East is the new beast in the Sunflower
By Jim Bradford PrepsKC Senior Writer
Olathe South has been the thorn in the side of Shawnee Mission East for quite a while.
Thanks to a command defensive performance and just enough offense, the Lancers extracted that thorn and perched themselves alone atop the Sunflower League standings with a 3-0 win at Shawnee Mission North District Stadium Thursday night.
“Who in the world would have though this game would been 3-0?” East coach Chip Sherman deadpanned after the game.
Not many. Most were expecting an offensive shootout from two of the top offensive teams in the Kansas City area, but offense was a premium as the defense stole the show.
East (4-0) was able to sneak in a bit of offense and one drive in particular was just enough to walk away with what could prove to be a program-defining win.
After the two teams traded possessions to start the half, the Lancers took over at their own 45. That’s when the Jordan Darling show started. The East quarterback did most of the damage on the drive by himself. He had six rushes for 24 yards and hooked up with a pair of Lancer receivers for another 28 yards.
“We did see something,” Sherman said. “We were running no back and the audible rule is when you see something you take it.
“We had to take advantage of what they were giving us.”
They were able to drive down to as close as the Falcons’ 2-yard line before the drive stalled.
That’s when Will Humphrey came in to knock a 19-yard field goal through the uprights for the only score of the game.
“We had to do what we could do to win,” Darling said.
The defending Class 6A champion Falcons (3-1) were able to roll up 246 yards of total offense, but really never threatened. The closest they got in the first half was the East 29 and didn’t get into Lancer territory in the second half.
“They had to throw more (than they usually do) and throwing is not normally their strength,” Sherman said, in reference to their vaunted rushing attack.
South managed 163 yards on the ground, but that number was well under their Sunflower League leading tally.
Darling finished the night going 13-of-24 for 162 yards. He also managed 26 yards on 16 carries, but most of that came in the second half He was buried in negative yards at the half.
“That was a huge win for us,” Darling added. “I can’t express how big of a win that was for this team.”
Neither team did much offensively in the first half. The Lancers were stuffed on the ground, amassing a grand total of zero yards on the ground in the first half. Darling did have 96 yards through the air.
South had a few more yards, but kept shooting themselves in the foot. They had 95 yards on the ground and Frankie Seurer, Jr. had 46 yards through the air by intermission.
The Falcons got as close as the Lancers 29 early in the second quarter, but a pair of penalties quickly backed them up to beyond midfield, ending the threat.
East was able to get to the South 10 with less than a minute to play in the half, but fell prey to a similar fate as a pair of penalties and a sack by South’s Sawyer Hawkins backed them up. They missed a 45-yard field goal with 35 seconds to play in the second quarter.
South’s Russell White led all rushers with 94 yards on 14 carries.
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