Olathe North can't catch Wichita Heights

Zach Cobb/PrepsKC

By Jim Bradford PrepsKC Staff Writer
Posted: December 13, 2010 - 8:24 AM

TOPEKA, Kan. Nearly three decades of frustration was taken out on the Olathe North Eagles Saturday afternoon as Wichita Heights brought the Class 6A state title back to Wichita for the first time since 1983 with an impressive 48-14 win over the defending state champions.

“They got on us early and we just couldn’t sustain any sort of offense against them,” said North head coach Pete Flood. “They did a great job. We just couldn’t slow them down at all.”

The Eagles never had any sort of momentum all day long, falling behind 28-0 at the half. The Eagles had just 30 yards of offense in the first half as Heights did everything right, rolling up 307 yards of offense through two quarters.

“I thought we played better in the second half,” Flood said. “I’m proud of them for they way they came out. They didn’t check out.

As lopsided as the score was, it really wasn’t even that close.

Heights had 499 yards on the ground and another 32 through the air for 531 yards of total offense. North had 248 yards of offense, but many came late, after the game was well in hand.

“All of the players who have come through here since I came on in 1999 are a part of this championship,” said Heights coach Rick Wheeler. “We’d taken enough baby steps it was time for this.”

Heights who was up 28-0 at the half added another couple of scores to go up 41-0 before North finally got on the board. Both came courtesy of the Smith runs, the first from 30 and the next from 10.

The state title is Heights’ first ever.

Smith finished with an eye-popping 284 yards on 16 carries and four touchdowns.

“Dreamius had a special day,” Wheeler said. “He’s a special player.”

North finally broke up the shutout with 26 seconds left in the third quarter when Victor Simmons hooked up with Adonis Saunders for a 79-yard touchdown.

Smith added his final touchdown, on a 60-yard run just seconds into the fourth quarter to put an exclamation point on his stellar performance.

“He’s such a good runner with great speed,” Flood said. “He did a great job of breaking tackles.”

Many of Smith’s yards came after his was initially hit near the line. Oh, but many came on long runs when he was untouched, too.

North’s final points came with 1:48 to play when Simmons hooked up with Saunders again, this time from 18 yards out.

The Falcons were able to hold a potent Eagles rushing attack to just 110 yards. Simmons had 50 yards on 23 carries and Saunders had 36 yards on 12 carries.

“We showed everyone what we are made of today,” Wheeler said. “We were able to eliminate the big plays and play very disciplined defense all day.”

The Eagles should have known what was coming after the first play on Saturday.

On the first place from scrimmage, Dreamius Smith went 58 yards over right tackle for a touchdown, but the score was called back on a holding call. That just delayed what would prove to be the inevitable. Quarterback Matt Reed went in from 18 yards out two minutes later to put Heights up 7-0. It was all Heights from there. All Heights.

They doubled the score just four minutes later when Smith went around the right end for an 85-yard touchdown. A little stutter step behind the line of scrimmage froze the Eagles defenders and Smith was gone once he hit the corner.

The Eagles then let the ensuing kickoff drop right in front of the deep returners and Marquel Moore recovered it for the Falcons. Five plays later and two offsides penalties by the Eagles and Heights was up 21-0 thanks to an 18-yard pass form Reed to Daniel DeShazar.

“That kickoff was unfortunate,” Flood said. “It checked up and they were able to convert.

“If we field that kickoff, who knows what might have happened.

The Eagles then got a golden opportunity to cut into the lead when the Heights punter’s knee hit the ground on the next Falcons possession, setting North up with a first and 10 at the Heights 10, but the Eagles turned it over on downs when four plays got them just five yards.

They missed another opportunity when they got the ball on their next possession at the Heights 32, but came away with no points again.

Heights then added the final points of the first half on Reed’s second touchdown run of the day, a 3-yard run with 3:52 to play in the first half.

The lone highlight for the Eagles came on the final play of the half when Simmons broke through the line and blocked a David Hoyer 31-yard field goal.

The loss is just the Eagles second in a state title game and their perfect run (8-0) in Class 6A state title games came to a screeching halt, too. The only other loss they had in the state title game came in 2004 when they lost to Salina South in the Class 5A title game.