Lions fly by SM South for 49-9 homecoming victory
photo by: Nick Krug
A hot start for the Lawrence High football team Friday against Shawnee Mission South allowed the Lions to stroll to a 49-9 homecoming victory over the Raiders.
LHS head coach Clint Bowen was unable to join his team on the sidelines due to a suspension, following his ejection from last week’s contest at Mill Valley. Defensive coordinator Jeff Lyster filled the role of head coach this week for the Lions.
LHS senior quarterback Truman Juelsgaard said the Lions rose to the challenge on homecoming, despite the circumstances.
“It’s just good to see everyone happy again,” Juelsgaard said. “Coach Bowen put his confidence in us, in practice all week and we knew that he wasn’t gonna be there. We looked toward Coach Lyster and all the other coaches. They did a phenomenal job of coaching.”
The Lions (4-2) posted 326 yards of total offense, including 231 through the air and six passing touchdowns from Juelsgaard, in the team’s final home game of the 2021 season.
Juelsgaard opened the evening with a quick bullet to senior Baylor Bowen for a 30-yard reception, pushing the Lions into SMS territory. Senior Shance Wilkerson punched in a short 4-yard score to get Lawrence out in front early, 7-0.
The Lions’ defense followed up the score with a big stop, and then the LHS special teams came through, blocking a Raiders field goal attempt.
Taking over at their own 27-yard line, LHS surged forward again. Junior Cole Watson tracked down a 48-yard touchdown pass from Juelsgaard, building a 14-0 lead with 2:56 left in the first quarter.
Junior Lance Bassett led the Lions’ defensive front early on, adding another sack to his stat sheet. LHS didn’t allow SMS to cross the 50-yard line for the remainder of the quarter.
Avion Nelson exploded off a quick pass from Juelsgaard for 63 yards just before the end of the quarter to push LHS even further ahead, with a comfortable 21-0 lead.
Juelsgaard found himself getting back into a groove this week, completing six touchdowns passes that accounted for more than 170 yards.
“We just stuck to the game plan, made some good reads,” Juelsgaard said. “O-line did a great job blocking tonight. Baylor (Bowen), he catches everything that’s in the air.”
SMS couldn’t open the second quarter with a break, as LHS senior Zeric Avery picked off Mason Close to set LHS up deep in Raiders territory.
Bowen hauled in a 6-yard touchdown pass from Juelsgaard on his second reception of the evening, as the Lions added to their lead, making it 28-0 to open the second quarter.
Bowen added another touchdown on the following drive, this time hauling in the 20-yard pass in the left corner of the end zone. LHS took a commanding 35-0 with 3:59 to play in the first half.
SMS looked to get on the scoreboard late in the second quarter, but a fumble from Raiders senior Carter Dewberry was recovered by Lions senior Evan Bannister, giving LHS possession once more before halftime.
LHS took advantage of the additional opportunity, with Juelsgaard finding senior Kivryn Heck to run the margin up to 42-0 versus SMS with just over a minute remaining in the half. The Raiders couldn’t spark any life before halftime, going into the locker room with a massive deficit.
Juelsgaard opened up the second half for LHS with a quick dart to Waston, taking the ball 33 yards for his second touchdown of the night, as the Lions’ lead ballooned to 49-0.
SMS forced the Lions’ first punt of the night late in the third quarter, keeping the LHS offense tamed for a change.
Carrying their drive into the fourth quarter, the Raiders worked their way into LHS territory for the first time since the first quarter. After the visitors marched up to the 2-yard line, the LHS defense came through on a fourth-down stop led by a hard hit from junior Tanner Romero.
WIth the Lions starting deep in their own territory, LHS sophomore Tyson Grammer suffered a sack that gave SMS a safety with 4:51 to play.
Regaining possession after the 2-point pickup, the Raiders completed a deep throw to set up a last-minute scoring opportunity. SMS sophomore Grant Jennings pulled in a 7-yard touchdown pass to add to the Raiders’ late offensive push.
LHS kneeled the following drive to put the 2021 homecoming win in the books. Juelsgaard shared his thoughts on the excitement of the crowd following the home win.
“It’s just so fun, especially with how Covid-19 hurt the fans (during the 2020 season) and everything,” he said.
The QB continued: “Our energy is through the roof. It can sometimes be down when we’re down, but we have some really good leaders on our team to pick us up and get some energy going.”
Shawnee Mission South 0 0 0 9 – 9
Lawrence High 21 21 7 0 – 49
HOW THEY SCORED:
08:35 – LHS touchdown: Wilkerson 4 run. Glasgow kick is good. (SMS 0, LHS 7)
02:56 – LHS touchdown: Watson 48 pass from Juelsgaard. Glasgow kick is good. (SMS 0, LHS 14)
00:48 – LHS touchdown: Nelson 63 pass from Juelsgaard. Glasgow kick is good. (SMS 0, LHS 21)
09:08 – LHS touchdown: Bowen 6 pass from Juelsgaard. Glasgow kick is good. (SMS 0, LHS 28)
03:59 – LHS touchdown: Bowen 20 pass from Juelsgaard. Glasgow kick is good. (SMS 0, LHS 35)
01:21 – LHS touchdown: K. Heck 6 pass from Juelsgaard. Glasgow kick is good. (SMS 0, LHS 42)
11:09 – LHS touchdown: Watson 33 pass from Juelsgaard. Glasgow kick is good. (SMS 0, LHS 49)
04:19 – SMS safety: Tyson Grammer sacked. (SMS 2, LHS 49)
Lawrence 49, SM South 9
SMS | LHS
First downs 9 | 10
Rushing yards 94 | 95
Passing yards 114 | 231
Total-offense 208 | 326
Fumbles-lost 1 | 0
Interceptions 1 | 0
Penalties-yards 10 | 5
LHS: Shance Wilkerson 3-29, Brayden Heck 4-38, Truman Juelsgaard 4-29, Tyson Grammer 1-(-2)
SMS: Ben Johnson 13-61
LHS: Truman Juelsgaard 10-14, 231
SMS: Mason Close 9-15, 114
LHS: Baylor Bowen 4-64, Cole Watson 3-86, Kivryn Heck 1-6, Avion Nelson 1-63, Sam Sedo 1-12
SMS: Steven Ndavi 2-14, Nick Breckenridge 3-55, Grant Jennings 3-36, Nate Herbert 1-9, Jake Johnson 1-39