Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Heights Advances with 45-7 Win over Lansing

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Heights Advances with 45-7 Win over Lansing

Article excerpt

Malik Stanley grabbed the regional plaque first and took off running. The Shawnee Heights senior wideout waited four years for this moment and he wasn't just about to pass it off to the next guy.

Holding a piece of high school history, Stanley sprinted around the field, evading as many teammates as he could, and basking in the glory of the T-Birds' 45-7 home thrashing of Lansing on Friday in the first round of the playoffs.

"Making that run around the field," Stanley said, "I wanted to hold onto it for the rest of my life."

With its fifth playoff victory in school history -- and first since 2011 -- Shawnee Heights (6-4) advances to the sectional round where it will play at Pittsburg next Friday night.

Every step backward Shawnee Heights took against Lansing only propelled it further. Twice after taking penalties, the T-Birds gutted the Lions on the next play -- a 36-yard pass from quarterback Camden Wheatley to Rhett Purling that placed them at the goal line after facing third-and-long.

Yet the T-Birds' passing game was hardly worrisome for Lansing. Instead it was the play of running back Tony Barksdale Jr., who was simply faster than the Lions defense.

On the first play from scrimmage for Heights, Barksdale broke out of the backfield for a 60-yard touchdown, going virtually untouched in the process.

"I knew I was gone when I first got the ball." Barksdale said. "My blockers led the way. I saw a big opening and took it."

The early score allowed the T-Birds to run a balanced offense for the remainder of the half. And even with just 10 carries through two quarters, Barksdale still gashed Lansing for 144 yards and two touchdowns. He finished with 15 touches, 220 yards and three touchdowns.

"We had to start out strong," T-Birds coach Jason Swift said of the opening score. "If not, who knows what happens in that game?"

After forcing a Lansing three-and-out on its first series, a combination of suffocating defense by the T-Birds and a stalled offense kept the Lions (4-6) off the scoreboard until late in the fourth quarter.

By then the T-Birds already had gone up 45-0, and in compliance with KSHAA rules, the final quarter was played with a running clock. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.