For two-and-a-half quarters Friday, Bonner Springs did everything they could to hand Lansing an upset win.
The Lions were more than happy to oblige, taking advantage of two Braves turnovers, a blown coverage, and numerous penalties that extended Lions scoring drives.
The underdogs from Lansing held a 34-27 advantage mid-way through the third quarter.
The problem: Lansing couldn't stop Bonner's option run attack, and if the Braves ever stopped shooting themselves in the foot, Lansing was going to be in trouble.
The shift of fortunes began with the score knotted at 34 mid-way through the third quarter. Lansing running back Ben Johnson coughed up a fumble inside Braves territory, and this time, a loose ball didn't go Lansing's way.
Bonner would score a few plays later, and would pile on another five touchdowns in a game that ended up with a 70-42 lopsided score and pushing the Lions to 0-2.
“We needed to somehow play better defense,” said Lansing head coach Bill Pekarek. “We're disappointed, because our offense is talented enough [to win games].
The defense has allowed 58 and 70 points to start the season, spoiling an exciting offensive attack that features mostly quick passes and screens, and then strikes deep when the safeties cheat by playing up in the box.
The deep connection was working well Friday. Quarterback Krystian Abbott hit big-play receiver Khalil Bailey on two long touchdown passes.
The first helped Lansing overcome an early 14-0 deficit. The second cut Bonner's lead to six points early in the fourth, but they wouldn't score again.
Bailey finished with 196 yards on 11 catches, with two receiving touchdowns and a kick return touchdown to boot.
The junior quarterback Abbott had one of the best games of his short high school career, completing 18-35 for 328 yards and two touchdowns to go along with one interception after the game was out of reach.
“We were able to spread the ball around to a lot of receivers, and our offense was good,” Pekarek said.
The defense is what will require special attention this week in practice after yielding 629 yards (503 rushing), and forcing Bonner Springs to punt just once.
“We just have to figure out how to stop somebody,” Pekarek said.
Lansing, will have their chance next Friday at home against Turner.