Rams' mistakes too much; LVHS records big win as Lions, Basehor roll


EASTON - They had hoped for an offensive Renaissance, but instead, the Pleasant Ridge High football team had to settle for the modern version of a cute, little sidewalk art fair.

After being shut out a week ago in Holton, the Rams and head coach Patrick McCollim saw some signs Friday against a solid Jackson Heights club that invaded Easton for Pleasant Ridge's home opener for the new season.

The visiting Cobras used a relentless running attack and an experienced core of veterans to push around the younger Rams, 38-6, and knock Pleasant Ridge to 2-0 on the season.

“We played really good defense for about two-and-a-half quarters and this is an offense that comes down hill and you have to play tough football,” McCollim said. “We did that, but I think they wore us down a little. We’ve got to, offensively, take advantage of the opportunities our defense gives us. At the moment, we are shooting ourselves in the foot with penalties and mistakes.

“We are making plays, we just can’t put them together. We make a play here, get 15 yards here, then we go back five with a false start or take a sack and now it’s second-and-17. We just got to get consistent. We have a lot of young kids on the field, we had five freshmen playing. When we get it, we’re going to be a good team, we’re just not there yet. We have to clean up our discipline.”

The two teams took to the ground and stuck to it while the Cobras had the better of possession, driving deep into Pleasant Ridge territory before the Rams' defense stiffened and turned their guests over on downs.

The first quarter ended in a scoreless draw.

The second Jackson Hieghts' drive bore more fruit as it marched 55 yards in just under four minutes and took a 6-0 lead on a 1-yard run by Brady Holliday with 7:28 left before halftime.

The Cobras then struck again right at the doorstep of halftime as they marched down the field for a touchdown pass and two-point conversion with only a dozen seconds left before heading to the locker room.

Pleasant Ridge's scoreless streak was now six quarters and the Rams trailed 14-0 at the break.

The second half was more of the same as Heights continued to churn yards in chunks, but Pleasant Ridge's defense held on one drive deep in their own territory. 

However, a shanked punt allowed Jackson Heights a short field and they converted that opportunity on a short scoring run a few plays later to ultimately lead 22-0 heading into the fourth quarter.

A key piece to this defeat was when the Rams held the Cobras deep inside their territory after the halftime, but couldn’t take advantage.

“That was the turning point,” McCollim said. “We had the ball first-and-10, moving toward their end zone and we could have made it a one possession game right there….we had a 3-yard loss, we had a false start so, we just got to get out of our own way a little bit. It’s coming, but it has to come sooner than later.”

Pleasant Ridge, trailing 30-0, did score late in the contest on a Breydon Baragary 7-yard touchdown pass to Clayton Richter with just about 90 seconds left to pull within, 30-6, and finally get into the end zone. 

A Cobra kickoff return for a score moments later accounted for the final tally.

“We felt pressure to score and the game moves fast for some of those young kids,” McCollim said. “We make mistakes and they cost us.”

LVHS moves to 2-0

After taking a 9-0 halftime lead, the Leavenworth High Pioneers held off the host Shawnee Mission West Vikings, 16-14 Friday night, behind another strong defensive performance.

Devin Johnston scored on a touchdown run and recorded a safety in the first half, while Robert McKinley hooked up with Andrew Ativie on a 17-yard touchdown pass to ward off the Vikings and move to 2-0 on the season.

They have already surpassed last year’s win total.

“Our defense stepped up time and time again,” LVHS head coach Mark Littrell said. “We made plays on offense, but we still need to clean up our execution on the offensive line. We also had too many turnovers.”

McKinley went 3-for-11 for 34 yards and the one score and a pick, Johnston had 17 carries for 62 yards and the one touchdown.

Ativie also had all three receptions off of McKinley’s passes.

On the defensive side of the ball, Seth Johnson had 11 tackles and Drake Allen had nine tackles, two for a loss.


BLHS stomps Spring Hill

Basehor-Linwood made it two straight shutouts and dominated in a step-up in competition, rolling past hosts Spring Hill, 38-0 on Friday night.

BLHS (2-0) got an opening kickoff return for a touchdown by JC Watson, who also had two touchdown runs, two touchdowns from Nolan Ford - one by run another by pass catch - and a field goal by Parker Rusk.

"I felt like our defense played very well tonight,” BLHS head coach Rod Stallbaumer said. “They were physical and focused.  Offensively, we had a lot of first-game type mistakes that we have to clean up.  I felt like we hurt ourselves too much, but we have some room to grow.  It was a good win against a quality Spring Hill team.  Pleased with our effort, but we must continue to improve."

Lansing routs Bishop Ward

The Lions moved to 1-1 on the season with a rousing, 67-0 win at Bishop Ward on Friday.

Tyler Green ran seven times for 85 yards and two touchdowns and Tre Pledger, Konner McQuillan, Brennan Ward and Ignacio Nelson added a running score each.

Pledger and Luke Schneider each had a touchdown pass for Lansing while the defense also got a fumble recovery for a score by Jacob Bennett as the Lions led 46-0 by halftime.