High School Sports

High School Sports

LHS loses QB, falls to Ravens, 21-3

October 22, 2011


If there ever were any doubt about just how important junior quarterback Brad Strauss is to Lawrence High football, his impact became abundantly clear Friday night.

Strauss went down because of a left ankle injury on the first play of the second quarter in a district game against Olathe Northwest, and the Lions’ four-game winning streak was snapped when they failed to reach the end zone in a 21-3 loss to the Ravens.

Lawrence only trailed by seven when Strauss was sacked and didn’t get up off the LHS Stadium turf with 11:42 to go in the first half. The 6-foot, 175-pound junior couldn’t put any weight on his left ankle and was helped off the field before being carted to the locker room at halftime.

Unfortunately for the Lions (5-3 overall, 1-1 district), the injury marked the second time this week they had lost a QB. Wednesday, coach Dirk Wedd said, junior second-string quarterback Austin Mater-Kimball suffered a knee injury at practice. That meant when Strauss became unavailable, Wedd and the offense had to turn to a third-string signal-caller, junior Drake Hofer.

“We brought in a kid who was a wide receiver,” Wedd said of Hofer, who caught two passes in the loss. “We were flying by the seat of our pants.”

Even so, when play resumed after Strauss’ injury, Hofer helped keep the drive alive on a fake punt. Senior punter Anthony Buffalomeat found Hofer down the right sideline for a 23-yard completion that helped set up Lawrence’s only score of the night, a 35-yard field goal by Anthony Rosen.

By the end of the night, Hofer had rushed for 65 yards and thrown for 59 yards, with two interceptions, the last one coming on a desperation heave as time expired in the fourth quarter.

Not bad, Buffalomeat said, for a wide receiver.

“He did the best that he could, and I’m very proud of him,” Buffalomeat said.

Wedd said Hofer, who got most of his quarterback experience last year on the sophomore team, took the loss hard, but the coach wasn’t at all disappointed in his effort.

“Drake, he just competed really hard and did absolutely great for us,” Wedd said.

Most of the Lions’ problems came on the defensive side in the first half, when the Ravens (4-4, 1-1) scored all of their points.

ONW made a strong opening statement on its first possession with a 99-yard scoring drive. The next time Northwest touched the ball, the visitors put together a 12-play, 68-yard drive that finished with quarterback Dalton Rook, who threw for 230 yards, finding running back Cody Sestrich in the flat for a seven-yard TD.

Although there was only 1:38 left on the first-half clock when the Ravens began their third possession, they decided to take their chances and put up some more points.

That looked like it might have been the wrong move when Lawrence linebacker DeCorey Pittman sacked Rook on the first play, but after a timeout, the ONW senior QB found the biggest target in the stadium, 6-10 wide receiver Willie Cauley, wide-open behind the LHS secondary for an 88-yard score that Wedd said greatly hurt the Lions’ chances.

After that, the coach said he had to challenge his players at halftime.

“There were a lot of people feeling sorry for themselves, because when you lose your horse, it’s difficult to overcome,” Wedd said of the morose locker room after Strauss’ injury, which he said was either a severe sprain or break in the junior’s left ankle.

Lawrence wasn’t able to score a touchdown in the second half, despite getting the ball inside Northwest’s 10-yard line on two occasions.

After the Lions forced a turnover on their first defensive possession of the third quarter, when defensive lineman Kharon Brown recovered a fumble, an ensuing 12-play drive ended on a fourth-and-two incompletion by Hofer on a rollout.

The next time LHS had the ball, a fourth-and-goal run by Tyrone Jenkins from the one-yard line was stymied by ONW.

“We tried to jam it in there and got beat at the line of scrimmage,” Wedd said.

Though the coach admitted most of the team’s struggles were a result of losing Strauss, he said Friday marked the first time the Lions had taken a significant step backward.

“Our first seven games, we improved every week,” he said, “and this is the first time that we’ve had problems.”

Now next Friday’s crosstown showdown at Free State (6-2, 2-0), which beat Olathe North on Friday, is even more important, Buffalomeat said.

