Friday, 29 May 2020
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Friday Night Fever: Preview of all Week Five Area High School Football Matchups
By Jonny Kane and Justin Fluke
Copyright: MSC Sports

Four weeks of the high school football regular season are in the books and some teams have started the season strong, while others are still in search of their first win. District play got underway last week for Classes 3A, 2A and 8-man DI & DII with each game becoming more meaningful as the season moves on. Below you can find a complete preview of each matchup along with prediction from Jonny Kane and Justin Fluke on each contest.

Jonny’s Pick Record

Last week: 18-6
Overall record: 64-16 (80%)

Justin’s Pick Record

Last week: 18-6
Overall record: 65-15 (81%)

Games to be Broadcast

Centralia at Troy - 103.9 KNZA
Hiawatha at Sabetha - Sabetha Channel
Valley Heights at Jackson Heights – 92.1 KMZA
Holton at Royal Valley – Holton Channel
KC Wyandotte at Atchison – KAIR 93.7 FM

Jeff West (4-0) at Hayden (4-0) Class 3A District 3

It's a battle of undefeated teams in the Capital City tonight as Jeff West plays at Hayden. The Tigers have still not allowed a point all season, outscoring their opponents 136-0.  Yet, their 34-0 win at Bishop Ward last week was stopped by weather halfway through the second quarter and it was the third straight victory against a winless (0-4) team.  Hayden has cruised past three Centennial League opponents by a 46-7 average score and began district play with another weather shortened 36-6 win versus Santa Fe Trail last Friday.  Hayden has elite speed, including Desmond Purnell who ran for two more touchdowns last week and paces the Wildcat backfield. Jeff West has the size and strength in the trenches.

Quinn Neuenswander and Bryce Clements have combined to rush for more than 700 yards, but the Tigers have been on cruise control since an opening week 7-0 win against Holton. 

Hayden is 4-0 for the first time since 2008 when they won a state championship. Hayden has never lost to Jeff West and beat the Tigers 30-7 in Meriden last season.  

Jonny’s Pick: Hayden
Justin’s Pick: Hayden

Santa Fe Trail (2-2) at Perry Lecompton (2-2) Class 3A District 3

Perry Lecompton stopped a tough two-game losing streak to Big 7 teams by thumping Wellsvile 49-6 last week.  Billy Welch threw for 244 yards and four touchdowns while Thad Metcalfe ran for 128 and a pair of scores and also returned the second half kickoff 84 yards for a TD.  Perry is averaging 194 yards passing and 155 rushing this season.  Welch has thrown for 776 and Metcalfe has nearly 700 total yards of offense. 

Santa Fe Trail is 2-2 on the season following a 36-6 loss against Hayden last week with both losses to 4-0 teams.  The balanced Chargers average 193 rush and 145 pass yards per game with Andrew Berckefeld throwing for 484 and 226 of those to Zach Baker. Draven Schallock and McClain Weekley have combined for 603 rushing yard and 7 touchdowns.

Perry is 11-0 against SFT since 2004, including a 28-6 victory last season. 

Jonny’s Pick: Perry
Justin’s Pick: Perry

Holton (3-1) at Royal Valley (0-4) Class 3A District 4 on Holton Channel

Holton has won three games in a row since a 7-0 setback at Jeff West in week one that took a last second hail marry pass to avoid overtime. The Wildcat defense has surrendered just seven points per game after posting a 47-0 shutout at Hiawatha last week. The Cats continue to ground and pound the ball with more than 400 rush yards last week.  Canon Karn scored three touchdowns and Konnor Tannahill added two more and this duo also leads the Wildcats in tackles. Tannahill now has 320 yards rushing this season with Karn right behind at 287 and Trey Wright also has surpassed 200 yards this year.

Royal Valley is still looking for a win after losing the last two weeks by an identical score of 42-14. Turnovers and mistakes have proven to be the biggest issue for the Panthers who did get a touchdown pass from seniors Gavin Cumpton to Chance Lyming last week. This will be the first non-spread team that Royal Valley has faced this season but the Panthers haven't beaten the Wildcats since 1996, the year before Brooks Barta arrived in Holton. Last's year score was 58-8, which was the most points Royal Valley has scored against Holton dating back to 2011. 

