Marisa has been a photographer on the Harbinger staff for 3 years and the online photo editor for 2 years. Along with photography, she enjoys reading and painting and staying caught up on current events. Read Full »
After taking an early lead due to smothering defense, the Lancers secured a 48-20 victory over the SM North Indians. The team gave a majority of second-string players an opportunity to play in the easy win, with junior quarterback Gunnar Englund leading the East offense for most of the game.
The start of the game saw quick touchdowns from Sunflower League leader senior Luke Taylor and junior Jackson Gossick within the first five minutes of the first quarter. Head coach Dustin Delaney then replaced senior quarterback Christian Blesson with Englund.
That switch resulted in another quick touchdown from Englund to junior Alec Dean. A fourth touchdown gave the Lancers a 28-0 lead at halftime.
The first half saw the Lancer defense instigate a complete denial of SM North offensive drives. SM North wide receiver Nick Perez provided a threat, leading the Sunflower League with 727 receiving yards and eight touchdowns, while pass coverage has been a weak point for the Lancer defense. However, the Lancers kept Perez silent in the first half and despite recovering a fumble and an interception, SM North was unable to score.
With a large lead to start the second half, Delaney continued to swap out highly valuable players such as Taylor, senior Dominique Atkinson and junior Kyle Ball. A junior-heavy offense was led by Englund and fellow juniors Sam Huffman and Jackson Gossick.
The second half became a more even match as a less experienced Lancer offense took the field. Junior Charley White succeeded in returning a punt for 60 yards for a touchdown, but the play was called back due to a holding penalty. Englund was able to lead the team to reclaim the touchdown, extending the lead to 35-0.
Capitalizing on several missed tackles and loose pass coverage, Perez was able to secure North’s first and only touchdown against the first-string East defense. A failed two-point conversion attempt put the score to 35-6.
After another touchdown put the lead to 42-6, Delaney substituted in a second-string defense comprised mostly of sophomores and juniors. SM North began to capitalize on the lack of experience on the field, utilizing onside kicks and several long passes to score two more touchdowns.
Despite scoring two touchdowns, the Indians were unable to overcome the deficit in the final quarter. In his final possession, Englund took a knee, securing the East 48-20 victory and the team’s title as district champions.
In their first post-season game, the Lancers will have a home game against Leavenworth. Look at the full bracket here, and stay tuned for The Harbinger’s Football State Bracket Challenge. Can’t make it to the game? Watch the live broadcast here.