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Kansas teams struggle again in Sunflower-Suburban Showdown

Shawnee Mission East’s Milton Braasch fights off Rockhurst’s Matt O’Keefe for some extra yardage Friday night. SM East fell to Rockhurst 21-17 at Shawnee Mission North District Stadium.
Shawnee Mission East’s Milton Braasch fights off Rockhurst’s Matt O’Keefe for some extra yardage Friday night. SM East fell to Rockhurst 21-17 at Shawnee Mission North District Stadium. Special to The Star

For one half, Olathe South looked primed to strike a blow for Kansas high school football.

Playing at Lee’s Summit last Friday in the second Sunflower-Suburban Showdown series, Olathe South was outmuscling the Tigers and behind senior quarterback Nick Jouret, who already had 100 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

That all changed in the second half.

With Jouret sidelined by an injury, Lee’s Summit’s defense stiffened and Olathe South failed to maintain its momentum during a 28-15 loss.

Olathe South (1-2) led 15-14 at halftime, but the Tigers’ defense forced three turnovers, including an interception returned for a touchdown early in the third quarter, in pacing the Lee’s Summit rally.

“When our quarterback cramped up and went down it pretty much changed our game plan,” said Olathe South coach Craig Lewis, who said Jouret took a helmet to the thigh early in the third quarter.

Suburban Conference teams ran the table in last year’s Showdown, winning all 10 games in the series — 11 including independent Rockhurst’s victory over Shawnee Mission East.

This time, the Sunflower League managed two wins, including a particularly impressiv win by Lawrence Free State.

The Firebirds, who entered play ranked No. 2 in Kansas Class 6A, outlasted the top-ranked team in Missouri Class 6, Park Hill, 21-16.

Shawnee Mission Northwest had the other Kansas win, downing Grandview 36-29.

In the other series games, Lee’s Summit North squeaked by Olathe Northwest for the second year in a row 24-23, Lee’s Summit West outlasted Lawrence 49-35, Blue Springs rolled past SM West 42-0, Winnetonka edged SM South 7-0, Blue Springs South routed Olathe North 50-7, Liberty topped Olathe East 34-13 and North Kansas City downed Leavenworth 27-6.

Rockhurst also won again, beating SM East 21-17.

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