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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Pioneers facing another football power on the road

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  • Last week’s win over Shawnee Mission West no doubt created excitement for the Leavenworth faithful, but if the Pioneers would win this Friday at Olathe East, it would be a site to see in two weeks when they host their first district game against Lawrence. The Pioneers opened up the win over SM West with a 10-0 lead, but went down by 11 points twice and 12 points once. Leavenworth was also able to comeback against Olathe South in Week 3, but fell just short. “You try to build on your wins and you also try to overcome and build on your losses as well,” said head coach Mark Littrell. “This is just a process for us, and I’m just trying to get the kids to play hard and play focused and play assignment correct.” The Pioneers may face similar obstacles against the Olathe East Hawks on Friday. The Hawks are tied for third in the Sunflower League, but only five points have kept them from being tied for first with Shawnee Mission East. A 26-23 loss at Olathe North and a 28-26 loss at Lawrence Free State are the only falters the Hawks have had this season. The Hawks have been one of the best football programs this decade, making the playoff every year since 2002. Jeff Meyers has been the coach since the school opened in 1992, and Littrell is quite familiar with his style. “It was funny because you watch the film and a couple of coaches that we’ve been together before, we go, ‘Hey, they look just like Olathe East has always looked,’” he said. “They are physical, they come off the ball and they will power run you.” The Hawks have more than 1,000 yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground this season. The Pioneers have similar numbers because of the running attack of senior Jason Randall. As a team, Leavenworth has 1,031 yards and seven scores. The Pioneers may not be able to rely on comebacks every game, so starting fast and maintaining it could determine who wins. “We’ve got to get to where we can finish things early and not allow mistakes to get them back into the games,” Littrell said.

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