In their first ever sub-state appearance, the SM East Lancers will take on the Olathe North Eagles at 7 p.m. in a rematch of one of their closest games of the season.
The Lancers met Olathe North in their fourth game of the season, after the team’s last-minute hail mary win over Olathe Northwest. An energized SM East squad scored early in the game but then struggled to contain the Eagles’ running back Venus Triplett. Senior quarterback Christian Blessen connected a 30 yard pass to senior Will Mitchell to give the Lancers a one point lead to win the game.
Tonight’s game will feature junior Gunnar Englund in the quarterback position, while Blessen will play wide receiver after missing two weeks due to a back injury. Englund has guided his team to consecutive playoff victories over Leavenworth and Olathe East.
As a quarterback, Englund warmed up in the last two games and connected multiple passes for touchdowns. Despite an invigorated passing game, the Lancers’ offense remains focused on running the ball. A wide variety of running backs including seniors Luke Taylor and Mitchell Tyler and juniors Sam Huffman and Jackson Gossick gives the squad a well-rounded attack.
On the defensive side, the Lancers have been smothering on the line of scrimmage throughout the year, led by senior Dominique Atkinson and juniors Kyle Ball and Sam Pottenger. Olathe North will provide a talented match for the Lancers’ defense with Triplett and quarterback Cole Murphy. However, the lethal pair was relatively quiet in their game against Lawrence Free State, with a total of 65 combined rushing yards.
Tonight will be a defensively-focused game and is expected to be low scoring, unlike the Lancers’ last two playoff games. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. and the game will be held at SM North District Stadium. The theme for the student section is Black Out. Can’t make it to the game? Watch the broadcast here.