The Harbinger Online

Preview: Football vs. Olathe Northwest

Coming off two definitive victories, the SM East football team is looking for a third win against former head coach Chip Sherman and his Olathe Northwest squad.

The Lancers have enjoyed a strong beginning to their season, defeating Leavenworth 34-0 and Lawrence 26-3. Senior quarterback Christian Blessen and senior running back Mitchell Tyler have stood out in head coach Dustin Delaney’s new flexbone offense.

The offense has allowed the Lancers to become versatile and independent, with Blessen using the triple-option to make calls from the pocket mid-play. Although the senior quarterback has proven himself capable of making long pass plays, the Lancer offense is fueled by short rushing yards. With a steady progression of three to six yard rushes, the offense wears down defenses and uses large amounts of time to score.

On the defensive side, junior Kyle Ball has led an aggressive squad that forces offenses into mistakes. The Lancer defense has begun the season with an emphasis on blitzing and forcing the pocket to collapse, wreaking havoc on quarterbacks’ abilities to pass accurately.

Olathe Northwest has started their season 1-1, with an overtime win over SM Northwest and a grueling 38-21 loss against league rivals Olathe East. Sherman’s team has made a slower transition to his offense, which emphasizes passing and is familiar to many East players.

The Lancers’ ability to rush the quarterback and force sloppy passes will be necessary for a Lancer victory. Also necessary for an East win is a tighter performance from the special teams department, which missed two point-afters and struggled to bring down running backs on their punt returns.

Kickoff will begin at 7:30 p.m. at SM North and the game is free for East students. The theme for the student section is America, and a tailgate will be hosted by the choir in the parking lot before the game. Can’t make it to the game? Watch the live broadcast here.

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