Sideline Pass: Jim Bradford 10/7
By Jim Bradford PrepsKC Staff Writer
What in the world just happened?
Just when everyone sort of had this whole thing figured out and just when the pieced were starting to fall into place — boom.
Forget everything you know about high school football. OK, that might be going a bit overboard, but I think you can get the point.
In the span of 30 minutes or son on Friday night, the Sunflower League standings — and state rankings for that matter — got a lot more confusing.
Two games in Lawrence made sure of that.
In the heart of the old part of town at the new stadium at Lawrence High School, the Lions pulled off one of the most shocking wins in recent memory, beating previously unbeaten Olathe East 27-21.
On the west side of town, at Lawrence-Free State, the Shawnee Mission East Lancers put on an equally impressive performance in taking out upstart Free State 28-21.
Suddenly, SM West sits atop the league standings and there are four teams with one loss and legitimate chances at league titles.
If the Vikings win out, they will be league champs. That’s the easy part. If Olathe East, Olathe North and SM East win out, there will be a four-way tie for the league title. Heck, if Lawrence can continue to play well and pull off a couple of upsets in district play, they could end up in that four-way tie in place of Olathe North. That’s the same Lawrence team that won one game last year. One game.
While everyone was watching Olathe East in awe just a few days ago — after a 25-0 win over Olathe North and a 62-6 win over Leavenworth — reality stepped in.
Suddenly, an Oct. 22 game between SM West and SM East becomes the biggest game of the year in the Sunflower League.
What an amazing little twist. I’m not sure anyone saw this one coming. Well, maybe a few people, but the way Olathe East was playing, it was difficult to imagine this happening.
While the Lions captured most of the Sunflower League spotlight with the upset win, one of the most impressive wins — aside from Olathe North’s nail-biter of a 76-0 win over Leavenworth — was the Lancers win.
The Lancers knocked off a very talented Free State team to improve to 4-1 on the season. They are now just three wins from tying a school record for wins in a season. Yep, you read that correct. The Lancers, who have been playing football since 1958, have never won more than seven games in a season and have finished a season above .500 just twice — 1992 and 2001 — since 1989.
The Lancers came into the game on the heels of a stinging 24-13 loss to Olathe North where they had a second-half lead.
They wanted to show everyone that they were for real and thanks to a balanced attack, led by quarterback John Schrock, the Lancers did just that.
“This was a huge win for us,” Schrock said after the game. “We felt like we shot ourselves in the foot last week (against North) and we wanted to come out here and let everyone know that we are here.”
Schrock remains the leading passer in the Sunflower League after going 18-for-24 for 193 yards. He now has 1,075 yards passing this year though five games.
In a suddenly wide-open Sunflower League race, try to forget the past and keep an eye on those Lancers. They just might have a chance at their first league title since 1966.
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