Neither Lawrence High nor Steve Rampy are accustomed to the type of season the Lions endured in 2018, Rampy’s first as head coach of the historic program.

Lawrence went 1-8, its lone win coming against Olathe Northwest.

“They want to turn this thing back around,” Rampy said prior to the season. “They want to take Lawrence High football to where it was before.”

Three games into 2019, Lawrence is on its way. After winning just one game a year ago, the Lions are 3-0. And Friday night’s win was the biggest statement the Lions are back.

Down 34-21 early in the fourth quarter to Class 6A No. 2 Gardner-Edgerton, last year’s Sunflower League champion, Lawrence rallied for a huge 35-34 upset victory. Devin Neal struck twice with huge plays in the fourth quarter, scoring on an 82-yard pass from Jackson Dooley with 9:09 left and then adding an 80-yard touchdown run for the game winner with 3:44 left in the game.

Gardner had a shot at a game-winning 50-yard field goal with 11 seconds left, but the kick was wide and the Lions held on for the comeback upset.

“That was an incredible effort by our guys on both sides of the ball,” Rampy told the Lawrence Journal World. “(Gardner is) such a good football team and we knew coming in it was going to be really hard. They’re so explosive and so physical.”

Neal finished with 166 yards and two touchdowns rushing and 102 yard and two touchdowns receiving, while Dooley threw for 223 yards and three touchdowns.

Teven McKelvey had 170 yards and three touchdowns rushing for Gardner, which lost its first regular-season game since 2017.

Lawrence’s win moved the Lions from No. 5 to No. 4 in the Best of Kansas Preps Class 6A rankings. Gardner dropped from No. 2 to No. 5, with Topeka High and Olathe North moving up one spot to Nos. 2 and 3, respectively.

Four other classes saw movement in their rankings this week.

In Class 4A, Andover Central moved into the rankings at No. 4 after upsetting No. 2 Goddard 38-21. Goddard slipped from No. 2 to No. 5 and Pittsburg fell out of the poll after losing to Blue Valley North 27-3.

In Class 2A, defending champion Phillipsburg suffered its second straight loss, falling 27-7 to Class 1A No. 1 Smith Center. The Panthers fall out of the top five, replaced at No. 5 by Southeast-Saline.

Class 1A No. 4 Jackson Heights lost to Maur Hill 18-14 and dropped out of the rankings. Ell-Saline moves in at No. 5 after beating Hutchinson Trinity 34-0.

In Eight-Man Division I, No. 4 South Central rode a big third quarter to a 48-14 win over No. 2 Hodgeman County. The Longhorns fall out of the top five, replaced by Victoria at No. 5. South Central moves from No. 4 to 3, while St. Francis moves up a spot to No. 2 and Madison goes up a spot to No. 4.

 

BEST OF KANSAS PREPS HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL RANKINGS

SUPER 10

Team ... record

1. Derby (1) ... 3-0

Panthers roll into first big test this week against Carroll

2. Aquinas (2) ... 3-0

Saints’ Tank pulverizes BV Northwest for 216 yards, 6 TDs

3. Miege (3) ... 3-0

Stags nearly blow 35-10 lead, score late for 42-35 win over Mill Valley

4. Wichita Northwest (4) ... 3-0

Grizzlies defense bears down, shuts out Great Bend

5. Topeka High (6) ... 3-0

Five carries, 5 TDs for Thomas in Hi Park rout

6. Olathe North (7) ... 3-0

Eagles blank SM West in second half for 30-10 win

7. Carroll (8) ... 2-1

Carroll hands Wichita West its first loss ahead of Derby clash

8. Lawrence (9) ... 3-0

Lions pull big Sunflower League upset of No. 5 Gardner-Edgerton

9. Gardner-Edgerton (5) ... 2-1

Trailblazers lose first regular-season game since 2017

10. DeSoto (10) ... 3-0

Wildcats yet to be tested, outscoring foes 188-33

 

CLASS 6A

Team ... record

1. Derby (1) ... 3-0

2. Topeka High (3) ... 3-0

3. Olathe North (4) ... 3-0

4. Lawrence (5) ... 3-0

5. Gardner-Edgerton (2) ... 2-1

Others — Blue Valley North 1-2, Dodge City 3-0, Free State 2-1, Junction City 3-0, Manhattan 2-1, SM Northwest 3-0, Wichita West 2-1.

Notes — Junction City had a big hole to fill at quarterback coming into the season with the graduation of Rooster Adams. But Andrew Khoury has taken the job and has the Blue Jay offense soaring. In three games, he’s thrown for 737 yards and 7 TDs, but will face a huge test this week against No. 2 Topeka High.

 

CLASS 5A

Team ... record

1. Aquinas (1) ... 3-0

2. Wichita Northwest (2) ... 3-0

3. Carroll (3) ... 2-1

4. DeSoto (4) ... 3-0

5. Maize (5) ... 3-0

Others — Eisenhower 2-1, Emporia 2-1, Great Bend 2-1, KC Schlagle 2-0, Maize South 3-0, Mill Valley 1-2.

Notes — The battle for supremacy in Maize won’t happen unless Maize and Maize South meet in the playoffs. But that very well could happen with both off to 3-0 starts. Maize has reloaded after graudating All-State quarterback Caleb Grill and thumped Campus 49-12. Maize South passed its biggest test so far with a 27-19 win over Valley Center.

