Preview: LHS looking to stay hot when winless SM East comes through
photo by: Landon Cory/Journal-World photo
In search of a third consecutive win to start the year, the Lawrence High football team will do everything in its power to prevent a trap game when Shawnee Mission East visits town on Friday evening. The Chesty Lions (2-0) enter the matchup on the heels of a come-from-behind 49-14 victory over Olathe West at home.
Key to notching another “W” on the schedule will be continued tenacity from the LHS defense, which limited O-West to just 183 yards of offense after giving up two unanswered scores in the first half last week.
Big-time takeaways, such as a punt block and score executed by sophomore safety Josh Galbreath and defensive end Devin Foster, fueled the victory. After the win, LHS head coach Clint Bowen said his players’ grit spoke volumes of what this team is capable of under pressure.
“We found ourselves in a 14-0 hole like that and the guys could’ve panicked and things could’ve started falling apart, but we didn’t,” Bowen said. “We rattled off 49 (points) and stuck together as a team just doing our jobs.”
On the offensive side of the ball, LHS will look to return the same high-powered artillery against a Lancers (0-2) defense allowing an average of 38.0 points per game that has struggled keeping opposing teams off the scoreboard through the first two weeks of the season.
LHS is starting to open up its offense at the right time, too. Last week, junior starting quarterback Banks Bowen tallied 144 yards and two touchdowns, one each to wideouts Gabe Wingerd and Mason Mosiman.
On the ground, Bowen provided 102 more yards of offense; tailbacks Tony Jacobsen and Tahj Edwards stepped up and provided 153 yards of support after senior Malcolm Paul exited the O-West game with an apparent injury.
“Each weekend, we’re continuing to add to the playbook,” Clint Bowen said. “As the season goes on, we’re putting new wrinkles in as you discover players who are good at certain things, and what we’re good at. We’re still tweaking it and we’re still definitely improving.”
SM East’s defensive coordinator, All-Big Eight and Big 12 safety DeMontie Cross, used to serve with Bowen on staff at Kansas back in 2012. Cross is part of a turnaround project in Prairie Village behind head coach Mark Simoneau.
Junior safety Carter Rose (who recorded an interception last week against Olathe East) and cornerback Brady Haughton (who made four tackles last week) are two Lancers worth noting on the roster.
While the Lancers’ offense has yet to produce much on paper, there are still some shiny pieces within the rebuilding program. Proven running backs Hayden Falley and Jack Reeves will be two key offensive weapons accompanying senior starting quarterback Luke Pearcy.
Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. at LHS.