It’s hard to imagine the night getting off to a worse start for the Lancers than the bungled pitch that led to a turnover setting Rockhurst up for a quick touchdown in the opening minutes. Unfortunately, it was just the start of a steady drip of setbacks that continued throughout the night, with the Lancers mishandling the ball for a total of six turnovers.
And, yet, in the closing 1:40 of the most highly anticipated SM East football game in decades, the Lancers found themselves with the ball near midfield and needing only a touchdown to tie the game with the potential to win on the extra point.
Alas, quarterback Luke Kaiser and his offense couldn’t muster one final stroke of brilliance to seal what would have been an improbable win over the Hawklets, the metro’s top ranked team, given their clumsiness earlier in the game. Instead, Rockhurst’s defense, which had found it difficult to keep the Lancers from marching down the field for much of the night, held fast on a fourth and five, forcing a turnover on downs and securing the victory.
To the casual observer, SM East appeared to have the advantage on both sides of the ball. The Lancers’ defense held Rockhurst to just seven downs on the night, and two of their four scoring drives started within their own 20 yard line. The Lancers’ offense on the other hand, hammered out more than 500 yards and 22 first downs. But their untimely turnovers, including a first quarter interception at the goal line that turned a potential go-ahead score into a 96-yard return touchdown for the other team, put the Lancers in a hole they couldn’t overcome. (Here’s the pick-six:)
— Shawnee Mission Post (@shawmissionpost) September 17, 2016
With the loss, SM East moves to 2-1 on the season. The Lancers will face Sunflower League foe Olathe North on the road next Friday.