Sideline Pass: Jim Bradford 9/26
By Jim Bradford PrepsKC Senior Writer
For most of last Friday evening Shawnee Mission East and Olathe Northwest put on a show that only a mother would love.
The two teams combined for nine turnovers in the first three quarters and nine minutes. Aside from a couple of big plays, the week 3 match up of teams searching to establish a new identity was just flat ugly.
But the final three minutes was magnificent and could very well decide the fate of two teams as the heart of the season beckons.
The Lancers 27-22 win on a last-second Hail Mary from 36 yards out propelled East to 3-0. The devastating loss dropped the Ravens to 1-2 on the season under new head coach Chip Sherman — the same Chip Sherman that coached at SM East last season.
The final drive started with just 30 seconds on the clock and at the Lancers own 25-yard line. A few out routes to the sidelines got the Lancers within striking distance, setting up the miraculous final play.
A 78-yard fumble return by East’s Sam Williams put East up 21-14 with 2:32 to play.
Northwest took just two minutes to march down the field and score what looked like the equalizing touchdown on a 7-yard pass from Cole Dahlquist to Chase Gitlin. A Gutsy two-point conversion put Northwest up 22-21 with 30 seconds to play.
While the final three minute was fun to watch, it will be a tough one for Sherman and the Ravens to bounce back from and might just be the propellant that Dustin Delaney and the Lancers need to re-establish themselves in a suddenly wide-open Sunflower League race.
The difference between a pair of middle of the pack 2-1 teams that are on the verge of pushing the top tier in the league and a 3-0 team and a 1-2 team is a tipped ball. You really can’t say that any team really won or lost this game. It’s just a notch in the win or loss column really. I mean, it was absolute, unbridled luck that has East 3-0.
This type of finish can deflate a team and inflate another at the same time.
It doesn’t matter than East was within an eyelash of an ugly home loss. The confidence it gets from a ball that just happened to drop into Alec Dean’s hands will carry this team for a while.
It doesn’t matter than Northwest had East on the ropes and if not for a lucky pass than hit three Ravens defenders before coming to rest in the hands of a Lancer receiver may just set Northwest back a bit. It shouldn’t because they have nothing to be ashamed about. They went toe-to-toe with the Lancers and nearly came out on top.
So goes the Hail Mary pass and how it will probably affect each team for a while.
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