 

CLASS 4A

Team ... record

1. Miege (1) ... 3-0

2. McPherson (3) ... 3-0

3. Paola (4) ... 3-0

4. Andover Central (NR) ... 3-0

5. Goddard (2) ... 2-1

Others — Bonner Springs 2-1, Buhler 3-0, Chanute 2-1, KC Piper 3-0, Pittsburg 2-1, Spring Hill 2-1, Tonganoxie 3-0.

Notes — Andover Central sent a strong message to the western half of Class 4A on Friday night with its 38-21 victory over No. 2 Goddard, last year’s state runner-up. Moving to 3-0 for the first time since 2015, the Jaguars got five touchdown passes from Shomari Parnell and topped 30 points for the third time this season after not hitting that point total in a game last year. Top-ranked Miege, meanwhile, lost all of a 35-10 lead but got an 80-yard kickoff return from Daniel Jackson in the final minute to beat Mill Valley 42-35

 

CLASS 3A

Team ... record

1. Sabetha (1) ... 3-0

2. Andale (2) ... 3-0

3. Marysville (3) ... 3-0

4. Scott City (4) ... 3-0

5. Hayden (5) ... 3-0

Others — Caney Valley 3-0, Clearwater 3-0, Colby 3-0, Columbus 3-0, Frontenac 3-0, Galena 2-1, Halstead 3-0, Hesston 3-0, Jefferson West 3-0, Prairie View 3-0, Wamego 3-0, Wichita Collegiate 3-0.

Notes — Prairie View might have been a sleeper team to have a big year coming into the season, but the Buffaloes won’t be under the radar now. Not after blanking Galena, a state semifinalist a year ago, 28-0 on Friday night. The Buffaloes have a standout two-way player in Hunter Boone, who’s led a defense that’s posted two straight shutouts and given up just 15 points.

 

CLASS 2A

Team ... record

1. Hoisington (1) ... 3-0

2. Humboldt (2) ... 3-0

3. Garden Plain (3) ... 3-0

4. Silver Lake (4) ... 3-0

5. Southeast-Saline (NR) ... 3-0

Others — Belle Plaine 3-0, Cimarron 3-0, Conway Springs 2-1, Ellsworth 3-0, Hutchinson Trinity 2-1, Lakin 3-0, Maur Hill 3-0, Phillipsburg 1-2, Riley County 1-2, Rossville 2-1.

Notes — Humboldt was in danger of falling for the first time in a regular-season game since 2017, trailing Eureka 32-22 with 1:45 left in the fourth quarter. But the Cubs got a touchdown and two-point conversion and then recovered the onside kick. Conor Haviland scored the game-winner with 37 seconds left and then sealed the win with an interception. Silver Lake’s C.J. Hamilton picked up career win No. 425 as the Eagles blanked Riley County 25-0.

 

CLASS 1A

Team ... record

1. Smith Center (1) ... 3-0

2. Plainville (2) ... 3-0

3. Olpe (3) ... 3-0

4. Sedgwick (5) ... 3-0

5. Ell-Saline (NR) ... 3-0

Others — Centralia 2-1, Jackson Heights 2-1, Jefferson North 3-0, LaCrosse 3-0, Lyndon 3-0, Northern Heights 3-0, Oakley 2-1, Troy 2-1, Valley Heights 3-0.

Notes — Leading into this Friday’s monstrous clash with No. 2 Plainville, No. 1 Smith Center followed the Cardinals’ lead and knocked off defending 2A and Mid-Continent League champion Phillipsburg 27-7. Jaden Atwood ran for 163 yards and two touchdowns and Colton Shoemaker added 101 yards for the Redmen, who avenged their only loss in 2018.

 

EIGHT-MAN DIVISION I

Team ... record

1. Canton-Galva (1) ... 3-0

2. St. Francis (3) ... 3-0

3. South Central (4) ... 3-0

4. Madison (5) ... 3-0

5. Victoria (NR) ... 3-0

Others — Burlingame 3-0, Caldwell 3-0, Clifton-Clyde 3-0, Hodgeman County 2-1, Lebo 3-0, Leoti 3-0, Maranatha 3-0, Ness City 3-0, Oberlin 3-0, Oswego 3-0, Pratt-Skyline 3-0, Solomon 3-0, South Gray 3-0, West Elk 3-0.

Notes — No. 4 South Central turned its highly anticipated showdown with No. 2 Hodgeman County into a huge runaway victory. Up 14-8 at halftime, the Timberwolves outscored Hodgeman County 22-0 in the third quarter and rolled to a 48-14 win to avenge their only regular-season loss from a year ago. Chade Snyder had a monster game with 182 yards and 4 TDs passing and 133 yards and a touchdown rushing. Eli Salmans ran for 188 yards and two scores in the loss.

 

EIGHT-MAN DIVISION II

Team ... record

1. Hanover (1) ... 3-0

2. Osborne (2) ... 3-0

3. Axtell (3) ... 3-0

4. St. Paul (4) ... 3-0

5. Frankfort (5) ... 3-0

Others — Beloit-St. John’s 2-1, Hutch Central Christian 2-1, Logan-Palco 2-1, Otis-Bison 2-1, Rock Hills 2-1, South Barber 2-1, Thunder Ridge 3-0.

Notes — Hanover’s run at the state record for consecutive eight-man victories appeared to be in serious danger against Rock Hills, which was averaging 591 rushing yards per game behind the duo of Rylee Whelchl and Mason Higer. But the Hanover defense was up to the challenge. The Wildcats held Rock Hills to one offensive touchdowns and Colin Jueneman ran for five touchdows as Hanover tied the record with its 41st straight win in a 66-16 demolition of the Grizzlies. Hanover goes for the record next week against Blue Valley-Randolph.