Only five yards stood between Lawrence High’s football team and a go-ahead touchdown in the final minutes of Friday’s game against Olathe North.
For the majority of the season, scoring points hasn’t been an issue with the Lions’ explosive offense. But they had trouble pushing the ball forward consistently against the Eagles and it cost them on their final drive.
With a little more than a minute remaining, Olathe North defensive back Joey Rudolph intercepted a pass on 3rd-and-goal, handing the Lions a 33-28 loss at LHS in the school’s homecoming game.
“Stuff wasn’t clicking in the beginning,” junior receiver Bryson Cummins said. “We had a couple of bad plays that led to other bad plays. Things just didn’t come together like they usually do.”
Despite some trouble finding the first-down marker with six punts, the Lions (3-2) still had plenty of explosive plays. In the third quarter, senior receiver Ekow Boye-Doe raced past the defense on an 89-yard touchdown run, taking the ball on a reverse pitch.
On the final play of the first half, senior quarterback Dante Jackson, who was frequently monitored by a couple of O-North defenders, tossed a 40-yard Hail Mary pass into the end zone. Boye-Doe fought for space with a defender and tipped the ball in the air. Out of nowhere, Cummins dove with his arms extended, securing the miraculous touchdown as he fell to the turf.
“I was just running and I saw he threw the ball and I needed to get over there,” said Cummins, who was shoved back onto the turf by a jubilant teammate in the celebration.
During Lawrence’s final possession, which extended by a fourth-down grab from senior receiver Jalen Dudley, Jackson had a 30-yard run to the five-yard line, barely pushed out of bounds. Senior running back Hunter Krom, who ran for two scores, was stopped at the line of scrimmage on two straight plays before the decisive interception.
“We had problems all night knocking them off the ball,” Lawrence coach Dirk Wedd said. “Both offensively and defensively up front, we were getting beat. We tried to punch it in there a couple of times.”
Olathe North (2-3) kept pace with Lawrence’s big-play offense through a strong rushing attack, highlighted by freshman Arland Bruce (17 carries, 190 yards, two touchdowns). The Eagles’ offense was set up with several different players lined up at quarterback, faking handoffs and reverses.
In the fourth quarter, the Eagles scored on their two offensive drives — a nine-yard run by quarterback Zac Krause and a 26-yard run by Bruce.
The Lions felt confident they would respond with their offense on the field at the end of the game, but just couldn’t convert on one more play.
“Obviously there’s plays we could’ve made, things we could’ve done differently, but there’s nothing we can do about it,” Cummins said. “That’s what happens.”
OLATHE NORTH 33, LAWRENCE 28
ON | LHS
First downs 17 | 11
Rushes-yards 52-386 | 37-244
Passing yards 69 | 126
Total offense 455 | 370
Fumbles-lost 2-0 | 0-0
Penalties-yards 6-55 | 7-60
Score by quarters
O-North 7 7 7 12 — 33
Lawrence 7 7 14 0 — 28
ON: Jevon Parrish 7-32, Daymonn Sanchez 13-106 TD, Arland Bruce 17-190 2 TD, Zac Krause 5-25 2 TD, Devin Stoker 3-14, Mason Myers 5-4, Malcolm McKibben 2-15, Team 1-negative 17.
LHS: Hunter Krom 19-74 2 TD, Dante Jackson 16-68, Ekow Boye-Doe 1-89 TD, Angel Garcia 1-3.
ON: Krause 4-4—69, Myers 0-3—0.
LHS: Jackson 6-12—126 TD and INT.
ON: McKibben 1-15, Bruce 1-10, Ivan Avila 1-negative 1, Sanchez 1-45.
LHS: Boye-Doe 2-18, Bryson Cummins 1-40 TD, Jalen Dudley 3-68.
HOW THEY SCORED
8:54 — Hunter Krom 4 run. Ross Brungardt kick. (LHS 7, ON 0.)
1:01 — Daymonn Sanchez 22 run. Jacob Large kick. (LHS 7, ON 7.)
8:22 — Zac Krause 1 run. Large kick. (ON 14, LHS 7.)
0:00 — Bryson Cummins 40 pass from Dante Jackson. Brungardt kick. (LHS 14, ON 14.)
6:13 — Krom 2 run. Brungardt kick. (LHS 21, ON 14.)
4:10 — Arland Bruce 13 run. Large kick. (LHS 21, ON 21.)
3:50 — Ekow Boye-Doe 89 run. Brungardt kick. (LHS 28, ON 21.)
8:29 — Krause 9 run. Large kick failed. (LHS 28, ON 27.)
5:13 — Bruce 26 run. Krause pass failed. (ON 33, LHS 28.)