Tonight at 7 p.m., the winningest Lancers squad will take on the 7-3 Olathe East Hawks. The 9-1 Lancers haven’t faced the Hawks since last season, when they lost to Olathe East 17-7 in the first round of playoffs.
This year, the Lancers face the Hawks on the road at College Boulevard Activities Center. The game is expected to be close and low-scoring, with both teams jockeying to shut down run-heavy offenses.
The East defense has been the main factor of the team’s success throughout the season. Leading the charge is junior Kyle Ball, who has 84 tackles and six sacks on the season, along with junior Sam Pottenger and senior Dominique Atkinson. The Lancers’ ability to smother running offenses will be necessary in tonight’s game against a run-heavy Olathe East team.
On the offensive side for the Lancers, Englund will be making his second varsity appearance while senior quarterback Christian Blessen remains sidelined with a back injury. In last week’s game against Leavenworth, Englund ran the flex-bone triple option offense effectively but suffered when receivers dropped longer passes. Despite struggling to connect with his receivers, Englund led the team to a 36-14 win over Leavenworth.
“I thought it went well,” Englund said. “I did my job and took care of the offense.”
The Hawks focus on piling defensive players into the box to attack the offensive line and put pressure on the pocket. A major threat comes from Olathe East linebacker Nathan Guthrie, who has 122 tackles on the season.
The Lancers will rely on senior Luke Taylor, who has notched 1,102 rushing yards on the season, to carry the running game throughout the night. Englund believes the offense will have to play at full potential to penetrate an Olathe East defense with very few weak spots.
“I just love being under the lights and playing with all the varsity guys,” Englund said. “I just want to play well for all the seniors and not let this be their last game.”
Tonight’s game will be played at College Boulevard Activities Center. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. and the student section theme is Blue-Out. Can’t make it to the game? Catch the broadcast here.