At the end of the day, the most critical thing SM East head coach Chip Sherman could say about his Lancers’ performance against Olathe Northwest was that the team would have to find ways to keep playing as consistently.
A dominating mix of offense through the air, offense on the ground and stifling defense propelled the Lancers to a 44-24 victory on the road Friday. (Olathe Northwest scored two fourth quarter touchdowns after the Lancers put in their second team defense.)
“We played pretty well — up to the level that we’re capable of,” Sherman said. “But you always have to keep improving. Keep improving, keep improving: That’s what we work on.”
Runningback Patrick Blackburn started the Lancers’ offensive glut with a long touchdown run in the first quarter, and would add two more before the night was through.
Quarterback Jordan Darling and receiver Connor Rellihan picked up right where they left off after last week’s breakout performance, connecting for another two touchdowns. Darling said after the game that the chemistry the two developed playing seven-on-seven ball over the summer was maturing as the Lancers entered the heart of their regular season.
“Offensively, we were really gelling,” Darling said. “On pretty much any route Rellihan runs, he finds a way to get open. He plays smart. He plays hard. He plays with a lot of intensity, and that’s what really special about him. He always wants the ball. And i love that about him.”
Senior runningback and linebacker David Stewart was the pivotal figure in the Lancers’ other touchdown of the night. He picked off a pass by Ravens quarterback Holdyn Halperin. A few plays later on the offensive side of the ball, he rushed in for a touchdown.
The Lancers will face their toughest opponent of the season on Thursday when they meet 3-0 Olathe South at SM North Stadium for a 7 p.m. kickoff. The Falcons are the defending Kansas Class 6A champions.