Jonny’s Pick: Holton
Justin’s Pick: Holton

Sabetha (3-1) at Hiawatha (0-4) Class 3A District 4 on Sabetha Channel

The 23-game win streak is over for Sabetha, but the Bluejays proved they are still among the best in Class 3A despite falling 40-32 last week to #3 ranked Marysville.  Despite no turnovers and only two penalties all night, Sabetha was playing catch up last week after spotting the Bulldogs an early 20-0 lead.  They scored and recovered an onside kick to get back within a scoreGabe Garber threw for 172 yards and ran for 92 more while accounting for four touchdowns in defeat.  The Jays defense made a big stop in the final minutes of the game and even though the offense didn't score to potential tie the game, the eight-point margin could come back into play in this very balanced and potent district.   

Hiawatha continues to struggle after being shutout by Holton and Jeff West the last two week.  The Redhawks haven't scored in 10 quarters and have multiple players injured and missing games while playing a lot of underclassmen.  Michael Moreno continues to be a bright spot and even took snaps at quarterback last week but the defense has allowed 42 points per game this season. 

Sabetha has won five straight against Hiawatha and beat the Hawks 49-7 a year ago.

Jonny’s Pick: Sabetha
Justin’s Pick: Sabetha

Marysville (4-0) at Wamego (4-0) Class 3A District 4

It's a battle for the NCKL title tonight and two undefeated teams as Marysville tries to avoid a letdown after a thrilling 40-32 win at Sabetha last week that bumped the Bulldogs up the Class 3A rankings to the top three and ended the Jays 23-game win streak.  Atreyau Hornbeak ran for 192 yards and five scores last week in Sabetha and now has 624 yards and 16 trips to the endzone this season. Quarterback, Brandon Schroedl has totaled 876 yards of offense in the first four games.

Wamego beat a trio of NCKL opponents before taking care of Royal Valley 42-14 in the District opener a week ago. The Red Raiders showcase dynamic speed on offense with three athletes racking up more than 350 yards already this season. Manhattan High transfer Isaiah Childs has 625 while Taybor Vetter has 425 in his second year at Wamego after transfering from Rock Creek.  The Red Raiders have won games by 10 and 12 points and allowed at least two touchdowns in each contest this season.  

Marysville has beaten Wamego three straight games including a 20-14 thriller last season.

Jonny’s Pick: Marysville
Justin’s Pick: Marysville

McLouth (0-4) at West Franklin (0-4) Class 2A District 2

It’s been a rough season so far to say the least for McLouth as the Bulldogs are still searching for their first win of the year after a 69-0 loss to state ranked Silver Lake last week. The Bulldogs just can’t seem to get anything going offensively scoring only 12 points through the first four weeks of the season with the only two touchdowns coming on Matt Kuglin rushes. Luckily for the Bulldogs they will have a great chance to get things right this week as they will face a West Franklin team that is yet to pick up a win and a team they beat a year ago 26-24. The Falcons have lost five straight dating back to last season and have yet to score more than eight points this season.

Jonny’s Pick: McLouth
Justin’s Pick: West Franklin

Osage City (2-2) at Oskaloosa (1-3) Class 2A District 2

The Oskaloosa Bears are riding high and feeling good after picking up their first win of the season in what may have been the game of the year to this point in a five overtime 48-42 win over Central Heights. The Bears trailed 16-0 after the first quarter but got two rushing touchdowns in the second half from Chord Perry to force overtime before grinding out the win. Perry finished with six total touchdowns including four on the ground and two through the air with Peyton Hamm and Brayden Hast catching the two touchdown passes. Oskaloosa is averaging just 143 yards of offense per game and are led on the ground by sophomore Nick Henry who has ran for over 175 yards and one touchdown on the season.

The Bears will face Osage City who is amid a two-game win streak after a 34-6 beat down of West Franklin last week where they forced five turnovers including three interceptions.

Jonny’s Pick: Osage City
Justin’s Pick: Osage City

Pleasant Ridge (2-2) at Nemaha Central (2-2) Class 2A District 3

Since an 0-2 start to the season Pleasant Ridge has figured things out and picked up two wins in a row with the latest victory coming in a 31-21 win over ACCHS. The Rams outscored the Tigers 10-0 in the fourth quarter to break a 21-21 tie and were led by Jake Heckman who ran for 144 yards and three touchdowns while Conner Gibson threw for 159 yards and a score. Heckman has now racked up over 320 yards on the ground this season with one touchdown while Conner Gibson has thrown for 416 yards and five touchdowns.

