Advertisement

High School Sports

High School Sports

Lions fall late in heartbreaker

Lawrence High quarterback Brad Strauss (11) runs past Olathe East’s Myron Tipton on Friday, Sept. 16, 2011 in Olathe.

Lawrence High quarterback Brad Strauss (11) runs past Olathe East’s Myron Tipton on Friday, Sept. 16, 2011 in Olathe.

September 17, 2011

Advertisement

— As the Lawrence High football team boarded the buses and left the Olathe District Activity Center Friday night, it saw plenty of points still on the field.

In the first quarter, the Olathe East punt that bounced off a Lawrence player and gave the ball back to the Hawks. The third-and-goal at the one-yard line and the turnover on downs that came two plays later. The missed game-winning two-point conversion after senior quarterback Brad Strauss led an 82-yard scoring drive with less than 1:30 in the game.

The game was there for the taking, but even as well as the Lions (1-2) played, they watched the Hawks (2-1) walk away with a 21-20 victory.

“We leave way too many points out,” Strauss said. “We were knocking on their doorstep a few times, and we couldn’t punch it in. We have to score in those situations, and it cost us a game.”

Both teams scored touchdowns on their opening drives, but a Lion turnover on the Hawks’ first punt led their second touchdown. Lawrence had the ball two more times in the first half and couldn’t get points out of either of possession. By halftime, East had mounted a 21-7 lead.

The Hawks relied heavily on the run, similar to the Lions’ previous opponents, so it should have been a run-out-the-clock game from then on. But the LHS defense didn’t let the run dictate the game, and East didn’t score the rest of the game, which was a bright spot, coach Dirk Wedd said.

The Lions scored late in the third when Strauss hit receiver Anthony Buffalomeat for a touchdown, bringing the deficit to seven points. LHS held East at bay while it moved to the one-yard line on third down. The Lions ran it twice with running back Charles Jackson, and twice he failed to get anything.

“You wouldn’t believe how frustrating it is,” Jackson said. “But you’ve got to move past it. It’s still early.”

The failure to convert opportunities close to the goal line is what has plagued the Lions this season. There weren’t any red zone interceptions this game, but there is still more to fix.

“It’s been a struggle,” Wedd said. “We’re a third of the way through the season and it’s something that we have to address in practice.”

The Lions weren’t done. They had just stopped the Hawks on a fourth-and-three after they passed up an easy field goal, one that would have sealed the game. With the ball at their own 18 and down seven with 1:20 to go, the Lions looked to Strauss to orchestrate one final drive. He ran for 47 yards on the drive, passed for 35 and capped it off with a 15-yard touchdown.

But instead of kicking a point after to send the game into overtime, Wedd called for a two-point conversion to win the game in regulation.

“We had the momentum and I really didn’t want to get into a smash-mouth overtime game,” he said.

Strauss was flushed out of the pocket on the conversion attempt and threw incomplete. LHS was on the losing end of a thriller.

After the game, Strauss said the Lions were close to becoming a good team. After facing three of the tougher Sunflower League teams to start the season, the Lions know what they are capable of; they just haven’t quite reached it.

“We just didn’t execute good enough when it mattered,” Strauss said.

Comments

Larry Evans 3 years ago

Wedd is not a good football coach. Was at the game, his 3 -4 defense was being annihilated up the middle all night ..Too stubborn to stiffen up the middle. LHS needs a new up and coming coach. The kids need some help if they want win at LHS.

0

cato_the_elder 3 years ago

Pigballin, your comment demonstrates your naivete. When it became apparent that Olathe East wasn't going to pass, LHS loaded up the box and held them to no points in the second half, winning the second half 13-0. If LHS had made the two-point conversion, it would have been a heroic win. As it was, it was a heroic second-half comeback against a very good Olathe East team that Coach Wedd beat last year in the biggest upset in the Sunflower League all season.

0

cato_the_elder 3 years ago

Actually, it would be preferable were you not to say anything more until you learn something about football.

0

dldf84 3 years ago

Whats your knowledge and experience of the game that allows you to give these type of replies. Or are you just a Wedd fan.

0

erina1323 3 years ago

Were you at his house when he had the seniors over for dinner? Those kids sat around with coach wedd for hours talking and laughing. He is far from a bully of teenage kids. It is so sad you have that stuck in your head. He loves those boys more than you will ever know.

0

dldf84 3 years ago

For starters every year he has the seniors over for dinner, so that is nothing special. I am a former player that played under Wedd. I was a starting line backer. Coach wedd had and still does have a very foul mouth and unless you were one of his chosen players, he had a tendency to be a bully and belittling to players. I know every coach is different and no one is perfect but wedd is by far not what LHS needs as a head coach.

0

cato_the_elder 3 years ago

And, based on your comments, it's doubtful that you were what he needed as a player.

0

dldf84 3 years ago

Thats why I played defense i got to ignore him. Wedd ran the offense and had nothing to do with the defense side of the ball. Jerry Skakal was in charge of the defense and he was a great coach. Coach Skakal never played favorites, he put the 11 players on the field that would get the job done.

0

cato_the_elder 3 years ago

Jerry Skakal was indeed a great coach. So is Dirk Wedd. Your implication that you "chose" not to play offense, which was coached by Coach Wedd, betrays the source of your bias against him. You didn't get to play both ways, and you still resent it. You need to get over it and move on to better things in your life.

0

dldf84 3 years ago

I did not want to play both ways. I love defense and that is the way i always was even in little league and junior high i dont like offense so playing both ways has nothing to do with it. good try

0

cato_the_elder 3 years ago

Congratulations on being the first high school player I've ever heard of who didn't want to play both ways if he was good enough to do so.

