Tuesday, 18 December 2018
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Football Fever - Preview of All Week Nine High School Football Matchups
By Jonny Kane and Justin Fluke
Copyright: MSC Sports
10/25/2018

 It’s playoff time across the state of Kansas thanks to the new classification changes, and although it is just week nine it is win or go home with all classes getting underway this week. While most 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A games will take place on Friday, some will be played Thursday so note each game while all 8-man games take place Thursday.

Games to be Broadcast

Troy vs. Wabaunsee on Thursday - 103.9 KNZA
Holton at Hayden on Friday – Holton Channel
Sabetha vs. Jeff West on Friday  -103.9 KNZA & Sabetha Channel
Maur Hill-Mount Academy vs. Mission Valley on Friday  – KAIR 93.7 FM
*Due to state volleyball there will be no game of the week on 92.1 KMZA

Class 4A Playoffs:

Atchison (4-4) at Fort Scott (6-2)

The Redmen moved their record to an even .500 on the season last week a dominant road win over Sumner Academy 56-20. Atchison led just 14-7 after the first quarter, but the Redmen scored 27 points in the second quarter to take control. Senior quarterback Brayden Dame had a big night rushing the football carrying seven times for 105 yards and two touchdowns, while Patrick Denton added 61 yards and score. Atchison is set to face a Fort Scott team that is undefeated at home, with their only to losses coming on the road at Paola and Pittsburg.

Class 3A Playoffs:

Holton (3-5) at Hayden (6-2)

There is plenty of tradition and history in this rivalry, although Hayden has beat Holton three times in the last two years.  Holton is starting their 21st consecutive playoff campaign under Coach Brooks Barta, who has a 6-7 record against

Hayden.  Bill Arnold, a Holton alum is in his 12th season at Hayden with more than 100 wins entering this year.  Hayden has won five games in a row, giving up 13 total points in those District games and pitching shutouts each of the past three weeks.  Hayden has wins against Jeff West and Perry Lecompton, the two common opponents that Holton lost to this season. 

The Holton Wildcats are coming off blowing a 14-point second half lead and falling at Wamego 41-34, which was the third loss by a single score for Holton in 2018.  Holton ran the ball 70 times last week and played a great first half of football limiting Wamego to a single first down and only 64 yards.  Konnor Tannahill had 121 yards rushing and three touchdowns and continues to pace the Wildcat wishbone as a sophomore.        

Santa Fe Trail (5-3) at Marysville (6-2)

With a comeback 33-29 win against Jeff West, Santa Fe Trail moved into the second seed and avoided Sabetha in the playoff opener.  However, the Chargers not travel to face a Marysville teams that is coming off a 69-0 win against Hiawatha, which was the Dawgs second straight shutout and fourth consecutive victory.  The balanced Bulldogs average 174 yards rushing and 159 passing per game with Brandon Schroedl throwing for 1,260 and Atreyau Hornbeak pacing the way with 526 on the ground.  Jacob Backus has 600 yards receiving. 

Santa Fe Trail showcases and powerful ground game led by Wil Herron who has 1,094 yards and 19 touchdowns.  Herron had 226 yards and 2 scores last week but also registered 15 tackles.  The Chargers were competitive in losses to Hayden and Perry 28-6, and have won three in a row and ran for more than 600 yards last week against Jeff West.   These two teams have not played football in the last 15 years and the winner gets Hayden or Holton next round. 

Jeff West (5-3) at Sabetha (8-0)

Two Big 7 League teams that did not play during the regular season collide tonight as the defending 3A State Champions take a 15-game winning streak into their repeat quest.  Sabetha has been in the post-season now for 11 straight seasons, while it's the Tigers first playoff appearance since 2013.  The Jays have pitched three consecutive shutouts and four total this season while allowing just 59 points all year, and 33 of those came against Perry Lecompton in their only contest decided by less than 24 points. 

Sabetha averages 312 rushing yards per game this year, led by Joe Gruber with 720 and Gabe Garber with 676.  Yet, Garber has also burst into the passing scene with a trio of touchdowns and 126 more passing yards last week in the 48-0 win at Royal Valley.  For the season, Garber has completed 32 of 47 attempts for 585 yards and nine touchdowns.   

