One more time with more on the line

Nick Smith/PrepsKC

By Jim Bradford PrepsKC Senior Writer
Posted: November 22, 2013 - 7:23 AM



In week 4, Shawnee Mission East traveled to Olathe to take on Olathe North running on adrenaline.
 
They had just knocked off Olathe Northwest on a Hail Mary and the 27-22 win propelled East to 3-0 and had them believing.
 
East then picked up their fourth straight win and second straight nail biter when they scored in the final minute to knock off North.
 
Since that week No. 4 matchup, both teams have lost just once and now find themselves up one game away from a state title game appearance.
 
The big question now is whether East will make their first-ever state title game or will North advance to their 10th state title game appearance in the last 18 years?

 
East took care of Olathe East 20-13 Friday night in impressive fashion, completely dominating time of possession in the first half — allowing the Hawks to have the ball for just more than four minutes.
 
It was ball-control offense at its best for a team that has been running a ball-control offense to perfection all year, on their way to a 10-1 record.
 
“We are all so happy,” East senior Ryan Clark said. “We’ve wanted it so bad. All of our hard work is finally paying off.”
 
For North, it’s been all about their defense. Aside from an aberration for a quarter and a half against Gardner-Edgerton in week 8 and a few hiccups Friday night in a come-from-behind 22-18 win over Lawrence-Free State, North has been nearly flawless on defense since losing to East in week four. They held four of their final seven opponents to seven points or less.
 
Something has to give on Friday night in this Class 6A semifinal set for 7 p.m. at Shawnee Mission North District Stadium.
 
Will it be the ball-control offense or the stingy defense?