By Ian Stanford
LANSING — You don’t graduate 19 seniors one year and expect to pick up where you left off the next. So it was for the young Lions Friday, who showed their growing pains for the second straight week in a blowout 34-7 loss to Bonner Springs.
Cornerbacks got beat. Passes got dropped. Balls were underthrown.
The mismatch began, though, in the trenches. Lansing’s young, undersized defensive line didn’t have a prayer of pressuring Bears quarterback Jordan Jackson.
The result was a Jackson-piloted air show at Frank Graham Field.
The junior Jackson showed off his arm with throws all over the field. But mostly downfield. Despite throwing at times into a heavy southward wind, Jackson aired out touchdowns of 13, 51, and 99 yards.
The 99-yarder was a bomb from the back of the end zone, hauled in with outstretched arms by Travis Dooley, who was also the recipient of Jackson’s 51-yard TD.
Even the most rabid Lions fans couldn’t help but be impressed.
Lions head coach Bill Pekarek did more head shaking than talking after the game.
“We were bad everywhere,” he said. “We’re not running worth a damn. The o-line couldn’t protect [Sommerla]. We couldn’t do anything on defense.”
The Lansing offense had a few good plays in the first half, but couldn’t move the chains, going just 1-for-5 on third downs. The lone bright spot Friday was Lansing’s scoring drive late in the third quarter.
Down 28-0, the Lions started deep in their own territory. But this time, instead of a quick punt, quarterback Jordan Sommerla and the Lions started moving the chains. Sommerla alternatively completed passes from the pocket and on roll-out throws. Shortly into the 4th quarter, Sommerla hit Khalil Bailey on a 58-yard touchdown pass.
It was their best drive this year, against a good defense, and certainly something to build on.
On the drive, Sommerla had the Lion offense firing, if just for a few minutes.
Unfortunately, the rest of the time he was either on his heels or being tossed around by Bonner Springs’ imposing defensive line.
Sommerla finished the night 14-29 for one TD and no interceptions. Khalil Bailey led the Lions in receptions, catching six balls for 119 yards and a touchdown.
Similar to their week-one upset loss at the hands of Tonganoxie, the Lions couldn’t get a run game going. Lucas Mein carried the ball seven times for 26 yards.
The Lions next head to Turner Friday at 7 p.m. When asked what the team would try to improve on this week, coach Pekarek said, simply, “Everything.”
Considering how the Lions have looked so far in this rebuilding season, that still might not be enough.
Bonner Springs 34, Lansing 7
September 7, 2012
BON 6 6 16 6 — 34
LAN 0 0 0 7 — 7
Jordan Jackson 13-yard pass to Jonathan Blackwell (XP no good)
Jordan Jackson 31-yard run (2pt conversion no good)
Jordan Jackson 51-yard pass to Travis Dooley (2pt conversion good)
Jordan Jackson 99-yard pass to Travis Dooley (2pt conversion good)
Jordan Sommerla 58-yard pass to Khalil Bailey (XP good)
Jordan Jackson 7-yard run (2pt conversion no good)