead"

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hellolove 4 years, 6 months ago

"Lawrence High’s football team found a new way to lose a game Friday night."

RUDDDDE.

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OKIEHAMMER 4 years, 6 months ago

No adult beverages, bachter. I’m a tea-totaler and have enough sober-sense to recognize the utter hypocrisy of “site staff” for having removed my previous entry. It contained no profanity; only an in-kind response to idiocy that site staff is openly tolerating as long as it is directed at Coach Wedd. Their action by removing my post amounts to nothing more than censorship of a dissenting opinion and their continued approval of what I, and others, consider hate-speech regarding a school employee. If site staff were as concerned with protecting one of the communities most loyal citizens as it is with defending its hate-monger readership, my previous entry would be allowed to stand as written. Surely, ol’ hammer couldn’t write something that controversial. Wake up, LJWorld. You’re repressing my freedom of speech! I’m certain that if the proverbial shoe was on the other foot, you would be “pitching a wall-eyed fit!” I would consider your action atypical for a paper claiming to embrace an open exchange of ideas while denouncing ad hominem attacks on your “commenters.” How unfortunate for Coach Wedd that he is only a teacher/coach and not a “commenter” to one of your articles. Perhaps, then, he would garner protection similar to that of your hate-mongers.

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ironhorse66 4 years, 6 months ago

Maude Harmon you are a total idiot. Hope you had a terrible birthday.

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beobachter 4 years, 6 months ago

okie, too many adult beverages?

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OKIEHAMMER 4 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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TheYetiSpeaks 4 years, 6 months ago

"Talent? Why does Free State play better? Are they really that much more talented?"

Um....Yes.

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3up3down 4 years, 6 months ago

When does basketball season start for LHS? I hear Buffalomeat and Pritchard are very good ballers. Should have an impact as sophs.

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Marion Lynn 4 years, 6 months ago

Seems as though $15-20 million for new stadiums didn't help much.

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edjayhawk 4 years, 6 months ago

Talent? Why does Free State play better? Are they really that much more talented? I can see that once in awhile, but every year! Seems like JW sports staff comes up with an excuse every time they lose. What is it this time Matt? Or should I still get off Wedd's back?

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beobachter 4 years, 6 months ago

Actually to win a championship, talent is required. Is there enough talent at LHS?

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dirtyboss01 4 years, 6 months ago

lhs sucks....flat out. get rid of wedd and commons and youll have a state championship...bet that

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redfred 4 years, 6 months ago

Cato - That is probably true as it has been in years past. Before these players become seniors Wedd will have ran them off with his "F" bombs. The sophmore coach always seems to have good teams and then they get to Wedd. Rumor has it that Commons won't make him the head coach because he was not an LHS grad.

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sierraclub 4 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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exlion 4 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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cato_the_elder 4 years, 6 months ago

LHS football this year is fielding by far the youngest varsity team it has ever had, and these kids are playing their guts out for their coaches, their school, and their supporters. Next year and the year after that are going to be special for LHS football, and these great kids, who have big hearts, are still capable of surprising any of their remaining opponents in 2009.

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