As the third quarter wound to a close Friday, SM East head coach Dustin Delaney must have been thinking, “Finally.”
For the first time in weeks, his football team had play strong throughout the night, and were taking what looked to be a secure 21-7 lead into the fourth quarter. It appeared that the Lancers might be on their way to a “normal” victory devoid of the theatrics that had marked their previous two outings.
With seven minutes remaining in the game, SM South executed a double reverse pass play that big wide receiver Nick Oliver caught for a touchdown. The Lancers blocked the extra point to keep the score 21-13. A few minutes later, the Lancers fumbled on their own 17 yard line, setting SM South up for another touchdown play to Oliver, who also caught the 2-point conversion. And just like that, the game was tied at 21.
If the Lancers were going to polish off the Raiders to go 5-0 for the second season in a row — and just the second time in school history — it was going to take some more Lancer magic.
The Lancers were on offense to start overtime, and scored easily on a toss play to the left. But the extra point was no good, bringing the score to 27-21, and giving SM South a prime opportunity to take the win.
But a strong showing by the Lancers’ stingy defense pushed the Raiders line of scrimmage back. On third and long, the Raiders botched a toss play, which resulted in a fumble that the Lancers recovered, securing the game.
“I just want to win in regulation,” Delany said afterwards. “We played three great quarters of football. And then turnovers. We can’t keep turning the ball over and be good.”
Regardless, the win puts the Lancers solely atop the Sunflower League — though they’ll face perhaps their toughest challenge of the season in 4-1 Lawrence Free State next week.