Free State powers past Olathe Northwest

Lori Houk/Special to PrepsKC

By Chris Sitek PrepsKC staff writer
Posted: October 7, 2016 - 11:47 PM



Olathe Northwest was in their own territory set to punt, senior Charlie Homgren takes the snap only to get blocked by a flurry of Free State defenders.

Four plays later Free State’s Zion Bowlin cashes in on a six-yard zone read touchdown. Free State 7, Olathe Northwest 0. From there on, it was all Lawrence Free State as they cruised to a 35-0 shutout over Olathe Northwest.

Free State (4-2) executed on every level Friday night and it all began with the Firebirds offense and rushing attack. Senior tail back Zion Bowlin stole the show rushing for 137 yards and a touchdown while sophomore Jax Dineen chipped in 63 yards and two touchdowns as well.

Transfer senior Dallas Crittenden struggled the first half throwing an interception but responded in the second throwing two touchdowns. Crittenden finished the night 16 for 24 with 181 passing yards, two touchdowns and a pick. Crittenden’s favorite target Zach Sanders struggled with drops but picked it up the second half hauling in a 17-yard touchdown in the third quarter and a 7-yard touchdown in the fourth. Sanders finished the night with 46 receiving yards and a pair of scores.

Defensively, Free State was even better holding Northwest quarterback Easton Crupper to just 16 passing yards while recording two turnovers: a punt block and a fumble that lead to 14 Free State points.

Head coach Bob Lisher talked about Free State’s shutout

“Defensively we stepped up,” Lisher said. “Offensively we had some trouble stopping what they were doing against us and they did a good job, but to come out even when you’re struggling and win 35-0, we’ll take it.

“We just got to continue to grow, I told them on the field tonight we made some things tough on ourselves tonight and Olathe Northwest made some things tough on us, but offensively we managed to get enough points and if we play like that, defensively, we’ll be solid.”

Meanwhile, it’s back to the drawing board for head coach Chip Sherman and Olathe Northwest (2-4). Northwest shutout Leavenworth 34-0 last week only to get shutout 35-0 tonight against Free State.

“It was a strange game,” Sherman said “At times we played very well and at time we had let-ups and whenever you turn the ball at inopportune times against a very good team like that, you get the score.”

Olathe Northwest’s two turnovers lead to 14 Free State points.

Olathe Northwest will look to bounce back against Olathe North at home while Lawrence Free State will look to ride the momentum to Olathe East.