“It’s always hyped,” he said, “and it’ll be bigger with what’s on the line.”

Box score


First downs 19 13

Rushes-yards 44-189 34-114

Passing yards 112 230

Total offense 301 344

Return yards 44 19

Fumbles-lost 2-1 2-1

Penalties-yards 3-30 5-36

Score by quarters

Olathe Northwest 7 14 0 0 — 21

Lawrence 0 3 0 0 — 3

Individual statistics


Lawrence: Tyrone Jenkins 18-81, Drake Hofer 18-65, Erick Mayo 5-23, Garrett Cleavinger 1-20, Brad Strauss 2-0.

Olathe Northwest: Connor Middleton 23-109, Cody Sestrich 3-8, Avery Parker 1-7, Alec Smith 2-minus-1, Dalton Rook 5-minus-9.


Lawrence: Drake Hofer 8-17-59 two intercepted, Brad Strauss 4-6-30, Anthony Buffalomeat 1-1-23.

Olathe Northwest: Dalton Rook 13-18-230 interception, Connor Middleton 0-1-0.


Lawrence: Drake Hofer 2-41, Anthony Buffalomeat 3-24, Garrett Cleavinger 2-15, Tyrone Jenkins 1-12, Erick Mayo 3-12, Matt Grom 1-8, Cameron Solko 1-4.

Olathe Northwest: Willie Cauley 6-165, Bryce Grimm 4-46, Corey Kipp 2-14, Cody Sestrich 1-7.

How they scored

First quarter

3:08 — Avery Parker 7 run. Riley Adam kick. (ONW 7, LHS 0.)

Second quarter

9:19 — Anthony Rosen 35 kick. (ONW 7, LHS 3.)

5:22 — Cody Sestrich 7 pass from Dalton Rook. Adam kick. (ONW 14, LHS 3.)

1:02 — Willie Cauley 88 pass from Rook. Adam kick. (ONW 21, LHS 3.)


MISTERTibbs 6 years, 8 months ago

I hope Strauss is ok. Not just for next week, but for basketball as well. From what I know of the young man, he'll be on the field if there is any way possible next week and that would be good for both teams.

nursezombie 6 years, 8 months ago

Dirk Wedd and Adam Green are fools. . Their stupidity has nothing to do with wins and losses so spare me the talk about griping only after a loss. How long should Lawrence High fans have to put up with the ranting and raving of these two idiots?. Good kids are not playing football at lHS because they don't want to play for these two jokers.

Vaildini 6 years, 8 months ago

If a kid is walking around the high school not playing with his friends its his own fault. If it's important you make a way. If it's not you make an excuse. Some kids just aren't tough enough. It's a hard world. Some go to work and some camp in south park. Nobody had anything to say last week when they beat O North.

erina1323 6 years, 8 months ago

ranting and raving......????? Coach Wedd was fighting for his team last night. You are ridiculous! He has a team of great football players so those kids that your speaking of that don't come out are not tough enough to play! They have more kids out than ever this year. You obviously have no idea what your talking about.

dizthewiz 6 years, 8 months ago

It was an easy prediction to make that Strauss would get hurt. If you recall, the LJW made hinted to that in one of their early article. A quarterback in this league that plays on defense also, is less than 6' tall and only weighs 170 lbs? I am surprised it is just an ankle. I sure hope the kid is okay, soundsl like he is a real trooper.

nursezombie 6 years, 8 months ago

The freshman team has fewer than 27 players this year. They DO NOT have more players than ever! Check some numbers before you make quotes. Many members of the current team are out or stay out not for the coaches but rather for their love of the game or for their teammates. Those two "men" treat kids horribly. Stop by a practice on a Tuesday or Wednesday. Now I understand, tough is defined as being called an MF and GDed during practice by people with no compassion. True coaching involves more than cursing and yelling. Sit back, have your son get you another beer and then curse him while you smack him around for it not being cold enough.

erina1323 6 years, 8 months ago

I go to practice a lot and I know first hand that Coach Wedd does not use the MF word! I am assuming you have a son that DOES NOT PLAY! He is obviously not tough enough. If you really knew coach Wedd you would know that he is a very compassionate person and loves those kids.

