Lansing edges Leavenworth in rivalry game

By Alan Dale The Leavenworth Times
Posted: September 3, 2016 - 12:59 AM

Two young teams, rivals separated by five miles would hook horns Friday night in the season opener for high school football.

No one from either Lansing or Leavenworth High Schools left disappointed.

In a wild, crazy and sometimes spectacular contest, the Lansing Lions made it two-in-a-row against the Pioneers as they escaped with a 30-28 victory, the closest result in the three-game history between the programs.

Lansing (1-0) was led by senior running back Quinton McQuillan’s 136 yards on 21 carries and two touchdowns, while Leavenworth countered with the sizzling performance by sophomore Anthony Gould, who went for 133 yards on 18 carries and two scores of his own.

“Heck yeah, (Leavenworth) played their butts off,” McQuillan said. “They came back from last year (a 48-19 Lansing win) and they bounced back and they played a heck of a game. I give them props, they never gave up. I think they’ll have a good season ahead of them.”

Even though both teams are young, Lansing may have had just enough experience when it counted.

“We do have a lot of returners, but we also are very young,” McQuillan said. “We have some juniors and sophomores who never played varsity minutes at all. But, I do think our returners did help keep units as one, push and keep the lead. I give amazing props to our coaches, they did an amazing job. They know what they are doing and all we have to do is listen to them, take what they give us and we have to go put in on the field. They can’t play for us.”

After a 63-0 Leavenworth win in 2014 and last year’s Lansing easy cruise to a win, it was nice for both sets of fans to take in a classic.

“That was heck of game, man I’ll tell you,” Lansing head coach John McLain said. “We are awful proud of our kids and I am sure they are awful proud of their kids as well. It was an outstanding game.

“I think both teams are super young. We have a lot of youth on our offensive line and on our front seven and so do they. It’s exciting to get young kids out here, because that’s how they get better. I think the future is extremely bright for both programs. There were a lot of youngsters on the field, but our senior leadership was super important for us tonight.”

Leavenworth came out and immediately made a statement that they were here to play when Gould exploded for an 89-yard run to the end zone on the game's first play from scrimmage. Alas, a flag on a Pioneer teammate negated the run and it was on to the grind.

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