North Kansas City beats Leavenworth

By Alan Dale The Leavenworth Times
Posted: September 15, 2017 - 10:54 PM

A 2-0 start to the 2017 football season gave birth to new hope and brighter projections for the near future of the Leavenworth High Pioneers.

On Friday night, that excited buzz was dealt a healthy dose of humility by visiting North Kansas City Hornets in the LVHS home opener who entered the contest winless.

However, the Pioneer guests from the east side of the border used exceptional speed advantages all over the field and a crucial run of dominance in the second quarter to set the pace in a 27-6 win over the disappointed Pioneers.

Leavenworth (2-1) was outgunned 363-114 in total yardage, yet still had more first downs - 13 to 11 - than the Hornets. The two teams combined for five turnovers.

“They were athletic, we knew that and we knew they’d be ready to play,” LVHS head coach Mark Littrell said. “They are a good football team, despite their record, which we preached all week, you can’t look at the record. You can’t compare. They have been preparing for eight weeks (with the earlier season start in Missouri). They were more physical than we were and they punched us in the mouth and we needed to punch back. We didn’t do that, on either side of the ball.”

Robert McKinley went 11-for-35 for 84 yards passing for the Pioneers, while Devin Johnson ran 22 times for 64 yards. Andrew Ativie, Vershawn Adams and Jaden Masterson all had three catches for the Pioneers, who saw McKinley sacked three times and hurried in the backfield another dozen times or so.

The first quarter was a scoreless stalemate that illustrated both teams’ positives and negatives including the Hornets’ abundant athleticism and speed that made things tough for a Pioneer offense that struggled in their first two games.

Then the next 12 minutes saw North Kansas City (1-4) take command with two quick-strike scores and a kickoff return for a touchdown.

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