CHEROKEE - What a defensive display Baxter Springs brought last Friday to Cherokee to face the Southeast Lancers. Earning their first shut out of the season, the Lions downed the Lancers 48-0.
Baxter Springs’ defense was in the Lancer’s backfield all night. Their defense limited Southeast to nine yards of total offense, with 19 yards passing, and -28 yards rushing. Baxter Springs allowed only three first downs, and Cherokee was 0-11 on third down efficiency.
Fairly small at 5’ 8” 165 pounds, linebacker senior Narciso Ortiz always plays much bigger. Both playing only the first half, Ortiz led the Lion defense with four solo tackles and one assist, while Kenny Herrenbruck finished with a one solo tackle, and four assists. Seniors Stephan Namelo and Tyler Price each had an inception.
Ortiz also was strong on the offensive side of the ball with three touchdowns on seven carries, for 65 yards. Quarterback junior Trey White was 5-for-15 passing for 93 yards, and gained 51 on the ground on six carries.
For the night, the Lions had a total of 386 yards of offense, with 275 on the ground. They completed 17 first downs.
Baxter Springs led 21-0 after the first quarter. White caught sophomore Austin Hendrix on a pass who went to the one yard line. White went in from there, and senior Jose Leon made good on his first of four PAT kicks. Next, Hendrix ran from the 40 to the five. Ortiz scored from there for the Lions’ second touchdown. Ortiz was good on his kick.
The Lions’ third touchdown of the quarter was set up by a run by sophomore Kyler Reece from his 35 to the Lancers’ 48. Soon came a catch at the 35 and a run to the 26 by Tyrae Skye. Ortiz went off right tackle to the 16, then caught a White sideline pass at the 10. Hendrix moved the Lions to the three, and Ortiz scored from there. Leon got his third successful kick.
At the start of the second quarter, Price got his interception. Soon came sacks by the Lions’ Salfel Felix, Herrenbruck, and Blythe Ipock. The Lions’ fourth TD came after being pinned down on a fourth and 10. White caught Reece at the 20, and a run to the eight. White took it in from there. Leon’s kick was good.
Number five touchdown was run by Reece from his 45 to Southeast’s 34. White faked to Ortiz and went to the 24. Ortiz swept right to the six. After a Lion false start they were moved back to the 11. White scored from there.
To finish the first half and their 42nd point, Ortiz scored from 19 yards out, and as a holder on the PAT kick White pulled up and completed a 2-point conversion pass to Hendrix.
Now it’s time to get the junior varsity names mentioned as they played the second half with the clock running. Freshman quarterback Braydon Barnard did a fine job of directing the offense. The Lancers were stopped on their first possession by freshman Dawson Graves and was forced to punt. Freshman Kain McCully took the punt from the 35 to the three. Freshman Gage Piper scored his first varsity touchdown from there. Junior Michael Dardenne ended the game on his behind the line tackle.
The Lions (2-2) will travel to rival Riverton (0-4) this Friday for a scheduled 7 p.m. kick-off.