Lansing football to host Missouri high school Friday after losing original opponent

Jason Brown
The Leavenworth Times
Shown is Lansing senior quarterback Caden Crawford.

After losing its original opponent for its home and season-opening game Friday, Lansing football announced Tuesday it will match up against 2019 Class 3 state champion Odessa High School (MO) Friday instead.

The matchup was announced less than a day after the Lions were left without an opponent for the first week of their season after Schlagle in Kansas City, Kansas, was forced to withdraw due to a positive COVID-19 test within the program and multiple other athletes and coaches still finishing their quarantines. School officials at Schlagle said all necessary quarantines would have been completed before the game Friday, but the decision to not play was made out of an abundance of caution. School officials at both schools were in discussions about the option of scheduling a make-up date for the game to be played but no solution was determined. 

It is the second consecutive year the Lions have had to seek out a new opponent for its season opener. It is also the second year in a row that Lansing will open against a tough team from the Missouri side - the Lions dispatched Lincoln College Prep 26-7 to start the season a year ago.

"Unfortunately, it is all too familiar," Lansing head coach Dylan Brown said. "We were in this situation for the first two weeks of last season. Just like this year, Schlagle was unable to play because of COVID, and we had to find a new team. Just like last year, we had to schedule are really good Missouri school with a game under their belt." 

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Odessa is a Class 3 school, representing District 7 of the Missouri State High School Activities Association and opened its season Friday with an emphatic win against Southern Boone. The Bulldogs won 50-7, doing nearly all of their damage on the ground with just seven passing attempts. Their defense shut out the Eagles for three quarters and allowed less than 200 total yards. Odessa was 9-0 in 2020 and had its season halted by COVID-19 issues in a playoff forfeit to Summit Christian Academy. The Bulldogs were the favorites to repeat as Class 3 champions after winning in 2019 before their COVID outbreak.

"Having a game under their belt already gives them a definite advantage," Brown said. "They already got the jitters worked out, and they are building upon a successful game, seeing what they can improve on in game-like situations. At the end of the day, though, it's better for our kids to have a game rather than sit for another week."

The Lions and Bulldogs are scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. Friday at Lansing High School.