Jeff West started the year 4-0, but then lost to Hayden and Perry Lecompton and lost their starting quarterback, Cade Ross.  Quinn Neuenswander switched from back from receiver and has filled in nicely with 435 passing yards to accompany more than 300 rushing and receiving yards in his junior year.  Bryce Clements has 539 rushing yards to lead the Tigers and Zeth Unruh has a team high 584 yards receiving in the spread, no huddle offense.  Yet, Jeff West has found ways to hurt themselves and a lack of discipline at times, hurt again last week when losing a lead and falling to Santa Fe Trail 33-29, which cost the Tigers the two seed as they allowed more than 600 yards rushing and will see a lot more of that this week against the Bluejays. 

Sabetha has won four straight against Jeff West, but two of those by 10 points or less and the Jays won 22-7 over the Tigers last year.  The winner gets the  Wamego/Perry Lecompton victory next week. 

Wamego (5-3) at Perry Lecompton (6-2)

Perry has only lost to Sabetha 35-33 and Hayden 20-0 and last week whipped up on Bishop Ward 77-0.    The Kaws average 41 points and 354 yards per contest.  Dalton Kellum has 1,142 yards rushing and just over 550 passing while fellow senior Colton Mallonee has reeled in 380 yards receiving.  Billy Welch has taken a lot more snaps at QB during the second half of this season and was 8-8 passing for 129 yards and three touchdowns while hitting seven different receivers last week against Ward. 

Wamego had a dynamite second half and scored the final 21 points of the game to rally past Holton 41-34 last week as Ty Cooper ran for four scores and passes for another and was joined with more than 120 yards rushing by Taybor Vetter.  The speedy dynamic duo has accounted for nearly 90 percent of the offense for Wamego who is 5-0 on turf but looking for their first win on grass this season (0-3) under first-year Coach Weston Moody.    

Non Playoff Games:

Wellsville (3-5) at Royal Valley (2-6)         on Thursday

Royal Valley has two wins this season against Riverside (28-27) and Hiawatha (28-12) but fell to Sabetha last week 48-0.  Without rushing leader Chance Lyming, the Panthers got 87 yards on the ground from QB Gavin Cumpton, but failed to score and are left to play for pride still without a playoff berth since 2005.

Wellsville’s string of eight consecutive playoff appearances has come to a close after the Eagles finished fifth in one of the most loaded districts in Class 3A. Quarterback Zach Vance is a capable passer with 1,187 yards and 13 touchdowns on the season.  The Eagles lost to Hayden last week 36-0 and have managed only 14 points in their last three games combined.  

Bishop Ward (0-8) at Hiawatha (1-7)

Bishop Ward has lost 46 straight football games dating back to 2013.  They have scored only 22 points all season.  Hiawatha won their season opener against Riverside but have lost every game since by at least 14 points and last week suffered their most lopsided defeat 69-0 at Marysville.  Tyler Brockoff now has more than 550 yards passing this season for the Redhawks, who have had no less than seven starters miss time this season due to injuries.   

Class 2A Playoffs:

Mission Valley (5-3) at Maur Hill-Mount Academy (7-1)

For the fifth consecutive season the Ravens are back in the playoffs but for the first time the Ravens will compete in Class 2A after making the switch this season. MH-MA is riding high after wrapping up a district title last week with a 27-25 thrilling win over Nemaha Central on the road, coming back from a 13-0 deficit in the first quarter. Jack Caudle threw for 196 yards and two touchdowns in the win, while Tate Vowels had another big game with 134 yards receiving and a score. Cameron Taft also added 80 yards rushing and a touchdown with 78 of the 80 yards coming in the second half. The Ravens are facing Vikings team that is averaging 22 points per game, with their only losses coming to Rossville, Riley County and Southeast of Saline.

Pleasant Ridge (5-3) at Rossville (6-2)

In a rematch of the 2014 playoffs the Rams travel to Rossville to take on a Bulldawg team that is back to their winning ways after going just 2-7 a season ago. Pleasant Ridge went 3-2 in district play to take third in district three after barely squeaking out a 24-18 win over Riverside last week trailing a majority of the contest. Colton Comer record 278 total yards of offense in the contest with 152 yards coming through the air with three touchdowns, while on the ground he ran for 126 yards on 25 attempts. The Rams have lost the last two meetings to Rossville by a combined score of 105-0, with the latest loss coming by a 56-0 score in 2014.  The winner of this game faces the winner of MH-MA vs. Mission Valley next week.  

