Olathe East earns two-part win over Northwest

Jeff Stead/PrepsKC

By Jim Bradford PrepsKC Staff Writer
Posted: September 11, 2010 - 10:45 PM

It’s never easy getting up for a football game just 15 hours after another one just ended, even if it is for just one half.

But Olathe East was able to make the adjustment — to play being suspended and to their opponents, Olathe Northwest.


The game was just starting to get good Friday night when the rain and lightning rolled into the College Boulevard Activity Center.


East was lining up for the extra point when the lightning started. Play was suspended for about 45 minutes before the game was postponed. Play resumed Saturday and over the final two quarters, it was all East.


“There really was no difference,” East senior Austin Fulson said. “We just came out to play.”


The Hawks won 21-7 to move to 2-0 on the season, setting up an epic battle with fellow undefeated Sunflower League mate Olathe North next Friday night.


“It’s tough getting back up to play,” said East head coach Jeff Meyers. “It’s like you’re getting ready for a Saturday morning scrimmage, or something like that.


“But we were able to refocus. We talk about distractions and talk about your ultimate distractions, lining up for an extra point to start things off today.”


East rode the hot hand of Austin Fulson, who rushed for 148 yards and three touchdowns as the Hawks remained undefeated (2-0) in league play.


“He is looking really strong right now,” Meyers said. “He’s running with power and (along with Brandon Willingham) gives us a great 1-2 punch.”


Willingham was the ying to Fulson’s yang Friday night and Saturday morning. He ended up with 121 rushing yards in the win.


“I think it does give us an advantage,” Fulson said of the two-headed monster in the backfield. “We are both able to contribute.”


It was the second straight week that both backs eclipsed 100 yards on the ground.


“We feel really good about our backfield,” Meyers said. “We were able to go inside and outside and when you are able to do that, things start to click and that’s what happened.”


While East’s offense was on their way to 326 yards of offense, the Hawks defense was establishing itself, especially on Saturday morning.


“Defensively, we really played well. We played aggressive and physical.” Meyers said.


Northwest, a 41-14 winner last week, was able to muster only 36 yards rushing and 117 yard through the air, but most of that came after they fell behind by 14 late in the third quarter.


Neither team did much offensively in the first quarter, but as the seconds ticked away, Northwest started to put together it’s first legitimate drive of the night. Then, on the first play of the second quarter, Ryan Lundgren hit Nick Bandy for a 14-yard touchdown. Bandy made an outstanding one-handed catch on the play, catching the ball over his left shoulder, diving toward the corner of the end zone.


Lundgren would leave late in the second quarter with an injury, giving way to junior Corey Kipp.


The Hawks weren’t down long. After a touchback on the ensuing kickoff, Fulson took toss from Trent Kuhl on the right, caught the end and ran untouched down the sideline for a touchdown.


The Hawks took the lead with 2:10 to play in the opening half, capitalizing on a Ravens turnover. East’s Brooks Smith jumped on a loose ball at the Hawks 31-yard line setting up the scoring drive. After the fumble, East methodically made their way down the field, with Fulson scoring on a 1-yard run. The touchdown capped a 69-yard, 15-play drive.


The Hawks final score came midway through the third quarter as Fulson scored his third touchdown of the game on a 6-yard run.


The East win was the seventh straight over Northwest, who fell for 1-18 all-time against Olathe schools since their inception in 2004.

Box Score

Olathe Northwest
Olathe East