High School Sports

High School Sports

Lions fall short: LHS fails to score on fourth-and-goal on 1-yard line

Olathe Northwest wide receiver Nick Bandy (80) drags Lawrence High defensive back Erick Mayo out of bounds. The Lions lost, 17-16, on Friday in Olathe.

Olathe Northwest wide receiver Nick Bandy (80) drags Lawrence High defensive back Erick Mayo out of bounds. The Lions lost, 17-16, on Friday in Olathe.

October 23, 2010


— Lawrence High coach Dirk Wedd thinks quarterback Brad Strauss is a special talent, so he keeps the ball in his hands whenever possible. Wedd said it’s easy to forget that Strauss is just a sophomore.

He was reminded at an inconvenient time in the Lions’ 17-16 loss to Olathe Northwest on Friday at the College Boulevard Activity Center.

The Lions, down three points, faced fourth-and-goal at the Northwest one-yard line with four minutes to go.

Strauss looked over to the sideline for the play call and deciphered quarterback sneak.

But that wasn’t the play the LHS coaching staff wanted. They signaled in a play-action quarterback keeper around the right side behind powerful blocker — and senior — Jamal Brown. Strauss, running the play he thought he saw, plunged behind his center, but fell short of the goal line.

Strauss wanted to take the blame for the error after the game, but Wedd pointed the finger at himself and said he should have used a timeout.

“It was too big of a play. I didn’t think there was any question — we don’t even have a quarterback sneak,” Wedd said. “But that’s my fault. That’s poor coaching on my part.”

The loss put the Lions’ (3-5) district record at 0-2. They need to defeat Free State at LHS on Friday, make up a 14-point differential and hope that Olathe Northwest (3-5) doesn’t upset Olathe North to make the playoffs.

Coach Todd Dain’s Ravens opened the game with a bit of trickery, running a halfback pass on the first offensive play of the game. LHS expected a running play. Junior running back Connor Middleton stopped and found a wide-open Nick Bandy 25 yards down the field.

Bandy jogged into the end zone just 10 seconds in.

“They knew they couldn’t do anything else against us, so they came out with that,” senior Austin Flory said. “We were surprised.”

Strauss responded, rushing for 52 yards on the ensuing drive and following a Brown block into the left side of the end zone from five yards out.

Northwest tacked on a 33-yard field goal to take a 10-7 lead into halftime.

Coming out of halftime, it was Lawrence’s turn to score on its opening drive. Strauss found Flory streaking over the middle of the field for a 61-yard go-ahead touchdown. Strauss finished with 209 passing yards and 88 rushing yards.

The Lions took the 14-10 lead into the fourth quarter, but Ravens senior quarterback Leonard Parks found the end zone from three yards out on the second play of the quarter.

The teams traded possessions until LHS senior Darrin Sorem recovered a Parks fumble and gave the Lions a short field. Strauss moved the ball near the goal line, but couldn’t pound it in.

“If we could have scored there, our defense played great, we could have gotten a stop and maybe won the game there,” Strauss said.

Northwest took an intentional safety after three running plays, but the Lions couldn’t move the ball quickly enough with time running out. Facing fourth-and-19 from the Ravens’ 44, Strauss found senior Chris Gaston open, but Gaston’s dive to make the catch left him a yard shy of the first-down marker.

Wedd said he was proud of his team, especially considering the rash of injuries.

“Our kids have played hard all year and overcome a lot of adversity,” Wedd said. “There’s not many football teams that can walk out on that field and play that hard under the circumstances that they’ve been under all year.”

The City Showdown on Friday could be the last game for the Lions’ seniors.

“We’ve been wanting to kill Free State in a varsity game since I’ve been there,” senior Flory said. “This is our time to beat them this year.”


DeckDoctors 7 years, 7 months ago

Nice job of throwing the Sophomore under the bus...

TheYetiSpeaks 7 years, 7 months ago

Way to keep it real Deck...... “It was too big of a play. I didn’t think there was any question — we don’t even have a quarterback sneak,” Wedd said. “But that’s my fault. That’s poor coaching on my part.”

Yeah, he didn't take any of the blame, did he? Also, I'm not utilizing sarcasm one bit....nope.....

exlion 7 years, 7 months ago

Below is a post about free state's team: when i read it, I thought it was about LHS. The staff at LHS fills special teams with kids they are afraid will quit the team while many of the hardest working kids watch from the sideline. The staff is running scared. I wonder why LHS has such a young staff. Is it possible that more experienced coaches won't work for LHS? There was a time when the staff at LHS was experienced and knowledgeable about the game. The staff is now made up of inexperienced yellers.

from "hailtooldku" about FS: At any rate, this team has plenty of talent, they just don't have enough heart. This group, as a whole, was the laziest (sp?) group I have ever seen in pre-season and conditioning. I'd be chewing @ss if I was one of the players putting in the time and effort only to watch the lazy and undisciplined (though talented) players screw up, miss an assignment, etc. and still slide by the coaches because they have some skills.

rtwngr 7 years, 7 months ago

Ron Commons, the LHS Athletic Director, is willing to continue with the status quo. The time has come for a change at the AD position as well as the head coaching position for LHS football.

thebigspoon 7 years, 7 months ago

The only problem I see is when Commoms moves on then Wedd will probably be the next AD...

erina1323 7 years, 7 months ago

How would that be a problem? Wedd attends more activities than Mr. Commons. At least he loves and supports his school.