Darrell BlueBack 6 years, 8 months ago

Its sad to come down to this, I watched these boys grow up and play agaisnt each other and now with each other. They are talented, and so is many of the players on the sideline. If Wedd knew how to use the talent of these kids they would be a different team. There is enough talent Strauss should only have to play QB. Its great to be an ironman, but it will wear on you after awhile. He only plays the same people every week, never trying out others. I watched the Olathe South game, and the defensive lineman was being pushed back every play. Imtimidation it seems the Lions defensive lineman was, I scout the lineman on the sidelines and there is some big boys. I'am a firm believer, if you can't get the job done, put somebody in there that will!

Well season is almost coming to a conclusion, this is the class that could bring Lawrence high back to the glory days, but with Wedd I don't think so! Good luck free state in the playoffs!

dizthewiz 6 years, 8 months ago

I felt that LHS had enough talent to beat Free State last year. But the fact is, that Free State gets better as the season goes along as evident in the most recent games they have played. They have very good coaching.

cato_the_elder 6 years, 8 months ago

To the posters on this site who have nothing better to do than attempt to criticize a fine coaching staff who work their butts off to produce courageous young men whose only goal is to win football games for Lawrence High School:

  1. Last week LHS beat Olathe North on the road 28-19, and did so convincingly. If LHS had lost Brad Strauss at the beginning of the second quarter of that game, that win would have been highly improbable at best. As a previous poster has emphasized, there were no negative posts after that signature LHS win.

  2. LHS's second-string QB suffered a serious injury in practice last week. Drake Hofer, who had never previously taken a snap at QB as an LHS varsity player, took over and moved the team down the field much more impressively than anyone could have expected. The Lions were in the red zone twice, including on ONW's one-yard line, as the result of capable drives. With Hofer playing QB, the Lions were by definition also without one of their key receivers. Only a very well-coached team could have shut the ONW offense down for the entire second half and moved the ball as well as the Lions did without Brad Strauss, and Drake Hofer turned in one of the most valiant efforts in recent memory in trying his best to lead LHS to another score. They came up short, but the effort was heroic.

  3. LHS's defense allowed no points at all in the second half. If Strauss had not been injured and had remained on both offense and defense in the first half, it's highly unlikely that ONW would have scored 21 points and LHS only 3. During the previous week the other Lawrence school only beat ONW 20-14, against a sophomore ONW QB who had never previously seen the field before that night. ONW's starting QB was back last night, and he played well.

  4. Brad Strauss suffered an ankle sprain on offense at the line of scrimmage, relatively early in the game. It had nothing whatsoever to do with his having also played on defense or special teams.

  5. It's becoming tiresome to see posts concerning Coach Wedd and his staff that come from people who claim to know what they're talking about but either don't or simply have an axe to grind. Everyone who has followed LHS football this year has known what Brad Strauss has meant to this team and what could happen to the team if he were injured. Strauss is a very tough young man and hopefully will be able to come back and come back soon. If he cannot, LHS will do its best to reload but it will be difficult for LHS to be anywhere nearly as effective as they have been so far, having already lost Charles Jackson for the season, and probably Brady Murrish also. That's the simple truth, and it does no good to disregard that truth and attempt to blame dedicated coaches for the fact that football is a contact sport and players do, sometimes most unfortunately, suffer injury.

kingt 6 years, 8 months ago

I agree with everything you said i played for wedd and alot of people don't know what they are talking about.

LTownBaby 6 years, 8 months ago

On your 1st point, +1, on your 3rd point, +10. My only concern is that half the team starts both ways and how do we not even have a 3rd string QB? Who plays QB on the JV? This is not adequate preparation. Wedd only trusts a small handful of players and yells at the rest for not being good enough. FYI, this is where coaching comes in handy!

kingt 6 years, 8 months ago

Its ok LHS hope brad gets well. there is still alot of talent on the team so lets go beat the firebirds

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