Thursday, 15 November 2018
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Friday Night Fever - Preview of Sectional Round Playoff Kanzaland Area Football Matchups
By Justin Fluke & Mike Smith
Copyright: MSC Sports

With playoff wins under their belt six area teams from Northeast Kansas are still alive in the postseason and five of the six get to host the next round contest. In Class 4A-DII the Holton Wildcats are still alive, while in Class 3A both Sabetha and Marysville remain in the postseason. Class 2-1A still features two area teams in Centralia and Jefferson County North, while the lone area 8-Man team in the left in the postseason is Hanover in 8-Man DII. Below is a preview of all six area matchups for area teams still alive in the postseason.

Playoff Games to be Broadcasted:
103.9 KNZA & Holton Channel – Frontenac at Holton
    (click here to listen & click here to watch)
92.1 KMZA – Pittsburg-St. Mary’s Colgan at Centralia (click here to listen)
KAIR 93.7 FM – Jefferson County North at Olpe (click here to listen)
Sunny 101.3 FM & Sabetha Channel – Osage City at Sabetha
      (click here to listen & click here to watch)

4A-DII Sectionals - Frontenac (7-3) at Holton (7-3) 6:00pm (kickoff)
It’s the third straight year these teams have meet in the playoffs and the second season at Holton.  Holton has won both meetings, 22-7 in 2015 and then last year had to rally from a 21-0 halftime deficit and mounted a nearly six minute drive to score with 13 seconds left for the 32-28 victory.  The Wildcats are making their 20th straight post season run and have advanced past the first round 15 of the last 16 years following a 9-8 win at Baldwin last Thursday in their best defensive effort of the season.

Last year, Frontenac came to Holton undefeated, but lost to playoff teams Galena (11-0) and Colgan (8-2) to start this season 1-2. The Raiders lost to Labette County in week six before repeating as District Champs with a big 20-8 win over #2 ranked (at the time) Columbus. The Raiders won their first round playoff game by defeating Girard for a second time this season 41-6 last week.

Frontenac is scoring 34.6 points per game and allowing 15.1 with a balanced offensive attack that has produced 1,811 yards rushing and 1,255 passing. Peyton Brown has thrown for 15 touchdowns with seven to Division One prospect, Brok Ginivan who has almost 500 yards receiving and a big tight end.  Jake Weibert leads the ground game with 935 yards and 16 scores and also has a team high 79 tackles. However, the Raiders do have 18 total turnovers this year.  The defense has 19 takeaways including five interceptions by Brendan Ishimura and Jordan Ishimura is second on the team in tackles. 

Holton averages 28.8 points and is allowing 14.7 while churning out 333 rush yards per game with a balanced attack that includes five guys with more than 448 yards on the season.  AJ Haussler has 587, Jayger Carson 574, Dylan Aeschliman 536, Mason Strader 453 and Jackson Martin 448.  Aeschliman leads the way with 12 touchdowns and has his third straight season with more than 100 tackles (112) to led the Wildcat defense.  Holton only has 14 takeaways on defense, but the offense has only turned the ball over six times. 

The game kicks at 6:00 PM Friday night in Holton with live coverage on KNZA 103.9 FM and The winner advances to Sub-State to face either Burlington or Topeka Hayden. 

3A Sectionals – Osage City (9-2) at Sabetha (10-1)
After surviving three games in 10 days, the Bluejays and Indians find themselves in the Sectional round of the 3A Playoffs. While Sabetha is making their 10th straight post season run and into the third round for the fourth year in a row, this is the first Sectional appearance for Osage City, who had won only three playoff games in school history entering this year, and one of those wins came last season.

Osage City is 9-2 with back-to-back losses to Lyndon and Wellsville in weeks six and seven.  The Indians beat Jayhawk Linn 48-14 and Caney Valley 37-21 last week to continue their best football season ever under ninth-year Coach Andrew Gantenbein. 

Osage City returned eight starters on each side of the ball this year, led by quarterback Tucker Kimball who has 811 yards and 17 rushing touchdowns to go with 2,210 passing yards and 21 TDs. Krimzyn Clark and Weston Littrell both have more than 250 yards rushing, while Clark has added 404 receiving yards behind Peyton Pearson with 465 yards on 27 catches and Trenton Plinsky with 33 receptions for 707. Mycah Ritchie leads the defense with 90 tackles and the Indians have 30 takeaways while only committing 12 turnovers this year. 

