Preview: LHS hoping to remain unbeaten in Week 4 road test at Olathe East

photo by: Carter Gaskins/Special to the Journal-World

Lawrence Head Coach Clint Bowen paces the sideline early in the first quarter against Olathe South on Friday, Sept. 1, 2023.

It’s a quicker turnaround than usual for the Lawrence High football team this week, as the Chesty Lions travel to Olathe East on Thursday in hopes of sustaining their unblemished record.

After squeezing by winless Shawnee Mission East in double overtime, LHS (3-0) will be tasked with reestablishing its offensive prowess from its first two games against the Hawks, who are coming off a gritty 17-12 loss at Free State just last week.

LHS head coach Clint Bowen, well aware last week’s victory wasn’t the cleanest, said after the game that his team must learn no foe can be misevaluated. And with this week’s scouting report on O-East, the Lions have a clear idea of what to expect.

“This is a very talented (O-East) team,” Bowen said. “They may have the most talented team in the Sunflower League … In terms of talents and recruitable-type kids, they probably have more kids than anybody else … They’ve got a lot of kids on the field making plays for them.”

Bowen’s rave review of the Hawks is warranted, too.

O-East (1-2) does boast arguably some of the best athletes in the area, including senior defensive lineman and Minnesota commit Brett Carroll. In the Hawks’ secondary is senior safety/wide receiver and Division I prospect Gerard Reed III.

Offensively, the Hawks are rolling with third-year starting quarterback Jack Cornell. Familiar with Cornell, Bowen — whose team will face Cornell for a third consecutive year — said his defense is expecting a strong night from the proven gunslinger.

Last week at FSHS, Cornell finished the game completing just 12 of 20 passes for 102 yards.

“(Cornell) takes a lot of shots downfield and likes to air the ball out with a strong arm,” Bowen said. “He’s a capable scrambler and a very good high school quarterback that, obviously, understands what (O-East head coach Courtney Porter) wants out of their offense.”

Cornell has two key wideout targets in senior Norian Terrill and Carter Gooding, who combined for just under 100 yards receiving last week against FSHS. O-East can also turn to hard-nosed senior running back Jalen Proctor to stir up the ground game.

Taking on a flexbone offense last week, LHS struggled to combat the Lancers’ run game, which produced 201 total yards against LHS, and helped SM East erase a two-score deficit at the break. Additionally, the Lions will look to clean up their discipline after forfeiting 39 yards on five penalties last week against SM East.

Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. at the College Boulevard Activity Center.


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