Preview: LHS offense to lean on highly praised O-line in opener at Olathe South
photo by: Emma Pravecek, Journal-World photo
The Lawrence High football team will have its chance to open the season in high spirits at Olathe South on Friday night – and get some vengeance in the process.
After narrowly dropping last year’s season-opener to the Falcons at home, LHS enters this season eager to display its returning depth right away against an O-South team that strung together a relatively impressive campaign (7-3), which included wins over Class 6A runner-up Gardner Edgerton and Mill Valley last fall.
Third-year head coach and LHS alum Clint Bowen feels his team should be far more prepared for this year’s opener. Bowen will be looking to his offensive line, which includes returning seasoned senior tackles Kem Allen and Will Hendricks, to let his group settle in.
Bowen said he couldn’t be happier with how his O-line has developed.
“The biggest thing is we do have some veteran players on the offensive line,” Bowen said. “We’re leaning on those guys in the first game of the (season) to go out there and keep the team focused and keep their nerves under control.”
It shouldn’t take long for LHS to find a groove, either. Dual-threat junior Banks Bowen will be under center, accompanied by senior tailbacks Malcolm Paul and Tony Jacobsen – all three are proven rushers capable of an explosive play.
Additionally, LHS may also utilize sophomore running back Tahj Edwards, who earned himself a varsity spot this preseason.
“There’s three to four guys who bring something different to the table every time they touch the ball,” Bowen said.
The Lions’ defensive front will also be a critical part of finding the win column on Friday night, with senior defensive end Connor Nowak and nose tackle Andrew Nelson serving as the eyes and ears on the line of scrimmage.
Bowen’s eye will be on his younger secondary, which will be finally put to the test after a long summer of preparation.
Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. at the Olathe District Activities Center.