Nemaha Central got back on the right track last week with a 46-0 blanking of Horton bouncing back from a week three loss to Holton. The Thunder jumped out to a 25-0 lead after the first quarter and added 21 points between the second and third quarters to take control. Dylan Schultejans threw for 121 yards and two touchdowns while Gage Palic ran for 68 yards and two scores. Zac Kramer added a passing and rushing touchdown while Bryce Uphaus caught two TD's.

The Thunder squeaked out a 29-28 win over the Rams last season scoring a touchdown and getting a two-point conversion with just a few minutes left.

Jonny’s Pick: Nemaha Central
Justin’s Pick: Nemaha Central

Riverside (3-1) at ACCHS (1-3) Class 2A District 3

ACCHS suffered a tough week four loss to Pleasant Ridge and were outscored 10-0 in the fourth quarter to break a 21-21 tie. The Tigers rushed for over 250 yards in the game but allowed the Rams to rack up 330 total yards of offense including 160 yards through the air. Tucker Smith was the lone bright spot for the Tigers as he rushed 15 times for 178 yards and two touchdowns while Kieran Courter added another rushing score. Smith is now up to 742 rushing yards which places him 10th throughout all classes and No. 3 in Class 2A while he has also collected six rushing touchdowns.

After winning just two games each of the past two years, Riverside pulled off a big district opening shocker by winning at an unbeaten MH-MA team 28-27.  The last second passing touchdown from sophomore Kobe Davis to Connor Hayes and extra point kick from Yegor Dittemore improved the Cyclones to 3-1 and more importantly, 1-0 in 2A district three.  First year Coach Bryce Paden has brought his team from behind in all three wins this season, including a 13-point fourth quarter deficit last week against the Ravens who were coming off a potential NEKL championship game win at ranked Jackson Heights.

Riverside has certainly had the Tigers number with seven straight wins against ACCHS.  Last season it was 61-12 district score in week five. 

Jonny’s Pick: Riverside
Justin’s Pick: Riverside

Maur Hill-Mount Academy (3-1) at Horton (0-4) Class 2A District 3 

Maur Hill-Mount Academy is looking to erase a disappointing week four loss to Riverside 28-27 which was the first loss of the season. The Ravens led 27-14 in the third quarter but committed four turnovers and gave up a touchdown in the final minute after turning the ball over on downs with a little over a minute remaining. Jack Caudle ran for two touchdowns in the loss and Andrew Schwinn added another while Drew Caudle recorded a pick-six.

Horton lost to Nemaha Central 46-0 last week as the Chargers again had costly mistakes with turnovers and blocked punts deep intheir own territory.  Horton has now lost 15 straight games , all by at least 30 points or more while starting at least seven underclassmen on both sides of the football.  

MH-MA won 44-12 last year which was their fifth straight victory against the Chargers and the Ravens have won eight of the previous nine matchups.

Jonny’s Pick: MH-MA
Justin’s Pick: MH-MA

Burlingame (3-1) at Valley Falls (1-3) 8-man DI District 3

Valley Falls was tied at halftime in two of their first three games this season but finally put four quarters together and pulled off a huge upset in the district opener.  The Dragons won for the first time in 12 games and handed Lebo their first loss of 2019 with a 52-42 gutsy win.  Drew Pickerell earned Athlete of the week honors at with 286 yards and four passing touchdowns while also accounting for 210 yards and three more scores. Pickerell has now scored 14 times this season and first-year Head Coach Sawyer Havenstein  also welcomed the return of Cade Norris from injury and he and Diego Cervantez each had multiple TD receptions in the Dragons first homecoming win in 17 years. 

Burlingame has beaten Valley Falls 70-0 and 58-8 the past two years and started this year 3-0 before falling to Chase County 38-12 last week.  Colby Middleton is a freshman that leads Burlingame in rushing. 

