KC Central blanks Lincoln Prep for share of title

Toriano Porter/PrepsKC

By Toriano Porter PrepsKC staff writer
Posted: October 7, 2017 - 5:20 PM

Central went into its Interscholastic League showdown against defending champion Lincoln Prep with a collective chip on its shoulders.

The Blue Eagles had been stymied the last few weeks and entered Saturday’s home game on a four-game losing streak.

With a quartet of seniors leading the way, Central shut down its league rival with a suffocating defense and a revived offense en route to a commanding 38-0 victory.

The victory helped Central (3-5 overall and 3-1 in league) claim a share of the IL title.

Lincoln, winners of three straight heading into the game, fell to 3-5 overall and 3-1 in league play.

If Southeast (2-6, 2-1) defeats East Oct. 14, the teams will split a three-way tie for the title. The Knights lost to undefeated and No. 5 ranked Class 1 Lincoln in a non-league contest Friday.

“Our season got away from us a little bit because we lost focus,” Central head coach Allen Supplee said. “But today we got right back to doing what everybody in this city knows we can do and that’s dominating anybody that comes to us.”

The aforementioned seniors circled around Supplee near mid-filed after the game and exalted. The crew had just notched its first league title in four years of varsity competition and wanted to share in the revelry with their coach.

Four-year varsity letterman Dre’Shaun Sanders, a wide receiver and defensive back, sighed.

“We have been trying to win this since I was a freshman,” Sanders said. “We got it and we’re happy.”

Fellow senior and linebacker Craig Robinson said the Blue Eagles persevered through a tough four-game stretch that culminated with a shutout win.

“We have a great coach and we did what we had to do,” Robinson said. “We did everything he asked us to do, and mentally that’s all we had to do.”

Rejaun Campbell, a senior wide receiver, said he was exhilarated to be a champion.

“I’ve been working with these dudes since I was young, so it just feels good, man” Campbell said. “It was good team work.”

Senior quarterback Javion Shelby, finally healthy after suffering a shoulder injury in Week 5, said revenge is a dish best served with offensive firepower and defensive prowess.

Lincoln defeated Central 62-58 in Week 8 last season to claim its third IL title in the last four years.

“Last year, that 62-58 loss, we’ve been holding that forever,” Shelby said. “I couldn’t wait to play them.”

The Blue Eagles led 20-0 at halftime, 32-0 after three quarters and ushered in a mercy-rule running clock early in the fourth.

Lincoln head coach William Lowe said he anticipated Central coming out on fire.

“They have a great team,” Lowe said. “They have a bunch of seniors and a ton of good ballplayers.”

The Blue Tigers, Lowe said, started 10 freshmen and sophomores in the game.

“We are a young team and I told them we are not mad at all,” Lowe said. “I told them to look at Central – that could be you in two years.”