By SAM MCDOWELL
The Kansas City Star
Shawnee Mission West senior Andre Maloney has played just about every position on the field. He’s a wide receiver, a cornerback, the punt returner and the kick returner. And he’s productive in every one of them.
So as you might guess, Maloney played a key role when Shawnee Mission West won the Kansas Class 6A state championship last season — the first state title the school had seen in 27 years.
He’s not slowing down this season, either. In a season-opening 10-3 win against Shawnee Mission South, Maloney scored the game’s lone touchdown.
He’s the latest high school athlete to go Four Downs with The Star.
1. As the defending champions, are teams gunning for you guys this season?
“Yeah, there’s a big target on our backs. In the first game, against Shawnee Mission South, everybody there knew they could beat us. We had to grind it out. Now we know every team in the Sunflower League is capable. We’re ready for it.”
2. What did you learn from the state championship run?
“It’s a lot different in the playoffs. You have to step it up because everybody else does. It takes a lot more to win the farther you get. We came in and got the job done.”
3. What’s your favorite position on the field?
“I like playing every position I play. I like making plays and having the ball in my hands. I like kick returning and punt returning because I’m in the open field and I feel like I’m best in the open field.”
4. What position do you plan to focus on at KU?
“KU offered me the chance to play cornerback, and they also told me I could do some of that Wildcat offense. They showed some of that last week, and I really liked it, so I’m looking forward to it.”
By the numbers
691 Days since the Oak Grove Panthers last lost a regular season football game. It’s been awhile. Oak Grove hasn’t dropped a regular season contest since Oct. 21, 2011. The Panthers are off to a 2-0 start this season with convincing wins against Lexington and Holden. They play host to Nevada at 7 tonight.
97 Total points scored in a matchup between Van Horn and Wyandotte last week. Van Horn won the back-and-forth game, 49-48, when Tony Winningham hit Isaiah Gotsis in stride for a 45-yard score with less than a minute to play. How’s that for late-game excitement?
20 Tackles for Leavenworth linebacker Jordan Donnelson last week, though it came in a losing effort against Shawnee Mission East.
7 Passing touchdowns for Lee’s Summit quarterback Drew Lock in a 77-55 win against Kearney last week. In two games, Lock has nine touchdowns and no interceptions. Not bad. Four different receivers for the Tigers have caught at least two touchdowns, led by Cameron Willis, who has four.
Athletes of the week
MISSOURI: Marquise Doherty
Doherty contributed to Winnetonka’s 41-27 win against Raytown South in just about every way imaginable. Offensively, he ran for two touchdowns and caught another from quarterback Julius Sebastiano. His night was only half over. Doherty also picked off two passes and returned them both for touchdowns.
KANSAS: McKinley Johnson
SCHOOL: Bishop Miege
It wasn’t too shabby of a season opener for Johnson. A two-way player, Johnson saved most of his damage for the offense. He opened the scoring in a 46-3 win against Blue Valley North with a 22-yard touchdown score before finishing the night with five catches, 144 yards and two touchdowns.
To reach Sam McDowell, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at twitter.com/SamMcDowell11.