The Lancers looked strong early in their homecoming game against the Falcons of Olathe South, forcing the Falcons to punt on their first possession after receiving the opening kickoff.
Starting off on their own 45 yard-line, junior quarterback Nick Pirotte orchestrated a beautiful drive capped off with a four-yard plunge by senior fullback Jeff Cole. The Falcons responded the next possession with a 75-yard rush to tie it up early. Later in the first quarter, Pirotte threw up a shot to the back left corner of the end zone to junior receiver Connor Rellihan who made a leaping acrobatic catch. Senior kicker Sean Luenz made the PAT and was able to give the Lancers the 14-7 edge early on.
A turnover at the end of the first quarter gave the Falcons sufficient field position which led to short rushing touchdown. Another good PAT conversion would tie up the game. On the next possession, the Lancers were moving steadily down the field when the Falcons took an interception 79-yards the other way. After a missed point after attempt, the score was 20-14 in favor of the Falcons.
While the Lancer defense looked strong all day, perhaps the drive of the game was as the first half was coming to a close. After going three-and-out on offense, the Falcons began their drive close to midfield. With time winding down, Olathe South was able to get the ball within a foot of the goal line, but a stout Lancer defense made the stop of the day on fourth down, keeping the score to 20-14 at half.
Receiving the second-half kick off, East was able to march down the field with a 9-play, 54 yard drive that was capped by 2-yard run by Cole, his second of the day. The score would remain 21-20 for the rest of the third quarter.
After solid play from both defenses in the second-half, the Falcons were able to add a 68 yard touchdown pass six plays into the fourth quarter. A failed two-point conversion would keep the game within striking distance for the Lancers, who trailed 26-21 at the time.
The Lancer defense was unable to stay off the field as senior receiver and kick returner Elliot Faerber was unable to hold on to the ball while shaking off the Falcon kickoff team. The fumble resulted in a Falcon possession at the eight-yard line, yet again the Lancer defense came up big, only allowing a field goal. The score was 29-21.
An interception and punt by Lancers next two drives didn’t prove costly as the defense again came up big and forced two Olathe South punts.
The game would come down to the final drive. After a gutsy fourth and ten call by head coach Chip Sherman, Pirotte found a diving Rellihan on a skinny seam route that split the Falcon defense. The catch got the Lancers to their own 1o-yard line. On what seemed like a dreamlike drive, was unfortunately ended the next play with a Falcon interception at the three-yard line. Olathe South would kneel twice to end the game. Final score 29-21, Olathe South.
The Lancers (2-2) head to Lawrence (2-2) next Friday, September 30. The game features a father versus son match-up when Lancer quarterbacks coach and athletic director Sam Brown takes on his son Mack Brown, the offensive coordinator for the Chesty Lions.
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