Olathe East tops SM North for second win
By Nic Reese PrepsKC staff writer
It was all Olathe East on this picture perfect fall evening, from the very first play of the game to the final whistle, as they traveled to Shawnee Mission North and emerged victorious, 50-24.
The Hawks, who ran the ball on nearly every other play of the first half, opened the game with a 49 yard playaction touchdown pass, from quarterback Daulton East to running back Brett Kelsh.
"We ran a check with me, and saw something we liked, and we just wanted to come out and be aggressive," Olathe East head coach Jesse Owen said.
It certainly caught the Indian defense off guard. The onside attempt on the opening kickoff by SM North that preceded that play did not yield the same celebratory results for the Indians. A tale of two plays.
The chicanery continued throughout the night, as the teams traded off failed fourth down attempts for a majority of the game. One of the few conversions on the night came on a well-executed fake punt that saw Shawnee Mission North junior running back Marcos Garcia shimmy his way for a first down.
"It's hard with everything they do," Owen told me when I asked him how he helped his kids prepare for the upcoming shenanigans. "They're good at it. Credit to (SM North head coach) Bartlett and some of that stuff he draws up."
But it was Olathe East's Brett Kelsh who was the star of this game, getting the job done both through the air and on the ground, as he and East both added a rushing touchdown in the opening stanza, while the Hawks cruised to a 22-6 halftime lead.
North quarterback Will Schneider led the Indians on a touchdown drive to open up the second half, finding Taylor Knowles for a 38 yard touchdown to cut the lead down to 10. But the Hawks responded immediately, pounding their way down the field behind their strong running game, capping the drive with another TD run by the quarterback, East.
It was the next drive that really opened up the floodgates. Following a fourth down stop deep in their own territory, Hawks RB Alex Conley rumbled 82 yards down the field, before Kelsh once again punched it in from four yards out, making the score 36-12.
Kelsh wasn't done just yet though. He tacked on two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter, finishing the game with over 250 yards of total offense and four scores.
"Brett would be the first guy to credit his teammates," Owen gushed afterwards. "We tell everyone in our offense they're a blocker first, whether they're carrying out the fake or physically blocking."
The Olathe East defense yielded a couple of late touchdowns, but the damage had already been done - Multiple 4th down stops throughout the game, along with a fumble recovery on a kickoff and an interception from senior LB Nick Zinn on a tipped screen pass.
That ultimately proved to be too much for the Indians' spread attack, who was able to move the ball between the 30's, but struggled to convert once they neared the red zone while the score remained close. WR Parker Williamson was Schneider's favorite target on the night, reaching double digits in catches, and well over 100 yards receiving. However, it was his teammates Knowles, Dalton Morris, and Tyler Burnett that tasted the sweet nectar of the end zone in this one. Garcia also scored on a 12 yard run in the 4th to round out the scoring for North.
Olathe East improved to 2-2 on the season, winners of their last two, and host Shawnee Mission Northwest in what should be a competitive game next week. Shawnee Mission North drops to 1-3 and travels to Olathe Northwest in Sunflower league action next week.
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