Lions enter first round of regional playoffs against SM North

Lions kick off at 7 p.m. with home field advantage


Ian Jones

Fans rush the field after the Lions clinch a close victory against Olathe North on Oct. 23.

By Colton Lovelace

For the first time since 2004, the football team finished the regular season undefeated at 9-0 and ranked first going into regional playoffs tonight.

The first round match-up pits the Chesty Lions against the 3-6 SM North Indians, a team that the Lions didn’t play this regular season.

“We’ve seen a lot of them on film this week, and I imagine they have seen stuff just like we have,” Coach Dirk Wedd said. “It’ll be fun.”

SM North is led by junior quarterback Will Schneider, who threw for 2,089 yards and 16 touchdowns this year, putting him in the top part of the league in all passing categories. Junior running back Marcos Garcia led the team in rushing yards with 624 yards and seven touchdowns. Senior Parker Williamson led the team in receiving with 645 yards and three touchdowns. The team features a balanced attack on offense, giving defenses a good mix of the running gamed the passing game.

“SM North will pass about 70 percent of the time, their QB is outstanding, and he will really test our secondary,” Wedd said. “But they will also have to stop our front four in getting pressure up front.”

The Lions are led by the best rushing attack in the state, led by seniors quarterback Alan Clothier and running back JD Woods.

Woods, the returning MVP of the Sunflower League, rushed for 29 touchdowns in the regular season on 1,645 yards, proving he deserves to be MVP once again. Clothier rushed for 535 yards and four touchdowns. Woods provided the speed around the edge, and Clothier kept the defenses in check by running over every defender in sight.

The Lions’ defense is led by seniors Amani Bledsoe, Trey Georgie, Nate Koehn, Tanner Green, Konner Kelley and Ivan Hollins. These six help come together to form one of the best defenses in the state, which has been key in shaping this perfect 9-0 season.

“Our game-plan changes every week,” Wedd said. “We see what they do well, and we see what they might not be as strong at so we’ll plan accordingly. So far this season we are about 70/30 run to pass.”

Even though SM North is three games under .500 on the season, they are a team that the Lions are not overlooking. The Lions hope this is the first of four teams they will knock off to get to the ultimate goal of a state championship.

“They are so excited to play in the playoffs,” Wedd said. “It’s the first step of what we hope is a four week season for us.”

Kickoff is tonight at 7:00 p.m. at the LHS football stadium.