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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Defense wins it for Pioneers

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  • The coats, hats, gloves and blankets were plentiful at Pioneers Stadium Friday night – and so was the Leavenworth defense. Lawrence drove down close to the red zone late in the fourth quarter down 16-8, but a host of Pioneers made a fourth down stop in the backfield to give the Pioneers a district win on senior night. Leavenworth is 1-0 in district play and seniors Jordan and Jared Donnelson were among many who made the plays to get it done. Jordan took down the Lawrence punter late in the first quarter to give the Pioneers the ball at the Lions' 12-yard line. Isaiah Ross would score from four yards out three plays later on a third down to give the Pioneers a 13-0 lead late in the first quarter. What caused the punting situation in the first place? A Jordan Donnelson sack on second down to make it 3rd and 19. “It's my team,” Jordan said. “I couldn't do any of that without my teammates.” Ross and Anthony Hunt are only a couple of other players who made the stops when Leavenworth needed them. “For them to make the plays they all have to do it,” said head coach Mark Littrell. The lone score for the Lions came on a 43-yard run on the seventh play of the third quarter, but Lawrence punted three times and turned it over on downs the rest of the game. It was the Pioneers offense that actually got things started. After both teams punted on the opening drives, it only took five plays for Leavenworth to go 83 yards to score. Landry Hodges threw a 36-yard pass to Ross and Ross added a 25-yard run to march down the field. Jason Randall finished it off with a 5-yard touchdown run to make it 7-0 with 4:12 left in the first quarter. Leavenworth had a 16-0 lead at the half after Jake Boyce kicked in a 28-yard field goal with 1.4 second left in the half. The offense wouldn't score again, but it wasn't needed. The Pioneers travel to Lawrence Free State next week. The Firebirds are the top team in the Sunflower League. “It's a great opportunity and we are going to work hard,” Jordan said.

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