McLouth (4-4) at Jayhawk Linn (6-2) on Thursday

For the first time in their last four games the Bulldogs are coming off a loss after dropping to 4-4 on the season with a 38-18 loss to Osage City last week which ended a three game win streak. Osage City entered the game with their only loss coming to No. 2-ranked Silver Lake, but McLouth hung tough actually having the game tied at 12 just before halftime. But unfortunately for the Bulldogs a couple of key injuries and giving up big plays on defense was the difference. McLouth now faces a Jayhawk-Linn team that is 6-2 with the only two losses to Humboldt and Pleasanton. The Jayhawks are averaging 23 points per game on offense, while the defense is allowing just under 20 points per contest.  The winner likely faces Silver Lake next week. 

Riverside (2-6) at Riley County (6-2)

Despite losing 24-18 at Pleasant Ridge last week, Riverside played some of the best football of the year.  The Cyclones led 18-8 in the third quarter and got 147 yards rushing from Dawson Dick, who scored three touchdowns and had three more called back because of penalties.    

Garrett Harmison threw for 250 yards and four touchdowns, three of them going to Weston Claar, and he also ran for two more scores in Riley County's district clinching 48-0 win against St. Mary's.   The winner of this game faces Nemaha Central/Southeast of Salina winner.  

Southeast of Saline (7-1) at Nemaha Central (5-3)

The Thunder have a tough matchup in round one of the 2A playoffs after finishing second in district three because of a heartbreaking 27-25 loss to Maur Hill-Mount Academy in what was the district title game last week. The Thunder led 13-0 in the first quarter, but allowed the Ravens to rattle off 20 straight points and trailed 20-13 in the third quarter. Then in the fourth quarter Nemaha Central got within two points with a little over 90 seconds left, but failed to score on a 2-point conversion which allowed the Ravens to run out the clock. Quarterback Dalton Schmelze accounted for four total touchdowns in the loss with two coming on the ground in the first quarter, while the senior also threw for 219 yards and two more scores. 

Southeast of Saline is averaging 26 points per game with the only loss coming to Rossville 32-6. The Trojans feature a balanced offense averaging around 150 yards both passing and rushing, led by quarterback Jaxson Gebhardt who has accounted for nearly 1500 total yards and 13 touchdowns on the season.

Non-Playoff Games

Northeast Arma (0-8) at Oskaloosa (0-8)                               Cancelled Oskie Forfeit

Nobody will win this game because Oskaloosa forfeited the rest of their games this season a couple weeks ago due to a lack of numbers.  Northeast-Arma is currently on a 29-game losing streak dating back to 2015, while Oskie has dropped 12 straight games.

Horton (0-8) at Council Grove (1-7)

Last week, the Braves battled Southeast of Saline, a 7-1 team, to a 21-16 decision but have just one win this season, which came in week two against Central Heights.  Horton meanwhile hasn't played a team within 30 points all season and was down to 11 healthy players at the end of last weeks 50-20 loss against ACCHS.  Matthew Lobdell scored all three touchdowns for the Chargers, who lost top runningback and leading defensive stopper Marshall Randall early in week seven.  Horton is trying to avoid their second winless season in the last four years.   

ACCHS (2-6) at St. Mary’s (2-6)

In a matchup of a 2-6 teams the Tigers and Bears will face off without playoff implications as both teams look to end what has been a tough year with a win. The Tigers are coming off a 50-20 win over Horton last week after rushing for over 400 yards, with Shawn Boos leading the way with 163 yards and four touchdowns while Trystin Myers added 164 yards and two scores. St. Mary’s is coming off a 48-0 loss to Riley County and have lost three straight by an average margin of 17 points.

Class 1A Playoffs:

Northern Heights (2-6) at Jackson Heights (7-1)

Cooper Williams was dynamite with 318 yards rushing including six touchdowns on sprints of 21, 80, 69, 17, 30 and 66 yards last week against Lyndon in a 47-8 win.  Jackson Heights has only one loss (22-20) against Olpe this year and has the second best defense in all Class 1A with Valley Heights the only other team that has scored more than eight points (14) against the Cobras.  A Jackson Heights win could result in a rematch agaisnt Valley Heights if the Mustangs take care of Lyndon.  

