Defensive line gives advantage to Lions

One of the biggest strengths for Lawrence High’s football team doesn’t show up on film. Instead, opponents are forced to wait until the Lions step on the field to judge the size of their defensive line.

The Lions feature defensive ends Amani Bledsoe and Trey Georgie, both who stand at 6-foot-5 and weigh at least 260 pounds. Then there’s 6-foot-3, 330-pounder Nate Koehn and 6-foot-1, 240-pounder Jacob Unruh at defensive tackles.

All four of the linemen will be a big focus for Leavenworth when they face the Lions at 7 p.m. today at Leavenworth.

When the Lions (1-0) won their season-opener against Blue Valley West last week, their linemen held BV West to only 37 yards rushing on 20 attempts.

“We’re big. We’re frickin’ monster big,” LHS coach Dirk Wedd said. “Not in my 26, 27 years here has there been a defensive line that big.”

Bledsoe, who is regarded as the top recruit in Kansas, drew plenty of double teams and the occasional triple-team blocking scheme in the season-opener with tight ends and running backs helping out. That allowed his fellow linemen, all varsity returners, to take advantage and make plays.

“Trey had a really good football game,” Wedd said. “Then we were really happy with Nate. When Nate plays hard, he’s hard to handle. He’s just so big and he takes up space in there. Then, Unruh is learning. He was a linebacker last year so this is a little bit of an adjustment, and first game and all that. Overall, we were pleased.”

Looking for their first 2-0 start to the season since 2008, the Lions are ready to do their best to stop Leavenworth’s ground game. The Pioneers (0-1) lost their season-opener, 19-17, against Great Bend, but feature dual-threat quarterback Drew Sachen, who ran for 84 yards last week, while running back Wade Jackson scored twice.

Bledsoe, Georgie and Unruh are also on the offensive line and helped newcomers, junior center Mark Greene, and sophomore right guard Ethan Taylor in their first varsity game.

“I think the new guys did really good,” Unruh said. “Mark Greene did really good snapping this past game. Ethan Taylor, the sophomore that just came in this year, I thought he did really good. He played with a lot of intensity and heart. I like that and I hope to see a lot from them.”

LHS probable starters


LT — Trey Georgie, sr.

LG — Jacob Unruh, jr.

C — Mark Greene, jr.

RG — Ethan Taylor, so.

RT — Amani Bledsoe, sr.

QB — Alan Clothier, sr.

RB — JD Woods, sr.

H — Trey Moore, jr.

WR — Ivan Hollins, sr.

WR — J’Mony Bryant, sr.

TE — Price Morgan, sr.

K — Cole Brungardt, jr.

P — Alan Clothier, sr.


DE — Trey Georgie, sr.

DT — Nathan Koehn, sr.

DT — Jacob Unruh, jr.

DE — Amani Bledsoe, sr.

LB — Konner Kelley, sr.

LB — Price Morgan, sr.

LB — Tanner Green, sr.

CB — J’Mony Bryant, sr.

CB — Ivan Hollins, sr.

SS — Coulter Strauss, sr.

FS — Cade Burghart, jr.