LHS, Free State football teams earn first-round playoff victories

The top-seeded Free State High Firebirds rolled to a 38-22 home playoff victory against Olathe North on Friday night in the first round of the Class 6A state playoffs.

The victory improved the Firebirds to 9-1, and Free State will host Olathe East (7-3) in next week’s quarterfinals. The Hawks knocked off SM East, 17-7, on Friday night.

Down the road at Gardner-Edgerton, LHS knocked off Gardner’s powerful attack, 34-32, despite another 300-yard game from junior running back Traevohn Wrench.

LHS did not punt and led the entire way but still needed to hold off a 35-yard field-goal attempt from the Blazers inside the final 20 seconds to win. The kick missed short and right, and LHS (8-2) advanced to the quarterfinals, where it will play host to SM West next Friday.

SM West (9-1) won 34-14 at Blue Valley Northwest to advance.

Should both LHS and Free State win next week, the two would meet the following Friday at Free State in the 6A semifinals, a rematch of the game won by Free State last week 28-14 that decided the district championship.

Read more about both victories at www.ljworld.com and in Saturday’s edition of the Journal-World.