New faces, same Olathe North
By Jim Bradford PrepsKC Senior Writer
OLATHE — Victor who? Adonis what?
Olathe North introduced a pair of new running backs and a new quarterback Friday night against rival Olathe East.
North’s Treshawn Root and Orange Mooney combined for 309 yard rushing as the Eagles jumped the Hawks early and held on for a 29-14 win at the College Boulevard Activity Center.
The Eagles lost quarterback Victor Simmons and Adonis Saunders from last year’s Class 6A state runner up team. The two combined for nearly 3,000 rushing yards in 2010.
Root and Mooney ran roughshod over an East team expected to be strong along the offensive and defensive lines. As it turned out the Eagles line was the one that shone brightest on Friday night.
“They may not be physically imposing,” said North head coach Pete Flood, in reference to his line, “but they get after it.”
That is exactly what they did.
Before the Hawks knew what had hit them, the Eagles were up 22-0. Mainly on the shoulders of Root, Mooney and all-everything Tanner Gentry.
North went up 8-0 on a Jordan Bruce to Gentry 29-yard touchdown pass midway through the first quarter. Bruce scrambled in for the two-point conversion.
Mooney went in from seven yards out with just seven seconds left in the first quarter to put North up 15-0.
Bruce and Gentry hooked up again — this time from 25 yards — on a gorgeous timing pattern to the left midway through the second quarter, putting North up 22-0.
“We didn’t do a good job defensively at all,” East head coach Jeff Meyers said. “We were putting our arms out instead of hitting them. We just have to improve our tackling.”
Mooney finished with 169 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries and Root rushed for 140 on 18 carries.
“We came out really pumped up,” Mooney said. “We just came out and executed our game plan.”
Both Mooney and Root are new to the Eagles in 2011. Mooney transferred to North from Phoenix and Root came across town from East.
“There were definitely a lot of butterflies,” said a smiling Mooney. “But once I got out there for that first play. They were gone.”
East was left for dead with six minutes left to play in the first half, but a 77-yard touchdown pass from John Blazevic to Chad Johnson two plays after North went up 22-0, served as the perfect wake-up call. The Hawks controlled the tempo the rest of the way, converting a North fumble into another touchdown with just nine seconds to play.
On fourth and 18 form the North 31, Blazevic hooked up with Johnson once again, threading a pass between two North defenders in the endzone for a touchdown to pull East to within 22-14.
“We were able to wake up and get a few things figured out,” Meyers said.
Unfortunately for the Hawks, after holding the Eagles in check for most of the third quarter, the Eagles began to flex their muscle again as the fourth quarter began. Mooney added his second touchdown with 5:35 to play, putting the game out of reach for the Hawks.
Root and Mooney combined for 171 yards on the ground in the first half.
Blazevic was 5-of-9 for 150 yards and Johnson had four catches for 128 yards and two touchdowns through 24 minutes. Blazevic finished with 198 yards and two touchdowns through the air on 10-of-19 passing.
Bruce was 7-of-16 for 94 yards and two touchdowns in the win.
“Jordan was very solid tonight,” Flood said. “He threw a couple of great balls there in the first half.”
While the North offense was chugging along, their defense was silently shutting down the Hawks most of the night.
Take away the long 77-yard scoring pass and East had just 121 yards through the air and managed just 69 yards on the ground and just 17 on the ground in the first half.
“The defense really played well,” Flood said. “The linebackers all really played great.”
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