Sideline Pass: Jim Bradford 9/9

Jim Bradford

By Jim Bradford PrepsKC Senior Writer
Posted: September 9, 2011 - 7:52 AM



There were more than a few new faces on the field for the Olathe North Eagles last Friday night.
 
A pair of new running backs, a new quarterback and a handful of new players on both the offensive and defensive lines had the North faithful holding their collective breath.
 
North fans are used to certain things. They’ve been spoiled over the years. They’ve seen some of the best running backs the state has produced walk through their halls and burst through wide-open holes along the offensive line.
 
And even when there were some new faces on the field, they were faces that had been biding their time, waiting for their chance to shine.
 
But this year was different. This year, they had two senior running backs that were nowhere to be found until midway through their junior seasons when they transferred to North.
 
The results? Well, you can probably guess. Second verse, same as the first.
 
As many people saw on Friday night, the Eagles just kept on rolling — at the expense of Olathe East, their bitter cross-town rival.
 
But before I get to carried away here, lets take a step back.
 
While the new-look Eagles are surely a nice story, the one developing on the other side of the field was a bit more intriguing.
 
After North went up 22-0 midway through the second quarter Friday night against East, something happened. Something that the Hawks need to watch, evaluate and dissect thoroughly over the next few days.
 
They started to get to the Eagles, but not in typical East fashion. They took to the air. The most impressive part about it was the fact they did it with a rookie starter.
 
John Blazevic — younger brother of former North quarterback David Blazevic — started hooking up with Chad Johnson. The first came from 77 yards out, then from 31 yards out. Both resulted in East touchdowns and a 22-0 North lead was whittled down to 22-14.
 
John Blazevic finished 10-of-19 for 198 yards and two touchdowns. Johnson caught eight of those passes for 155 yards.
 
It may just be week 1, but this might be something to keep an eye on. These two might just be forging a bit of a bond. Look out Sunflower League, if the Hawks decide to hang their hat on this one, things could get interesting.
 
Wide receiver screens, quick outs, fades or whatever they need, Johnson looks like he might be the perfect compliment to returning wide out Junior Williams on the other side.
 
Johnson’s 31-yard catch was a thing of beauty Friday night.
 
“(Chad) had a great game,” said East head coach Jeff Meyers. “He stepped up big when we needed him to.”
 
The senior ran a post route down the sideline, went up in double coverage and brought down the touchdown catch.
 
Blazevic threw a perfect ball on that play too, even after bobbling the snap and holding it against his leg while back peddling in the pocket.
 
It was as pretty of a play as you will see all year, let alone on opening night.
 
So, who knows what the Hawks will do. Maybe they will feed Williams in the future. Maybe they will feed the ball to Williams and Johnson.
 
Whatever they do, they might be wise to keep a little air under the ball. That just might be the key to their next eight games.