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Friday Night Fever: Preview of All Second Round Northeast Kansas High School Football Matchups
By Jonny Kane and Justin Fluke
Copyright: MSC Sports
11/08/2019

Just 16 teams remain across each classification after the opening round of the high school football playoffs took place in the state of Kansas last week. All regional games are set to take place Friday night, with the winner of each matchup moving into the final eight next week. A complete preview of each game can be found below along with predictions of each matchup by Jonny Kane and Justin Fluke.

Jonny’s Pick Record

Last week: 24-2
Overall record: 162-27 (86%)

Justin’s Pick Record

Last week: 24-2
Overall record: 163-26 (86%)

Games to be Broadcast

Jeff West at Hayden - 103.9 KNZA 
Perry Lecompton at Holton – Holton Channel
Rossville at Nemaha Central – 92.1 KMZA
Valley Heights at Jackson Heights – KAIR 93.7 FM

Class 3A

Jeff West (8-1) at Hayden (8-1) on 103.9 KNZA

It's a rematch from week five when Hayden topped Jeff West 13-6 as the Tigers fumbled the final play of the game from the Wildcat 10-yard-line. Both teams are 8-1 as that is the only Jeff West loss while Hayden fell in week seven to Perry Lecompton 21-20 in overtime on a failed two-point conversion.

Defense, defense and more defense. Besides the Perry game, Hayden has held every opponent to eight points or less and last week pitched a 35-0 shutout against the back-to-back defending 3A Champs from Sabetha. The JW D has been just as good pitching four shutouts to start the season and allowing only 59 total points all year. Hayden has surrendered a total of 67.

The dynamic senior duo of running back Bryce Clements with 921 and quarterback Quinn Nuenswander with 920 yards rushing has accounted for 24 touchdowns on the ground. Joe Anderson has 219 of the team’s 379 receiving yards. 

Hayden’s offensive attack is led by Jack Konrade with 571 yards rushing and Desmond Purnell with 397.  Wil Devader, Javion Lee, and Stephen Moore all have over 200 yards rushing as well as TC Thompson.  Johnny Holloway has completed 76 percent of his passes for 714 of the team’s 815 total passing yards.  Devader and Diego Carr led the Wildcats in tackles.

Tonights game is again at Hayden High School where Jeff West will try to beat the Wildcats for the first time ever in football. The winner of this game will face unbeaten Frontenac or Galena next Friday in Sectionals. 

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

Perry Lecompton (6-3) at Holton (7-2) on Holton Channel

It's a Big 7 League rematch from week two this season when Holton escaped with a 14-7 home victory with all the scoring in the frist half. Holton scored on their first offensive play of the night, a halfback pass they have now executed twice this season for a touchdown from Taygen Fletcher to Ian Watkins.

The Kaws have been balanced on offense all year with only seven turnovers while posting 147 yards rushing and Billy Welch throwing for nearly 187 per game. Thad Metcalfe has over 1,000 yards rushing and Dawson Williams has 462 receiving yards while Parker Stone has hauled in 383 yards receiving.  Perry has four players close to 100 tackles this season led by Hayden Robb with 98 then Ryley Besler with 91 and Metcalfe and Grant Roush right behind them. The Kaw defense also has four touchdowns and 27 sacks with 23 takeaways in 2019.  They have averaged 35 yards per punt, returned a trio of kickoffs for scores and made 30 of 33 PAT's from Ticiano Gonzales. Besides Holton, Perry lost to Jeff West 8-3 in which they only allowed a defensive score and despite a 14-0 lead, fell to Sabetha 41-21 in week three.

Holton meanwhile lost to Jeff West 7-0 on a last second hail mary in week one then fell versus Sabetha 35-13. The Wildcats hit their stride winning 30-8 at Marysville and thumping Wamego 41-14 before surviving a scare last week in a 34-27 win against Santa Fe Trail. The Wildcats played flat and trailed early 12-7 and still down 20-14 at halftime and down again 27-20 late in the third quarter after the fifth lead change in the contest. After tying the score at 27 early in the fourth quarter, Holton went ahead 34-27 with 5:58 remaining. Yet, Trail drove to the Holton 11-yard line before fumbling with just 45 seconds remaining. The Chargers outgained Holton 375 to 317 with Konnor Tannahill, Trey Wright and Canon Karn all rushing for at least 78 yards on the ground.

