Almost a year ago, Coach Dustin Delaney called the ballsiest play of the season. He called for a pitch around the outside as a two-point conversion for the win in triple overtime. Then Senior Sam Huffman sneaks in, giving SME its first state football berth ever. Now a year later Olathe North stands in the way of the Lancers again in the state playoffs for football.
Last week, the Lancers defeated the Blue Valley Northwest Huskies with a score of 49-13. The game was closer than many expected with the Lancers getting stymied early. The offense finally clicked and the Lancers ended up rolling the Huskies. On the other hand, the Olathe North Eagles defeated the Blue Valley North Mustangs with a score of 35-28. The Eagles defense had their hands full the entire game, but ended up on top with the win over the Mustangs.
This week expect a very physical and fast paced game. Both the Eagles and the Lancers rely on speed offensively. Senior Linebacker Charlie Jensen knows that the game will be very close the whole way.
“[Olathe North is] certainly going to play a very competitive football game,” Jensen said. “If we play well and execute the way I know we are capable of, I think we can absolutely come out on top.”
Expect the same sort of offense from the Lancers, with QB Luke Kaiser under the gun with running backs Wyatt Edmisten, Trevor Thompson, and Mike Bamford running sweeps and inside runs. The Lancers will stick with the flexbone offense and will likely attempt to wear out the Eagles.
The Eagles are a run based team, but they don’t run out of the standard I-formation, which has a single tailback and a fullback with the QB lining up under center. They typically use a variant of the pistol formation and mostly pass out of the shotgun. The main receiving threat is Isaiah Simmons, a 4 star recruit nationally and is quite the athlete. Their QB is deceptively athletic but does not have much of an arm. The Eagles like to run the read option out of the pistol formation, which means their QB can make the decision whether to keep the ball or hand it off based on how the defense reacts. Like the Lancers, the Eagles rely on speed and don’t necessarily have what it takes to beat a team physically.
The game is likely going to be a good one, and may be as close as it was a year ago in the playoffs. Don’t expect another instant classic, but at least a hard-fought game between two very talented teams.