Watching Olathe South High running back DaeVonte’ Nance and the Falcons jump to a big halftime lead last season did not sit well with Lawrence High senior JD Woods and the LHS football team.
Woods helped the Lions turn the tables Friday when he rushed for 225 yards and six touchdowns in a 63-7 victory over the Falcons at LHS.
“We weren’t going to let that happen this year,” Woods said of the Lions’ 29-0 halftime deficit in an eventual 29-21 loss in 2014 to Olathe South. “We talked about it all week. He (Nance) is a really good football player, and that was the No. 1 goal, to shut him down. Our defense stepped up and played really well.”
The 5-foot-7, 180-pound LHS running back found the end zone on the first play from scrimmage for the second straight week, and third time this season, as he scampered in from 48 yards out.
“I’ve never even heard of that, so that’s pretty unique,” LHS coach Dirk Wedd said of Woods’ ability to break free for game-opening touchdown runs.
Woods added two touchdown carries of 20 yards and another from 19 in the first half, and senior tight end Konner Kelley hauled in a 35-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Alan Clothier as the Lions pounced on the Falcons, 35-7, before the break.
The Lions picked up right where they left off after halftime, led by Woods’ last two touchdown runs, but the final 24 minutes also gave the LHS backups opportunities to showcase their skills. LHS did not miss a beat in the backfield after Woods’ night was done. Sophomore Hunter Krom and junior James Reeder each scored.
“Those guys would be getting a lot of reps on any other team, and they go against our No. 1 defense every day (in practice), so once they get in the game, it’s like a big hole for them,” Woods said of Krom and Reeder. “They know what it’s like to play against a really good defense already because they’ve played against Price (Morgan), Amani (Bledsoe) and our No. 1 defense, and they break runs all the time.”
Morgan, Bledsoe and the LHS defense put the pressure on Olathe South quarterback Andras Glenn for most of the night and were able to hold Nance in check. The 5-11, 180-pound Falcons running back gashed the Lions for 245 yards and two touchdowns last season. Nance scored on an eight-yard touchdown run to cut Lawrence’s lead to 14-7, but he was limited to 40 total yards.
The Falcons’ biggest play came on a 71-yard run from sophomore Jack Murphy to set up Nance’s touchdown, but the Lions’ defensive line stayed with the game plan and shut O-South down for the rest of the contest.
“We had a few slip-ups here and there, but coach (Wedd) reminded us what we had to do,” Bledsoe said. “As a D-line, we just led with our shoulders to the play.”
The Lions forced four fumbles by the Falcons and recovered two of them — one by defensive back Erik Shackelford and the other by senior Peter Afful on special teams. Junior Cade Burghart gave the Lions their third forced turnover with an interception of Glenn, who completed one of four passes for 14 yards.
While Glenn looked uncomfortable in the pocket, Clothier had time to find open receivers downfield, completing seven of nine passes for 135 yards and rushing for 68 more.
The Lions (6-0, 5-0) won a share of a Sunflower League championship with Olathe North (6-0, 5-0) with Friday’s victory, but Woods’ focus is on district play.
“Oh-and-oh. Fresh start,” Woods said. “Six wins doesn’t matter anymore. If we lose, we’re done, so we’ve got to come in with a new mindset and just take it from there and go get what we want to get, and that’s a state championship.”
LHS will play the first of three district games at 7 p.m. Thursday at Olathe Northwest
First Downs 5 17
Rushes-yards 26-137 38-377
Passing yards 15 135
Total offense 152 512
Return yards 48 4
Fumbles-lost 4-2 0-0
Penalties-yards 0-0 5-36
Score by quarters
Olathe South 7 0 0 0 — 7
Lawrence High 21 14 21 7 — 63
OS: Jack Murphy 2-74, DaeVonte’ Nance 10-39 TD, Ben Smith 2-0 yards, Brady Noernberg 3-(minus) 1, Andras Glenn 5-12, Brenton Fuller 1-4, Tanner Garrett 1-3, Daniel Flores-Fihlo 2-11.
LHS: JD Woods 17-225 6 TD, J’Mony Bryant 1-4, Alan Clothier 9-68, James Reeder 5-47 TD, Hunter Krom 3-24 TD, Travis Barfield 3-9.
OS: Glenn 1-4 14 INT, Noernberg 1-1 1.
LHS: Clothier 7-9 135 TD.
OS: Ben Smith 1-14, Nance 1-1
LHS: Price Morgan 2-46, Dante’ Jackson 2-51, Luke Padia 1-3, Bryant 1-0, Konner Kelley 1-35 TD.
HOW THEY SCORED
11:45 – JD Woods 48 run. Cole Brungardt kick. (Lawrence High 7, Olathe South 0)
9:03 – Woods 19 run. Brundgardt kick. (LHS 14, OS 0)
8:20 – DaeVonte’ Nance 8 run. Jaden Walker kick. (LHS 14, OS 7)
6:16 – Woods 20 run. Brungardt kick. (LHS 21, OS 7)
10:49 – Woods 20 run. Brungardt kick. (LHS 28, OS 7)
8:40 – Konner Kelley 35 pass from Clothier. Brungardt kick. (LHS 35, OS 7)
5:44 – Woods 25 run. Brundgart kick. (LHS 42, OS 7)
4:49 – Woods 4 run. Ross Brundgart kick. (LHS 49, OS 7)
2:04 – James Reeder 2 run. R. Brungardt kick. (LHS 56, OS 7)
11:51 – Hunter Krom 15 run. R. Brungardt kick. (LHS 63, OS 7)