For the season, Holton has averaged 295 yards rushing per outing in a balanced attack.  Tannahill has 757 yards and 10 scores while Karn has 658 yards and 8 touchdowns while Wright has 466 and Taygen Fletcher has added 427 yards.  Kale Purcell has 259 yards rushing and is 6-11 for 98 yards passing while Fletcher has thrown a pair of TD passes to Ian Watkins for 88 yards.  The Wildcat defense is also very balanced with six players having between 58 and 68 total tackles: Fletcher, Wright, Carn, and Tannahill as well as Addison Hundley and Kolby Roush.  The Holton defense has 10 takeaways while allowing 14 points per game and Guillermo Ruiz has connected of 23 of 27 PATs.   

Perry beat Holton last year at home for the Kaws first win against the Wildcats since 2008, but otherwise Holton has dominated the series. The winner of this game faces with unbeaten Prairie View or Columbus in 3A Sectionals next week.

Jonny’s Pick: Holton
Justin’s Pick: Perry Lecompton

Class 2A

Rossville (7-2) at Nemaha Central (7-2) on 92.1 KMZA

It’s one of the most highlighted games in Class 2A this week between two perineal powers of the last 10 years. Nemaha Central has bounced back nicely this year after going 5-4 last season currently riding a six-game win streak after starting 2019 with losses to Sabetha and Holton. Last week the Thunder dominated St. Mary’s to move on in the playoffs winning 49-20 and holding the Bears to just 28 rushing yards. Gavin Duryea had a huge night with 161 yards on the ground on 21 carries while Bryce Uphaus added two touchdowns and Tyler Gerety 83 yards receiving. Gerety also returned a punt for a touchdown which was his third special teams touchdown of the year. The Thunder are led offensively by Duryea who has ran for just shy of 500 yards and four touchdowns while Dylan Schultejans has thrown for 1,337 yards and 19 scores compared to just six interceptions. Andrew Leonard is the leading receiver with 411 yards and eight touchdowns while Gerety as added 350 yards and five more scores.

Rossville meanwhile has been a juggernaut for years and it has continued this season as former Nemaha native Derrick Hammes has the Bulldawgs 7-2 with five straight wins including a 42-7 win over Maur Hill-Mount Academy last week who the Thunder beat just two weeks ago 26-20. Rossville has a 28-8 win this season over Centralia who is currently ranked and still alive in Class 1A along with just a one-point loss to Silver Lake who has been at the top of the 2A rankings most of the year. In last week’s win over MH-MA the Dawgs forced four turnovers and ran for 243 yards as a team led by Torrey Horak who ran for 94 yards and two touchdowns while Tyree Sowers added 73 yards and two more scores. Horak has ran for just over 1,000 yards on the year with 16 touchdowns while adding another 939 yards through the air with 16 more scores. Bo Reeves is Horak’s favorite target with 500 receiving yards and eight scores while Woodrow Rezac has added nearly 800 yards on the ground with nine touchdowns.

This is the first meeting since 2015 between Rossville and Nemaha Central which came in the sub-state round of the playoffs which the Bulldawgs won 27-22 before going on to win the Class 3A State Championship. The winner of this game will get either unbeaten Humboldt or Cherokee-Southeast (7-2) in the sectional round next week.

Jonny’s Pick: Rossville
Justin’s Pick: Rossville

Class 1A

Northern Heights (6-3) at Centralia (8-1)

It’s another rematch from a game earlier this season which Centralia dominated 58-19. The Panthers scored 44 points in the first half and led by a 58-6 score at one point in the third quarter.

