Pick your poison: LHS football overwhelms Washburn Rural in 56-7 win

Lawrence High receiver Tre' Jackson celebrates a catch against Washburn Rural with teammate Acen Villegas during the first quarter on Friday, Sept. 11, 2020 at Lawrence High School.

It is basically “pick your poison” when trying to come up with a game plan to slow down Lawrence High’s offense.

Four different players recorded a carry, and six LHS players netted a reception while the team raced out to a 35-0 lead against Washburn Rural in the first half. Even more players got involved for the Lions in the second half in their eventual 56-7 win over the Junior Blues Friday night at LHS.

Lawrence — which is ranked No. 1 in Class 6A, according to Kpreps — improved to 2-0 to start the 2020 campaign. Through two weeks, the Lions have scored a total of 109 points, and many standouts are responsible for such a start.

“I thought that was as patient of an offense that we’ve had in two years,” LHS head coach Steve Rampy said. “We have big-play capabilities, but the first couple drives we just methodically took it down the field.”

Every opposing team’s primary goal is to attempt to slow down senior running back Devin Neal first and foremost. For good reason, too, since he’s the top-ranked prospect in Kansas and verbally committed to play at the next level for KU.

“Everyone knows where (Neal) is,” Rampy said. “A lot of the other guys being open is because No. 4 is on the field.”

But the Lions have proved that they have more than enough weapons to rely on when teams put too much of their focus on Neal. The first drive perfectly illustrated that.

Lawrence got the ball and proceeded to take a 7-0 lead on Washburn Rural (0-2) on an 11-play opening drive. Senior receiver Tre’ Jackson earned five yards on the game’s opening play. Senior quarterback Jackson Dooley then connected with senior running back Graham Hough for a 9-yard completion.

Dooley eventually completed back-to-back passes to Jackson (11 yards) and senior receiver John Green. Jackson netted another 9-yard grab later in the drive, which set up a 1-yard touchdown plunge by Hough at the 7:56 mark in the opening period. Neal only needed to touch the ball three times on the first possession.

The floodgates opened shortly after that for the Lions. Neal did have an 8-yard touchdown run on the second drive of the game to give LHS a 14-0 advantage. He also hauled in a 32-yard touchdown on a screen pass from Dooley in the second quarter.

Hough found paydirt for a 2-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, earning his second score of the night and his third touchdown of the season.

The signature score for the Lions came in the final minute of the second quarter. Dooley hit Green on an out route while Lawrence was trying to run its hurry-up offense. Instead of going out of bounds, Green turned upfield and eventually scored on a 40-yard touchdown grab to give LHS a 35-0 advantage at the intermission.

In the first half alone, Dooley went 17-for-22 through the air for 241 yards and two scores. Green was his go-to target for the night, netting seven catches for 121 yards and a touchdown. Senior receiver Ben King also caught a pair of balls, including a highlight-worthy grab near the sideline in the second period.

“(Green) caught everything thrown at him,” Rampy said. “I was really proud of him and the way he played.”

Jackson capped things off with a 58-yard touchdown reception on a strike from Dooley in the third quarter to effectively end the game.

“I think we came out a lot better than we did last week,” Jackson said. “Today was a lot more up-tempo and our pace, and I think we just played really well all four quarters.”

It certainly helped that Lawrence’s defensive unit was stellar once again. Washburn Rural didn’t record a first down until the 5:38 mark in the third quarter. The Junior Blues’ longest play in the first half was six yards, while the team had four three-and-outs in as many possessions.

LHS seniors Preston Greenwood, Trevor Baars and Dylan Gillespie help set the tone with physical play along the defensive line. Senior linebackers Cole Mondi, Karson Green and Blake Schimmel all delivered multiple hard hits against a Washburn Rural offense that lost yardage on seven of its 16 plays in the first half.

Jackson, senior Kallun Chitama and senior Corban Oberzan provided lockdown coverage in the secondary to keep Washburn Rural’s passing attack from getting into rhythm.

When the game was out of reach, Lawrence’s reserves kept up the dominant defensive play. Junior Evan Bannister flew by the Washburn Rural offensive line for a pair of sacks in the second half. Senior Jack Stoll got to the quarterback for a few sacks, as well.

“We just came out and played on both sides of the ball,” Rampy said. “Our defense is so physical and so aggressive.”

Lawrence will travel to Olathe West at 7 p.m. Friday.

Lawrence 56, Washburn Rural 7

LHS | WR

First downs 18 | 3

Rushes-yards 24-125 | 31-16

Passing yards 365 | 46

Total offense 490 | 62

Fumbles-lost 1-1 | 1-0

Interceptions 0 | 0

Penalties-yards 2-20 | 4-40

Score by quarters

Washburn Rural 0 0 0 7 — 7

Lawrence 14 21 7 14 — 56

Individual statistics

Rushing

WR: Austin Fager 11-31; Ma’kenttis Adams 9-28; Cooper Carlgren 3-4. Sacks: 8-(minus 47)

LHS: Tre’ Jackson 1-5; Devin Neal 11-57; Graham Hough 6-21; Jackson Dooley 1-5; Jeremy Jacobson 3-0; Josh King 1-43. Sacks: 1-(minus 6)

Passing

WR: Cooper Carlgren 7-14 for 46 yards.

LHS: Jackson Dooley 18-23 for 299 yards; Truman Juelsgaard 3-9 for 66 yards.

Receiving

WR: Adrian Tibbetts 1-(minus 1); Ma’kenttis Adams 1-(minus 1); Ty Weber 1-(minus 2); Austin Fager 1-5; Josh Williams 1-10; Lukas Hanks 1-6; Robby Bolin 1-29.

LHS: Graham Hough 1-9; Tre’ Jackson 3-78; John Green 7-121; Ben King 2-37; Devin Neal 4-49; Ntense Obono 1-5; Keyan Crawford 1-37; Sam Sedo 1-9.

HOW THEY SCORED

First quarter

7:56 — Graham Hough 1 run. Connor Gellender kick good. (LHS 7, WR 0)

4:09 — Devin Neal 8 run. Gellender kick good. (LHS 14, WR 0)

Second quarter

10:02 — Hough 2 run. Gellender kick good. (LHS 21, WR 0)

8:09 — Neal 32 pass from Jackson Dooley. Gellender kick good. (LHS 28, WR 0)

37.8 — John Green 40 pass from Dooley. Gellender kick good. (LHS 35, WR 0)

Third quarter

7:38 — Tre’ Jackson 58 pass from Dooley. Gellender kick good. (LHS 42, WR 0)

Fourth quarter

9:01 — Austin Fager 2 run. Kaleb Wellshear kick good. (LHS 42, WR 7)

6:28 — Keyan Crawford 20 pass from Truman Juelsgaard. Gellender kick good. (LHS 49, WR 7)

4:06 — Josh King 43 run. Gellender kick good. (LHS 56, WR 7)

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