Free State v. Shawnee Mission West
Photos from Free State's state semifinal game against Shawnee Mission West.
First downs 13 7
Rushes-yards 54-315 34-206
Passing yards 19 114
Total offense 334 320
Return yards 34 114
Fumbles-lost 1-0 1-0
Penalties-yards 4-47 2-30
Score by quarters
FSHS 6 0 0 15 — 21
SMW 14 13 14 7 — 48
FSHS: TJ Cobbs 11-146 TD, Joe Dineen 13-95 TD, Kyle McFarland 20-37, Demarko Bobo 8-30, Tye Hughes 1-5, Keith Loneker 1-2.
SMW: Brett Sterbach 18-89 TD, Tory Powell 3-55, Raymond Cherry 4-43, Steffon Ward 4-19, Jaunyae Stallings 1-4, Quinn Harrold 1-2, Team 2-minus-2, AJ Verdini 1-minus-4.
FSHS: McFarland 4-18-19 TD one interception.
SMW: Verdini 5-10-114 2 TDs.
FSHS: Hughes 3-18 TD, Dineen 1-1.
SMW: Ward 1-34 TD, Andre Maloney 1-33 TD, Mitchell Wade 2-30, Jel Spiller 1-17.
HOW THEY SCORED
6:20 — Joe Dineen 4 run. Antonio Schnoneich kick failed. (FSHS 6, SMW 0.)
4:30 — Andre Maloney 33 pass from AJ Verdini. Joey Reed kick. (SMW 7, FSHS 6.)
4:04 — Ben Lake 2 punt return. Reed kick. (SMW 14, FSHS 6.)
9:15 — Reed 32 field goal. (SMW 17, FSHS 6.)
5:05 — Steffon Ward 34 pass from Verdini. Reed kick. (SMW 24, FSHS 6.)
0:00 — Reed 43 field goal. (SMW 27, FSHS 6.)
11:44 — Maloney 82 kickoff return. Reed kick. (SMW 34, FSHS 6.)
7:21 — Brett Sterbach 2 run. Reed kick. (SMW 41, FSHS 6.)
7:20 — Tye Hughes 12 pass from Kyle McFarland. McFarland run. (SMW 41, FSHS 14.)
6:33 — Tory Powell 1 run. Reed kick. (SMW 48, FSHS 14.)
6:09 — TJ Cobbs 78 run. Schnoneich kick. (SMW 48, FSHS 21.)
Overland Park The Free State Firebirds were dominated in all three facets in a 48-21 loss to Shawnee Mission West in the 6A semifinals on Friday night at Shawnee Mission South District Stadium.
"Anything that could go wrong tonight, it went wrong," FSHS coach Bob Lisher said. "It's hard to explain."
Free State couldn't have been more impressive on its opening possession, driving 89 yards, with Joe Dineen capping it with a four-yard touchdown run up the middle.
West scored 41 straight points after that, which included three touchdowns that were the direct result of Free State special teams blunders.
In the second quarter, Free State punter Kyle McFarland booted a punt off the back of his personal protector Dineen. The ball ricocheted backwards, and West's Ben Lake scooped it up for — officially — a two-yard punt return for TD.
"You could kind of see the wind get sucked out of us after that first punt off the protector's butt for a touchdown," Lisher said. "From then on, it was kind of a downhill struggle."
Nearly the same thing happened in the third quarter, with McFarland booting it this time off a back-pedaling Dineen's hindside. The negative-17-yard punt later led to a West TD.
The Vikings (11-1) also returned the opening kickoff of the second half for a touchdown when Andre Maloney took a reverse 82 yards down the left sideline.
"We didn't play very well tonight. That's on us, because we've played well all year," Lisher said. "We didn't play very well tonight. I don't know what it was. Something in the air. Something."
Free State especially struggled in the passing game, as McFarland was just 1-for-9 passing for 1 yard in the first half. He finished 4-for-18 for 19 yards with a TD and an interception.
"We couldn't throw the ball worth a darn tonight," Lisher said. "Protection was breaking down. We couldn't hit the receivers when they were open. Just ... we couldn't throw the ball very well."
