Olathe Lawrence High football players weren’t thrilled with the way they played against Olathe Northwest on Thursday, but they can’t complain about the result.
The Lions rolled to a 35-7 victory at the College Boulevard Activity Center in their first district game. They also lost four fumbles and allowed a few long plays on defense.
LHS senior running back JD Woods rushed for 286 yards and four touchdowns, breaking the school record for career rushing yards, but fumbled twice.
Lawrence High football v. Olathe Northwest
Images from Thursday night's game between the Lions and Ravens in Olathe
“Each day in practice, we talk about handling adversity,” LHS senior Price Morgan said. “Bad stuff is going to happen. That’s football. It’s just a matter of how you respond to it. I was really proud of just the whole team tonight, picking up key blocks and key runs.”
The Lions (7-0) started strong. They scored on their first possession when Woods dove over the goal line on a one-yard run. Senior quarterback Alan Clothier set up the score with a 12-yard run to the one-yard line on a long third down.
With Olathe Northwest’s defense focusing on Woods in the first half, Clothier showed off his running ability after faking handoffs to Woods. Clothier finished with 112 rushing yards, including a 22-yard scramble in the final minute before halftime.
“He’s a state champion wrestler, so he does what he does,” Woods said of Clothier. “I know he can make big plays, and he has a lot of heart.”
Lawrence’s defense only allowed one first down in the first quarter — and LHS senior linebacker Konner Kelley grabbed an interception on the following play.
But then the Lions fumbled on two straight possessions in the first half, both times deep into Olathe Northwest territory.
“We left a lot of points on the board,” LHS coach Dirk Wedd said. “We had a short field and didn’t get it in. We had another one inside of the 20. Against good people, we have to take advantage of every opportunity. We’ve got to learn from that and we will.”
The Ravens (5-2) couldn’t take advantage of Lawrence’s turnovers. Olathe Northwest raced into the red zone in the second quarter but missed a 35-yard field goal after solo tackles by linebacker Tanner Green and cornerback Ivan Hollins, along with a sack by defensive end Amani Bledsoe, stalled the drive.
Four plays after the missed field goal, Woods burst through the middle of the field for a 61-yard touchdown run. He added a 62-yard touchdown run up the middle in the third quarter and broke the school record on a 35-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Woods has rushed for 3,289 yards in his varsity career, surpassing Michael Cosey’s previous record of 3,281.
Did he know he broke the record on his touchdown run?
“Price and Peter (Afful) kind of hinted it,” Woods said. “Price goes, ‘I think you might have gotten it.’ I just went, ‘Dude, I don’t know, but I’m exhausted right now.’”
The Ravens cut Lawrence’s lead to 28-7 near the end of the third quarter with a 60-yard touchdown reception from Elijah Roland.
But the Lions’ defense ended any thoughts of a comeback by forcing turnovers. Hollins grabbed an interception when the Ravens were near the red zone, and Morgan grabbed a fumble near the LHS sideline on the next defensive possession.
“We’re proud but definitely not satisfied,” Bledsoe said. “There’s always more to work on. We have to keep getting better each week.”
First downs 12 11
Rushes-yards 47-401 43-164
Passing yards 36 108
Total offense 437 272
Return yards 8 95
Fumbles-lost 4-4 1-1
Penalties-yards 7-75 6-40
Score by quarters
Lawrence 7 14 7 7 — 35
Northwest 0 0 7 0 — 7
LHS: JD Woods 30-286 4 TD, Alan Clothier 14-112 TD, James Reeder 3-3.
ONW: Darius Henderson 14-86, Brendan Watkins 17-72, Kyle Rinck 3-9, Easton Crupper 1-(negative) 9, Daniel Spalding 1-6.
LHS: Clothier 4-7–36.
ONW: Crupper 8-17–98 TD and 2 INTs, Rinck 1-1-10.
LHS: Nick Williams 1-8, Woods 1-15, Peter Afful 1-7, Dante’ Jackson 1-6.
ONW: Jesse Rose 2-14, Elijah Roland 2-63 TD, Rinck 2-12, Watkins 1-11, Adam Steinhauser 1-(negative) 2, Kyle Winn 1-10.
HOW THEY SCORED
6:10 — JD Woods 1 run. Cole Brungardt kick. (LHS 7, ONW 0.)
6:11 — Woods 61 run. Brungardt kick. (LHS 14, ONW 0.)
1:09 — Alan Clothier 22 run. Brungardt kick. (LHS 21, ONW 0.)
4:56 — Woods 62 run. Brungardt kick. (LHS 28, ONW 0.)
2:52 — Elijah Roland 60 pass from Easton Crupper. Chris Diddle kick. (LHS 28, ONW 7.)
6:46 — Woods 35 run. Brungardt kick. (LHS 35, ONW 7.)