LHS football looks to turn page after recent losses

After back-to-back losses by more than 20 points, Lawrence High football players are more than happy to turn the page to the postseason.

There was no time to dwell on the losses ahead of a first-round playoff matchup against 14th-seeded Blue Valley West (2-6) at 7 tonight at LHS.

“We just need to get our minds right,” senior running back Trey Moore said. “We actually have a shot of going to state and stuff, so we have to figure that out and just need to move on from there. We all had a big talk after the last game and we all just said, ‘Hey, it’s time to kick it in because if we lose, we go home.'”

Senior linebacker Erik Shackelford said the third-seeded Lions (5-3) were “embarrassed” by their 56-7 loss against Free State last week, but the biggest thing on film was small mistakes compounded into points on the scoreboard.

The Jaguars are led offensively by their running backs: junior Adam Davis (402 yards), junior Jake Kidd (310 yards) and freshman Riley Cummings (288 yards). But they’ve only averaged 11.4 points per game.

“We’re not healthy and we’re not deep,” LHS coach Dirk Wedd said. “We’re getting exposed in some positions that we knew we’re going to be tough to cover. I still think we’re a really, really good football team if we can get healthy. Hopefully, Friday night, we show people that we’re more like the first six football games and not the last two.”

On offense, the Lions were without junior quarterback Dante Jackson for the second half of both losses in the past two weeks because of an ankle injury. Without his usual presence on offense, the Lions had trouble finding a rhythm, but players are confident they will regain their groove against Blue Valley West.

The Lions averaged 38 points per game during the first six games, but have only scored 33 points in the past two weeks.

“He’s had a good week of practice,” Wedd said of Jackson. “I mean, he’s not 100 percent, but I feel a lot better than I did last week.”

But with the do-or-die mentality of the postseason, the Lions were happy with their practices following their City Showdown loss and know what is at stake in the postseason.

“I told the young guys,” Moore said, “‘Please don’t make this my last game. Help me and I’ll help you and we can make this a good season.’ All of us seniors, we’re not ready to hang up our pads any time soon.”

LHS probable starters


LT — Kristian Russell, jr.

LG — Nick Englebert, jr.

C — Jacob Mills, jr.

RG — Reese Stellwagon, sr.

RT — Kobe Buffalomeat, sr.

QB — Dante’ Jackson, jr.

RB — Trey Moore, sr.

WR — Ekow Boye-Doe, jr.

WR — Caleb Mondi, so.

WR — Jalen Dudley, jr.

WR — Clarence King, so.

K — Cole Brungardt, sr.

P — Dante’ Jackson, jr.


DE — Jacob Unruh, sr.

DT — Mark Greene, sr.

DT — BJ Murry, sr.

DE — Eric Galbreath, so.

LB — Santino Gee, sr.

LB — Azariah LeBrun, sr.

LB — Erik Shackelford, sr.

CB — Jaxon Malone, so.

CB — Ekow Boye-Doe, jr.

SS — James Reeder, sr.

FS — Cade Burghart, sr.