Jonny’s Pick: Burlingame
Justin’s Pick: Burlingame

Clifton-Clyde (4-0) at Victoria (4-0) 8-man DI District

It’s one of the premier matchups across the entire state of Kansas with the Eagles looking to take down the state-ranked Knights. Clifton-Clyde has been dominant all season long and that continued last week in a 50-22 beat down of Hill City which were the first points the Eagles had given up this season. Clifton-Clyde has won 13 of their last 14 games dating back to last season with the only loss coming in the regional round of the playoffs last year to Hoxie 22-20. The Eagles are averaging just under 60 points per game and will face a Victoria team that has been dominant this which continued last week in a 70-18 blowout of Lincoln.

Clifton-Clyde won last season’s meeting 54-30 holding the Knights to just 200 total yards of offense.

Jonny’s Pick: Clifton-Clyde
Justin’s Pick: Clifton-Clyde

Washington County (3-1) at Lincoln (2-2) 8-man DI District 7

Washington County has been one of the pleasant surprises so far through the first four weeks of the season already posting as many wins as the program had a year ago. The Tigers again found a way to win last week squeaking out a 24-20 win over Stockton outscoring the Tigers 16-6 in the second half. Washington County will have a chance to continue their strong start against Lincoln who has lost two straight with the latest loss coming to Victoria last week 70-18. The Tigers can make it two wins in a row against Lincoln with a win tonight after a dominant 64-18 win last season.

Jonny’s Pick: Washington County
Justin’s Pick: Washington County

Frankfort (4-0) at Blue Valley (1-3) 8-man DII District 3

Frankfort continued to look like one of the best teams in the state last week bouncing back from giving up 52 points to Doniphan West in week three by shutting out Wetmore last week 50-0. Garret Dalinghaus ran for 99 yards and two touchdowns and Ethan Armstrong ran for 95 yards and three scores, while defensively the Wildcats held Wetmore to 21 total yards of offense. It’s been a two-headed monster in the backfield for the Wildcats this season as Dalinghaus has posted 322 rushing yards and eight touchdowns while Gavin Cornelison has added 378 yards and eight more scores.

Frankfort will look to continue their perfect season against a Blue Valley team that is looking to bounce back after a 46-0 loss to No. 1-ranked Hanover last week. After having to forfeit two of their first four games last year the Rams have better numbers and look to get back to how they finished last season when they won their final four games.

The Wildcats dominated last season’s week five meeting 62-14 forcing five turnovers while Branden Bussman record 239 total yards of offense and six touchdowns.

Jonny’s Pick: Frankfort
Justin’s Pick: Frankfort

Axtell (4-0) at Wetmore (1-3) 8-man DII District 3

The Quinn Buessing show continued last week for the Axtell Eagles as the senior quarterback delivered another big-time performance throwing for 283 yards and five touchdowns while rushing for two more in a 58-10 win over Pike Valley. Isaac Detweiler caught seven passes for 214 yards and three touchdowns while Derek Buessing added two more receiving scores. Quinn has now thrown for over 1,00 yards through the first four games with 19 touchdowns, zero interceptions and nine rushing touchdowns.

Wetmore is looking to end a current two-game losing streak after being shutout a week ago by Frankfort in a 50-0 loss. The Cardinals turned the ball over four times last week and couldn’t get anything going offensively finishing with only 21 total yards.

Axtell cruised to a 60-0 victory a year ago over Wetmore holding the Cardinals to negative 13 yards of offense and scoring 46 points in the first quarter.

Jonny’s Pick: Axtell
Justin’s Pick: Axtell

Hanover (4-0) at Onaga (2-2) 8-man DII District 3

Onaga is back to .500 after a big-time road win last week in three overtimes over Doniphan West. Ethan Powell was an absolute load rushing for two touchdowns in the overtime periods with 193 total yards on 34 carries while Zac Fisher ran for 120 yards and three touchdowns while throwing another. Powell has now run for 479 yards through the first four weeks while Fisher has added over 300 yards on the ground.

The Buffaloes will have a tough task this week facing the No. 1-ranked Hanover Wildcats who won their 42nd consecutive game last week in a 46-0 shutout of Blue Valley which sets the 8-man record for consecutive wins in Kansas.

