Rain postpones several northern games

By Andrew DeWitt The St. Joseph News-Press
Posted: November 7, 2011 - 11:20 PM

KEARNEY, Mo. — The same torrential rains that terrorized the first round of the playoffs returned Monday night.

This time around, a trio of local sectional games were postponed due to lightning and/or adverse field conditions. Hamilton and Lawson’s Class 2 game made it to the second quarter, while officials called off Class 4’s Kearney-Savannah matchup midway through the first. The Class 1 sectional between KCI Conference rivals West Platte and East Buchanan never started.

All three will be resumed tonight.

Kearney led Savannah 7-6 with less than two minutes remaining in the first quarter. Officials waited through multiple lightning delays intending to resume before finally making the decision to postpone shortly after 9 p.m. with standing mud puddles stretched from the 25-yard line to the 45-yard line on both sides of the natural grass field at Kearney High School.

The game will be resumed at 6 p.m. today with Kearney stuck in a third-and long-situation.

Kearney administration suggested the game will be moved to an artificial turf facility today with Excelsior Springs High School, Smithville High School and William Jewell College being discussed as potential locales.

The winner of the Kearney-Savannah matchup will play Harrisonville in the quarterfinals. The Wildcats beat Hannibal 21-7 on Monday night.

Kearney took an early lead on senior running back Morgan Fitzgerald’s 55-yard touchdown run by. It appeared the Savannah defense swarmed toward Fitzgerald but didn’t wrap up the elusive 5-foot-9 back, who escaped the Savages defense and streaked through the mud puddles for a 7-0 lead.

Shortly after a 45-minute delay, Savannah quarterback Blake McFadden found Blake Deal deep on a streak route for a 39-yard touchdown pass. The snap was fumbled on the extra-point attempt, and Andy Meyers’ kick didn’t make it to the goal posts.

“We were playing well pretty defensively,” said Savannah coach Mark Cole, whose Savannah team seeks revenge after it lost to Kearney 17-9 in last year’s regional game. “I feel like we answered very well. I feel like we answered adversity, and we answered the weather; its a shame that we have to come back.”

The weather story was the same just up the road in Lawson.

Hamilton and the host Cardinals made it 2 minutes into the second quarter before lightning forced the teams off the field, and after a 45-minute delay, the game was postponed in a scoreless tie that had already featured three fumbles.

The game will be resumed Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Lawson High School.

Hamilton’s leading rusher Derrick Hughes returned to the field after leaving Wednesday’s sectional in an ambulance with a neck injury. The junior running back was questionable to return against Lawson, and Hamilton coach Dave Fairchild showed a little gamesmanship, leaving Hughes out of the announced starting lineup.

Hughes, however, started and received the first carry of the game.

Hamilton forced Lawson into a three-and-out on its first possession before driving all the way down inside the Cardinals’ 20-yard line when freshman Kellen Overstreet coughed up the ball and Lawson jumped on it.

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