Leavenworth edges Lansing to win rivalry game

By Alan Dale The Leavenworth Times
Posted: September 1, 2017 - 10:35 PM

It’s now Leavenworth’s time to rule this rivalry.

The Pioneers’ football team, having lost the last two contests against the Lansing Lions, defacto rivals in one breath, brothers in the next, found a way to take back the reigns in a football slugfest Friday night during the opening seeking of the prep football season.

Behind a stout defensive effort and a late touchdown run and interception by senior Devin Johnston, the Pioneers held on for a tense, 13-6 win to start the new campaign.

Leavenworth (1-0) won by coming up big when it counted and winning a physical battle.

“We knew we had to score (late) and Devin did a great job, reading his blocks and getting vertical,” LVHS head coach Mark Littrell said. “I am glad we scored, but I wish we could have done it four plays later and milked some time off the clock.

“It’s the first we’ve won a game like this since 2014. Not since then have we played defense like that. We asked the kids to play 48 minutes and they played 48 minutes. They did a great job and never quit. Our defense stepped up time and time again. 1-0 is better than 0-1.”

Lansing was led by Tre Pledger in his first start at quarterback who finished 14-for-30 with 132 yards and 10 carries for 37 yards and Konner McQuillian who had four rushes for 26 yards and Calvin Thomas who had five catches for 51 yards and AJ Cooper who ended up with five catches for 45 yards.

“It’s a typical week one football game,” Lansing head coach John McCall said. “We had penalties, they had penalties, it just wasn’t a clean game. Drop passes on both sides. It was really a pretty even game if you will as far as the flow went. The kids played hard. I was really proud of our defensive effort and our offensive effort, we just didn’t make that big play. We had plenty of opportunities too. Our kids are going to get better. They just needed to get a feel for what kind of focus and concentration it takes.

“We need some explosive plays. When we get the opportunity for them, we just have to execute. We just need more yards and more points, because you aren’t going to win many games when you score six points.”

Robert McKinley went 9-for-19 at quarterback for LVHS throwing for 86 yards, Devin Johnston rushed 15 times for 102 yards and a score and Andrew Ativie made seven catches for 85 yards.

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