Olathe Prior to the start of the season it seemed unlikely Lawrence High football would finish with a winning record.
But now that LHS (5-1) is safely above that benchmark with two regular-season games left to play — following a 42-10 thrashing over Olathe South — that feat is no longer acceptable at season’s end.
“No one in their right mind ever thought we were going to win five games,” LHS coach Dirk Wedd said. “But we are not happy with five now. It’s been special watching this team grow.”
The Lions took advantage of an inferior opponent as they jumped out to an enormous lead and never looked back Friday at the Olathe District Activity Center. Senior running back Trey Moore found the end zone thrice in the first quarter, en route to a 180-yard performance on 20 carries.
Moore capped a 10-play opening drive with a 12-yard score on an option play. The next time he touched the ball, Moore broke free for a game-long 71-yard run.
“The offensive linemen opened up some big holes once again,” Moore said. “I just read off them and they give me good looks. I just hit the hole and run.”
But he was not done there.
Moore then punched it in from nine yards on the team’s third drive to take a 21-0 lead before the end of the first period.
“He’s an outstanding back,” Wedd said. “We knew how good he was as a sophomore. He was playing a lot as a junior and then he got hurt in the fourth game. We knew he was going to be a special back.”
The quick start was a necessity this week, after the team struggled in the first half last week at the very same field. LHS continued to keep the foot on the pedal, scoring twice more before the intermission.
Junior quarterback Dante’ Jackson found the end zone on a 61-yard scamper on the team’s fourth drive. Jackson finished with 160 yards on 13 carries.
“I wouldn’t trade Dante’ for anybody in the state of Kansas,” Wedd said. “He’s electric.”
Jackson later hit junior receiver Harrison King for a nine-yard hookup to close out the first half. The catch was just King’s second reception of the season, notching his first points of the year.
“We didn’t play our best game last week,” Jackson said. “We just wanted to play the best we possibly could. Putting 5-1 on the board is awesome. It’s really good for us. We weren’t projected to do that.”
The defense did its part to pave the way for the first-half rout. The Falcons marched down the field on nine plays on their first drive before being stuffed on a quarterback sneak by senior Brett Beene on 4th-and-one.
LHS stiffened even more on the defensive end following the first scare. Olathe South strung three consecutive three-and-outs together, which was followed by two turnovers on downs to close out the first half.
“Our defense played good,” Wedd said. “We didn’t have a great first half last time we were here. This time they came ready to play. We knew how important punching them in the mouth was.”
The Lions three-headed linebacker unit of Santino Gee, Azariah LeBrun and Erik Shackelford, along with senior defensive Jacob Unruh, stymied the Falcons’ offensive attack throughout the game.
Olathe South did not get on the board until the third quarter when senior back Oakley Reed logged a 43-yard rushing touchdown. With Lawrence playing mostly reserves in the second half, the Falcons accumulated 307 yards on the ground and 38 through the air.
Meanwhile, LHS was able to amass 418 yards on the ground on 47 carries, despite playing without senior guard Jesse Tunget, who was out with an ankle sprain. Both tackles, Kristian Russell and Kevin Nichols, contributed to open holes all night in his absence.
“Our offensive line was tremendous again,” Jackson said. “They do it day-in and day-out. They really don’t get enough credit for it. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be in the end zone.”
Lawrence will look to stay undefeated in Sunflower League play when the team plays host to Shawnee Mission East at 7 p.m. Friday.
Lawrence 42, Olathe South 10
LHS | OS
First downs 18 | 8
Rushes-yards 47-418 | 44-307
Passing yards 52 | 38
Total offense 470 | 345
Fumbles 0-0 | 0-0
Penalties-yards 3-25 | 2-10
Score by quarters
Lawrence 21 14 7 0 — 42
Olathe South 0 0 7 3 — 10
LHS: Trey Moore 20-180 3 TDs, Dante’ Jackson 13-160 2 TDs, Angel Garcia 8-40, Devin Lauts 3-16, Jalen Dudley 1-6, Garrett Romero 2-16.
OS: Oakley Reed 19-215 TD, Brett Beene 10-40, Hunter Larson 6-9, Tyler Cavil 9-43
LHS: Jackson 6-8-52 TD and INT.
OS: Beene 7-20-38.
LHS: Clarence King 3-28, Harrison King 1-11 TD, Caleb Mondi 1-15, Jalen Dudley 1-0.
OS: Reed 3-12, Ben Landshut 2-11, Tre Adger 1-7, AJ Shields 1-8.
HOW THEY SCORED
9:18 — Trey Moore 12 run. Cole Brungardt. (LHS 7, OS 0.)
6:10 — Moore 71 run. Brungardt kick. (LHS 14, OS 0.)
2:02 — Moore 9 run. Brungardt kick. (LHS 21, OS 0.)
11:31 — Jackson 61 run. Brungardt kick. (LHS 28, OS 0.)
0:41 — Harrison King 9 pass from Jackson. Brungardt kick. (LHS 35, OS 0.)
9:52 — Oakley Reed 43 run. Jaden Walker kick. (LHS 35, OS 7.)
9:17 — Jackson 16 run. Brungardt kick. (LHS 42, OS 7.)
9:42 — Walker 27 field goal. (LHS 42, OS 10.)