One of the policies I implemented as Editor-in-Chief was that the head anchor wrote a recap after each Friday night broadcast. I interviewed players and typically posted a video and written recap by midnight. The quick turnaround provided practice in meeting a realistic deadline.
Football vs. SM Northwest
Published on Sept. 19, 2014 online
Throughout the undefeated 2014 season, I aimed to make my recaps exciting. This was sometimes difficult because our team beat opponents by an average of 35 points. To highlight their dominance in this game, I focused my lede on the most aggressive play of the game. The accompanying video was my first attempt at a visual recap.
The clock read 19 seconds left in the first half. Senior quarterback Gunnar Englund lined up his offense with almost 70 yards of field between him and the endzone. With a 34 point lead, he was in perfect position to take a knee and end the half.
Instead, Englund took the snap, dropped into his pocket and lofted a pass to senior wide receiver Alec Dean. Dean roped it in near the 20 yard line, and suddenly the Lancers were within striking zone of the end zone. After an unsuccessful running play, Englund fired another pass across the middle of the field. Senior Charley White dove to catch the low ball in the end zone, and the Lancers scored their fifth touchdown.
The 70-yard drive only took the Lancers 19 seconds and three plays, and it illustrated the high-tempo pace that the team set throughout their 41-6 victory over SM Northwest. Although the Lancers struggled with multiple fumbles and offensive penalties, the strength of the rushing game and a smothering performance by the defense provided the third Lancer blow-out of the season.
The Lancers relied on the running game, with junior Wyatt Edmiston pushing the ball up the middle for 108 yards and two touchdowns. Later in the game, junior Calvin Jones took the spot of Edmiston and rushed for 64 yards and two touchdowns, continuing to pound the ball up the middle.
This focus on rushing bought time for Englund in the pocket, and he capitalized by throwing for 105 yards and one touchdown. Englund was picked off towards the end of the second half, and the interception gave the Cougars their only score. After the pick-six, Englund responded with two resounding passing drives that resulted in touchdowns from Dean and White. Although the Lancers opened the game with a pass-heavy offense, they stopped throwing the ball in the second half.
The interception, along with multiple fumbles and offensive penalties, is a part of the offense that Englund looks forward to improving.
“Like last week, we moved the ball well and played pretty well, but mistakes and fumbles hurt us again,” Englund said. “I lost [the ball] when I faked a handoff and it hit the running back, and then Wyatt fumbled a pitch. It’s things we can fix.”
Although the Cougars scored on the interception, they were held scoreless by the Lancer defense. After forcing consecutive three-and-outs, the defense never allowed the Cougars into their red zone and stopped the running game in the gut of the field.
With the Cougars missing their main running back, Duron Lowe, the SM Northwest offense was out of rhythm. Senior Kyle Ball capitalized on the weakness, bursting through the offensive line to sack the quarterback and make stops in the backfield.
“Our coaches drilled us all week on their main plays so we ate it up,” Ball said. “Then they had to start trying different things but we never got lazy and always stuck to our keys.”
Football vs. SM North
Published on Nov. 1, 2014 online
Our football team broke multiple records in this game, so I wanted to explain the story that went beyond the 62-12 victory. This was the first video recap that I scripted, which allowed me to use statistics and stronger language to improve my audio quality.
The touchdown came early in the game, halfway through the second quarter. Junior Wyatt Edmisten found a hole in the middle of the field and sprinted to the end zone. It wasn’t Edmisten’s first — or last — touchdown of the night. But as the scoreboard changed to read 20-6, Edmisten and the Lancers quietly broke the Sunflower League record for points scored in a single season.
With their 62-12 win over SM North, the Lancers also clinched the first perfect season in the program’s history. Senior quarterback Gunnar Englund started the game with a long pass to sophomore Sky Tate, who would score again in the second half. After losing possession on several fumbles, Englund led his team in a rushing attack, and carried the ball in for a touchdown of his own.
Besides two touchdowns scored by Tate and one by senior Alec Dean, the Lancers mainly focused on their rushing game. Edmisten led the team in rushing, supported by junior Mike Bamford and senior Sam Huffman. But although the game was one of the highest scores of the Lancers’ season, with six different players scoring, it was also a game riddled with fumbles and turnovers.
