West crashes Olathe North's party
By Jim Bradford PrepsKC senior writer
Shawnee Mission West just wasn’t itself last week against Lawrence-Free State.
On Friday night, as Olathe North was honoring it’s 2002 state championship team, the Vikings felt just fine.
And looked pretty good, too.
The Vikings crashed the party Friday night at the Olathe District Activity Center, adding to the Eagles miseries with a convincing 38-7 win over the winless Eagles.
“We lost our poise last week,” said West head coach Tim Callaghan. “We got a bit too fancy with some things and stretched who we want to be.”
Brett Sterbach led the way with 238 yards on the ground as the Vikings rushed for 405 yards in improving to 2-1 on the season, while the Eagles managed to get on the board in the final seconds to avoid just the second shutout loss in school history.
“We came out last week and thought we could be Free State,” Sterbach said. “And they handed it to us.
“But that the difference between good teams and bad, we took the loss and improved. Now, we want to get better and better every week.”
The loss is the seventh in a row for the Eagles, easily their longest losing streak in school history.
“At the end of the day, a lot of teams have been on the other end of that score when they played Olathe North,” said North head coach Gene Wier. “If we don’t get it together, pick things up and stay focused a lot of teams are going to do (what West did tonight).”
West let the crowd there for the Eagles home opener know early that it was going to be all Vikings when they took their second drive of the game 72 yards down the field for a score. The methodic 15-play, 6:47 drive took the life out of the Eagles.
“They came out in a different defense than we had prepared for,” Callaghan said. “So to be able to put together a drive like that is pretty impressive. I thought the kids played smart and adjusted well.”
West’s Rob Rice capped that first drive with a 1-yard touchdown run.
They doubled that lead midway through the second quarter when Sterbach took an option pitch from AJ Verdini and went untouched around the left side for a 42-yard touchdown.
“He got the ball off just in time,” Sterbach said. “Then I got around the corner and there was no one there. I saw green and ran as fast as I could.”
The Vikings added one more score later in the second quarter when Rice hooked up with Andre Maloney on a 5-yard touchdown pass with just 17 seconds to play in the half.
The Eagles played the majority of the game with backup quarterback Dontez Sanchez after starter Cole Murphy went down with a shoulder injury just second into the second quarter.
“At the time it was a still a game,” Wier said. “That was not the determining factor in the game, but we did have to make some adjustments.”
Venus Triplett came close to his first 100-yard game, but came up six yards short, going for 94 yards on 18 carries. The Eagles finished with just 234 yards of total offense, but many of those came after West had hung 30 on the board.
West added a touchdown off of a North fumble at the late in the third quarter on a Sterbach 1-yard plunge. Joey Reed added a 27-yard field goal and Tory Powell capped the West scoing with an 86-yard touchdown run with 4:31 to play.
The Eagles lone score came with 17 seconds to play when Sanchez hooked up with Josh Moore from 15 yards out.
The Eagles came into the game on the heels of a 30-7 loss to SM East where the Eagles had just 99 yards on the ground and just 191 yards of total offense.
West come in off of a loss, as well, losing 28-14 to Lawrence-Free State at home.
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