Lawrence High learned all it needed to know about Olathe East last Friday night.
Olathe East plays just like last week’s opponent, Olathe South, which beat LHS, 33-22, in Olathe.
East will run and LHS must stop the run.
“It’s nothing new this week,” LHS coach Dirk Wedd said.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at the Olathe District Activity Center.
The Lions allowed 321 yards on the ground against O-South, so they have been working all week in practice to correct the problem. That job becomes easier when the offense is playing well.
The LHS offense continues to move the ball down the field with relative ease this season. The challenge has come from inside the 10-yard line.
“We’ve got to put it in the end zone,” junior receiver Drake Hofer said.
The Lions (1-1) had the ball in the red zone last week four times, and they came away with six points. Two field goals and two turnovers. One of those turnovers was a touchdown the other way — a potential 14-point swing in what ended up being an 11-point game.
Part of the issue was the injury to senior center Brady Murrish, who is out this game and possibly beyond with a knee injury. Starting senior tackle and long-snapper Wyatt Woods takes over center for Murrish, while backup lineman Blake Hocking slides into Woods’ tackle spot.
After Murrish went down, junior quarterback Brad Strauss had trouble receiving snaps and was under constant pressure. He took a lot of hits and made some mistakes, including two red zone interceptions but only after retrieving loose balls from the ground.
“It’s not like we want anyone other than Brad back there at quarterback,” Hofer said.
Hofer, who caught two passes for 42 yards, said the transition to Woods at center has been smooth since he has long-snapping experience.
The cohesion should make the offense more balanced after it went pass-happy in the second half against O-South. Wedd said along with stopping the run, the Lions need to establish their own ground attack tonight as well. Senior running back Charles Jackson, a focal point of the offense, had less than 15 touches last game and will most likely receive more tonight.
That should also help take some pressure off Strauss so the Lions can continue spreading the field and getting huge chunks of yardage off passing plays. And that might mean more offensive touchdowns and fewer interceptions.
“When he has time, he can pick a defense apart,” Wedd said.