Firebirds win first home game 49-0


Emma Pravecek

Junior Jax Dineen tries to avoid his opponent. Dineen scored multiple touchdowns.

Since the beginning of last week, the Free State linebackers were locked in on shutting down the Shawnee Mission South offense. They succeeded.

“Monday we came in and coach came up to us and said, ‘Hey, we’re blitzing every play,’” sophomore linebacker Ben Miller said. “And we were like, ‘Okay, we’re sending the house every single play,’” 

The Firebirds posted one of the more dominant stat lines from a high school defense, limiting the Raiders to negative-one yards rushing on 26 attempts and only three first downs all game.

Emma Pravecek
Sophomore Savannah Farrar cheers for the Firebirds with the dance team. The cheer and dance team both boosted the atmosphere of Firebird’s first home game.

we were like, ‘Okay, we’re sending the house every single play

— Ben Miller

Sophomore Lovette Epelle said the defensive line unit also worked on shutting down their rushing attack. Epelle is one of three sophomores receiving significant playing time on defense, along with Ben Miller and safety Malik Berry.

“[We worked on] a lot of containing outside, trying to push everything back into the middle,” Epelle said.

Free State took care of business on the other side of the ball, too. The offense, lead by junior quarterback Jordan Preston, put up 49 points on 410 yards of total offense. Preston thinks he can perform better, however.

“There was a lot of room for improvement,” Preston said. “I didn’t play my best game. I’d give myself a five or a six maybe [out of ten]”

Even if Preston did not play his best game, he didn’t need to. Junior Jax Dineen ran for 3 TDs and Free State rushed for a total of 261 yards.

78 of those 261 yards came from senior running back Zach Wilson, who played in his first ever high school football game on Friday. In the 3rd quarter, Wilson blew by the Raiders defenders on his way to a 49 yard rushing touchdown. It’s easy to see how he is a track star in the spring.

“You know the Super Mario bullet?” Wilson said. “That’s what I was thinking of. Go!”