Big Red falls in title game
One year after falling just short of qualifying for the Northeast Kansas Athletic Association's fifth- and sixth-grade football Super Bowl, the Lansing Big Red achieved that goal.
By beating Effingham last week, Lansing earned a trip to the championship game. Once there, the Big Red's luck ran out as it was defeated by the Leavenworth Geiger Bulldogs, 14-8, on Friday night at Frank Graham Field.
"Those kids are tough. They came out ready," Big Red coach Rich O'Donnell said of Geiger's performance. "Once a couple of our players got bumped and bruised, the rest of the kids were looking around at each other like 'who's going to do what?'"
The Big Red (7-1) was focused and appeared unstoppable early in the game. It gobbled up almost eight minutes of clock time as ot marched 66 yards on 10 plays on its first drive of the game. Nick Hughes' 19-yard touchdown run around the left side gave Lansing a 6-0 lead with 2:18 left in the first quarter.
The Lansing defense then held Geiger on its first possession. Cameron Decker's tackle on fourth down halted the drive and gave Lansing the ball back. The Big Red then marched 57 yards to the Geiger 2-yard line before being stuffed on fourth and goal. The stop was pivotal for Geiger, because that's when the momentum began to shift.
On the Bulldogs' ensuing possession, Decker, J.T. Core and James Howey combined to sack the quarterback in the end zone for a safety. That put the Big Red on top 8-0 at halftime.
Big Red falls in title game
The Lansing Big Red ended its season with a 7-1 record after falling in the fifth- and sixth-grade Super Bowl, 14-8.
Although Lansing had the lead, it wouldn't last. Hughes injured his left knee on a 25-yard run late in the first half. He continued to play, but the Big Red appeared rattled after its top scoring threat went down.
"In the first half we controlled the game," O'Donnell said. "We were running out the clock. We were running the ball nicely, tossing a few passes, and once Nicholas got hurt, the rest of the team kind of went down with him and the momentum changed. They took advantage of it."
Geiger tied the game on tailback Jonta Adams' 22-yard run with 6:27 left in the third quarter. Reggie Spence's one-yard run with 6:41 left in the fourth quarter gave the Bulldogs a 14-8 lead.
"They had a great season," O'Donnell said of the Big Red. "Tonight's the first time a team has scored two times against us. Altogether, our defense gave up three touchdowns this year. It just so happened that two of them were tonight."
Team members were Nick Andring, Brett Barnard, Gunner Beck, J.T. Core, Tommy Corum, Cameron Decker, Dillon Francis, Jeffrey George, Grant Greenberg, James Howey, Nick Hughes, Dillon Land, Lucas Mein, Sam Mendoza, Jonah Nowlin, Preston Padgett, Jon Rubendall, James Rumley, Kenneth Wingerd and Joshua Wood. They were coached by Rich O'Donnell and Mark Newby.