The East defense responded by pressuring sophomore North quarterback Will Schneider, collapsing his pocket and forcing bad passes. Although North scored twice in the first half, the East defense wore down on the North offensive line, giving senior Kyle Ball plenty of time to rope in sacks in the second half.
Meanwhile, senior Charley White anchored the East secondary, which was missing injured safety Will Oakley against the league-leading passing offense. White pulled down two interceptions, shutting down Schneider’s long distance ability.
“The offense played pretty sloppy, especially in the first half,” Englund said. “We turned it over too many times, but the defense, like usual, had our backs and got some of those turnovers back with turnovers of their own.”
Football vs. Olathe North
Published on Nov. 22, 2014 online
This state-qualifying victory was big enough to make the front page of the sports section in the Kansas City Star — a spot normally reserved for the Chiefs. I structured this recap to highlight the final few plays and capture the intensity of the game.
It was a gutsy call.
The team knew it as they lined up on the five yard line. It was double overtime in the sub-state championship game. The scoreboard read 34-35. Olathe North was in the lead.
The Lancers needed one point to tie. They were going for two — to win.
The ball was snapped. Senior Gunnar Englund pitched out right to senior Sam Huffman, who already had two touchdowns on the night. Huffman took two steps towards the sideline, then paused. He cut inside, dodged two defenders and lunged forward into the endzone.
The student section erupted into screams and a shower of confetti. Huffman sprinted around the field, ripping off his helmet as his entire team stormed after him. The senior took a victory lap before flopping onto his back as students began to hop the fence to join their team on the field.
The Lancers were going to state.
Before the game even began, both teams knew that last night’s sub state championship game would be brutal. Both teams entered the game undefeated. The Eagles boasted 2013 Sunflower League Offensive Player of the Year Venus Triplett, who had already notched 21 touchdowns on the season. Facing off against Triplett was the league’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year, senior Kyle Ball, who had 102 tackles and 10 sacks going into the game.
With two highly-charged offenses, the game was expected to be a shoot-out. But after Huffman ran in a touchdown to start the game, the first half quickly became a defensive battle. The Lancers drove close to the Eagles’ endzone, but struggled to finish, ending one drive on a fourth down on the three yard line.
In the second half, the Olathe North defense gave the Eagles the spark they needed to rally offensively. After scoring off of an interception from Englund in the middle of the third quarter, the Eagles blocked a punt, putting themselves in scoring position on the Lancers’ 15 yard line. From there, Triplett was able to drive up the middle to put the Eagles up 14-7.
The Lancers needed a score to regain momentum. Huffman delivered. The running back broke through a hole along the left side of the field for his second touchdown. But with a missed point after, the Lancers still trailed heading into the final quarter.
They found their offensive answer in junior Wyatt Edmisten, who led the next drive and rushed for a touchdown, and a two-point conversion. The Lancers took a 21-14 lead.
Olathe North answered. After the Lancer defense held strong for several drives, the Eagles used passing plays to work their way into the red zone. And on fourth down, Olathe North quarterback Cole Murphy floated a pass into the back of the end zone for a touchdown.
Each team would have four downs at the ten yard line to score. After three plays, East scored off a drive from Edmisten. Then Murphy scrambled for a touchdown, and the game was tied again.
This time, the Lancers deferred and let Olathe North start with the ball. They scored after two plays. It was the Lancers’ turn again.
On third down, Edmisten dove forward onto a dogpile of linemen. He extended the ball just far enough, and the referees raised their arms for a touchdown. Head coach Dustin Delaney motioned to his offense from the sidelines — stay on the field.
Then came the two-point conversion. Then came Huffman’s victory lap around endzone, the students charging onto the field. Then came the trophy, which every player tried to get a hand on as the team took their second-to-last post-game picture of the season.
And for the second year in a row, the Lancers were sub-state champions.
“Tonight was the definition of a family win,” Englund said. “Our motto going into the game was ‘One heartbeat,’ and we played with one big heartbeat tonight.”