Olathe South outlasts Free State
By Adam Sullivan PrepsKC staff writer
Olathe South outlasts Free State
Not very often in high school football do you get a week three match up like this one. Both teams came in with a perfect 2-0 record and both teams were known for having electric offenses.
Neither Olathe South nor Free State disappointed on Friday night at Free State High School as Olathe South survived 38-35 against Free State.
“We wore ‘em down by the end of the night, we just outlasted them tonight.” South coach Jeff Gourley said.
After both teams started the night trading punts, Olathe South jumped on the scoreboard first, with five minutes, 24 seconds left in the first quarter Frank Seurer Jr. intercepted a pass from Kyle McFarland taking it 67 yards for a Falcon touchdown.
South would again capitalize on a McFarland mistake as Matt Elliott intercepted a pass with 4:30 remaining in the first quarter. A few South plays later and Seurer completed his only pass of the night hitting none other than Elliott for a 38 yard touchdown pass putting South up 14-0 with 1:15 left in the first. Seurer ended the night 1-4 with 38 yards passing one touchdown and 34 yards rushing.
McFarland could sense Free State needed to respond quickly and he needed to shake the two interceptions from his head. On the next Free State drive McFarland found Tye Hughes on a 40-yard bomb closing the gap to 14-7 with 9:54 left in the first half.
South wouldn’t go away easily however as the option attack led by running back Russell White had no problem moving the ball on Free State the whole night. With 5:34 left in the half White took a handoff 5 yards for a Falcon touchdown putting them ahead 21-7.
“My offensive line really made me look good tonight, they worked hard all week and really meant everything to me.” White said.
Free State wouldn’t back down against the defending state champs as they rallied from a 21-7 deficit and scored 14 straight points while only one minute came off the clock. The scoring started with a 10-yard touchdown pass from McFarland to Blake Winslow and exactly a minute later Free State defensive back Demarko Bobo intercepted a Seurer pass taking it 28 yards for a touchdown tying things at 21 with 1:58 left in the quarter.
Olathe South quickly marched down the field and took a 24-21 lead into the half on a 32-yard field goal by Logan Swartz.
“Logan was clutch tonight, it was a great kick that really gave us some momentum heading into half.” Gourley said about his kicker.
McFarland continued to fight for Free State, and in the second half they came out hot as he connected on several deep passes including a 34 yard pass to Winslow setting up a 8 yard touchdown run by TJ Cobbs giving Free State a 28-24 lead with 7:42 left in the third.
Momentum would continue to change hands in this game as South again marched down the field and White scored his second touchdown on the night off a 18 yard run putting South up 30-28 with 2:38 left in the third.
On the next possession Olathe South’s defense had a huge stand forcing Free State to a three and out punt giving South a chance to create some breathing room
As South was stalling on the next drive White again broke free for a 50-yard touchdown run giving South a 38-28 lead with 11:49 left in the game. White finished the night with 163 yards off 26 carries and three touchdowns.
“I challenged him to be a tougher runner, and so far this season he has really responded. He has amazing character and really leads this team.” Gourley said about Russell White.
McFarland showed great poise on the night as he quickly regrouped Free State and led them down the field connecting with Winslow on a 27 yard pass setting up another TJ Cobbs touchdown run this time from three yards away making the score 38-35 with 9:25 left.
With four minutes remaining in the game Free State’s defense made the stand of the game forcing a South turnover on downs off a fourth and one play. This gave Free State one more chance to pull the upset and take down the defending champs. McFarland again connected with Winslow quickly moving Free State into red zone territory with 2:15 left in the game. As McFarland dropped back for his last pass of the night he tried to find Sam Hearnen in the end zone, but South defender Chase Hanson intercepted McFarland sealing the win for Olathe South 38-35. McFarland finished the night 12-21 with 238 yards passing with two touchdowns and three interceptions.
“It was a fight all night and an amazing game, both came in perfect and we knew we wanted to be the one to walk away 3-0.” White said of the huge victory for South.
With the win Olathe South improves to 3-0 and will face Shawnee Mission East next week, Free State drops to 2-1 and meets Olathe North next week.
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