LEON — Humboldt High entered the 2020 season with a number of question marks, particularly after taking on heavy losses to graduation the past two years.
While it is only week 1, some of those questions have been answered with authority.
The Cubs’ bid for a third straight undefeated regular season got off to a resounding start Friday with a 56-6 thrashing of the Bluestem Lions.
And unlike past iterations, which relied heavily on the run, this year’s offense has plenty of air power at the ready.
Gavin Page was given the keys to the Humboldt offense, and handled his duties with aplomb. He was 10 of 14 passing for 180 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for 64 yards and another score.
Meanwhile, junior transfer Drew Counsil made his Humboldt debut a memorable one, with 95 yards and three touchdowns on the ground, and 104 yards of total offense.
The game was never in doubt. Humboldt’s Aiden Gean returned the opening kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown.
The Cubs led 22-0 before Bluestem scored on a long pass play, but responded with three more scores before halftime to lead 44-6.
Drake Harrington was the prime receiving threat, racking up 113 yards on six receptions, while Trey Sommer had 38 yards on two receptions and 34 yards on two carries. Dakota Slocum chipped in with a 25-yard reception.
Harrington and Slocum led the Humboldt defense with six and five tackles, respectively.
Blake Walker chipped in with a blocked punt and a sack. Trenton Heisler recovered a Lion fumble.
Humboldt hosts Fredonia Friday for its home opener. The Yellowjackets fell, 32-14, to Caney to open the season.
IN Yates Center, Crest High’s Lancers made quick work Friday of their hosts from Yates Center High, winning 46-0 in a game ended at halftime, via the Kansas eight-man mercy rule.
Jacquez Coleman spearheaded the dominating victory with 114 yards and three touchdowns, on six carries.
Stratton McGhee was next with 80 yards on seven totes.
Holden Barker had six carries for 67 yards and two scores. Caleb Nolan covered 62 yards on his two rushing attempts, with a touchdown.
Barker led the defense with six tackles and two sacks. Nolan also had six tackles.
The Lancers will host Marmaton Valley next Friday. Yates Center travels to Altoona-Midway.
SPEAKING of Marmaton Valley, the Wildcats emerged from a wild and wooly season-opener at Altoona-Midway, winning 62-52.
The feat was all the more impressive, considering the Wildcats are suiting up only 11 players this season.
SOUTHERN COFFEY County had a rough go of it in its opener, a 62-8 loss at Lebo.
The Titans will travel Friday to Marais des Cygnes Valley, a 74-46 loser to Waverly.
Passing — Hull 1-1-25; Page, 10-14-180.
Rushing — Counsil, 9-95; Gean, 2-26; Hull, 1-(-2); Page, 7-64; Sommer, 2-34.
Receiving — Counsil, 1-9; Slocum, 1-25; Harrington, 6-113; Sommer, 2-38; Heisler, 1-20.