Isaiah Simmons is a name Lancer fans won’t soon forget.
The rangy 210-pound Olathe North player not-quite-single-handedly pushed the Eagles past the defending 6A state champions in quarterfinals play Friday, denying SM East a shot at a third consecutive title game appearance with a 44-30 win.
Simmons, who plays practically every down for the Eagles, ticked off two 60-plus yard touchdowns in the first half and navigated his way to a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown near the start of the second to account for 21 of Olathe North’s points on the night. That output, coupled with excellent play on offense from Storey Jackson and from the entire Olathe North defense, proved too much for the Lancers, despite a dominating ground game that allowed the Lancers to control the clock for much of the night.
The victory marks the first time the Eagles have been able to best the Lancers in five tries, and the first time Olathe North has beaten SM East since Dustin Delaney took over the program in 2013.
SM East senior Wyatt Edmisten notched 154 yards on 48 carries and scored three touchdowns in his final appearance for the Lancers, including the first score of the night.
The Lancers finish the year 9-2 — perhaps a let down from the past two year’s state championship appearance campaigns, but a record that still puts the 2015 squad among the most successful in SM East history.
Congrats on a great season, Lancers!