OVERLAND PARK — After Shawnee Mission East and Lawrence High’s football teams combined for 76 points and 614 yards, fans finally had a chance to catch their breath.
It was only halftime.
Both teams stormed down the field, trading punch after punch against each other in an entertaining offensive showcase. But in the second half, the Lions couldn’t keep pace with SM East after a pair of turnovers and costly penalties in a 62-40 loss at SM South District Stadium.
“We gave it all we had,” said Lawrence senior running back Hunter Krom, who ran for 119 yards and three touchdowns. “They gave it all they had. It was great competition.”
Trailing by eight points at halftime, the Lions (4-3) had an opportunity for a game-tying score midway through the third quarter, but they lost their strong field position on a holding penalty. Three plays later, it turned into an interception.
The Lancers (6-1, ranked No. 2 in Class 6A) took full advantage. SM East senior running back Milton Braasch (27 carries, 261 yards) scored touchdowns on two straight drives, keeping the Lions at a two-score deficit.
“It’s one of those games where the offense has to keep up,” Lawrence coach Dirk Wedd said. “We learned a lot about ourselves. The second half, we stopped ourselves with penalties.”
Entering Thursday’s matchup, the Lancers had only allowed 61 points through their first six games. Lawrence scored on four straight drives during the first half.
LHS senior quarterback Dante Jackson set the tone with the game’s first score on a 40-yard touchdown, racing past the defense on an option play. He added an 80-yard touchdown to senior receiver Jalen Dudley on a fake run play, and had a 13-yard touchdown run near the end of the second quarter.
Jackson was injured against SM East last season and he showed what he can do at full strength.
“I was motivated to do whatever it takes to win,” said Jackson, who had 131 rushing yards and 188 passing yards. “We didn’t come out with it, but I thought our guys fought a lot harder than we did last year and a lot harder than I could have ever expected.”
As much as the Lions proved they can score on explosive plays and long drives, SM East continually had an answer. Wedd said it's difficult to simulate SME's offense through a scout team.
The Lancers scored on six straight drives during the first half. In the second quarter, the Lancers ran nine plays and scored touchdowns on three of them. Braasch highlighted the run game, while quarterback Andy Maddox tossed a pair of long touchdowns.
“Milton is an unbelievable football player, just unbelievable,” Wedd said. “He’s a very special kid, I guess he’s a great kid on top of that, but he runs hard and he wears on you.”
Despite the loss, the Lions were encouraged by their fight against one of the top teams in the state.
“We’re definitely getting a lot better each week and each practice, working hard,” Krom said. “Coaches are pushing us a lot more every day.”
SHAWNEE MISSION EAST 62, LAWRENCE 40
LHS | SME
First downs 16 | 20
Rushes-yards 47-308 | 50-424
Passing yards 188 | 145
Total offense 496 | 569
Fumbles-lost 0-0 | 1-1
Penalties-yards 5-30 | 7-50
Score by quarters
Lawrence 14 20 6 0 — 40
SM East 22 20 7 13 — 62
LHS: Hunter Krom 16-119 3 TD, Ekow Boye-Doe 1-negative 5, Dante Jackson 13-131 2 TD, Angel Garcia 13-60, Cole Mondi 2-2, Garrett Romero 2-1.
SME: Michael Perry 1-4, Andy Maddox 9-69 TD, Milton Braasch 27-261 4 TD, Cole Machovsky 7-47 TD, Garrett Boschen 3-24, Peyton Wiklund 4-23 TD.
LHS: Jackson 8-18—188 TD and 2 INT.
SME: Maddox 4-5—138 2 TD.
LHS: Jalen Dudley 2-80 TD, Boye-Doe 5-72, Harry King 1-36.
SME: Kelyn Bolton 2-94 TD, Boschen 1-44 TD, Braasch 1-7.
HOW THEY SCORED
9:26 — Dante Jackson 40 run. Ryan Lauts pass from Garrett Romero. (LHS 8, SME 0.)
6:19 — Cole Machovsky 6 run. Mitlon Braasch run. (LHS 8, SME 8.)
4:39 — Garrett Boschen 44 pass from Andy Maddox. Parker Willis kick. (SME 15, LHS 8.)
4:28 — Jalen Dudley 80 pass from Jackson. Jackson pass failed. (SME 15, LHS 14.)
1:13 — Braasch 6 run. Willis kick. (SME 22, LHS 14.)
9:04 — Hunter Krom 2 run. Jackson pass failed. (SME 22, LHS 20.)
8:18 — Braasch 3 run. Willis kick. (SME 29, LHS 20.)
5:26 — Krom 1 run. Krom run. (SME 29, LHS 28.)
4:15 — Peyton Wiklund 10 run. Ryan Bolin run failed. (SME 35, LHS 28.)
2:09 — Jackson 13 run. Jackson run failed. (SME 35, LHS 34.)
1:19 — Kelyn Bolton 82 pass from Maddox. Willis kick. (SME 42, LHS 34.)
4:15 — Braasch 15 run. Willis kick. (SME 49, LHS 34.)
1:54 — Krom 6 run. Cole Mondi run failed. (SME 49, LHS 40.)
10:25 — Braasch 24 run. Willis kick blocked. (SME 55, LHS 40.)
3:04 — Maddox 6 run. Willis kick. (SME 62, LHS 40.)