Ravens finally fly to victory

Sean Kosednar/PrepsKC

By Sean Kosednar PrepsKC staff writer
Posted: September 22, 2016 - 9:52 PM

Shawnee Mission North welcomed Sunflower League opponent Olathe Northwest on Thursday September 21. In a back and forth game that saw 10 points scored in the last 23 seconds the Ravens came out on top with a 25-22 win.

After allowing the game tying score with 23 seconds left, the Olathe Northwest raven didn't quit. The Raven took over around midfield after and onside kick went out of bounds. Junior wide receiver was able to get behind the defense and haul in a 40 yard pass from Easton Crupper. To set up the game winning field goal. A good snap was held perfectly by Jackson Butler who more than made up for fumbling a hold at the end of the first half. Senior kicker David Boschma finished the play off by smashing the ball through the uprights.

“They are all interesting,” Olathe Northwest head coach Chip Sherman said. “We have had an overtime, double overtime, and last week the game ended with the ball at the one. Finally some good things happened for those kids.”

After a touchback on the opening kickoff, the Indians started on a 24 play marathon. Senior Will Schneider expertly moved SMN down the field. There were no big plays, but the Indians couldn't be stopped.

“We just converted on fourth downs,” Shawnee Mission North head coach Ben Bartlett said. “We didn’t have any penalties or anything that broke us down. They did a good job of stopping our run so we had to turn to the pass, and we did a really good job of executing plays.”

They converted four fourth downs on the drive including a 4th and 11 that set up the  touchdown. The scoring play was a microcosm of the opening drive. Schneider took the snap and rolled to his right, but was met by a Raven defender. He then scrambled back to the middle keeping his eyes down field the whole time. Schneider directed his receiver right where he wanted him and fit a pass into Noah Laird as he was surrounded by 3 Ravens. The drive took 9:14 off the clock and made the score 8-0 North.

“[Schneider] is a great leader on this team,” Bartlett said. “He pushes us to succeed. He got us back in the game. He got the right blocking he need and got some great catches. It’s eleven guys out there and he is the one leading them.”

Northwest wouldn’t have to wait long to respond. Senior Elijah Roland muffed the ensuing kickoff at the ONW 20. The coverage team got too deep and after Roland picked up the ball he was by everyone. Roland raced down the right sideline before finally being pulled down on the 9 yard line. On their first play from scrimmage the Ravens tied the game up on a toss to Charlie Pfister. Only 21 seconds operated the scores. It wouldn’t be the last time that happened.

That would be it for the scoring the first half. After trading punts to open the second half Northwest found themselves inside the Indians’ 15.  The Ravens lined up for a field goal which was nearly blocked. In an attempt to block the kick the SMN defender crashed into the holder and kicker drawing a penalty. The reprieve allowed the Ravens to punch in another short touchdown. Olathe Northwest would take the 15-8 lead into the fourth quarter.

Things looked to be locked up for the Ravens with eight minutes left. Pfister took the handoff and surprised everyone in the stadium when he stood up to pass and found Maxwell Donahue wide-open for a 35 yard touchdown extending the lead to 22-8.

“We got up 16 and we got relaxed,” Sherman said, “and you can’t do that.”

North’s offense found a groove on their next drive. They started with three straight 10 yard runs straight up the middle by Marcos Garcia.

“It makes you question what could have happened if he got him in a little sooner,” Barlett said. “He is building confidence on what has been a bum hamstring. He is healthy but is still testing out what he can do.”

A long catch and run had the Indians on the seven yard line. Schneider showed off his touch passing on the next play lofting a perfectly thrown pass to Billy Conway. The touchdown cut the lead to 22-14.

After forcing a punt, North took over on their own three yard line. After a few successful plays got the Indians out of the shadow of their end zone, Schneider hooked up with Trevon Kleint for a 40 yard bomb. The long pass got the Indians to 27 with 72 seconds left. Schneider completed a couple of passes. With the clock ticking down, Schneider scrambled for the pylon and was met by three defenders forcing the senior quarterback out at the 1. Schneider took the QB sneak on the next play and just like that North was only down two. A penalty for too many men on the field moved the ensuing two point conversion back five yards. Schneider took the snap and cooly play actioned. Then he looked up and hit Conaway on the slant to tie the game at 22.

After the loss coach Bartlett told his team they wouldn’t let this loss break them down.

“We let some things slip and there are some things we need to learn from,” Bartlett said. “A loss like this can divide us or we can use it to learn something.”

Next week Olathe Northwest is home to Leavenworth, while Shawnee Mission North takes on Shawnee Mission East on Friday September 30.