Friday night features the area’s final homecoming matchup as the Lansing Lions host the Harmon Hawks.
The Lions enter the game after a 49-19 win over Leavenworth to improve to 2-3 on the season while the Hawks enter 0-5 and are coming off of a 52-12 loss to Schlagle.
Prior to the game against Leavenworth, the Lions focused on fundamentals at practice and head coach Dylan Brown said that will continue to keep the team from regressing after the win.
“The key is to keep building on the fundamentals we went back to last week,” Brown said. “We’re spending a lot more time in individual periods and getting specific and focused on player-by-player tasks and techniques. The biggest areas of focus this week has been a continuation of last week’s internal focus. We feel our biggest jump in game time performance will be a mastery of our fundamentals in assignment and execution.”
With the Lions looking to continue to work on focus, they also will look to get the victory for the homecoming game. Brown said the pageantry surrounding the homecoming game makes it special.
“The thing that makes homecoming so special is really all the stuff that happens around the game,” Brown said. “We have alumni returning, we have a parade, we recognize all our fall sports and activities at our homecoming extravaganza, it’s just a big celebration of what it means to be a Lansing Lion, and what makes that so special.”
For Lansing to get the victory, Brown continues to push the same outlook he has for most of the season.
“I'm going to sound like a broken record here,” Brown said. “But the key to beating Harmon is the same as it was to beating Leavenworth or any other opponent we have remaining. We get better at what we do. The kids finally saw some things come together in the second quarter of the last game, and latched on and played some really good football from then on out. It was great to show them on film what it looks like when it starts coming together, of course, we still have a lot to improve and we will continue to look to do that this week against Harmon.”
The Leavenworth Times will be covering the game Friday. Follow our Twitter @LVTSportsGuy for updates.
The Basehor-Linwood Bobcats are looking to improve to 5-1 on Friday in a conference matchup against 5-0 De Soto.
Head coach Rod Stallbaumer said that most of the practices this week have been focused on the game plan and being disciplined in reads and keys.
The reads were an issue that Stallbaumer mentioned was an issue in the 53-6 win over Turner.
“We struggled last week in making some of our pre- and post-snap reads offensively and got away with it,” Stallbaumer said. “So we have spent more chalk talk and video time this week discussing those things, and then repped them on the field to see if we can get that knowledge to translate.”
One of the aspects of pride for Basehor-Linwood is the strength and conditioning program. Stallbaumer feels like the strong program has helped the players be optimized for the wear and tear of the season.
“Coach (Justin) Wieser does a great job with our strength and conditioning program,” Stallbaumer said. “Both in the summer building kids up as well as in season crafting a program to optimize physical performance. I think our switch to a two-platoon system has also contributed to us reducing the wear and tear of a season and I feel like we have always emphasized in-season conditioning as a part of our football program that has also contributed to putting us in a position to be successful at the end of the season.”
The Bobcats will have a tough test this week with De Soto. The Wildcats are 5-0 and Stallbaumer said the Wildcats will be the most disciplined team the Bobcats have faced.
“De Soto will be the most disciplined team we have faced so far this season,” Stallbaumer said. “Their players are well coached and will be in the right places offensively and defensively. We will need to execute and make plays in order to beat them, they rarely beat themselves. Their offensive line is the largest we have played this season. They average 280 pounds and play physical. They are also an option-based team with multiple weapons that puts a lot of stress on a defense by attacking the whole field and forcing you to be assignment sound. Winning the line of scrimmage, being disciplined with our reads and keys, and winning the turnover battle will be huge for us to have success.”
The Leavenworth Pioneers look to rebound in their game against Shawnee Heights. The Thunderbirds are 3-2 on the season and are coming off of a 30-14 win against Washington.
The Pioneers suffered a big blow last week when running back Ja’Hawn Byrd suffered a concussion and will be sidelined for at least two weeks. Head coach Mark Littrell said that Keenan Brown will take the starting role in Byrd’s absence.
The injury was another negative aspect of a long season for the Pioneers who are 1-4 on the year. Entering the year, Littrell mentioned the youth of the team. A lot of sophomores and juniors do not have varsity experience are starting, but he feels like the team has gotten better as the year has progressed even if the scores haven’t always reflected that.
“I do feel like we are getting better as the season progresses,” Littrell said. “The scores may not look like we are getting better, but we really are. We just need to be able to overcome adversity during a game and continue to play hard and to do our job.”
According to Littrell, the keys at practice this week will also be the keys to winning the game on Friday.
“We will keep focusing on fundamentals and doing our job at each position,” Littrell said. “And doing our job and overcoming adversity when things do not go our way.”
The Pleasant Ridge Rams are looking to bounce back after a heartbreaker last Friday to Nemaha Central. The Rams lost 29-28 after Nemaha Central scored a long touchdown and got the two-point conversion.
The Rams will look to put the previous game behind them when they take on the 0-5 Horton Chargers, who are coming off of a 44-12 loss to Maur Hill, the Rams opponent after Horton.
Head coach Pat McCollim said focusing on mistakes and issues have been a big focus at practice this week.
“We have talked a lot about the crucial mistakes we made,” McCollim said, “and spent time focusing on fixing those issues. We have also stressed to the kids that we played very well and at a high level despite the loss and that we must play at that level for the remainder of the season to earn ourselves a home playoff game in the first round. … We have worked on our punt team a lot due to getting a punt blocked last week. We have worked on special teams personnel to ensure we don’t have 12 on the field ever again. We have also discussed being aware of the situation so that we are not susceptible to a trick play at crucial moments.”
McCollim said playing sound football and eliminating mistakes will be key to winning Friday and having success the rest of the year.
“We must play fundamentally sound, win the line of scrimmage and protect the football to win this Friday,” McCollim said. “We have a very passionate group who plays games with all their heart which I really love about this team, but we must also keep our poise in crucial moments.”