Both teams also boast great kickers as Brayden McDowell is 42 of 47 on PATS for Osage City and Braeden Cox has hit 42 of 46 for Sabetha.        

The Blueajys are scoring 38 points per game and 358 yards of offense with 321 coming on the ground in a balanced read-option attack led by senior quarterback Brandon Brownlee. Five runningbacks all have more than 430 yards led by Joe Gruber with 918. Mason Engelken has added 762, Wyatt Beyer 553, Gabe Garber 548 and Joel Hackney 438. They have accounted for 48 of Sabetha’s 56 touchdowns this year. Garber also has over 100 tackles in his sophomore season and Cauy Rokey is averaging 11.6 tackles per game after missing three games but returning Saturday in a 28-6 win against Perry Lecompton. Sabetha has 25 takeaways on defense and is allowing less than 10 points per game while only turning the ball over nine times this season.  

These two teams that have not played football, but did meet in state basketball two years ago in the third place game with Osage winning 56-49. The game kicks at 7:00 pm with live coverage on Sunny 101.3 FM and The winner advances to Sub State to face and the victor of an undefeated matchup between Silver Lake and Galena.  

3A Sectionals – Cheney (9-2) at Marysville (10-1) 4:00pm Saturday (kickoff)
The last time the Marysville Bulldogs picked up a pair of playoff wins was back in 2009 when they have their last win in the playoffs prior to this season and the Bulldogs finished 3A State runner-up that year. This season Marysville is looking to make Sub-State with Cheney standing in the way after the Bulldogs downed Norton 62-21 in the first round and Larned 36-28 in the second round of the playoffs. The dynamic Marysville offense continues to post big numbers averaging around 330 yards per game with 47.3 points per game and continues to get even more dangerous as sophomore tailback, Atreyau Hornbeak as started to emerge as a big threat in the backfield recording 105 yards in each playoff game with six touchdowns in the two games. Senior quarterback, Jack Blumer continues to be the maestro of the offense with over 2,500 yards passing with 27 touchdowns and has gotten it down with his feet too. Defensively the Bulldogs are surrendering 20.5 points per game but have forced 21 turnovers on the year and have taken care of the ball well five just a handful of turnovers on the year.

Cheney despite wrapping up the regular season with two losses in a five-point contest to Garden Plain and previously unbeaten Conway Springs the Cardinals have worked their way to the Sectional round of the 3A playoffs beating Douglass 48-8 in the first round and topping Marion 56-0 in the second round. The Cardinals offense has been flying high with 47.8 points per game including a pair of wins where they scored 74 points, while the defense is giving just over two scores per game at 17.5 points per game. Cheney has put together their best season since 2006.

The game is set for Saturday at 4:00pm in Marysville and the winner moves on to take ont eh winner of Hesston versus Phillipsburg in Sub-State.

2-1A Sectionals – Pittsburg-St. Mary’s Colgan (8-2) at Centralia (8-2) 6:00pm (kickoff)
Both Pittsburg-Colgan and Centralia are known for postseason success and have had it quite a bit over the years. The Panthers are back in the playoffs after missing last season for the first time in 20 years and after a 63-24 win over Doniphan West are looking to return to the Sub-State round of the playoffs for the first time since 2013 a year they captured the 2-1A State title. Centralia continues to run the ball ultra-effectively with 330 yards per game on the ground led by Trenton Flentie who has 1,185 yards rushing with 17 touchdowns. The offense is averaging 36.6 points per game and outscoring their opponents 242-66 in the first half of games, while defensively Centralia is giving up just 12.1 points per game and only 189.3 yards of total offense per contest to their opponents led by 100+ tacklers in Josh Hasenkamp and Ethan Becker.

Pittsburg-Colgan is coming off a run to the Sub-State round of the playoffs in 2-1A just last year in which they lost to a Twin Valley League opponent in the eventual 2-1A State Champs the Troy Trojans 28-0. Colgan heads into this game the healthiest they have been all season as senior, quarterback, Bryce Hutchins returned at the end of the regular season after getting injured six plays into the year and a few other guys are back. The offense is focused on the run with 240 yards per game rushing but can pass too and averages 34.6 points per game; senior, Max Wilson is a key playmaker rushing for nearly 900 yards with nine touchdowns. On defense Colgan as given up just 90 points on the year in 10 games as no team has scored more than 16 points against them on the season, with seven games in which they gave up eight points or less.

