The depth on Lawrence High’s football roster is about to get tested.
Even as the Lions prepare for their road game (7 p.m. tonight at Shawnee Mission North) without four injured starters, though, senior running back Jordan Brown said LHS is capable of doing more than just coping with the challenge that brings.
“We can find a lot of people who can step up. We have a lot of depth,” Brown said. “Everybody starts to show who they really are once injuries start happening.”
Brown, who replaces senior Tyrone Jenkins in the backfield, is one of four new starters this week for LHS (2-1). Senior Cole Cummins will replace junior Matt Weiss on the defensive line, senior Nick Long will move to right tackle for senior Art Hall and senior Hunter Haralson will fill in for junior Drew Green at linebacker.
Lawrence’s offensive line lost senior Chris Gillespie to an injury a couple weeks back, too, but coach Dirk Wedd said the O-line has had a great week of practice.
“We’re kind of piecing things together right now, but I’m excited to see where we’re at,” the coach said. “Obviously, we’re real thin.”
The Lions remain healthy at quarterback and receiver entering their road game at SMN (0-3). So Brad Strauss (669 passing yards) will have his normal targets, Will Thompson, Drake Hofer, Erick Mayo and Josh Seybert.
Although playing with a jumbled lineup, Seybert said LHS wants to pitch a shutout on defense against the Indians (19 points a game), and keep things rolling on the other side of the ball.
“We’ve got one of the best passing offenses in the league,” Seybert said.
While Lawrence will miss Jenkins (237 rushing yards this season), Brown said senior Asaph Jewsome will help him and Strauss with the ground game.
“He’s nice and strong,” Brown said of Jewsome. “You can see his muscles whenever he runs.”
SMN has allowed 50.3 points a game in losses to Leavenworth, Olathe South and Shawnee Mission South. But Brown said LHS can’t take anyone lightly.
“We’ve seen their size — a couple three-hundred pounders. If you’ve seen our defense, I don’t think we have any guy over 250,” Brown said. “You can never be overconfident with that.”
After the Lions allowed 200 rushing yards in last week’s 28-20 win over Olathe East, Wedd said LHS has plenty of things to fix this week.
“We’re a long way from where we need to be, and this is an opportunity to get more depth,” the coach said. “One of these days, we’re gonna get healthy, and once we do, I would assume we’re gonna be a pretty good football team.”