SM East sets up rematch with Olathe North
By Sean Kosednar PrepsKC staff writer
The one loss Shawnee Mission East Lancers welcomed Blue Valley Northwest for a 6A Regional matchup. The Huskies qualified after winning two games in district play. East advanced after a 49-13 win.
The scoring started quickly. Quarterback Max Tierney found fellow senior Cooper Trusdale for a 30-yard touchdown on the fifth play of the game. After Tierney took the shotgun snap he rolled to his left. Trusdale got behind his defender and the quarterback dropped a pass right over the cornerback’s hands, and Trusdale was able to walk into the end zone. The score was set up by another Tierney-Trusdale connection on the first play from scrimmage.
“I thought our kids came out and played really hard,” Blue Valley Northwest head coach Mike Zegunis said. “They were really up for the game, and they wanted to prove that we belonged in the playoffs.”
Not to be outdone, East scored on their first possession as well. The Lancers got into position through a 51-yard run by senior running back Mike Bamford. Three plays later senior running back Jack Tyler punched in a one-yard touchdown.
Through the rest of the first quarter and most of the second the two teams traded fumbles and stalled drives. Until senior wide receiver Ben Nicholas broke free down the sideline for 30 yards and put East in scoring position. Luke Kaiser would score on a 6-yard quarterback keeper two plays later.
East looked to have the spark they needed with four minutes left in the half; three Lancers went untouched and converged on the Northwest quarterback sacking and stripping the ball at the Huskie 15 yard-line. However, he was ruled down and Northwest kept the ball. On the very next play, senior quarterback Jack Knutson threw a high arcing pass 45 yards to Conner Hall who beat his man and sped another 40 yards to the end zone. The ensuing PAT was blocked making the score 14-13.
The Lancers took over on their own 45 after the kickoff went out of bounds. A 20 yard pass and a 21 yard run got the Lancer in the red zone as the clock was winding down. With 10 second left the Lancers found themselves on the goal line. Wyatt Edmisten took the handoff up the middle and leaped over the pile and into the end zone.
“We didn’t play a bad first half,” Shawnee Mission East head coach Dustin Delaney said, “we gave up a couple of big plays, but other than that we didn’t play bad.”
The Shawnee Mission East defense locked down the Huskies holding them to zero points in the second half.
“[East] is a really good team,” Zegunis said. “They started figuring out what we are doing defensively and offensively, and they made some really good adjustments.”
The Lancers pulled away in the second half scoring four unanswered touchdowns on their first four possessions. The scoring was highlighted by the 44-yard run by Calvin Jones. It was a simple dive play, and East’s offensive line opened a huge whole that allowed Jones to speed untouched to pay dirt.
“It all starts with our O-line,” Delaney said, “and those guys were coming off the ball and moving people tonight. Everyone ran hard and the quarterback made good decisions.”
The win was just the first step in the Lancers’ ultimate goal.
“It doesn’t matter who we play in the quarterfinals,” Delaney said. “It’s going to be a great game and a great team. You have to take them one step at a time at this point because everyone is good.”
The Lancers will advance to play Olathe North Nov. 13 at the Olathe District Activities Center.
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