COLONY — With 7:42 left in the first half, Crest High took possession at the Chetopa 30-yard line and proceeded to lose yardage on four of its next five plays from scrimmage. (The only outlier was a 15-yard run from Stratton McGhee.)
Faced with fourth-and 23, Lancer quarterback Jacquez Coleman coolly lofted a pass down the right sideline into the waiting arms of Tyson Hermreck, who raced the rest of the way for a 30-yard touchdown.
Perhaps the most remarkable part of the possession was that it took the Lancers a whole 3 minutes, 29 seconds to score.
It sure didn’t take that long for Crest at any other juncture, a 62-12 rout over the visiting Hornets.
The victory keeps Crest’s record spotless at 6-0 on the season and 3-0 in Kansas Eight Man II- District 1 play. And with winless Southern Coffey County and Altoona-Midway next on the schedule, the Lancers are primed for what could be an undefeated regular season.
“They’re motivated,” Crest head coach Nick McAnulty said. “They’re a group that understands. They’re a couple years removed from being at the other end.”
(Crest was winless in 2018.)
“We just know that we are trying to build for a deep run, so every game matters,” McAnulty said.
Crest’s other scoring drives consisted of three, one, two, two, three, one and one plays. None took more than a minute of game time.
“We’re clicking,” McAnulty said. “Guys are playing excited, playing fast.”
Boy were they.
Jacquez Coleman got things started with a 47-yard run, setting up a 3-yard keeper on the next play.
McGhee followed with a 50-yard touchdown run on Crest’s next possession.
Chetopa put forth its only real challenge from there, driving 64 yards on eight plays, the last on a 3-yard keeper by quarterback Caden Duggan.
Coleman found Caleb Nolan on a 47-yard touchdown two plays later for Crest, pushing the lead to 22-6.
But the Hornets kept up a passing attack of its own, driving 48 yards on 13 plays to stay within shouting distance, 22-12.
But not for long.
Nolan zipped around the right end and raced untouched for a 60-yard touchdown.
The Lancer defense found its groove from there, forcing a 3-and-out, which led to McGhee’s 25-yard touchdown run to open the second quarter. Another quick Chetopa drive led to Coleman’s 54-yard jaunt at the 10:05 mark of the half.
Coleman’s aforementioned floater to Hermreck for a touchdown came at the 4:13 mark, pushing the lead to 54-12.
By then, the only mystery was whether Crest could get the ball back and score again, which would trigger the eight-man mercy rule that ends a game if a spread is 46 points or greater at halftime.
It didn’t take long to find an answer.
The Lancers forced another quick punt, which put the ball at the Chetopa 33.
Coleman promptly tossed a 33-yard scoring strike to McGhee for the final tally.
Coleman was devastatingly efficient on offense, completing all three of his pass attempts for touchdowns, covering a cumulative 110 yards. Coleman also rushed six times for 104 yards and two other touchdowns.
McGhee rushed for 95 yards and had a 33-yard scoring reception. Holden Barker had 27 yards on three carries, while Caleb Nolan’s only carry of the game went for a 60-yard touchdown. Kobey Miller’s only reception went for a 47-yard score; Hermreck went 30 yards for touchdown on his only catch.
“I wish our pass defense would have been a little better tonight,” McAnulty said. “We’ve been showing a lot better progression. Tonight wasn’t our best night defensively with pass coverage.”
At least that will give McAnulty something to press his team about in practice next week.
Duggan went 17 of 31 for 170 yards to lead the Hornets. Robert Vanatta had 74 yards on eight catches, followed by Connor Wright’s five catches for 65 yards.
“We’re just not going to under-estimate anybody,” McAnulty said. “We’re just going to try to keep it rolling. We’ve gotta get better every game.”
Crest — Coleman 3 yd run (McGhee run)
Crest — McGhee 50 yd run (Nolan run)
Chetopa — Vanatta 12 yd pass from Duggan (run failed)
Crest — Miller 47 yd pass from Coleman (run failed)
Chetopa — Peese 12 yd pass from Duggan (run failed)
Crest — Nolan 60 yd run (Coleman run)
Crest — McGhee 25 yd run (Hermreck pass from Coleman)
Crest — Coleman 54 yd run (McGhee run)
Crest — Hermreck 30 yd pass from Coleman (Miller pass from Nolan)
Crest — McGhee 33 yd pass from Coleman (Barker run)