It’s late October. The weather is changing. The daylight hours are getting shorter. More importantly, it’s city showdown week!
This Friday, the Lawrence High and Free State High football teams go head-to-head for the 22nd time. Bob Lisher has been in charge of the Firebirds for every matchup. For Lions leader Steve Rampy, this is his first experience in the game.
On paper, Free State will be the heavy favorite. However, I’ve seen enough of these things to know that the favorite doesn’t always win. The history of this game is incredible. From Simon Cordova’s hidden handoff, to Nate Vail’s overtime field goal, to the battles at Haskell Stadium then Memorial Stadium and now the home stadium’s, to Free State’s mauling in 2006 and the crazy Lawrence High shutout of 2011. This series has literally seen it all.
Among the great games played: 2017. Last year, LHS stormed back from a two-touchdown deficit in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 21. That’s when Free State placekicker Cameron Lake made it an instant classic by hammering through the deciding 28 yard field goal with 1 second left.
The records tell us Free State makes it win number 14 in this series on Friday. The history tells me not to be so sure. What I am sure about is that you can see the contest live on Midco Sports Network this Friday at 7 p.m.