SM West dominates Olathe East
By Jim Bradford PrepsKC Senior Writer
Shawnee Mission West had been playing pretty well during the first half of the season.
But they still really hadn’t put it all together in all three phases of the game.
Until Friday night.
The Vikings used a stingy defense, a well-balanced offense and near flawless special teams play on their way to a convincing 42-14 win over Olathe East at the College Boulevard Activity Center Friday night.
The win moved the Vikings to 5-1 on the season and gave them a load of confidence heading into the first week of district play next week.
“We definitely got a lot of confidence out of this game,” West quarterback Adam Rellihan said. “We beat a good football team tonight. The score really doesn’t tell you how good they are, so that definitely gives us a lot of confidence.”
The balanced attack on offense is something they have been looking for all year and they got it on Friday, throwing for 208 yards and rushing for 277. Not bad for a team that has been hanging its hat on a solid running game all year.
“We’ve been wanting to get the passing game going a bit more,” West head coach Tim Callaghan said. “I thought we did a good job of mixing it in there tonight.”
The Vikings hopped out to a 21-0 lead in the first half and never looked back. East pulled to within 14 at the half, but never got closer as West scored on the first drive of the second half, then, when East answered, added another couple of touchdowns for good measure.
In addition to being well-balanced on Friday, the Vikings were a model of consistency in the second half, scoring on three straight possessions by eating up four minutes and change each time. Just to capped the four-minute theme on Friday, the Vikings got the ball back one last time — with 4:14 to play — before running out the clock.
“It’s nice to be able to open things up a bit and really nice to be able to go downfield to someone like (Israel) Watson,” Rellihan added. “We were getting chunks of yards and he was dragging people down the field.”
Watson had three catches for 105 yards and a touchdown.
Rellihan’s second touchdown pass of the game — a 40-yard swing pass to Nigil Houston, put the Vikings up 28-7.
East answered with a nice 11-play, 70-yard drive that was capped by a Brett Kelsh nine-yard touchdown run.
West answered with a one-yard scoring run by Rellihan and a 26-yard run to cap the scoring by Alec Green.
The difference in the two teams on Friday was simple for East first-year head coach Jesse Owen.
“Speed and missed tackles,” Owen said. “They are a heck of a team and Tim dopes such a great job with them.
“We just cannot afford to miss tackles, miss assignments like we did tonight.”
The Vikings got on the board first — and it didn’t take them long. After the Hawks went three and out on their first possession, used all of 18 seconds to go 58 yards in two plays to take a 7-0 lead. A Rellihan to Watson 37-yard completion was followed up by a 26-yard touchdown run by Nigil Houston on the very next play.
The doubled their lead just a few minutes into the second quarter when Houston went in from seven yards out, capping a nine-play, 51-yard drive.
That lead swelled to 21-0 fur minutes later when Rellihan hooked up with Watson one more time. This time it came from 50 yards away. Rellihan hit Watson in side down the left side at the 10-yard line and the junior receiver carried two East defenders into the end zone for the score.
The Hawks used a little trickery to get on the board a couple of minutes later when backup quarterback Will Schofield took a toss to the right, pulled up and hit Tyjuan Lewis in the end zone for the score.
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