The strategy was simple Friday for Shawnee Mission East as the Lancers met SM West in a district game at SM South District Stadium.
By CHARLES REDFIELD
Special to The Star
“We wanted to pound it, pound it and pound it some more,” said SM East fullback Luke Taylor, who rushed 28 times for 127 yards and scored two TDs.
The heavy-duty result: a 27-0 victory over the Vikings.
The victory improved SM East’s record to 2-0 in district play and 7-1 overall. SM West fell to 4-4 and 1-1.
“It’s a big win for us,” first-year coach Dustin Delaney said. “To beat a rival and the defending state champions is big.
“It’s big to get the win and no injuries. We want to be ready for the playoffs.”
The Lancers scored on their first possession, moving 80 yards in 11 plays. The touchdown came on a 24-yard pass from senior quarterback Christian Blessen to junior wide receiver Alec Dean.
On their next possession, the Vikings moved to a first down at the 13, but the drive stalled.
Junior kicker Tyler Thayer’s 31-yard field goal attempt was partially blocked by SM East senior Mitchell Tyler. It was returned by senior linebacker Ryan Carter 72 yards to the Vikings’ 18.
On the sixth play of the short drive, Taylor scored from the 2 and Tyler added the placement to make it 13-0 with 9:51 left in the half.
Undaunted, the Vikings mounted another long drive, moving to a first down at the 12. But on fourth and 2 at the 4, junior tailback Tarik Watson was stopped for no gain with 19 seconds left before halftime.
To start the second half, SM East successfully navigated an onside kick, with Tyler recovering the ball at the Viking 40.
It took the Lancers just six plays to move the 40 yards, with Taylor carrying the ball into the end zone from the 9 with 9:50 left in the third quarter.
SM East limited the Vikings to just two first downs in the second half.
“We did a good job of attacking up front defensively,” Delaney said of the defensive that pitched a shutout.
The last SM East touchdown came on a nine play, 57-yard drive. Taylor had 47 yards in the drive, but quarterback Christian Blessen got the touchdown on a one-yard run with 6:22 left in the game.
The Lancers didn’t have a turnover on the night.
“We are getting better at what we are doing,” Delaney said. “We are safer with the ball.”