Ahh, it’s that time of year again. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, the crisp fall air forces a late arrival for the East student section, who all arrive right around 7 p.m. bundled up in winter jackets, sipping warm hot chocolate. It’s time for some playoff football.
Friday night the Lancers defeated the Blue Valley Northwest Huskies 49-13 in the first round of the playoffs, also known as the regional championship.
Although the score suggests the Lancers executing a standard route of the Huskies, the scoreline didn’t fully reflect the game.
In fact, in a change of routine, the Lancers didn’t find the endzone first. The Huskies did early on in the first quarter, off a 30 yard pass from QB Jack Knutson to lead receiver Cooper Trusdale to take an early lead.
And because of how big a threat Knutson was to the Lancers defense, a sense of shock ran over the Lancer crowd right off the bat. Knutson is an incredibly athletic quarterback, and actually leads the entire BVNW team in rushing yards. He’ll roll out right, work off the option and often times end up rushing for a first down.
Going into the game, coach Dustin Delaney said that stopping Knutson was one of the main keys to winning the game. If the Lancer defense could shut him down, specifically off running the option, they’d win the game. And they did just that, but not right away.
After Knutson’s early passing TD, the Lancers struck back, as senior WR Jack Tyler tied the game up to end the first quarter 7-7.
The second quarter started off slowly for both teams, but with five minutes left in the half, senior RB Mike Bamford used his incredible speed to get outside and take the ball in for a 30-yard rushing TD.
Yet again, the Lancers had taken the lead, but wouldn’t hold it for long, as Knutson proved himself with another passing TD, this one of a whopping 82 yards. But after a missed extra point and another Lancers TD, the half ended 21-13, a much closer halftime scoreline than most would have predicted.
The Lancers came out charging in the second half. Right off the bat, senior FB Wyatt Edmisten scored two rushing TD’s to give the Lancers a 22 point lead to end the third quarter.
By the time the fourth quarter had begun, it looked like the Lancers would be moving on into the next round of the playoffs. With two more scores, one being another rushing TD from Edmisten, the Lancers defeated the Huskies to move on to the next round of the playoffs.
This Friday, the Lancers will take on the Olathe North Eagles- whom we have quite the history playing against in recent years. Who could forget last years’ substate game, and Delaney’s famous triple OT two-point conversion call which won us the game and led us to our first state championship.
“[Olathe North] is big and fast and physical, and they’re certainly going to play a very competitive football game,” senior safety Charlie Jensen said. “If we play well and execute the way I know we are capable of, I think we can absolutely come out on top. We always prepare to wear our opponents down and beat them throughout the whole game by playing high tempo football.”