Lyndon (3-5) at Valley Heights (5-3) on Thursday

It’s been an up and down season so far for the Valley Heights Mustangs with two of their three losses coming to state ranked teams. The latest setback came on the road at Centralia 49-22, giving the Mustangs the second spot in the district and the third spot in the TVL standings. The Mustangs did play well early in the loss trailing just 7-0 after the first quarter, but Centralia rattled off 21 points in the second quarter to take control. Cole Coggins did rush for over 120 yards and a touchdown, but the Mustangs gave up over 370 yards on the ground and too many big plays. Valley Heights will face a Lyndon team that is a perennial playoff team but struggling on the year, with their only three wins coming against JCN, Uniontown and Central Heights.

Jeff County North (2-6) at Centralia (6-2)

Centralia wrapped up a Twin Valley League regular season championship and a district title last week after taking down Valley Heights 49-22 in what was essentially the title game. The Panthers led just 7-0 after the first quarter, but put up 21 points in the second quarter to take control leading 28-6 at halftime. Centralia as a team ran for 373 yards on the night, led by Kamble Haverkamp who went over 150 yards once again with 185 yards on the ground and three touchdowns. Isaac Gore also added 146 yards rushing and two scores, while Devon Feldkamp had a rushing touchdown as well. The big night put Haverkamp over 1200 yards rushing on the season with 16 touchdowns, while Isaac Gore is nearing the 1000 yard mark currently sitting at 903 with 10 scores.

JCN is looking to bounce back after a disappointing 54-8 loss last week while ending the regular season with four straight losses. Logan Budy notched the lone touchdown for the Chargers coming on a 15-yard run, as JCN is averaging just 11 points per game in their last four contests. The Chargers have taken a step back after going 10-1 last season, but have a chance to forget about the rough year with an upset win Friday night.

Wabaunsee (1-7) at Troy (5-3)                   7:00 PM on Thursday 10/25

Troy has put a couple complete games together to secure a winning season and last week had 217 yards rushing and 219 passing in a 54-8 beat down of JCN.  Two has a pair of losses by just one point and another to Centralia, which they led in the fourth quarter.  The Trojan defense followed up their seven takeaway performance against Lyndon by forcing six JCN turnovers last week and has 25 takeaways for the year.  Sophomore Bray Davies leads the state with nine interceptions this season while the defense has surrendered less than 12 points per game.  Kipp Jasper has 1,185 passing yards and 430 rushing to lead the Trojan offense that is almost perfectly balanced between the run and pass but has committed 16 turnovers themselves. 

Wabaunsee is coming off their first win of the season last week as a 16-7 triumph against Northern Heights bumped the Chargers to the third seed coming out of their 1A District.  In their first seven losses of the year, only one game was decided by less than four touchdowns for Wabaunsee, who is now a football independent after leaving the Mid-East League.  The Chargers, under first year head coach Jess Rutledge, average less than 11 points per outing this year.  Wabaunsee lost at Troy their last meeting in 2015 in a first-round playoff game 67-20. 

If Troy wins, they likely get a rematch at TVL foe Centralia, who they led against in the fourth quarter before falling 36-22 in week five earlier this season.  

8-man DI (All Games Thursday)

Trego WaKeeney (4-4) at Clifton-Clyde (8-0)  at 6:00pm

The Eagles continued to cruise along last week shutting out a struggling Lincoln team 46-0. Clifton-Clyde has blown out every opponent they have played so far this season, with their closest in coming by 24 points in week five over Victoria. Aiden Rudolph leads the Eagles on the offensive side of the ball, as the sophomore signal caller has thrown for 108 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 255 yards and six more scores. Drake Steinbrock and Christian Seifert have also combined for 16 rushing touchdowns and nearly 300 yards, as Clifton-Clyde has already best their win total from a season ago. WaKeeney is led by senior Dallas Schneider who has had a big season with 841 rushing and 12 scores, to go along with four special teams touchdowns.  The winners faces Hoxie or Hill City next week.  

Non-Playoff Games:

Valley Falls (1-7) at Herrington (2-6)

Valley Falls opened the season with a 54-48 overtime win versus Onaga, and in doing so, snapped a 17-game losing streak. Since then, the Dragons have permitted at least 52 points in every game and been point-ruled with just one senior on the roster.  Valley Falls travels to Herrington, who started the year 2-1 and scored 88 points in a game, but has lost five in a row and scored a total of 12 points their last four outings. 

