by Brian Turrel
The Schlagle Stallions lost the 5A regional final to the Olathe West Owls on Friday night, ending their season. The 49-15 final score belied the performance of the game, in which Schlagle held the lead until the final three minutes of the third quarter.
Junior running back Jaylin Richardson was once again the engine for the Stallions’ offense, and accounted for both touchdowns.
The opening quarter was scoreless. Both teams put together lengthy opening drives, but couldn’t push through to the end zone. Schlagle opened the scoring in the second quarter with a 32-yard Richardson run down the left sideline, followed by a 2-point conversion off a faked kick.
Olathe West responded immediately, returning the following kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown. The halftime score was 8-7 in Schlagle’s favor.
Schlagle took the opening kick of the second half and scored, capping the drive with a 10-yard Richardson run up the middle.
Once again, the Owls scored on the next possession, stringing together first downs and escaping from a couple of third-and-long situations. The Stallions allowed the touchdown, but snuffed out the two-point attempt to keep a 15-13 advantage.
As the third quarter wound down, Schlagle’s athletes, many of whom play both offense and defense, looked worn. The runs that had been effective in the first half got shorter or were stopped in the backfield. Quarterback Josh Becton was harassed in the backfield, and took two intentional grounding penalties and two lengthy sacks.
Olathe West took the lead with 3 1/2 minutes remaining in the third half on a 53-yard run, and they didn’t look back. One more long touchdown run put them ahead 27-15 at the end of the third quarter. They scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter for the final 49-15 margin.
Schlagle finished their season with a 6-4 record, including a 5-0 record and league title in the Kansas City – Atchison League.