Olathe East holds on for first win

Dean Backes/PrepsKC

By Dean Backes PrepsKC Staff Writer
Posted: September 9, 2011 - 11:47 PM



After falling behind 35-13 early in the fourth quarter Friday, Shawnee Mission East return man Andy Hiett put a little jolt into Olathe Easts celebration at Shawnee Mission South Stadium.
 
Following Jeff Coles three-yard scoring burst to pull the Lancers within 35-19, Shawnee Mission East forced the Hawks to punt But as Hiett was getting ready to catch the ball, an Olathe East defender was called for interference.
 
Unfazed by the contact, Hiett raced around the right side and scored from 72 yards out, the flags were picked up, and with 3-minutes, 20-seconds to go in the contest Shawnee Mission East took all momentum away from the Hawks for the time being.
 
“If our backs going to hit him early they’re supposed to put him on the ground,” Olathe East coach Jeff Meyers said. We don’t want them to hit him early, but if they do hit him early, put him where he’s not going to be able to field the ball.
 
“They’re a very good football team and they’re dangerous, and they can score a lot of points quick.”
 
Following another Olathe East punt, the Lancer sideline came to life once again when Shawnee Mission East went on offense 69 yards from pay dirt and possibly tying the ball game with 1:30 remaining in the contest. But two incomplete passes and a sack, forced the Lancers into a fourth and long situation.
 
Trying to escape the pursuit of the Hawk defense, Lancer junior quarterback Nick Pirotte, who was filling in for the injured Dakota Collins, dumped the ball off to a Lancer receiver well short of first down yardage. Olathe East then ran out the clock to win 35-27 and improved to 1-1 on the season
 
“They’re a good football team. A very good football team,” Meyers said. “That’s a good win for us.”
 
The Hawks were able to get the rust off of their running game in the opening half. After managing just 16 first half rushing yards in a 29-14 season opening loss to Olathe North last week, Olathe East churned out 153 yards on the ground and three touchdowns in the first 24 minutes of the ball game to take a 21-7 advantage at intermission.
 
“They did a good job of controlling the ball in both halves,” Shawnee Mission East coach Chip Sherman said. “We answered their first score and then got behind the eight ball a little bit. But then we came out and scored three times in the second half. We did some good things we just have to clean up that run defense a little bit.”
 
Coach Meyers was pleased with improvements he saw.
 
“I’m proud of my kids,” he said. “They sucked it up and played hard this week, improving over last week. That’s what our goal was - to be a little more physical. We were a lot more physical than what we were last week.”
 
Kendall Kelly opened the games scoring with 8:14 remaining in the opening quarter when he broke the goal line with a six-yard scamper.
 
But the Lancers (1-1) responded in quick fashion on their opening possession. After hauling in an aerial from Collins, Lancer tight end Billy Sutherland fumbled. But David Sosna was there to pick up the ball and advance it to the Shawnee Mission East 44-yard line. Then Collins found Connor Rellihan open over the middle from 39 yards out allowing the 5-11, 165-pound junior to race in.
 
The Hawks, however, added a three-yard scoring run by John Kelsh and Kendall Kelly’s seven-yarder closed out the half’s scoring with Olathe East holding a commanding 21-7 advantage.
 
After forcing the Lancers to punt following their opening possession of the second half, East went back to work, scoring on Kelshs five-yard run to go up 28-7 with 5:57 left in the third quarter.
 
Jake Libeer answered with a five-yard scoring run of his own to pull the Lancers within 28-13. But Kelly responded for the Hawks from 53-yards out with a burst up the middle to once again put Olathe East up by three touchdowns.
 
The Hawks shut out Lancer wide receiver Elliot Faerber in the first half before allowing the 6-5 senior to have some success in the second half.
 
“We put double coverage on Faerber,” Meyers said. “He’s such a dangerous receiver. The kids responded very well to what we asked them to do from a defensive scheme stand point.”