8-man DII (All Games Thursday)

Southern Cloud (3-5) at Hanover (8-0)   

The Wildcats ride into the playoffs on current 33-game win streak after blasting one-loss Frankfort last week 46-0. Daiken Stallbaumer, Thomas Atkins and Carter Bruna each had two touchdowns in the win, while Stallbaumer also threw for 102 yards. Southern Cloud is in the playoffs for the first time since 2013, as the Warriors have won three of their past four games to finish district play with a 3-3 record.

Frankfort (6-2) at Beloit-St. John/Tipton (5-3)

In a rematch from a non-district game from just three weeks ago, Frankfort looks to repeat their 60-14 in a game the Wildcats dominated in the second half. Frankfort led just 16-14 at halftime, but exploded for 44 points after the break. Frankfort has dropped two straight since that victory, including a 46-0 loss to No. 1-ranked Hanover last week. Garret Dalinghaus looks to have another big game against St. John, after rushing for 216 yards and six touchdowns in the first meeting. Kail Dubbert leads St. John’s with 775 yard on the ground and 14 touchdowns, while also leading the team in tackles with 131. Frankfort forced three turnovers in the first meeting, and held St. John’s to just 183 total yards of offense.  

If Frankfort wins, they will likely play Hanover next week.  

Doniphan West (3-5) at Rock Hills (7-1) at 6:00 PM

In their first season of 8-Man football and with new Coach Jeff Savage, the Mustangs started out the year 0-3, but they rattled off three consecutive wins, despite battling some key injuries.  Doniphan West has now lost back-to-back games against Blue Valley Randolph and most recently, a 74-28 setback at Axtell.  D-West will have just 10 kids on the field Thursday to start the playoffs at Mankato-Rock Hills who is 7-1, with a lone loss to Hanover and been ranked all season in Division II.

Pike Valley (4-4) at Axtell (7-1)   at 6:00pm

In another rematch from earlier this season Axtell looks to deliver the knockout blow to Pike Valley whom the Eagles beat earlier this season 54-6. Quinn Buessing was stellar in that week four win, throwing for 219 yards and six touchdowns, with three of them going to Hunter Koch. Koch is coming off four touchdown receptions in the Eagles 74-26 win over Doniphan West, tying the Kansas state record for touchdown receptions in a career with 57. Koch is also just two touchdowns shy of tying and three away from breaking the state record for touchdowns catches in a single season, as the record currently sits at 29 while Koch is at 27. Buessing had put together a storybook season himself, tossing 41 touchdowns to just two interceptions. Pike Valley is going to be a much tougher opponent this time around for Axtell, as Pike Valley entered the season with just one returning starter but has won two of their last three games including a 58-8 win over Linn last week.  

If Axtell wins, they advance to play the winner of D-West at Rock Hills.  

Non-Playoff Games:

Onaga (2-6) at Linn (1-7)

The Buffaloes are riding high and feeling good after picking up their second straight win last week taking down Wetmore at home 36-18. Ethan Powell continued to be the work horse for the Buffaloes, as he carried 36 times for over 200 yards and a couple of touchdowns marking the second straight week he has had over 30 carries. The Buffaloes will face a Linn team that is struggling off a 58-8 loss to Pike Valley, with the only win coming three weeks ago in a 54-6 win over Tescott.

Wetmore (1-7) at Tescott (0-8)

In what has been a disappointing season for both teams someone will end the season on a high note. The Cardinals have won just once on the season which was a 44-24 win over Southern Cloud in week two, while Tescott is still searching for their first win and be competitive as their closest loss was 54-6 to Linn. Wetmore is coming off a 36-18 loss to Onaga, while Tescott fell last week to Southern Cloud 56-6.

Blue Valley-Randolph (4-4) at Lakeside Downs (2-6)

A rematch from a non-district game just a week ago that Blue Valley-Randolph won 52-6.  Cole Montgomery ran for two touchdowns and caught two more, while Lane Peter ran for 103 yards and two touchdowns. The Rams forfeited against Hanover in week four, or they would be in the playoffs after beating Doniphan West two weeks ago 36-12. 


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