Lawrence High senior defensive lineman Jake Unruh did not have to be reminded about Shawnee Mission North quarterback Will Schneider accounting for 453 yards of total offense and putting up 32 points against LHS last season.
Unruh led the charge of bottling up the SM North quarterback, as he had two of the Lions' three sacks and a blocked punt in Lawrence High's 52-26 victory Friday at LHS.
"Swarming. Our mindset this week was swarming to No. 2 (Schneider) and the running back (Billy Conaway)." Unruh said of the team's game plan. "Those two were really good athletes tonight. Our defense played really hard and swarmed to them, and that's what won us this game probably."
Unruh and fellow D-lineman BJ Murry each had sacks on the Indians' first three drives as the Lions (2-0) shut out the Indians, 14-0, in the first quarter and didn't look back. LHS coach Dirk Wedd felt that putting pressure on Schneider early was crucial to his squad's quick start.
"Every time he drops back, you just hold your breath because you know something bad can happen. He's a very special player," Wedd said of the SM North four-year starting quarterback. "The only way we play them again is if we both get deep in the playoffs. That would be great, but golly, he's had quite the career. He's made some sleepless nights for me in the last couple of years."
The Lions offense put up 56 points against the Indians in their first-round playoff victory last season, and did not waste any time in lighting up the scoreboard Friday either. Lawrence junior quarterback Dante' Jackson rushed for four touchdowns, and senior running back Trey Moore added three more scores on the ground to help the Lions rack up 611 yards of total offense.
"The line just opened up all the holes in the world, and I just did what I could do and put it in the end zone," Jackson said. "The receivers just blocked amazing — Pakow Boye-Doe, Jalen Dudley, everybody was on the field making me look good."
While the Lions junior quarterback carried the ball 13 times for 105 yards, he also aired it out more frequently than he did in Lawrence's 50-20 Week 1 win over SM Northwest. Jackson completed 11 of his 17 passes for 180 yards, and threw one interception.
"We knew after last week and we know going forward that we've got to be a balanced football team," Wedd said. "People are going to load the box on us if we can't throw it. We came into the game knowing that we were going to throw it ideally 15 to 20 times."
Jackson is anxious for the opportunity to throw the ball more as he becomes more comfortable in the pocket, and credited Moore for drawing the attention of SM North's defense to open up the aerial attack.
"They key in on Trey once he makes big runs," Jackson said. "Once we get the runs off, the passing game is wide open."
The Indians (1-1)loaded the box to try to slow down Moore, but it did not make much of a difference. Moore had 28 carries for 237 yards, and added a 13-yard reception.
Moore nearly had a fourth touchdown run in the fourth quarter, but his 99-yard burst was called back because of a holding penalty. Wedd was pleased with his squad's overall play, but said that cutting down on penalties is a must.
"I wish he would have had the 99-yard run. That's something we've got to clean up," Wedd said. "We've got way too many penalties. That's not like us. We're going to do a lot of running on Monday."
Barfield takes the field as honorary captain
Lawrence does not have a No. 42 listed on its roster, but the Lions were thrilled to have a player wearing that jersey number with them as they took the field for the coin toss.
Junior Travis Barfield suffered a stroke on Jan. 3, and was in a coma for the remainder of last school year. The Lions named Barfield as an honorary captain, and plan to do so for other games this season as well.
"We all love the kid. We know that he would die to be on that field with us," Unruh said. "That's why we honored him this game, and we're probably going to honor him the rest of the season. We're going to try to get him out on the field as much as possible and be an honorary captain and stuff like that."
Lawrence 52, SM North 26
First downs 27 13
Rushes-yards 52-431 25-118
Passing yards 180 299
Total offense 611 417
Fumbles-lost 1-0 0-0
Penalties-yards 6-60 13-100
Score by quarters
Lawrence High 14 17 7 14 — 52
SM North 0 12 6 8 — 26
LHS: Trey Moore 28-237 3TDs; Dante' Jackson 13-105 4 TDs; James Reeder 10-86; Stanley Holder 1-3.
SMN: Will Schneider 13-52 TD; Tremaine Jackson 2-(-1); Marcos Garcia 2-3; Reese Sila 6-21; Billy Conaway 2-43 2TDs.
LHS: Jackson 11-17 180 INT.
SMN: Schneider 20-34 299 TD INT 2PT conversion.
LHS: Jalen Dudley 1-6; Trey Moore 1-13; Harrison King 0-0; Ekow Boye-Doe 6-64; Caleb Mondi 1-76; Clarence King 2-19.
SMN: Nate McCoy 3-43 2 PT conversion; Billy Conaway 5-81; Marcos Garcia 1-12; Noah Laird 5-116 TD; Zach Pittman 3-17; Reese Sila 1-33.
HOW THEY SCORED
7:36 — Dante' Jackson 3 run. Cole Brungardt kick. (LHS 7, SMN 0.)
2:48 — Trey Moore 3 run. Brungardt kick. (LHS 14, SMN 0.)
11:02 — Billy Conaway 3 run. Kick blocked. (LHS 14, SMN 6.)
8:51 — Trey Moore 44 run. Brungardt kick. (LHS 21, SMN 6.)
4:49 — Jackson 16 run. Brungardt kick. (LHS 28, SMN 6.)
3:38 — Conaway 40 run. Pass failed. (LHS 28, SMN 12.)
0:04 — Brungardt 37-yard field goal. (LHS 31, SMN 12.)
9:17 — Jackson 5 run. Brungardt kick. (LHS 38, SMN 12.)
4:16 — Will Schneider 2 run. Pass failed. (LHS 38, SMN 18.)
11:54 — Moore 6 run. Brungardt kick. (LHS 45, SMN 18.)
4:18 — Jackson 10 run. Brungardt kick. (LHS 52, SMN 18.)
3:30 — Noah Laird 66 pass from Schneider. Nate McCoy pass from Schneider. (LHS 52, SMN 26.)