St. James stays alive with win over Lansing
By Derek Helling The Leavenworth Times
The Class 5A East regional playoff game went according to plan for the first few minutes on Friday night in Lansing for the varsity football team from Lansing High School.
Unfortunately from that point forward, the visiting Thunder of St. James Academy were able to use big plays on offense and defense to roll to a 41-20 win and end the Lions’ season.
“I’m disappointed for our kids,” Lansing head coach John McCall said. “St. James did a great job. We just didn’t execute as well we had to in order to win a game of this magnitude or play mistake-free football. Our kids were playing hard and trying.”
The Lions received the opening kickoff and true to their game plan, ate up nearly seven minutes of game time with 12 plays to go 56 yards and take a 7-0 lead on an eight-yard touchdown run by junior Quinton McQuillan.
Lansing’s defense was similarly impressive early, forcing a punt on St. James’ first possession and holding the Thunder without a single yard of offense through the first quarter of play.
As the second quarter began, the Lions were trying to protect their 7-0 lead, and that effort fell short quickly. St. James tied the game with a 27-yard touchdown pass play with 10:39 left before half time.
The Thunder forced a quick punt, then capped off their next drive with a 20-yard touchdown pass. After the missed extra point, St. James held a 13-7 lead with 5:01 left in the second quarter.
It was at that point that big plays created by the Thunder swung the momentum of the game their way. St. James blocked a McQuillan punt attempt, advancing the ball to the Lansing 7-yard line. On the next play, the Thunder took a 20-7 lead with 2:30 left in the first half.
Lansing responded with a quick touchdown drive, capped off by a three-yard senior Steve Ray run, to narrow the score back down to 20-13 after a missed extra point kick.
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