Piper outlasts Lansing
By Ian Stanford The Leavenworth Times
Lansing showed Friday that flashy offense can't always trump turnovers, poor defense and leaky special teams.
It was a cocktail of the three that put the Lions in a 24-point hole at halftime.
They stormed back in the second half, cutting Piper's lead down to 10 with nine minutes remaining, but that was as close as it would get.
Following Khalil Bailey's fifth touchdown catch that made it 50-40, Piper embarked on a penalty-extending six-minute touchdown drive to bring it to a 16-point game.
Lansing then gave it up on downs on a last-gasp drive that would've required a score, a successful onside kick, another score, plus two two-point conversions just to tie.
Piper went on to win 56-40.
“This is going to be a huge turning point for us [one way or the other],” said Lansing head coach Bill Pekarek. “Our guys have to suck it up and people need to start producing. We didn't have a good practice Wednesday and you've got to come ready to play every time out.”
Lansing spotted Piper two first-half touchdowns on Krystian Abbott interceptions. Both were on underneath routes that Piper's defense jumped. Both were returned for touchdowns.
The Lions were able to fix their offense by cutting out that part of the playbook and relying even more on Bailey, who had a career day and continues to top himself every week.
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