The battle of the Panthers last happened back in 2011 as Centralia won 24-10 at Pittsburg-Colgan in Sub-State and went on to claim the 2-1A State title that year. Centralia has won the last two meetings between the teams with Pittsburg-Colgan’s last win over Centralia coming in 2008 in the playoffs; overall this will be the tenth meeting with Colgan 6-3 in the previous nine. The two teams are set to play in the regular season the next two years on the gridiron. The game kicks at 6:00 pm with live coverage on 92.1 KMZA FM and The winner advances to Sub State to face and the winner of Jefferson County North and Olpe.

2-1A Sectionals – Jefferson County North (10-0) at Olpe (8-2)
The JCN Chargers who are in the playoffs for the third-straight year kept their season going with an opening round win in the 2-1A playoffs over Northeast Kansas League foe Jackson Heights winning 36-20 in a battle for their first playoff win since 2002. The win is the first playoff win for the Chargers since years and the team looks to keep their record unblemished when they take on Olpe. Chargers on the year are averaging 46.2 points per game and only giving up 9.4 points per game with only two teams scoring over 12 points against them all season. The offense runs through Ridge Robertson who has amassed 1,542 yards rushing with 27 touchdowns, while Samuel Larson and Boston Lane have added to the rushing attack. Lane has also thrown for 602 yards with 10 touchdowns with his favorite target Brayden Summers hauling in seven of those scores.

Olpe is accustomed to being in the playoffs having been in the playoffs now six years straight and many more times overall. The Eagles flew past Yates Center in the opening round of the 2-1A playoffs earning the 62-0 win while relying upon the rushing attack running for 360 yards on the night. Blake Hinrichs leads the charge in the backfield and ran for 105 yards and three scores against Yates Center, while Colby Hoelting guides the team at quarterback and both Cam Hoelting and Damon Schmidt are key contributors. After starting the year 1-2 the Eagles have won seven straight and allowed eight points or less in all but one of their wins this season.

Last time the two teams meet up Olpe won 49-7 in a regular season showdown back in 2013 and Olpe also won 34-7 in 2012 regular season showdown. The game kicks at 7:00 pm with live coverage on KAIR 93.7 FM and The winner advances to Sub State to face and the winner of Centralia and Pittsburg-Colgan.

8-Man DII Sectionals – Hanover (10-0) at Caldwell (9-1) 5:30pm (kickoff)
The Hanover Wildcats started their pursuit to repeat as 8-Man DII State champs with their toughest game all season as Rock Hills gave them their close game since the first round of the playoffs last year but the Wildcats still won by 30 claiming the 62-32 win to extend their win streak to 22-straight. The Wildcats were down at the end of the first quarter and led only by two-points at halftime against Rock Hills in the win. On the season the Wildcat offense is averaging 55.4 points per game and around 300 yards per game with several playmakers all-around. The trio of Kevin Diederich, Daiken Stallbaumer and Carter Bruna have led the way for the Hanover offense. Diederich has ran for 680 yards with 17 touchdowns and 149 yards receiving with two scores, while Stallbaumer has thrown for 564 yards with nine touchdowns and ran for 475 yards with 14 scores and Bruna has added 539 yards rushing with 13 scores and two touchdown receptions. On defense the Wildcats have given up just 64 points this season with half that coming by Rock Hills, while the team has notched 15 sacks and forced 24 turnovers.

Caldwell Bluejays fly into the Sectional round of the playoffs after getting past Waverly on the road in the first round 43-34. Bluejays offense is averaging 51.2 points per game this season scoring over 60 three times this season. Corbin Rice helps led the way on offense with 962 yards passing with 19 touchdowns and has ran for 524 yards with 13 scores, while Dakota Volavka has ran for 707 yards with eight scores. The defense has given up just 18.8 points per game but 108 of the 188 points given up this season have been surrendered in the last two games in a lost to Hutchinson-Central Christian and against Waverly.

The teams last played back in 2010 a game in which Hanover won 52-28. The game is set for an early kickoff of 5:30pm in Caldwell on Friday night and the winner moves on to Sub-State to play the winner of Pike Valley and Hutchinson-Central Christian.

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Hiawatha, KS 66434
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