Fly me to the moon
Friday’s game started off with a bang, as a four-plane flyover lit up the evening sky 10 minutes before kickoff.
As the clock ticked down to the 10-minute mark, four planes in diamond formation appeared high above the stadium and flew north to south over the field and then came back, west to east, for one more run. Free State athletic director Mike Hill said he was unaware of any plans for a flyover. LHS AD Ron Commons said a similar situation took place earlier this season at LHS.
Finally, a tackle
As the team captains met at midfield for the second-half handshake, Free State’s Camren Torneden and Lawrence’s Ben Muiller showed that there were no hard feelings about the lopsided first half.
As the players ran back to their sidelines, Muiller stalked Torneden, wrapped him up with two arms, and then the two exchanged playful slaps of the helmet and smiles before the second half began.
Faces in the crowd
Friday’s city showdown piqued the interest of a few notable names with ties to Lawrence’s football past. Former LHS coach Dick Purdy was on hand to watch his old team, along with former Kansas Jayhawk and Green Bay Packer Gilbert Brown, father of LHS junior Jamal Brown. Joining Brown in representing the Jayhawks of old were Keith Loneker and Chip Budde.
What an animal
Although the Firebirds had some trouble stopping the LHS running game Friday night, it wasn’t because of the play of junior linebacker Matt Cole. In addition to scoring on a 35-yard fumble return for the game’s second touchdown, Cole continually penetrated the LHS backfield and blew up several running plays on his way to a memorable night. Cole was among the leading tacklers of a hard-hitting Free State defense that played with fire and passion throughout the game.