Photo by: Izzy Zanone
The Lancers were defeated in overtime by the Blue Valley High School Tigers in the sub-state 6A football game on Friday, by a score of 35-34. The Tigers continue their run at an undefeated season to the state championship game next week while East’s season is finished.
“It’s hard to believe that the season is over,” senior Calvin Ball said. “Even though it is disappointing to lose the final game, it was a really fun season and worth all the hard work this year.”
Facing off against multiple Blue Valley players with Division I offers, East struggled to put consistent drives together. The Lancers, after scoring early in the first quarter, were unable to respond to the relentless offensive drive of the Tigers.
In the first half of the game, East’s offense was well contained by Blue Valley, only putting six points on the board compared to Blue Valley’s 13. The Tigers continued their scoring effort with 14 more points in the third quarter bringing their score to 27, then going scoreless in the fourth.
East scored 13 in the third then senior Nigil Houston scored a rushing touchdown in the final minute of the fourth quarter to put the Lancers within two points. Senior Trevor Thomson, on a misdirection run to the right side of the endzone, scored the two-point conversion, which tied the game at 27. After Blue Valley failed to convert, the game advanced to overtime where the Lancers earned first possession.
In overtime, each team was allowed four plays to score. On East’s first play, junior Milton Braasch ran six yards for a touchdown making the score, 33-27. Coach Dustin Delaney decided to go for a point after try, or PAT, instead of a two point conversion-which won the Regional game against Gardner-Edgerton on Nov. 4.
Blue Valley responded by passing for a touchdown, decreasing the Lancer lead to one point. The Blue Valley head coach made the call of trying for a two-point conversion rather than tying the game with a PAT. The Tigers scored on a fading pass to the deep left side of the endzone to the widely uncovered receiver.
“I had no idea what their next play was going to be [after the touchdown],” Braasch said. “They really just showed they wanted all or nothing with that play.”
The East team finished with one of the winningest season in history, with ten wins and two losses. The state championship on Nov. 26 will be a rematch of last year between Blue Valley High School and Derby High School.
Blue Valley will play against Derby High School, who defeated Lawrence Free State 49-21 in the other sub-state game, in the 6A State Championship.