Free State holds off Olathe North
By Adam Sullivan PrepsKC staff writer
The magic Gene Weir has been known for at Olathe North nearly made a comeback at Free State High on Friday night, but the Eagles fell short 34-28 to Lawrence Free State.
Free State struck first with four minutes, 30 seconds remaining in the first quarter as Kyle McFarland connected with Blake Winslow for a 13-yard touchdown pass.
Olathe North would fire back after Kai Rowden intercepted McFarland, Eagle running back Venus Triplett broke free the very next play for a 63 yard touchdown run tying things at 7 a piece with 4:55 left in the half.
McFarland would make up for his earlier mistake on the next Firebird drive as he lead Free State down the field capped off on a 29 yard touchdown run by McFarland giving Free State a 14-7 lead at the half.
Starting out the second half Free State would take the largest lead of the game after a fumbled punt from Olathe North set up a five yard touchdown run by Khadre Lane giving Free State a 20-7 lead as Free State appeared to be pulling away from Olathe North. However as we’ve seen time and time again from the Eagles and coach Weir the fight was not over. Olathe North closed the gap as Triplett found the endzone for the second time on the night this time from six yards out making it 20-14 with 11:50 left in the game.
On the following Free State drive, McFarland fumbled at his own 16-yard line covered up by the Eagles giving them first and ten in Free State territory. That old magic from Weir was starting to sweep the stadium, and the home side of the stands started to get quiet. Olathe North took their first lead of the night on a one yard touchdown run by you guessed it Venus Triplett putting Olathe North ahead 21-20 with 9:32 left in the game.
As Free State tried to regain some composure McFarland missed an option pitch to running back TJ Cobbs setting up another Olathe North first down in Free State territory. With five minutes left in the game North quarterback Dontez Sanchez found Jake Reed on a touchdown pass giving the Eagles a 28-20 lead.
Free State fans started having flashbacks from the week before where Free State dropped a late lead to Olathe South 38-35, but tonight McFarland would redeem himself. McFarland, who was intercepted in the end zone last week to end the game with a loss, would make the same throw tonight but found a Firebird receiver in the end zone with four minutes left. After a successful two-point conversion where McFarland found Tye Hughes we were all tied at 28.
Olathe North would have a chance to move the ball down with little time left in the game, but two personal fouls backed the Eagles up 30 yards forcing them to punt. After a muffed punt Free State would get the ball back with a little over a minute left at the Olathe North 30 yard line. McFarland would continue to impress as he helped the Firebirds take a 34-28 lead with: 40 seconds left in the game.
Olathe North had one last chance to make some magic happen, but a deep pass from Sanchez was intercepted by Free State icing the win for the Firebirds.
With the win Free State goes to 3-1 and will head to SM North next week, while Olathe North drops to 0-4 and hosts Leavenworth.
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