Sideline Pass: Jim Bradford 12/13
By Jim Bradford PrepsKC Senior Writer
It was a a perfect day for a perfect team.
It’s not often that a team can run the table in Class 6A. A team needs to catch all the breaks, find a way to win an ugly game or sneak away with a win every once in a while.
Or just be downright dominant all year long.
Shawnee Mission East was the latter. And thensome.
Long after the stands had cleared and the photos were taken on the field. Long after the busses rolled away and long shadows drenched Jones Field in Emporia, the Welch Stadium scoreboard said best. SM East 33, Hutchinson 14.
It was the culmination if a perfect season that these Lancers have been working towards for 13 weeks, getting ready for since the clocked hit double zeros last year and waiting on, well, forever.
Let this wash over you. The Shawnee Mission East Lancers are the Kansas Class 6A state football champions for the first time in school history.
“There’s not much going through my mind right now,” East junior fullback Wyatt Edmisten said. “We won. That’s about it.”
Yep, it’s that simple. The Lancers won and there were plenty of East fans in attendance to watch the monumental win. A capacity crowd numbering will into the thousands spilled out from the visiting stands well before the game began and most of them celebrated with the Lancers on the field after the win.
“I can’t say enough about this senior class and what they have meant to this school,” East head coach Dustin Delaney said. “We’ve gotten such great community support. It’s just amazing.
“It’s just a really great day for Shawnee Mission East.”
While the two teams battled back and forth, trading scores in the first half, this one was never really in doubt.
Even when the Salt Hawks took the lead 14-13 with eight minutes left in the second quarter, this one was never really in doubt.
All the Lancers did was turn up the defensive intensity, continue pounding the ball up the middle and score 20 unanswered points to win the state title going away.
“To hold a team like Hutch to just 14 points is pretty impressive,” Delaney said.
The Lancers did it their way in the state title game, just as they have done all year long. They have been a team that has no true star. The Lancers are a constellation.
“We are the definition of team,” Delaney said. “They don’t care who gets the ball. They just care who wins and we won 13 of them this year.”
It’s someone different every single game. One week it’s Edmisten — who went for 142 yards and three touchdowns to finish the season with 1,512 yards and 32 scores — the next week it’s Sam Huffman with 129 yards and two touchdowns in a semifinal game.
The final week it was Charley White with two fumble recoveries on defense and two touchdown receptions on offense.
“Someone steps up every week. It’s amazing,” said White.
“It’s all heart,” Edmisten said. “We all try as hard as we can and we don’t care who gets the credit as long as we win.”
The ones that should probably take some credit are the ones clad in light blue I the stands. For the second year in a row, the Lancer faithful packed the stands at the state title game.
“The community is on board with everything we are doing,” Delaney said. “And it’s just amazing.”
The fans got to see what they wanted this year — perfection.
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