Sideline Pass: Jim Bradford 9/23
By Jim Bradford PrepsKC Senior Writer
A lot has happened since Olathe High School split in half in the fall of 1981.
Heck, Olathe is home to four high schools now, and the district broke ground on no. 5 (Olathe West) last month.
Plenty has changed over the years on the landscape of Olathe, and more importantly, on the football field.
And what a near capacity crowd was treated to on Friday night at the Olathe District Activity Center was quite possibly the best game between the original cross-town rivals.
It’s as simple as that.
There’s been more on the line when these two teams have met in the past. Trips to the state playoffs largely hinged on this very game for the better part of two decades. Heck, an early November matchup a few years ago decided who played in the Kansas Class 6A state title game.
The matchups in the late 90s and in the early 2000s, were some of the most fiercely fought and highly anticipated games across the Kansas City metro area, let alone in Olathe.
But having seen many, many of the 35 games between these two teams over the years — probably missing less than 10 of the matchups — I can honestly say that Friday’s game between the two teams was one of the best in the series.
It had it all.
South dominated the first quarter, jumping out in front 13-0.
North scored on the first play of the second quarter and knotted the score at 13 at the half.
The defenses took center state in the second half.
The closest South got to scoring came late in the third quarter when South got down as close as the Eagles’ 16-yard line. Two plays later North’s Chaz Burgess stepped in front of a Jake Seurer pass and intercepted it, ending the threat.
The final 24 minutes was like a game of chess with South’s Jeff Gourley and North’s Gene Wier moving the pieces.
Timely stops were the name of the game in the second half.
When the clock struck zeros, the game was still tied at 13 and the game was headed to overtime — for the first time in the series’ storied history.
Venus Triplett bulldozed in on third and goal to put North up by seven with the extra point. South answered on a six-yard run by Seurer.
Then Seurer went in from the 1, but the point after sailed wide.
About five minutes later, North, and its Homecoming crowd, was going nuts when Kevin Bustamante’s extra point split the uprights, slapping an exclamation point on the double-overtime victory.
It was an instant classic, to say the very least.
Best of all, it had the makings of an appetizer.
Since these two teams played in week 2, they are obviously not in the same district. They will both make it to the state playoffs and the chances of another 7,500 people packing themselves in to ODAC for another North-South game is a definite possibility.
I just hope it’s as good as round 1.
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