Olathe East rallies past rival Olathe North

By Andrew Robinson PrepsKC staff writer
Posted: September 9, 2017 - 1:07 AM


Olathe East looked early on in its 29-12 victory over Sunflower League rival Olathe North that it may not have quite recovered from its one-point loss to perennial 6A power Hutchison a week ago.

Olathe North jumped out to an early 12-0 lead in the first quarter, and then it was game on for the Hawks Friday evening at the Olathe District Activity Center.

After establishing a run-game through the first quarter, coach Jesse Owen decided it was time to open the playbook. Junior quarterback Hunter Thomas found senior wide receiver TyJuan Lewis streaking down the sideline for a 73-yard touchdown pass.

“The game plan was to come out early and establish the run game and set some of those things up,” said Olathe East head coach Jesse Owen. “But we fell behind so we had to go to them.”

However, it was later, in the second quarter over the course of just one-minute of game time in which the Hawks took the lead and never looked back.

First, Olathe east running back Trevon Kearney ran 45 yards to set up a 9-yard touchdown pass from Thomas to junior wide receiver James Grooms to give the Hawks a 15-12 lead after a successful two-point conversion.

On the ensuing kickoff, Olathe East (1-1, 1-0 Sunflower League) kicked it short looking to avoid a big return from Olathe North (1-1, 0-1 Sunflower League), however the Eagles fumbled the kick and two-plays later, the Hawks had once again scored to take a 22-12 lead going into halftime.

A week ago, Olathe North recovered from an 18-point deficit to win, so the Hawks knew they were by no means out of it.

But a stingy Olathe East defense led by junior defensive back Ray Lewis ensured the Hawks weren’t going to allow for another Olathe North comeback this week.

Lewis intercepted passes on back to back series, ending any threat of the Eagles scoring.

“I was just reading receivers and reading the zone. I’ve got to thank the linebackers for doing what they were able to do.”

One of those linebackers, Ryan Brockschmidt, snagged an interception with one hand as well in the second half.

“Our defense came to play tonight,” Thomas said. “We put them in some tough spots early but after the second or third drive they just shut them down.”

Olathe North head coach Chris McCartney credited Olathe East’s ability to make some big plays.

“We just couldn’t get our offense going,” McCartney said. “We got some quick stops but gave up some huge plays and lost our focus a bit”

In the fourth quarter, one of the Lewis interceptions set up a quick three-play, 14-yard series to give the Hawks its 29-12 lead.

“This win was huge because the kids are doing all the right things and playing their tails off. It’s nice to be staring down the barrel so to speak and get a comeback win,” Owen said.

Both teams head to the Missouri side next week with Olathe East visiting Liberty, while Olathe North heads to Blue Springs South.