Upon Further Review: Adam Sullivan 10/26
By Adam Sullivan PrepsKC staff writer
As a high school football reporter I have the privilege of seeing many types of football games. Some blowouts, some are close, some have college bound players, and some have more passion than games on Sundays. Rarely though do we have a chance to witness one of those special games that stories are truly made of.
In my short time paying attention to the Sunflower League (about 12 years) I’ve only seen two of these special games in person. The first was a battle between Olathe North and Shawnee Mission North. Olathe North had won 36 straight games but the Indians came in to ODAC and beat the Eagles 7-6 off a late touchdown.
The second again had Shawnee Mission North but this time facing off against Blue Valley North in a match up of top 10 teams in the state. Blue Valley North jumped out to a 31-0 lead at the half only to see Shawnee Mission North come roaring back to score 35 unanswered points to win 35-31 off a last second touchdown run by Brad Fayard.
Now you may be thinking why am I bringing all this up? This Friday night we have another chance to witness a potentially special game between Lawrence and Lawrence Free State in the annual City Showdown.
Not only is it a heated rivalry, but a Sunflower League championship, district championship, and possible number one seed in the playoffs are on the line. This will be the 16th meeting between the two schools, but will by far be the biggest game of the series to date. Now what game could have so much hype without premier players? Lucky for you these schools are loaded with talent.
Free State is coming in 7-1 led by dual threat quarterback Kyle McFarland who has thrown for over 1000 yards this season. McFarland’s leading receiver is Tye Hughes who has caught six touchdowns on the season and has over 400 yards receiving.
On the other side of the city you have Lawrence High who also is sitting 7-1 and currently on a seven game winning streak. The Chesty Lions are lead by do it all player Brad Strauss who has produced video game numbers thus far. Strauss has thrown for 18 touchdowns and rushed for 13. Strauss has also produced two interceptions on the defensive side for Lawrence. The Lions also have a talented group of receivers and running backs in Erick Mayo, Tyrone Jenkins, and Drake Hofer.
Free State currently leads the all time series with Lawrence 8-7 despite getting shut out by Lawrence last season 20-0 in a game that kept Free State from advancing to the playoffs. Now with all of this being said I’m not promising a special game between these two, but I certainly wouldn’t bet against it.
One thing I can promise is it will be an electric atmosphere at Lawrence High on Friday night as both fan bases are sure to pack with house to capacity. So if you have nothing else to do Friday night, or you’re an avid high school football fan, head out to Lawrence High and watch these two heavyweights go at it. You never know you could end up telling stories about this game years later.
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Ruskin Golden Eagles
Olathe Northwest Ravens
Pleasant Hill Roosters
Oak Grove Panthers
Shawnee Mission West Vikings