No offense, Lions need spark

Lansing High football needs a boost and what better way to find one than with a win over a team that rewrote the Lions’ 2016 season?

A year ago, Lansing was rolling at 3-1 and was the favorite heading into Tonganoxie, but the host Chieftains brought plenty of fight and toughness to the contest and recorded a 28-21 win.

That loss started a 1-4 spiral for the Lions who now stand 1-3 heading into Friday’s homecoming game against the same Tonganoxie team at 7 p.m.

The two teams will battle it out in the Leavenworth Times’ Game of the Week. For Lansing, it’s a chance to right the ship after three losses that have come by a combined 23 points, including last weekend’s14-7 overtime loss to Piper.

“The team played well last week, but we struggled to get the football into the red area,” Lansing head coach John McCall said. “The players are competing at a high level, but it is obvious to all that we need to score more points. Red zone production is the point of emphasis this week.”

Tonganoxie enters the game with a 4-0 record including last weekend’s impressive 28-18 win over Bonner Springs.

“Tonganoxie is a run first football team,” McCall said. “They are sound in all three phases of the game and our program looks forward to the challenge. Based on film and weekly results, these Kaw Valley League (KVL) matchups will be competitive and close.”

The two teams will wage battle for the last time as KVL opponents as the league disbands after the school year ends. 

The Lions’ defense will have to come up big to win the historic final KVL meeting between the two teams. 

“Our defense is playing well as a unit and we hope this trend continues and they get better each week,” McCall said. “Special team units need to eliminate the one mistake a game trend and they are striving to accomplish this. Offensively, the inside run game has been the most successful component of advancing the ball. More balance is needed for us to have more explosive plays and score more points.”

That may come if some areas can be tweaked for the better.

“What has been the most challenging aspect for our team this fall is perimeter offense,” McCall said. “Coaches and players are working daily to improve this part of our game. This week will be our next test in securing perimeter success. We believe this will be a large key to the game Friday.”