Lutheran North Dealt Worst Playoff Loss

By Jim Wieners

Since their first football playoff game in 1979 Lutheran High School North has never dealt a worse beating than Nov. 23 when Lamar, after making a 300-mile one-way trip from Southwest Missouri and north of Joplin, continues its three-peat mission with a 70-7 beat down at Lutheran North’s LaMothe Memorial Field.

Lamar will be taking a 13-1 record back to St. Louis Friday, Nov. 29, in seeking their third straight Class Two State title. The Tigers will take on 12-2 Lawson at 4:15 in an all-Western Missouri Class Two final at the Edward Jones Dome. Lawson, who is northeast of Kansas City, won state in 2007 and was second in 2003.

Lutheran North, 9-5, opened the season with four straight losses then went on a nine-game winning streak before Lamar put that steak to an end. The 70 points scored by Lamar is one more point allowed at home by Lutheran North as the Crusaders fourth loss was a 69-35 rout Sept. 21 by Metro League Champion and Class Three Semifinalist John Burroughs. It is the fifth time this season Lamar has scored at least 70 points including the third time in the post-season playoffs as the Tigers scored as many as 84 in the second round of District Four against Warsaw, Nov. 6, and has scored no fewer than 46, in an Oct. 4 loss to Carl Junction (50-46).

Lutheran North added extra seats to the north side of LaMothe Field, which borders Norwood Hills Country Club golf course, and Lamar had a good number of fans who came to brave the sub-freezing cold but had the sun to aid them during the game. Not all of the seats were filled.

Two players led the Lamar first-half demolition of Lutheran North as Tiger quarterback Levi Peterson ran for four touchdowns, three in a 35-point second quarter. Peterson exploded with 11:49 left in the second quarter on a 63 yard touchdown run then had a run of 45 yards with  6:05 left and added still another from 36 yards with 1:01 left before halftime. Peterson also had a 54-yard second-quarter touchdown pass with 10:38 left to Jared Beshore, who had a 42-yard run for a second-quarter touchdown with 8:42 left and ran a fake extra-point attempt for two points with 4:06 left in the first quarter after a three-yard Peterson touchdown.

Lutheran North had only one serious drive in the first quarter but turned it over on downs at the Lamar 27 with 1:03 left. The Crusaders could never get going in the second quarter disaster but could have been worse had not been for Jamal Johnson intercepting a pass at the Lutheran North one yard line with 10 seconds left in the first half.

Second half brought the mercy rule (clock running non-stop if a team leads by at least 35 points) but the Lamar scoring attack did not stop, although it did slow down as the Tigers scored two touchdowns in each of the last two quarters. In the third quarter Trip Tucker had a nine-yard touchdown run with 6:21 left and Bryant Belcher scored on a three-yard run with 28 seconds.  In the fourth quarter Lutheran North spoiled Lamar’s bid for their seventh shutout of the season when Justin Baker found a wide-open Isaiah Holman on a 70-yard touchdown pass with 10:40 left but Lamar countered as Mark Bartlett returned the ensuing kickoff 85 yards with 10:28 left and Matt Whyman wrapped up the scoring with a 45-yard run with 5:33 left.

Only 30 Lutheran North players of the 35-payer roster, coached by Brian Simmons-former Hazelwood East head coach, were dressed for the semifinal game while Lamar had a roster of 73 players.

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