Area roundup: Veritas honors lone senior in finale
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For the Veritas Eagles, the pregame senior night honors are a little bit shorter than the other two high schools in Lawrence with football teams. Just one Eagle took the field at the Lawrence First Church of the Nazarene for the final time Friday night in Veritas’ 49-0 loss — Aaron Evans, a home-schooled lineman from Eudora.
Head coach Ross Harkins embraces his challenge of starting players who had never played football before. Evans is an exception. He played three years at Veritas before transferring to Eudora for his senior season as a middle linebacker before finding that Veritas was a better fit for him.
Evans is one of the Eagles’ eight starters, who hail from six towns in a 30-mile radius. Only three of them actually go to the high school in Lawrence; the other 10 are home-schooled.
“I am a player on the field but I am also what the coaches would call a part-time coach,” Evans said. “When they’re seniors, they know exactly what they’re doing; they can help other guys out … It really comes down to being a teammate, and that’s what this school is. More importantly, we’re a family.”
On special teams, Evans recovered a contested onside kick that could have easily gone back to the Crusaders. On the offensive line as the Eagles’ center, Evans’ snaps were quick, allowing quarterback Will Eagleman to make his reads as fast as possible.
“He’s got great leadership,” Harkins said. “Aaron’s been a steadying force. He’s our one senior and he’s been able to give us that older perspective. Some of our other players are so young that they really needed someone like Aaron to get them through the season.”
Evans and defensive end Ben Hanson combined for a 5-yard tackle for loss, nearly forcing a fumble. Earlier in the quarter, defensive back Theo Stegall had his hands on what could have been an interception, though he didn’t maintain possession.
Eagleman was also the Eagles’ kicker, sending multiple 25-yard punts, which outperformed any of the Crusaders’ kicking efforts.
The Eagles’ line of Loki Wilson, Mark Winkler, Joseph Sawyer and Spencer Birmingham made gaps for the Eagles’ three-man offense of Eagleman, Hanson and Andrew Windheuser. Winkler even caught a pair of passes for positive yards from Eagleman.
Evans plans to study pre-med at the University of Kansas in the fall, and he doesn’t plan on letting go of his help to the Eagles.
“For sure,” Evans said. “I am going to be out here every game.”
ST. MARY’S 49, VERITAS 0
SM | V
First downs 5 | 2
Rushes-yards 15-135 | 23-3
Passing yards 132 | 1
Total offense 267 | 4
Fumbles-lost 0-0 | 0-0
Interceptions 0 | 0
Penalties-yards 3-35 | 3-20
Score by quarters
St. Mary’s 18 31 X X — 49
Veritas 0 0 X X — 0
SM: Leo Beulei 1-(minus 1), Anthony Drew 5-38, Roman Palmeri 3-67, Thomas Gayner 4-20, Benedict Drew 1-8, Michael Thibeault 1-3.
V: Will Eagleman 8-11, Ben Hanson 7-(minus 12), Andrew Windheuser 8-4.
SM: Thomas Gayner 7-14-123, Benedict Drew 2-3-9.
V: Will Eagleman 2-2-1.
SM: Leo Beaulieu 4-116, Anthony Drew 2-10, Roman Palmeri 2-3.
V: Mark Winkler 2-1.
HOW THEY SCORED
10:11 — St. Mary’s touchdown pass from Thomas Gayner. Pass failed. (SM 6, V 0)
7:26 — Leo Beaulieu 48 pass from Gayner. Run failed. (SM 12, V 0)
4:44 — Anthony Drew 34 run. Pass fails. (SM 18, V 0)
11:58 — Roman Palmeri 1 pass from Benedict Drew. Kick good. (SM 25, V 0)
9:31 — Beaulieu 38 pass from Gayner. Pass succeeds. (SM 33, V 0)
5:00 — Palmeri 45 run. Run fails (SM 39, V 0)
4:50 — St. Mary’s safety. (SM 41, V 0)
4:28 — Beaulieu 15 pass from Gayner. Pass succeeds. (SM 49, V 0)
Perry-Lecompton 77, Bishop Ward, 0
Perry Lecompton scored 39 points in the first quarter and dominated Bishop Ward in its final regular season game. Eleven players for the Kaws put points on the scoreboard in their 12 scoring plays, with Shane Quinlan scoring a pair of touchdowns and William Welch throwing three.
The Kaws defense forced seven turnovers with two fumbles and five interceptions, with Connor Morgison running one in for a touchdown.
Both of the Kaws quarterbacks were perfect with their passes. William Welch completed 8 of 8 for 129 yards and Dalton Kellum completed 2 of 2 for 46 yards.
Perry-Lecompton will look to host a first-round playoff game in 3A.
Bishop Ward 0 0 0 0 — 00
Perry-Lecompton 39 19 6 13 — 77
Tonganoxie 31, Ottawa 13
Tonganoxie allowed Ottawa to tie the game with just more than eight minutes to go in the third quarter, but continued to score on offense to win, 31-13.
The Chieftains surged ahead in the third quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run by Elijah Tyner, scoring to start the fourth quarter with a 3-yard run from Korbin Riedel. Hayden Robinson sealed the win with a 40-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Tonganoxie (6-2) will look to host a first-round game in 4A.
Tonganoxie 0 13 6 12 — 31
Ottawa 0 6 7 0 — 13
Fort Scott 21, Eudora 14
Eudora fell in overtime to Fort Scott, 21-14, after giving up a 14-0 halftime lead. The Cardinals finished their regular season 1-7. Sophomore quarterback Ezekiel Reazin had 63 yards of rushing, scoring both of the Cardinals’ touchdowns.
The Cardinals forced five turnovers with three fumbles and two interceptions. One fumble came on a kickoff return, another on a punt return and a third at the goal line. Sophomore linebacker Alex Allison led the team in tackles, as the Cardinals outrushed Fort Scott, 310 yards to 234 yards.
Eudora awaits its opponent in the first round of the KSHSAA 4A playoffs.
Eudora 6 8 0 0 0 — 0
Fort Scott 0 0 14 0 7 — 21
Spring Hill 35, Baldwin 7
Despite holding Spring Hill scoreless after a quarter, Baldwin allowed 21 unanswered points en route to a 35-7 loss Friday night.
Baldwin (2-6) awaits its opponent in the first round of the KSHSAA 4A playoffs.
Spring Hill 0 7 14 14 — 35
Baldwin 0 0 0 7 — 7