SM West takes care of Leavenworth

By Alan Dale The Leavenworth Times
Posted: September 9, 2016 - 11:05 PM



To fight is to battle to survive and the Leavenworth High School football team appears to have that skill down pat.

Friday night, the Pioneers fell 40-17, to the No. 4 team in Class 6A, Shawnee Mission West as Pioneer Stadium, but not before showing that same feistiness they displayed a week earlier.

LVHS (0-2) and West started the game two hours earlier than scheduled in order to avoid a heavy thunderstorm that moved into the area around 8 p.m. as anticipated.

Against the Vikings, the Pioneers fell behind 34-0 at halftime, but never stopped playing with pride.

“Shawnee Mission West is a very good football team, a physical team and they have the luxury of playing a lot of guys just one way and we have to count on a lot of our guys to play both ways,” Leavenworth head coach Mark Littrell said. “Our kids battled and even in the first half we got dug in a hole and we just get give up those big plays on special teams and we have to get better at that. We work on it every day and we just have to do a better job with it.

“West is a physical, big team and we were undersized and our kids battled and fought hard.”

West (2-0) scored on the first play of the game, when Jason Meeker returned the opening kickoff 85 yards for a 7-0 lead 16 seconds into the contest.

The Vikings scored on their first four offensive possessions and were tough to stop thanks to the versatility of their athletic and sharp senior quarterback Zach Witters.

Witters threw three touchdown passes and ran in another one before the half as the Vikings took control.

“A lot of it we weren’t reading very well, but we came back out (after halftime) and started doing better at it and that’s what we have to start building on as a team,” senior nose guard Arik Parker said. “We have been out here working hard all summer. We just have to keep working.

“(Witters) is a really great quarterback and their whole team, they are really good. We had a rough first half, but the second half we came out with a lot more intensity and a better attitude.”

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