Morning Sun
  • Lancers overpower Frontenac, move to 2-0

  •  Field position and turnovers played a major role in the game Friday night between the Frontenac Raiders and the Southeast Lancers.

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  • Field position and turnovers played a major role in the game Friday night between the Frontenac Raiders and the Southeast Lancers.
    Southeast took advantage of short fields to build a 20-0 first-half lead and Frontenac committed five straight second-half turnovers and scored no points after halftime during a commanding 41-14 win for the Lancers.
    “When you’re starting on the 25- or 30-yard line, I think it definitely gives you an advantage and it makes for quick points,” Southeast head coach Clint Rider said. “It definitely helped us out tonight.”
    “We had a few chances but you can’t win games when you turn the ball over,” Frontenac head coach Mark Smith said. “You’re never going to win a game with that many turnovers and Southeast played very well tonight. They’ve got a good, solid team and we’ve got to get better because we have a tough game next week against Galena.”
    The Southeast defense forced a Frontenac three-and-out on the first possession of the game and Southeast took over at the Frontenac 48. On the eighth play of the drive, senior quarterback Josh Thompson connected with his favorite target of the night, sophomore receiver Ryan Rakestraw, for a 25-yard reception down to the Frontenac 1. On the next play, Thompson bowled in for a touchdown.
    Southeast forced a second consecutive Frontenac three-and-out and then a fumble on the third Frontenac possession. The Lancers went ahead 12-0, capitalizing on the fumble with another Thompson 1-yard touchdown run.
    After one quarter of play, Frontenac had its nine offensive plays generate a total of two yards and three punts with one turnover.
    “I thought our defense has played out of this world the last two weeks from where we were last year,” Rider said. “Coach Pittman has done a great job with them and I think that if you’re only giving up seven points (on defense) to a good Frontenac team, that’s something to be said for our defense.
    “They’ve kinda been out of the limelight and the last two weeks, we’ve only given up 13 and 7 in comparison to 55 average last year. It’s just a great leap and our kids are playing much more physical. They’re much more confident in themselves and I think it carries over into the entire team. They’re enjoying that defensive mentality.”
    Southeast marched 78 yards in 12 plays and 6 minutes, 38 seconds to begin the second quarter. Thompson broke first-down runs of 11 and 22 yards, Rakestraw caught a pair of 13-yard passes and Thompson scored his third and final rushing touchdown of the night with a 3-yard run.
    Only 13 seconds after Thompson scored his third TD of the night, kick returner Ethan Powell gave Frontenac its first spark of life and turned momentum toward Frontenac, breaking a 75-yard kickoff return for touchdown. Given Frontenac’s offensive performance to this point, this play was exactly what the Raiders needed.
    Page 2 of 2 - Frontenac would come up with a fourth-down stop on the next Southeast possession and late in the first half, senior quarterback Devon Keith hit Brett Macary on a 5-yard touchdown pass to make it a 20-14 game at halftime. That scoring play was set up by a Keith and Blake Vail first-down pass-and-catch on a 4th-and-7.
    With the first possession of the second half, Southeast took back possession of momentum with a relatively quick-strike scoring drive of 74 yards in six plays and 1:42. On three straight passes, Thompson and his receivers Caleb Biancarelli and Daniel Peak moved Southeast 72 yards in three plays — Peak for 18 yards, Biancarelli for 23 yards and Peak 31 yards for the touchdown.
    “We had the momentum at halftime and we were feeling pretty good,” Smith said. “They had a great drive to start the third quarter and it kind of knocked the wind right out of our sails. We’ve got to learn to respond and if they score, we’ve got to go back and score again. We’ll learn that and get better starting on Monday and get ready for Galena.”
    On its first five possessions after halftime, Frontenac generated a turnover-on-downs, an interception, a fumble, an interception and a fumble. These miscues helped Southeast claim its second victory of the season.
    Southeast gained over 300 yards of total offense. Thompson ran for 71 yards and three scores on 19 carries and passed for 175 yards on a 14 of 25 night. Peak caught four passes for 58 yards and one TD, ran for 11 yards and another score on his only carry and intercepted Keith in the second half. Rakestraw caught six passes for 85 yards. Colton Charlton helped both generate big yards and run time off the clock in the second half with 68 yards on 12 carries — 52 yards on eight carries after halftime.
    “Colton Charlton had a great game,” Rider said. “I mean, he ran tough. He kept his legs pounding and I couldn’t be more proud of him. I thought the offensive line from last week to this week on the run blocking just improved dramatically, especially against the talented defensive line of Frontenac. I’m really proud of them.”
    Southeast (2-0) remains undefeated in Crawford-Neosho-Cherokee play and faces Baxter Springs (0-2) next week. Frontenac (0-2) opens at home next week, looking for its first win against undefeated Galena (2-0).

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