#ShawneeSports football roundup: Statement victories for SM Northwest, St. James
First-year Shawnee Mission Northwest football coach Linn Hibbs wanted to make one thing clear when he met with the team he’d soon be taking over: 2012 wouldn’t be a rebuilding year.
Hibbs, who went 116-54 with two state titles in 15 years at Class 4A Wellington, made the jump to SM Northwest in May following the resignation of Aaron Barnett. On Friday, the Cougars began their season against a team welcoming back a similarly lauded coach: Olathe North and Gene Weir.
The Cougars didn’t complete a pass in downpour conditions, but Kelby Quint rushed 26 times for 154 yards and a touchdown as SM Northwest defeated Olathe North, 25-14.
The Cougars built a 19-7 lead by halftime after falling behind 7-0 early. Jake Horner also scored on the ground, and Khalil Hattley put the game away with a 51-yard interception return for a touchdown. Horner and Jake Hoskins also picked off passes and Alex Allen added two field goals.
“I’m really proud of the kids,” Hibbs said. “They really did a good job. We dealt with the conditions, which honestly were miserable.”
The Cougars next host Lawrence High at 7 p.m. on Friday.
“We’re not going to back off,” Hibbs said. “We’re going to get things going at the highest level we can get. That’s all I know.”
St. James Academy makes statement
Junior running back Jake Bade scored two touchdowns as St. James Academy erased a 13-6 deficit to earn a season-opening 20-13 victory at Paola on Friday.
Senior quarterback Jansen Keyes also tossed a 20-yard touchdown to junior Keith Winger, and sophomore Chris Gomez clinched the victory by stuffing the Panthers’ running back on Paola’s final drive to end the game.
“People are going to have to start taking notice of St. James,” coach Tom Radke said after the game.”
The Thunder went a long way toward bucking the trend of sub-.500 seasons on Friday in dispatching Paola, a perennial Frontier League contender that went 11-2 in 2011.
“Our guys never cramped,” Radke said. “Not one of them said they were tired. A lot of players played both ways and didn’t want to come out of the game.”
St. James (1-0) next plays at Bishop Ward (0-1) at 7 p.m. on Friday.
Mill Valley uses stern road opener as learning experience
As intimidating an opponent as Manhattan is, Mill Valley coach Joel Applebee had a reason for scheduling a game like this.
A 43-21 beating in Manhattan wasn’t the result the Jaguars were looking for, but challenging a team that has 28 consecutive regular season victories can be beneficial in the first game of the season.
“That’s why we schedule games like this,” Applebee said, “so we can see how we compare to one of the best programs.”
It was brutal early on when the Indians amassed a 43-0 lead in the third quarter, but the Jaguars fought back in the fourth to end the game with three unanswered touchdowns.
Applebee said there were too many mental mistakes that led to the large deficit, but there is still a lot of football left this season.
“The best thing about week one is that you learn a lot,” Applebee said.
Mill Valley (0-1) hosts Turner (0-1) at 7 p.m. on Friday.
Eagles begin first full varsity slate
Maranatha Christian Academy began its first full varsity football schedule with a 38-0 defeat to Sacred Heart (Sedalia, Mo.) on Friday.
Coach Tom Freitag said turnovers plagued the Eagles throughout the game, as five freshmen and three sophomores started.
Freitag said Max Flint played well at linebacker and fullback.
The Eagles next play at Sherwood Cass at 7 p.m. on Sept. 14.