LHS to open district play Friday at Shawnee Heights
Now that the Kaw Valley League championship has been secured, the Lansing High football team heads back to familiar territory when it opens Class 5A district play at 7 p.m. Friday at Shawnee Heights.
Lansing is no stranger to district success. It owns an 8-1 record in district play during the past three seasons - the first two as district champs in Class 4A and last year as the district runner-up in 5A. Of course, that lone district loss came to none other than Heights.
The T-Birds took advantage of numerous Lion mistakes and injuries to claim a 41-22 victory in the 2006 district opener, but this year's Lansing squad is relatively healthy and riding the momentum of a four-game winning streak.
With both LHS (5-1) and Heights (4-2) having solid seasons this year, the game should be a more competitive affair than last year.
"We didn't feel like last year we played Shawnee Heights all that well," LHS coach Bill Pekarek said. "It sounds like they're playing good. It sounds like they've got somebody that's rushing for a lot of yards. I'm sure they're doing some of the same things that they've been doing, and hopefully we'll do a better job against it this time."
Pekarek is right. Heights is doing a lot of the same things, and it's working to a large extent. The T-Birds have the top rusher in the Centennial League in Austin Flohrschutz. He has rumbled for 1,101 yards on 142 carries this season. In addition, Matt Kobbeman is the league's top receiver with 38 catches for 428 yards and quarterback Sam Vossen is the league's No. 2 passer, having completed 69 of 111 attempts for 740 yards and five touchdowns. In all, the T-Birds pile up about 350 yards of total offense per game.
Lansing has been doing plenty right, too, and that gives the Lions more confidence heading into this season's meeting.
"Everybody is feeling real good," LHS quarterback Bobby Hauver said. "We're going full steam ahead. Everybody's feeling great."
After Shawnee Heights, Lansing's final district games will be against Washington (5-1) and Schlagle (3-3).