Over the top

Nick Smith/PrepsKC

By Chris Sitek PrepsKC staff writer
Posted: October 14, 2016 - 11:49 PM

1st and 10: Shawnee Mission East at the 20-yard line, senior quarterback Luke Kaiser hikes the snap and tosses it to tailback Nigil Houston who finds a block and bursts to the outside for an 80-yard touchdown.

This was just one of five rushing touchdowns for Shawnee Mission East who rolled Lawrence High 48-26.

Shawnee Mission East’s big play offense was a difference maker in the first half East had four plays that went for 20 yards or more including an 80-yard touchdown run by Nigil Houston and a 51-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Luke Kaiser to senior receiver Trevor Thompson.

The Kaiser-Thompson duo would hook up one more time right before halftime to extend the Lancer lead to 35-12.

As for the second half, East went to a heavy dosage of the run game with senior tailback Eli Kurlbaum leading the pack. Kurlbaum received nearly every snap the second half in route to a two touchdown night.

East head coach Dustin Delaney was proud of the way his players executed.

“The kids did a good job of blocking on the perimeter and obviously kids broke tackles as well,” Delaney said. “The second half we just wanted to slow it down and get the clock ran out and I thought our kids executed the game plan well.”

Defensively, East gave up a few garbage touchdowns but applied a lot of pressure on Lawrence’s quarterbacks

“Our defense did a good job of running to the football and getting as many hits on the quarterback as they can get cause he’s a dynamic football player, ” Delaney said.

Quarterbacks were just one of the issues Lawrence had. Junior quarterback Dante Jackson suffered a high ankle sprain in third quarter and exited the game forcing Sophomore Garrett Romero to come in and play the majority of the second half. Romero is the third-string quarterback but was called onto play as junior Devin Lauts Jackson were both unavailable due to injuries.

Lawrence head coach Dirk Wedd addressed the loss and the quarterback status.

“Right now were kind of licking our wounds and trying to figure out where our quarterback is and kind of go from there,” Wedd said. “When they’re running the ball between the tackles and you start cheating and you’re trying to get half a man or a full man there to stop it, the play action pass just kills you and they threw over the top of us a couple times. Plus, that little back was a burner; if you start squeezing the edges, they’ll run that little toss play, that hurt us also.”

The biggest positive for Lawrence was the play of senior tailback Trey Moore. Moore rushed for over 200 yards and two touchdowns in the loss.

Despite the loss, coach Weddt puts Lawrence’s season into perspective.

“Nobody in their right mind thought we were going to win five football games and we are going to win more than five.”

Lawrence will look to bounce back at Lawrence Free State while Shawnee Mission East will play Shawnee Mission West at home.