West advances to next Saturday's 6A championship game, where it will take on Hutchinson at Yager Stadium in Topeka. Hutchinson defeated Derby, 29-28, in the other 6A semifinal game.
Free State ends its season with a 10-2 record.
"People preseason picked us to finish sixth in the league. We almost won the league, and due to a technicality, we didn't," Lisher said. "We come in here tonight, and we just didn't perform very well.
"But we performed pretty well all year long."
FINAL: SMW defeats Free State, 48-21
After a first down, West takes two knees to end it.
The Vikings advance to next Saturday's championship game in Topeka.
Free State ends its season with a 10-2 record.
SMW 48/FSHS 21 — 2:15 left in 4th quarter
A deep McFarland pass is picked off by West's Isaiah Macklin.
SMW 48/FSHS 21 — 3:28 left in 4th quarter
Following a West recovery on an onside kick, West's Raymond Cherry — on his first carry — sprinted 44 yards to the right down to the FSHS 8.
Free State's defense held on the next four plays, though, to keep West under 50 points.
SMW 48/FSHS 21 — 6:09 left in 4th quarter
T.J. Cobbs took an option right on Free State's next play from scrimmage and outran the West defense 78 yards down the sideline for a touchdown.
Schnoneich booted through the PAT.
SMW 48/FSHS 14 — 6:33 left in 4th quarter
After a failed onside kick by Free State, West's Tory Powell bolted 44 yards up the middle on the next play before getting brought down on the 1 by McFarland.
Powell tacked on the one-yard TD run on the next play.
SMW 41/FSHS 14 — 7:20 left in 4th quarter
A long Free State drive ends with a touchdown, as McFarland rolled left before finding a wide-open Tye Hughes in the middle of the end zone for a 13-yard score.
McFarland added the two-point conversion on an option run to the left.
SMW 41/FSHS 6 — End of 3rd quarter
McFarland breaks free for a run to the FSHS 36 before the quarter ends.
SMW 41/FSHS 6 — 2:45 left in 3rd quarter
West goes three-and-out, but Reed's punt rolls to rest at the Free State 6.
SMW 41/FSHS 6 — 4:56 left in 3rd quarter
Cobbs broke free for a 35-yard up the middle, moving the ball to the West 40.
Spight came through with another sack of McFarland on second down, though, and on third and 16, McFarland's deep pass fell incomplete.
On fourth and 16, McFarland was sacked again by Spight, as Free State turned it over on downs at its own 49.
SMW 41/FSHS 6 — 7:21 left in 3rd quarter
After one first down, a false start penalty moved Free State back, and after a short run by McFarland on third down, the Firebirds were forced to punt.
Once again, McFarland booted the punt into the back side of his personal protector Dineen. McFarland fell on it, but officially, it went for a negative-17-yard punt.
A few plays later, Sterback broke a tackle and bounced to the outside for a three-yard TD run.
Reed tacked on the PAT.
SMW 34/FSHS 6 — 11:44 left in 3rd quarter
West ran a reverse on the opening kickoff of the second half, and Maloney returned it 82 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown.
Reed added the extra point.
SMW 27/FSHS 6 — Halftime
A few Free State halftime stats ...
Rushing — Dineen 12 carries, 86 yards, TD; McFarland 11 rushes, 25 yards; T.J. Cobbs 5 rushes, 8 yards.
Passing — McFarland 1-for-9, 1 yard.
Receiving — Dineen 1 catch, 1 yard.
Tackles — Demarko Bobo 4, Blake Winslow 3, Keith Loneker 3, Cody Stanclift 2, Fred Wyatt 2, Stan Skwarlo 1, Dineen 1, Corban Schmidt 1.
SMW 27/FSHS 6 — Halftime
With the seconds ticking down in the half, Verdini found Mitchell Wade for 23 yards to put West in field-goal range at the FSHS 27. West took timeout with 2 seconds left.
Reed followed with a career-best 43-yard field goal on the final play of the half to give West a three-TD lead.
SMW 24/FSHS 6 — 1:00 left in 2nd quarter
McFarland completes his first pass — a one-yard gain to Dineen — before firing two more incompletions. He's now 1-for-9 passing for 1 yard.
After the punt, West starts at its own 42.