0

independent_rebel 3 years ago

My son played for Wedd. Wedd is a foul-mouthed bully who rallies around "tradition" so much that he can't keep up with what works. He had a team when Brandon McAnderson played that ran so much that the wide receivers and tight ends went uncovered on most plays in the playoffs. Uncovered. We parents were screaming for LHS to pass, my son said the players were telling Wedd and the other coaches they were not being covered. Wedd's response is that "We'll win or lose playing Lawrence High football."

They lost. Best team Wedd's had, and his stubborness cost the Lions. He's making a token effort to catch up with the better coaches, but he's so far behind that they've already lapped him.

Every year he has an excuse. LHS can compete on the state level in basketball and baseball, but not football? Give me a break.

0

cato_the_elder 3 years ago

"Best team Wedd's had...." That's a ridiculous statement. Brandon McAnderson was special, but the 2005 team was by far the most talented team LHS has had under Coach Wedd, with the fewest positions occupied by players who never would have played in earlier years before LHS was split. You're just someone else with an axe to grind.

0

independent_rebel 3 years ago

Cato, I usually agree with your point of view on many subjects. We'll just have to agree to disagree on this one. Wedd is not a quality high school football coach. LHS has some fine coaches in other sports. Why they don't look for someone that is not from the old school of belittling players and being stubborn in his ways makes many of us wonder. Those of us around at the time know how Wedd weasled his way into being the baseball head coach years ago. I've had too many kids, nephews, and friend's kids play for the man, and he's just not that good of a coach.

0

cato_the_elder 3 years ago

I agree that we'll have to agree to disagree.

0

cato_the_elder 3 years ago

How about being a foul-mouthed granny who has nothing better to do than criticize a man whose life is dedicated to coaching? Get a life.

0

cato_the_elder 3 years ago

No, you're simply an ignorant fool who listens to people who have an axe to grind.

0

Homey 3 years ago

It is unfortunate the coach is not as good as the team.

0

cato_the_elder 3 years ago

This was the third game of the year. LHS has played three very tough opponents, has beaten one handily, and has learned from their two close losses. Had their starting center not gone down last week, they would have stood a very good chance of beating Olathe South, an outstanding team over which LHS was about to take the lead when their center was taken off the field. They reloaded well on the OL this week, and adjusted on defense when they needed to. There were mistakes made on the field last night that, as in any game, weren't made by any coach, and the players know it. LHS has a very dedicated coaching staff that works their butts off, as do each of the LHS players. Snide comments like yours and those above yours are the product of blind prejudice.

0

dldf84 3 years ago

In every game players make mistakes, no mater what level they play on. But they are out there giving it everything they have. Those boys are doing a great job and will continue to do so. But from a coaches veiw point which i am a coach. We shut them down all second half. We gained all the momentum by scoring at the end. He should have gone for the p.a.t. and used the momentum and gone into overtime. Those boys were pumped up after the last touchdown, they would had gone out the next offensive series and probably put the ball in the end zone. But we will never know since they were not given the chance. Just as Wedd did in 2002 when LHS was playing Olathe East at ODAC to see who got to play Olathe North to go to the state championchip game. We had scored in the last minute down by one Wedd went for two, no good we lost. We had the momentum and the players wanted over time. We had Brandon McAnderson in the back field and we now we could win, but Wedd wanted to end it right then. Bad coaching and it still hasent changed. I played that whole game and felt robbed by Wedd for not giving us the chance for overtime to win. His ego got in our way.

0

cato_the_elder 3 years ago

I wonder whether you are the linebacker I remember missing a number of key tackles in that game.

0

dldf84 3 years ago

You go ahead and remember It how ever you like.

0

cato_the_elder 3 years ago

Once more, granny, we're not talking about the NFL. As I've suggested before, go back to your knitting.

0

erina1323 3 years ago

Where were all you people two weeks ago when they won. Why do you only have negative things to say when they lose. This team has played 3 of the toughest teams in the sunflower league to start their season and the last two games they have stuck with them. A coach cannot make his players throw interceptions or fumble a ball. Those two things have cost the lions multiple scoring opportunities. This is a great team with an awesome coaching staff that will be very successful in the end. Go lions!

0

Aiko 3 years ago

It's high school football........

0

erina1323 3 years ago

Obviously coach wedd had enough confidence in his players to think they could get the two point conversion or else he would not have done that. It is still early in the season and they cannot afford any injuries. Playing those extra minutes who knows what could have happened. As a former player and now a coach I never heard of any coach wanting to end their teams season and not go to state. That is the main goal. That us just a ridiculous comment. You obviously don't know coach wedd.

All you people can say all sorts of awful comments behind your screen name but I can bet if you had to state your name you would never leave a comment.

Would coach wedd be an awful coach if they would have converted that two point conversion?

0

cato_the_elder 3 years ago

Granny, you've demonstrated time and time again that you're nothing but a helicopter grandparent of grandchildren at the other high school. The fact that you choose to libel Coach Wedd maliciously if the Lions lose but are always silent when they get a great win makes you one of the most predictably boring posters on this forum. You don't give a whit about LHS football. You should confine your comments to those relating to the school that your grandchildren attend.

0

dougmarshall 3 years ago

Sorry i'm late to the party. I was out of town and this site doesn't view well from a smart phone. Anyway, I agree with erina1323. Where were all you haters two weeks ago? Any good coach knows you go for two on the road, the mo would go to the home team in OT, it is just the way it is. The saddest thing for all of you is if we make the two points there would only be one or two comments, period.

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.