Olathe North runs over Lawrence Free State

By Brian Spano PrepsKC Staff Writer
Posted: October 22, 2010 - 12:04 AM

There was no secret to what the Olathe North Eagles were going to do offensively Thursday night. It was run, run and if that didn’t work, run.


Behind the dual-threat of quarterback Victor Simmons and running back Adonis Saunders, the Eagles dispatched of the Lawrence Free State Firebirds38-7 in a Class 6A, District 4 tilt at the Olathe District Activity Complex.


“They’re the ones we’re going to lean on, and our O-line has to be ready to go,” said North head coach Pete Flood of Simmons and Saunders. “This was a good win against a pretty good football team.”


A good win indeed. It upped the Eagles district record to 2-0, while the Firebirds fell to 1-1. North also improved to 7-1 overall and 5-1 in the Sunflower League. Free State stands 4-4 overall and 2-4 in the league.


Simmons got the ball rolling for the Eagles on its first drive. He scampered 80 yards down the right sideline to give North the 7-0 edge. From that point on, it was all Eagles, both offensively and defensively.


Tanner Gentry had a 47-yard run for a score. Then on one of the more exciting plays of the night, Simmons hit Gentry on a 34-yard touchdown. What made that play so special is that it was fourth and 13 from the Free State 34-yard line. Kicking a field goal or pooch punting was never an option according to Flood.


“We never talked about it,” he said. “We said hey, let’s take a shot here. That’s just outside the range of our kicker, and we weren’t going to punt. The defense was playing pretty good, so we threw up for Tanner, and he went up and got it.”


The other amazing stat about that pass is that it was only one of three attempts and one of two completions on the night for Simmons, so keeping the ball on the ground was the main plan of attack.


On the defensive side, senior strong safety Brandon Davis was a one-man wrecking crew in the first half. He intercepted a pass that halted a nine-play drive by the Firebirds and then on the next defensive series he burst through on a blitz to sack Free State quarterback Dylan Perry.


“I was reading my keys and what they taught us to do, and I did it, and it paid off,” Davis said of his pick and sack.


Firebirds coach Bob Lisher knew what to expect coming into this game. The game plan was simple: stop Simmons and Saunders. The duo combined for more than 270 yards rushing.


“We had a game plane for them, but it didn’t work,” Lisher said. “They did a nice job. That was a good old fashioned behind kicking. They were ready to play, and it’s my job to get our guys ready to play, and we weren’t ready play. You have to give them credit for coming out and competing, and I don’t think we competed as well as we needed to.”


Both teams can still control their own district destiny, but they must both take care of business in the final week of the season, but before that, all eyes will definitely be on Friday night’s Lawrence-Olathe Northwest game.