In the second installment of the football team’s “All In” themed season, the Lancers took the field against the Hawks from Olathe East. The Hawks’ high-powered rushing offense led by seniors Kendall Kelly and John Kelsh proved to be too much for the Lancers as they were edged out 35-27. Once again, the student section came loud, proud and in very large numbers. Unfortunately, the students’ excitement was short-lived as the Hawks marched right down the field for a touchdown ran in by Kelly. The Lancers didn’t let that rattle them however, as they struck right back with a touchdown pass from senior quarterback Dakota Collins to junior wide receiver Connor Rellihan.
The second quarter was dominated by the Hawks’ running game as well, as they ate up the clock, and went into halftime with a 21-7 lead. They had complete control of possession in the first half as they ran 42 plays to the Lancers’ 15.
“They showed us our weaknesses and we will get those corrected this week,” senior Jack Sayler said.
After halftime, the Lancers began to have some success on the offensive side of the ball. Late in the third quarter, Collins completed a 31-yard pass to junior wide receiver, David Sosna. Unfortunately for the Lancers, this was the last play of the night for Collins. He went down with what appeared to be an ankle sprain, and was forced to watch the rest of the game from the sideline. The drive was capped off with a 5-yard run from senior running back Jake Libeer. Olathe East was able to answer right back with a score of their own on a drive that covered 72 yards in just seven plays. At the close of the third quarter, the Lancers trailed 28-13.
“We fought hard as a defensive unit. Some areas of work for every one of us were exposed, and its our responsibility as a defense to learn from our mistakes,” senior Tyler Nelson said.
At the start of the fourth quarter, the Lancers had forced the Hawks to a fourth down on their own 48-yardline. The Hawks elected to go for it, and it proved to be the right choice. Kelly tore down the field for a 52-yard score. After losing Collins, the Lancer offense was left in the hands of junior quarterback Nick Pirotte.
“I was nervous, but my teammates really helped with getting me comfortable. Completing that first pass really helped me gain some confidence,” Pirotte said.
Pirotte looked very strong and completed 6 of 7 passes for the game. On one drive, he went 5 of 5, and the drive was capped off by a 2-yard run from senior fullback, Jeff Cole. The Lancer defense made their first stop of the game, and forced the Hawks to punt. Senior wide receiver Andy Hiett gave the Lancers a chance to make the game interesting as he took the punt back for a 74-yard score with 3:20 left in the game. After the return, Pirotte completed a 2-point conversion to Rellihan, putting the Lancers within one touchdown at a score of 35-27.
The Lancers were not able to execute an onside kick, and the Hawks were able to run out the rest of the clock. Obviously the achilles heel for the Lancers was not being able to stop their running game. The Hawks finished with 323 rushing yards, to just 35 for the Lancers. Both teams now stand in the middle of the Sunflower League with records of 1-1.
Dakota Collins out 4-6 weeks with fractured ankle.