Jonny’s Pick: Hanover
Justin’s Pick: Hanover

Doniphan West (0-4) at Linn (0-4) 8-man DII District 3

Doniphan West could make a case that they are the best 0-4 team in the state and has played tough against some great teams like unbeaten Hanover and Frankfort and Washington County (3-1) before losing in triple-overtime against Onaga last week 42-36. The sophomore-led Mustangs got five more touchdowns from Trent Spiker who passed for 177 yards. 

D-West will get a forfeit win as Linn cancelled the game this week.  It was going to be a six-man game and the Mustangs also had an opportunity to play a team from Western Kansas, but they cancelled this week too. 

Jonny’s Pick: No Pick – Linn Forfeit
Justin’s Pick: No Pick – Linn Forfeit

Centralia (3-1) at Troy (2-2) Non-District on 103.9 KNZA

Centralia continued to roll after a season opening loss to Rossville and won their third straight game by going on the road last week and shutting out Pitt-Colgan 30-0. The Panthers held Colgan to just 62 total yards of offense while Kamble Haverkamp ran for 203 yards and three touchdowns. Devon Feldkamp added 130 yards on the ground while as a team Centralia ran for 363 yards. Haverkamp has now ran for 758 yards this season which ranks his ninth throughout all classes and No. 2 in 1A.

Troy only got a half in their game last Saturday at the turf field in Olathe against Christ Prep.  The Trojans 28-0 loss evened their record at 2-2 as they again played without a couple starters and will still be missing key players this week.  Kipp Jasper led the team in tackles from his safety spot and has thrown for 446 yards while also leading the team in rushing with 318 yards and eight total touchdowns.

Centralia has won five of the last six meetings and three in a row against Troy including a 41-18 score last season.

Jonny’s Pick: Centralia
Justin’s Pick: Centralia

Valley Heights (4-0) at Jackson Heights (2-2) on 92.1 KMZA

Valley Heights was tested for the first time last week but passed with flying colors in a 34-14 win over Republic County to remain perfect. Valley Heights racked up 330 yards on the ground led by Cole Coggins who rushed for 131 yards and two touchdowns while Cameron Beardsley added 121 yards and a score on just seven carries. Coggins leads the Mustang offense with 667 yards on the ground and 12 touchdowns while Beardsley has thrown for 261 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions.

Jackson Heights has fallen from the 1A state rankings after back-to-back loses.  The Cobras went on a 21-play drive that consumed more than 10 minutes last week and led 14-7 just before halftime at Olpe before falling to score the rest of the game in a 28-14 loss.  Cooper Williams ran for 117 of his 123 yards in the first half and scored twice, but the Cobras struggled in special teams and lost the field positions battle while also making two costly turnovers late in the game after an 80-minute weather delay.  

Jackson Heights beat Valley Heights twice last year by scores of 22-14 and then a playoff game 35-20.  The Cobras have won six of the last eight meetings and three in a row, but the last four meetings have all been decided by by 15 points or less.

Jonny’s Pick: Valley Heights
Justin’s Pick: Valley Heights

Wyandotte (2-1) at Atchison (1-3) Non-District on KAIR 93.7 FM

Atchison finally broke through last week and picked up a 48-0 win over Harmon at home. Garyeon Simpson led the Redmen with a passing and rushing touchdown while he also returned an interception for a score. Atchison will look to make it two in a row with homecoming this week against Wyandotte who won an ugly 6-2 game over Schlagle last week. The Redmen beat Wyandotte 47-27 last season and have won the last eight meetings dating back to 2011.

Jonny’s Pick: Atchison
Justin’s Pick: Wyandotte

Jeff County North (4-0) at Christ Prep (4-1) Non-District Saturday at 2 p.m. at Blue Valley High

Jeff County North continued to roll along to start the season by pitching another shutout last week in a 50-0 win over Wabaunsee. Logan Budy ran for three touchdowns and returned a punt 66 yards for a score. Landon Gutschenritter added two rushing touchdowns and caught a touchdown pass as well.

The Chargers will get their toughest test of the year this week against Christ Prep who blanked Troy a week ago 28-0 in a game that was ended at halftime. The Patriots only loss of the year came two weeks ago in a 21-14 loss to Olpe who is currently ranked second in Class 1A.

JCN has played Christ Prep for the past five seasons and had won three straight before a 28-6 loss last season.

Jonny’s Pick: Christ Prep
Justin’s Pick: Christ Prep

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