In that win Centralia was led by Kamble Haverkamp who ran for 174 yards and three touchdowns while Devon Feldkamp added 127 yards a pair of scores while even catching a touchdown. Last week the Panthers continued to roll beating Troy for a second time in a dominant 50-0 win at home holding the Trojans to just 59 total yards of offense. Haverkamp continued his outstanding senior season rushing for 134 yards on nine carries with two touchdowns while Feldkamp added 72 yards a score. Haverkamp also threw two touchdowns to Noah Quigley. Kamble has now rushed for over 1,700 yards and 26 touchdowns this season as he averages 191 yards per game while Feldkamp is nearing the 1,000-yard mark on the ground with 10 more scores.

As for Northern Heights they pulled perhaps the biggest upset of round one blowing out Lyndon in convincing fashion 44-14. Cameron Heiman ran for 179 yards and two touchdowns in the win while passing for 160 yards and another score. Heiman has now thrown for 1,150 yards and 12 touchdowns while rushing for another 1,100 yards and 16 scores. The Wildcats also have two receivers with over 340 yards on the year as Tee Preisner leads the team with 386 yards and six touchdowns while Colton Tiffany adds 348 yards and a score.

Centralia has dominated the last two meetings with Northern Heights winning by a combined score of 117-26. The winner of this game gets a likely matchup with unbeaten Olpe next week who plays 4-5 Uniontown tonight.

Valley Heights (7-2) at Jackson Heights (7-2) on KAIR 93.7 FM

These teams will meet for a fourth time in two seasons with Jackson Heights winning twice last year and in week five earlier this season 26-12.  The Cobras have won four straight overall in the series but the last six matchups have all been within 18 points including three contests decided by a single score.

Jackson Heights lost back to back games to MH-MA (18-14) and at Olpe (28-14) but has won five straight including a 42-0 shutout last week against Wabaunsee.  The Cobras ran for more than 400 yards in the first half of that game as Cooper Williams had 216 yards all in the first half and Jason Bosley had 195. For the season, Williams has ran for 1,209 and Bosley has gained yards 810 while Dylan Thompson has added almost 600.  Cable Wareham and Grant Amon has combined for another 350 yards this season rushing and Jackson Heights averaged 360 per contests on the ground behind a huge offensive line while completing less than 10 passes all year.  

Besides losing to the Cobras, Valley Heights only other setback was against Centralia in TVL and District week eight play. The Mustangs have battled through the loss of one of their multi-year starting seniors in Trey Martin. And won seven games for the third time in the last four years (6-4 in 2018).   Valley Heights is coming off a 60-34 win against JCN I a game they trailed 14-12 before scoring 28 straight points. Jake Youngeburg had 195 yards and five rushing touchdowns in that win and Cameron Beardsley had 207 and a score. Cole Coggins has ran for 1,319 yards, the fifth most in Class 1A, while Youngeberg has 838 and Beardsley has ran for 695. The Mustangs average 370 yards rushing per game. 

The winner of this matchup will face the winner of Pitt Colgan and Hillsboro in Sectionals next week.  It would be the furthest playoff advancement for Valley Heights since 2009, while Heights is trying to get back to the third round to avenge a post season loss at Colgan a year ago. 

Jonny’s Pick: Jackson Heights
Justin’s Pick: Jackson Heights

8-man DI

Wichita County (8-1) at Clifton-Clyde (9-0) at 6 p.m.

It’s expected to be one of the top matchups throughout the state with Clifton-Clyde entering the sectional round undefeated for the second consecutive season while Wichita County enters with just one loss to St. Francis 46-0 which came in week six. The Eagles enter Friday night coming off another dominant win as they blew out Hoxie last week 66-20 to get revenge after the Indians bounced Clifton-Clyde from the playoffs last year. The Eagles have dominated all season long as they have won every game by at least two scores and of their nine wins six of them have been by 50 points or more with all six of those wins coming in shut outs. Senior Aiden Rudolph leads the way for the Eagles in the single-wing attack as he ran for 165 yards and three touchdowns in Clifton-Clyde’s win earlier this season over Victoria who Wichita County beat last week in a shootout 88-66.