SMW 24/FSHS 6 — 1:37 left in 2nd quarter
Free State holds West to a three-and-out. The Vikings' punt goes to the FSHS 10, where returner Tye Hughes was tackled immediately.
SMW 24/FSHS 6 — 2:57 left in 2nd quarter
After Dineen gained four yards on a first-down run, McFarland was sacked two consecutive times to bring up fourth down.
McFarland's punt was downed at the FSHS 49.
SMW 24/FSHS 6 — 5:05 left in 2nd quarter
Sterbach burned Free State on a third-and-21 draw play, gaining 42 yards down the left sideline.
Verdini posted his second TD pass seconds later, finding Steffon Ward, who cut back to the inside for a 34-yard TD.
Reed added the extra point, and Free State finds itself in a big hole.
SMW 17/FSHS 6 — 6:22 left in 2nd quarter
Free State coach Bob Lisher went back to the Firebirds' ground game, and he was rewarded with a 32-yard run by Dineen down to the West 41.
Free State's drive stalled quickly after, though, as T.J. Cobbs was tackled for a four-yard loss on third and one, and McFarland gained just one on fourth and five.
West takes over at its own 35.
SMW 17/FSHS 6 — 9:15 left in 2nd quarter
Free State's defense forced a three-and-out, but Joey Reed split the uprights on a 32-yard field-goal attempt to extend the Vikings' lead.
SMW 14/FSHS 6 — 9:58 left in 2nd quarter
Following two more negative plays, McFarland punted to Maloney, who returned it 24 yards to the Free State 21.
SMW 14/FSHS 6 — End of 1st quarter
Free State's offense continues to go backwards, as it was penalized half the distance to the goal on a chop block.
SMW 14/FSHS 6 — 17 seconds left in 1st quarter
After a West first down, Free State's defense held on fourth and two, as Stan Skwarlo and Blake Winslow combined on the tackle, bringing down Brett Sterbach after a one-yard gain.
SMW 14/FSHS 6 — 2:18 left in 1st quarter
After another touchback, Free State went backwards in three plays, as West's Lee Spight pulled McFarland down for a sack on third and 10.
McFarland's punt was fair caught at the FSHS 43.
SMW 14/FSHS 6 — 4:04 left in 1st quarter
Following a touchback, McFarland threw three straight incompletions to force a punt.
Facing a heavy rush, McFarland's punt hit Dineen — his personal protector — in the back, and West's Ben Lake scooped up the ball for — officially — a two-yard punt return for TD.
Reed added the point-after.
SMW 7/FSHS 6 — 4:30 left in 1st quarter
Shawnee Mission West wasted no time taking the lead, going 79 yards in just 108 seconds for the touchdown.
The TD came on a pass from A.J. Verdini, who found Andre Maloney for a 33-yard score on a post route. Maloney was able to make his way behind McFarland and come through with a fingertip catch.
Joey Reed added the extra point.
FSHS 6/SMW 0 — 6:18 left in 1st quarter
Free State marched 89 yards on its first drive, as Joe Dineen capped the possession with a four-yard touchdown run up the middle.
Antonio Schoneich missed the extra-point wide right.
The Firebirds came up with huge plays on third down, finishing the possession four-for-four on third-down conversions.
After Dineen returned the kickoff just two yards to the West 11, the Firebirds had their drive extended on third and 12 with a 16-yard run by quarterback Kyle McFarland.
Facing another third and 4, McFarland came through again, breaking a tackle to pick up five and move the ball to the West 36.
Dineen delivered on Free State's next third down, sprinting for 11 yards up the middle to keep the drive going. On the next third and three, Dineen gained six around a huge hole on the left side.
7:06 p.m. update
West wins the toss and defers. Free State will have the ball to start this game.
6:50 p.m. update
Welcome to Shawnee Mission South District Stadium in Overland Park, site of tonight's 7 p.m. Class 6A semifinal football game between Free State (10-1) and Shawnee Mission West (10-1).
The winner of tonight's game will take on either Derby or Hutchinson in the state finals at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 24, at Yager Stadium in Topeka.
These two teams met earlier this season at this same location in Week 2, with Free State taking a 28-14 victory.
We'll have the live blog going throughout the game, so be sure to check back to LJWorld.com for score updates and analysis.