1arrowheaddrive 7 years, 7 months ago

Time for a change at LHS. Time for Wedd to move on.

ilovetofu 7 years, 6 months ago

I suppose the chage to the offense hasn't been a thought for you.

erina1323 7 years, 7 months ago

Exlion: Do you even know that all the experienced assistants that have left LHS are still some of Coach Wedd's Best friends. They left to take on head coaching positions, not because they did not want to be with Coach Wedd Just because LHS has some younger coaches does not make them inexperienced. You obviously do not know this team or these coaches. With Budget cuts they do not get many options for coaching just so you know.

Like sierraclub said, were any of you there last night or any of the other games this year? This is a young team who plays and works so hard. Give the players and some coaches some credit. Go Lions I hope you win big next week! You boys deserve it.

KULHSLIONSfan 7 years, 7 months ago

Wedd said. “But that’s my fault. That’s poor coaching on my part.”

I have heard coach say this enough times I really believe him.

In references to Ron Commons. In our years of involvement with LHS and LHS athletics, he has been at many of the athletic events for sports. I remember him rushing around to get to a volleyball match and a soccer game the same evening. He also has made appearances at the swimming meets and tennis. I have yet to see Wedd at anything but basketball, football and the occasional volleyball. Commons has always been receptive with an open door to discuss concerns. Wedd has a bullying closed door.

erina1323 7 years, 7 months ago

I can speak from experience he attends swim meets. He attends many music event as well. He is at many baseball games and softball games too. He has anything but a bullying closed door. You obviously have never tried to have a conversation with him.

KULHSLIONSfan 7 years, 7 months ago

You have now proven you have no idea what it is like around the a couple of the LHS coaches. Our family has experienced first hand the demeaning coaching style used by this coach and a couple of assistants. Open door? If you or your son says anything, they are done as a player and in class. Profanity and bullying, when did you or your kids play? What the young men have had to deal with is unacceptable. Conversations? Those are up to the players. The players pay for it at practice and in games if they try to have a mature discussion about a concern.

kujayhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

"We don't even have a quarterback sneak." Enough said.

Commons is a good man.

KULHSLIONSfan 7 years, 7 months ago

All the young men on this team are great and work very hard. They deserve better!

jayhawk1125 7 years, 7 months ago


cato_the_elder 7 years, 7 months ago

Sierraclub, that's an excellent post that says it all.

Take_a_letter_Maria 7 years, 7 months ago

It'll be interesting to see if both local coaches are willing to follow these guidelines - http://www.kshsaa.org/Public/PDF/Concussion.pdf

It would appear that the trainers for both schools either missed the symptoms on players during this past week's games, they failed to inform the coaches about players or they were somehow "convinced" to "ignore" those symptoms.

Take_a_letter_Maria 7 years, 7 months ago

The only thing I can say is that parents of at least one player from each team sought medical assistance for their child after their respective games last week.

BillybobThorten 7 years, 7 months ago

That really shouldnt happen, but probably is more common than people think. Kids in the heat of a game often "deny" they are dinged up. Head injuries can be especially tough

Kash_Encarri 7 years, 7 months ago

I have heard, unconfirmed because I haven't talked to his mom or dad yet, that one LHS player was complaining about halos around the lights and the bright lights bothering him during the game. The injury to this particular player happened in the first half, yet he played the rest of the game.

I'd like to see the rules make it mandatory for high school and college players to have to sit at least one week before resuming practice. The guidelines don't go far enough IMHO. Why risk rushing a kid back for a game and risk ruining many more games or even his/her life?

ilovetofu 7 years, 6 months ago

A bunch of haters. I am willing to bet that half the people on here bashing Coach Wedd don't have a single idea about football. Coach Wedd grew up with the mentality of "buckle your chin strap and get after it football." A lot of us are in the era of football with the spread. I would like for any of you bashing on him to inherit a pee wee league team (because I don't want any of you hitting it big right off the bat with a varsity football team), and then take your system and win. Then when you do bad, I hope they take a quote from you and put it in the paper, so all of us could bash on you.

Rumor has it that the AD has been on him to change his mentality. Too think of football one way and turn around and have to do something you never done before would be difficult for anyone, but he's already won more games than he has last year and has only lost two games in which they were a blow out. The rest were by less than a touchdown, but let’s not praise him for beating Olathe East in which Lawrence was an underdog.

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