The Indians trailed Victoria last week 60-46 at halftime but outscored the Knights 42-6 in the second half after the two teams combined for 70 points in the first quarter. Wichita County quarterback Kayde Rietzke rushed for five touchdowns in the win while he added four touchdowns through the air. Rietzke leads the Wichita County offense with 1,344 yards passing and 24 touchdowns while on the ground he has added 1,295 yards and 20 more scores.

Wichita County is making their first appearance in the round of 16 since 2001, while Clifton-Clyde is looking to advance past the sectional round where they suffered their only loss of the year last season falling to Hoxie 22-20. The winner will get either Little River or Ness City who are both 8-1 in the sectional round next week.

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

8-man DII

Frankfort (8-1) at Hanover (8-1)

This may be one of the top games not only at the 8-man level but throughout all classes. It’s the second meeting in the last three weeks with a spot in the quarterfinals on the line between two of the top five teams in 8-man DII. Hanover, ranked third in the latest rankings, used a 30-6 second half to take down Frankfort two weeks ago. In the first meeting Hanover forced three turnovers and had Jacob Jueneman throw for 130 yards and three scores while Taegan Schwartz ran for over 100 yards and two touchdowns. Hanover beat Pike Valley 48-0 last week and has won 46 of their last 47 games since 2015 with the only loss coming earlier this year in a 28-26 defeat at Axtell.

Frankfort meanwhile blew out Rock Hills 54-8 last week jumping out to a 24-0 lead after the first quarter before outscoring the Grizzlies 30-8 in the second quarter to end the game at halftime. Garret Dalinghaus was a monster rushing for 181 yards on just 10 carries with five touchdowns and on the season has ran for 1,112 yards and 25 scores, while Gavin Cornelison had added 745 yards and 11 touchdowns. Cornelison has also thrown for nearly 800 yards and 12 touchdowns with 357 of those yards and five touchdowns going to Branden Bussman. In the loss to Hanover just two weeks ago Dalinghaus ran for 110 yards and four touchdowns while Cornelison threw for 125 yards and a score.

Hanover has dominated the series with Frankfort as of late winning the last nine meetings dating back to 2011 and they have won each of the nine by at least 18 points. Whoever wins the slugfest tonight will have another tough matchup next week against either unbeaten St. Paul or 6-3 Waverly.

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

Axtell (8-1) at Beloit-St. John/Tipton (7-2)

It’s a rematch from back in week one which Axtell won 58-12 and is the second time in the last two years Axtell has beat St. John by that score. The Eagles put together one of their most dominant outings of the year in last week’s 52-0 win over Lakeside holding the Knights to just 64 total yards of offense while scoring early and often to end the game at halftime. All-state quarterback Quinn Buessing had a big night with two touchdowns passing, two more rushing and 97 yards on the ground while Derek Buessing added 67 yards on the ground on only two carries and a score while recording a receiving touchdown as well. Quinn has now thrown for over 1,700 yards this season with 31 touchdowns while rushing for 389 yards and 13 more scores. Isaac Detweiler continues to lead the receiving core with over 600 yards and nine touchdowns while Derek Buessing is over 500 yards receiving with 13 scores.

Beloit-St. John has two losses of the year and both to Twin Valley League leagues with the loss to Axtell and a 54-20 loss to Frankfort. The Blujays have won three consecutive games since the loss to Frankfort in week six with the latest coming last week in a week nine 50-0 blowout of Onaga where they ran for six touchdowns. St. John is led on the ground by junior Brayden Perez who has ran for 794 yards and 25 touchdowns while fellow junior Blake Perez has added 561 yards and 12 more scores. The Blujays turned the ball over four times in the week one loss to Axtell and on the year have committed 11 turnovers with nine of those coming on interceptions.

Axtell is looking to make it to the sectional round of the playoffs for the second straight year while Beloit-St. John is looking to avoid having their season end in the playoffs by a TVL team for a third straight year. Axtell has a favorable road to the sub-state round if they win tonight with a game against a 2-loss Lost Springs-Centre team or a 3-loss Colony Crest team next week in sectionals.

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


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