Sideline Pass: Jim Bradford 9/9

Jim Bradford

By Jim Bradford PrepsKC Staff Writer
Posted: September 9, 2010 - 7:27 PM



There was something eerily familiar about the Eagles first play form scrimmage Friday night.

 

As the Eagles opened defense of their 2009 Kansas Class 6A state title, there were plenty of questions.

 

Gone were almost the entire offensive and defensive lines from the 2009 team, along with the starting quarterback and the school’s all-time leading rusher, James Franklin.

 

Yep, the Eagles were supposed to fall back to earth in 2010. They were supposed to come back to the pack.

But something else happened on the way to their season opening win over Shawnee Mission West, a 29-22 win that was a bit more lopsided than the final score might have indicated.

 

The Eagles held West to a three-and-out on their first series. Then took the punt at their own 23-yard line.

One play later, they were up 7-0.

 

For long-time Eagles fans, it was a scene they are very, very familiar with.

 

What I saw in one play was something I had thought about for days, but didn’t realize until that instant.

When Adonis Saunders took that handoff a simple sprint draw to the right and scampered 77 yards for a score, it was then that thoughts of an inexperienced 1997 Olathe North team came rushing back.

 

Yeah, 1997. Thirteen years ago. I know it’s been a while since then, but the resemblances are uncanny.

In 1996, the Eagles finally broke through, winning their first-ever state title. They also lost a bunch of players from that team.

 

When camp opened in the summer of 1997, there were all sorts of questions. The line was decimated. They lost their starting backfield and their quarterback was a part-time starter in 1996.

 

Sound familiar?