Kansas City Central doesn’t get to celebrate many shutout victories. Fifty-point wins are just as rare. The Blue Eagles’ 50-0 Week 3 win over Interscholastic League foe Northeast was the program’s largest margin of victory since… wait for it… 1922.
“So something like this has happened for almost 100 years here at Central High School,” head coach DJ Pittel said.
The win was the first of the season for a program struggling to gain traction. Less than 22 players suit up for the Eagles, a small, mighty and now confident group.
Central is 1-2 overall and 1-1 in league play.
“Our guys have come to practice and are carrying themselves a little bit differently; walking with a little bit of a swag and willing to put in the work this week,” Pittel said.
Central will play the third of five consecutive road games in a Week 4 contest at winless St. Joseph Benton. Pittel is undeterred by the Cardinals’ 0-3 start to the season. The win against the winless Vikings is also in the rearview mirror, the second-year coach said.
“We must come out with intensity and focus in order to obtain another victory,” he said. “One of the things we struggle with here at Central is coming back after a win. So far this week we've been locked in and it seems like we may be ready.”
Lincoln, East set to clash
League-favorite Lincoln College Prep had a rare bye in Week 3. The Blue Tigers, 1-1 on the season, have yet to play a league game. That changes in Week 4. East, 0-3, is on the schedule.
The matchup is the league opener for both teams.
“We used the bye week to instill more physicality back into our team,” Lincoln’s William Lowe said. “Having a week off allowed us to get back to the basics and really focus on fundamentals; tackling, ball security, creating turnovers, etc. With that being said, we are looking forward to Friday night and being able to play a game.”
The Bears are led by long-time coach Greg Smith. Under Smith’s leadership, East has built a reputation to fight, scratch and claw for four quarters.
The message has been constant for East in the lead up to Friday’s contest.
“Just play hard all four quarters and good things will happen,” Smith said.
Southeast, Northeast look to rebound
League leader Southeast, 1-2 overall, 1-0 in the IL, will look to erase the memory of a 55-13 Week 3 defeat at the hands of Van Horn.
The Knights will have their hands full. Undefeated Lexington, 3-0, will visit IL Stadium on Saturday. The Minutemen have outscored Hogan Prep, KC Central and Wellington-Napoleon by a combined 114-12 to start the season.
In other action, Northeast will try to nab its first win of the year on the road Saturday at 1-2 Knob Noster.
IL teams struggle out the gate
IL teams have struggled in 2020.
Northeast and East have nothing to show for its hard work through three weeks. Central, Southeast and Lincoln have only one win each, leaving the league sporting a 3-11 mark to begin the season.