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Shawnee Mission East head coach Justin Hoover said earlier this week he liked how his running backs were playing at this point in the season.

East's upperclassmen duo of Rashaun Burney and Tony Friends backed Hoover's statement up with a combined four touchdowns on the ground and a thorough 37-7 rout of Sunflower League rival Shawnee Mission Northwest (3-1) Friday night at Shawnee Mission North.

"We're going to hang our hat on running the football," Hoover said. "Those guys deserve touches, and tonight we let Tony play some out in the slot in space and also gave Rashaun some carries. Those two guys have to complement each other."

Both teams started out slow. Northwest had three-and-outs on their first two drives, which would be a sign of what was to come for the rest of the game in their first full match without sophomore starting quarterback Ty Black. East (3-1) missed a field goal wide right on their first drive, then began their second drive in favorable field position at midfield. Friends capped the four-play drive packaged with a defensive penalty by scoring on a one-yard run to lead 6-0.

Early in the second quarter, the Cougars took the lead when Northwest senior quarterback Peyton Carder hooked up with senior receiver Dale Talley for a 28-yard gain down to the one-yard line. Carder toted the ball in for the touchdown and the only points on the night for the Cougars.

The Lancers tacked on a field goal and another score - this one a two-yard run from Burney - for a 16-7 margin at halftime.

"I just have to thank my offensive line," Burney said. "They did all of the work. I couldn't do it without them."

Out of the break, East drove 55 yards for another short 2-yard touchdown run from Burney. The next three possessions all featured interceptions, with the Lancers getting the last laugh on a 45-yard pick-six by senior linebacker Tyler Stottle. At that point, East led 30-7 with the game well in hand.

"We gave up a couple of plays, but being able to make a play after a critical error is the bounceback," Hoover said. "It's watching this team mature defensively."