Strong passing game not enough as LVHS dents home, playoff chances / Roundup

Strong passing game not enough as LVHS dents home, playoff chances




Seizing opportunities for success are what define the difference between an elite team and one trying to join the big boys at the table.

The Leavenworth Pioneers’ football team saw a golden chance to up its record to 4-3 this season and all but assure itself of a Class 5A home, district playoff game two weekends from now as Olathe South rolled into town Friday night.

After a quick start that could have truly been better, the Pioneers saw the visiting Falcons rally, take the lead and then rally once more to hand Leavenworth a disappointing, 21-14 defeat.

LVHS (3-4) lost three of its four home games this fall and now must hope to win at Olathe East next week to still, maybe host a home playoff game, even if that opportunity may have sailed.

“I know how it all is, we let one slip because we played better than they did,” LVHS head coach Mark Littrell said. “When we get our opportunities, we can’t leave 14 points on the field. I am proud of how our kids played, they played their tails off. It was really physical. What bothered me, was watching film and seeing how physical South played and I challenged the team to play more physical and they did. They went toe-to-toe with them.

“If we play like that next week and the week after that, we will be OK.”

Leavenworth had no issue moving the ball between the 20s, but could not finish more drives that ended on the South doorstep.

“This was our best offensive game by far, we executed and did some things a little different to compete with our strengths,” Littrell said. “It was just one that got away.”

Devin Johnston scored on a 3-yard touchdown run early on in the first quarter for Leavenworth to lead 7-0 and Andrew Ativie added a 41-yard touchdown catch and run off of a pass from Robert McKinley to tie the game at 14-14 in the opening phases of the final quarter.

However, South’s counter only minutes later wth Tyler Cavil’s 32-scoring run would determine the final outcome.

Leavenworth gained 295 total yards, 228 via McKinley’s passing (15-for-31 with a touchdown and a pick) while Johnston ran for 38 yards and 13 carries while also catching five passes for 57 yards and Ativie finished with eight catches for 141 yards.

“We did well (offensively) tonight, we were picking up big yardage plays on third down and that’s where we were strong,” McKinley said. “We just had some mental mistakes, a false start here and there and formation problems. We played a good game and we played our hearts out tonight.” 

Lansing 35, Turner 13

The Lansing Lions  helped themselves just a bit more when it comes to Class 5A East playoff seeding with a strong, 35-13 win over Turner on senior night.

The Lions (2-5) ended a 4-game losing streak thanks to four rushing touchdowns by quarterback Jahleal Sweet (20 rushes, 123 yards) and a defense that forced three Turner turnovers.

Lansing led 14-13 at halftime before breaking the game open after the intermission. 

BLHS 33, Piper 0

The Bobcats opened up Class 4A-I District I play with a resounding 33-0 win at Kansas City Piper (3-4, 0-1).

BLHS (6-1, 1-0) ended up gaining the early edge in district play as only two of four teams qualify for the playoffs and did so by playing its best football in a month.

"It was a nice win to start districts, I felt like we executed better offensively,” BLHS head coach Rod Stallbaumer said. “We still made plenty of mistakes but I think our guys were more comfortable.  Defense played much more disciplined this week.  We must continue to improve with a good Atchison team coming in on senior night.  This time of year you have to be focused every week and we must be ready."

Nolan Ford had three touchdown runs, while Dylan Mussett and Marlon McDaniel each ran for one scoring touchdown apiece. 

MH-MA 56, Pleasant Ridge 0

Pleasant Ridge’s hopes of a Class 3A District 2 title fell exponentially after a 56-0 defeat at Maur-Hill Mount Academy on Friday night.

Now, in order to go to the state playoffs, the Rams (2-5, 0-1) will have to win home games against ACCHS and Maranatha to make that happen.

“Tonight was a very disappointing performance by myself and the team,” PRHS head coach Patrick McCollim said. “We allowed them to make some plays early and we never recovered.  We made mistakes tonight that we haven't made in three weeks and must get into the film and get it cleaned up to win the next to and get into the playoffs.”