Looking for healthy bodies

By Toriano Porter PrepsKC staff writer
Posted: September 29, 2017 - 1:57 PM

Life on the field over the past two weeks has been hectic for members of the five-team Interscholastic League.

Preseason league favorite Central has been hit hard by injuries - Blue Eagles’ quarterback Javion Shelby was shelved in a 33-20 Week 5 loss to University Academy - and have lost two straight.

“Definitely,” Eagles head coach Allen Supplee said, “injuries took its toll on us from the previous week, but the younger kids did a pretty good job of stepping up.

“Larris Burnett did a great job at the QB position. Our offense is fairly advanced utilizing a lot of reads and audibles and Larris picked that up really well.”

Central (2-4 overall, 2-1 in IL) will try to right the ship on the road Friday at Missouri Class 5 Columbia Hickman.

“We came into this season with a lot of expectations for wins,” Supplee said. “So far we have been on the wrong end of four games. We are going to Columbia to play 5A Hickman this week and we are still pretty banged up.

“We have made some changes to the offensive line and have asked a couple of players to make some personal sacrifices for the team. So far those sacrifices have looked really good at practice.”

Central should get Shelby back next week which will be a big boost during the team’s playoff drive, Supplee said.

“We are currently sitting fourth in our district and we hope that we can maintain that for the remainder of the regular season,” Supplee said. “It would be great to host a playoff game.”

Lincoln Prep, after a winless four weeks, are riding a two-game winning streak with victories over Southeast - in double overtime - and Northeast.

Things are trending up for the Blue Tigers, first-year head coach William Lowe said.

“We have a really young team and we challenged the kids to get better each week of the season,” he said. “They have stayed positive and done everything we’ve asked of them and it’s nice to see them reap some reward lately.”

The first-place Blue Tigers (2-4, 2-0 in IL) take on East Friday at IL Stadium. Lowe is banking on the momentum of the last two weeks to help Lincoln take control of the IL race.

“Our kids showed great resiliency in the come from behind double OT win against Southeast and then played well last week also,” Lowe said. “We just have to keep protecting the football and getting turnovers.”

East (1-5, 1-1) is coming off a 43-14 thumping at the hands of Summit Christian Academy. Ill-timed mistakes doomed the Bears against SCA, head coach Greg Smith said.

“We had too many penalties that stopped any momentum that we could start,” Smith said. “A close game early got away from us. We responded in the second half but it was too late.”

Southeast, winless headed into its Week 6 matchup with Central, pulled of the week’s biggest surprise. The Knights took advantage of a depleted Blue Eagles’ roster.

Head coach Leon McElrath told his team before the game to prepare for victory.

“My message is always the same before the every game,” McElrath said. He told his team: “The keys to victory, are always in the palm of their hands. You just have make a choice to grab them, and never let them go.”

“My hat goes off to the Central players and coaches. They had a great game plan and played a great game. If was a great team effort for us all around.”

Southeast (1-5, 1-1) and Northeast will tussle Saturday at Northeast. The Vikings, 1-5 overall and 0-3 in league play, are coming off a 45-6 loss to Lincoln.