Aquinas tops Leavenworth to move to 5A semis
By Sam Sherman The Leavenworth Times
One look at the Leavenworth Pioneers football team as they trudged off the field Friday night proved the saying holds true.
All good things must come to an end.
Despite the triumphs, the district and playoff wins, the history — the end of Friday night's 27-7 loss to St. Thomas Aquinas High School was marked by helmets pointed at the field in silence or whispered pick-me-ups from other players.
After entering the locker room at halftime, the Pioneers had already dug themselves into a hole, losing 27-0 to the Saints without a single converted first down to their offense's name.
It was then, Littrell said, that he urged his team to forget the scoreboard and focus on the half still left to play.
"These kids, they battled," Littrell said. "We talked to them at halftime, 'Hey, let's win the second half.' ... We did, and I'm proud of them that they didn't give up.
"We had some nice stands down there with our defense on third- and fourth-down and short. I'm proud of what they did and I'm proud of the kids in that locker room."
The Pioneer offense that hadn't been held below 300 total yards since week six met its demise at the hands of a big, physical Saints defense.
From the first touch of the ball, Aquinas' defense was in rabid pursuit of senior running back Sanchez Williams, dog-piling him on nearly every run.
Williams, who had finished his last four games averaging 174 yards a game with 10 total touchdowns in the span, was held to 16 yards on eight carries.
It started and ended, Littrell said, with the play of the Saint's powerful defensive line.
"Their ends are really, really good players," Littrell said. "They strung it out and their linebackers came and filled and we just couldn't establish anything outside."
Leavenworth didn't find any true offensive success until they placed their faith on the shoulders of senior wide receiver Isaiah Ross, who scored the Pioneers' only touchdown of the night and rushed five times for 46 yards.
Senior quarterback Landry Hodges finished his night 9-14 for 49 yards, while senior wide receiver Juwan Potts totaled five catches for 35 yards to lead the team.
The run-reliant Pioneers didn't look to their air assault until the second half, and it was met with mixed results.
Three different players threw interceptions for Leavenworth, Hodges, Ross and junior running back Drew Sachen.
Yet, it wasn't until the Pioneers began throwing that they began moving the chains.
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