Blue Valley ends Lawrence's perfect season
By Mike Lavieri PrepsKC staff writer
LAWRENCE — Almost a year to the date, 364 days to be exact, Blue Valley High saw its season end against Olathe North High.
On Friday night at Lawrence High, the Tigers set up a rematch with Olathe North in the Class 6A semifinals after dispatching the Lions 42-17, and ending Lawrence’s perfect season.
With starting running back AJ Totta out the remainder of the season with a leg injury, Will Evans stepped up in a big way, scoring twice from three and four yards out, while rushing for more than 200 yards. He would have had a third score if not for a holding penalty.
Quarterback Colton McCumber said it’s sad to see Totta on cruches, but has all the faith in Evans.
McCumber finished with three touchdown passes, two to Taylor Debey and one to Gus Gomez.
“(Lawrence was) on me with the read option,” McCumber said. “I kept giving it to my back and it worked out well. I threw it when I had to.”
The defense also did its part in keeping JD Woods and Alan Clothier in check all night, rarely giving up the big play.
However, Clothier was able to spring for a 93-yard run thanks to a fake handoff to Woods. Two plays later, Woods found the end zone to tie the game at 7. Clothier also ran for a 74-yard touchdown when the Tigers led by 25 points.
That’s as close as Lawrence would get as BVHS rattled off 21-straight points, which included Jeff Gurley picking off Clothier and returning it 25 yards for a touchdown.
It was Clothiers only interception on the season.
Blue Valley coach Eric Driskell thought the defensive staff did a tremendous job preparing for tonight’s game.
“We knew Shawnee Mission North did some things offensively,” said Driskell, who has nothing to do with the defense. “We just knew we had to play fast; fly around and get a lot of hats to the ball.”
Wherever Woods went, there were defenders always on him.
Obviously Lawrence is disappointed in the outcome, but they can’t hang their heads on a 10-win season.
Lawrence coach Dirk Wedd said his team is a quality football team, especially for what it did in the Sunflower League.
The Lions had a difficult time gaining field position. The Tigers didn’t punt all night, but they did go for it deep in Lawrence territory and were stopped a few times on fourth down, but the Lions still had to go 70 to 80 yards to find pay dirt.
“We had never seen them in a 3-3 defense. We didn’t take a snap all week against a 3-3,” Wedd said, who took responsibility for that. “This late in the season, it’s pretty unusual for a team to be an even front and then go to a 3-3.”
That shocked Lawrence and they didn’t do a good job of adjusting Wedd said. He added Lawrence had dominated the line all year and Blue Valley was able counter, which didn’t give Woods, who Wedd thinks is the best back in the state, the holes he needed.
Lawrence High defeated Olathe North a few weeks ago, but that shouldn’t mean anything to Blue Valley. The Tigers know the Eagles are athletic and will be ready to play. Driskell is excited to have another week together with his team because he enjoys being with them.
“We’re looking for redemption,” McCumber said.
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