Lansing cruises past Tonganoxie

By Derek Helling The Leavenworth Times
Posted: September 19, 2015 - 12:52 AM

All that the Lansing High School varsity football team needed to spoil Tonganoxie High School's homecoming game was a few big plays from senior running back Steve Ray.

Both offenses were stagnant through much of the first half, hampered by penalties and a lack of running room. Tonganoxie was able to drive all the way down to the Lansing 2-yard line, but turned the ball over on downs there. The game was dominated by the defenses, that was, until Ray made his first big play.

"We were shooting ourselves in the foot in the first quarter," Lions' head coach Jim McCall said. "We just couldn't get out of the hole. Steve Ray is a big play guy for us. We like to get a good look at what is going on with the defense and get him the ball in the right situation."

With 3:38 left in the first half, Ray found a seam in the formerly stalwart Chieftains' defense and took the ball 47 yards to put the Lions on the board. A successful extra-point kick made the score 7-0.

After Lansing forced Tonganoxie to punt, the Lansing started its next drive at its own 45. Three plays later, Ray took a pass from senior quarterback Nick Redwine 40 yards to the Chieftains' 12 yard line. Two plays later, junior Jalen Douglas carried the ball into the Tonganoxie end zone with Ray right behind him. Another extra point kick sailed true, and with just under 40 seconds left to play in the half, the Lions led 14-0.

"Our kids played well except for two plays in the first half," Chieftains' head coach Al Troyer commented.

Lansing was able to expand upon its halftime lead after forcing another Tonganoxie punt to begin the second half. With 9:43 left in the third quarter, Lions' junior Quinton McQuillan went 30 yards after breaking a few would-be tackles to find the end zone. Ray wasn't done, however, and neither was Lansing.

On 3rd-and-7 from the Tonganoxie 35-yard line, Redwine again found Ray, who had beaten the Chieftains' defense and made the catch for a 22-yard gain. On the next play, De'Waun Wilkes took the ball into the end zone to give the Lions a 28-0 lead with 5:44 left in the third quarter. The score would remain that way through the rest of the third quarter of play.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, another promising Chieftains' drive was ended by a stellar defensive play by Lansing. A pass by Tonganoxie junior Jordan Brown was intercepted by Lions' senior Dylan Lough, and two plays later Lansing made Tonganoxie pay an even higher price for the turnover. McQuillan broke through the Chieftains' defense again, this time for 78 yards to put the Lions up 35-0 with 10:49 left to play.

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