Lancers are favorites in east as state football playoffs get ready to begin

Dustin Delaney's Lancers are the top seed in the East.
Dustin Delaney’s Lancers are the top seed in the East.

With a 63-0 drubbing of district rival SM West on Thursday, SM East firmed up its spot as the dominant favorite atop the eastern half of the 6A football playoffs bracket.

The Lancers, now 7-1 on the season, are the number one seed in the 16-team eastern bracket field, and will face winless Gardner Edgerton in the opening-round game this Thursday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. at Shawnee Mission North District Stadium.

It’s been a down year for much of the Sunflower and Eastern Kansas Leagues, with only two other teams in the eastern bracket bringing winning records into the playoffs. Perennial powerhouse Blue Valley is 5-3 on the year and comes in as the number two seed. Olathe North, also 5-3, is the number three seed.

SM Northwest, at 4-4, is the seven seed in the east, and will face 3-5 Olathe South on Friday in opening round play. SM South, 3-5, is the eight seed and will face 3-5 Olathe Northwest. SM North is the 13 seed at 1-7 and will face 4-4 Blue Valley. Winless SM West is the 15 seed and will face Blue Valley.

In the west, Lawrence Free State is the top seed at 8-0.

SM East will be looking to return to the 6A championship game for the first time since 2014, when the Lancers took the first football title in school history during Delaney’s second year at the helm. Last year, the Lancers fell to Blue Valley 35-34 in overtime at sub-state.