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***BREAKING NEWS***    High School Basketball Changes and Postponements for 12/3 & 12/4    ***
Local Sports News
Friday Night Fever: Preview of All Week Eight Area High School Football Matchups
By Jonny Kane and Justin Fluke
Copyright: MSC Sports

It is hard to believe that the final week of the high school football regular season is here. Teams have been fighting all season long to put themselves in position to be successful in the new playoff format and have just one final chance to solidify their spot before the playoffs get underway next week. Jonny Kane and Justin Fluke also give their predictions for each matchup in week eight.

Jonny’s Pick Record

Last week: 16-3
Overall record: 119-19 (86%)

Justin’s Pick Record

Last week: 17-2
Overall record: 118-20 (86%)

Games to be Broadcast

Burlingame at Doniphan West - 103.9 KNZA
Sabetha at Hiawatha  - Sabetha Channel
Axtell vs. Onaga – 92.1 KMZA
MH-MA vs. Riverside – KAIR 93.7 FM

Class 3A

Santa Fe Trail (2-5) at Perry Lecompton (6-1) District 3

Perry Lecompton will have to bounce back from their first setback of the season with a home game against Santa Fe Trail. And, because of Baldwin missing games against Perry and Hayden because of covid, the Kaws will likely finish third in the district with a 6-1 record and have to open their 3A State runner-up defense playing at Rock Creek, with a potential rematch against Hayden in round two.

Perry was tied 0-0 with under two minutes to play at Hayden last week before the Wildcats kicked a field goal, then recovered a muffed squib kick and score in the closing seconds to avenge a couple losses to the Kaws last season. Perry had 203 total yards, including 117 passing, but couldn't punch in a score last week as Thad Metcalfe accounted for 161 of those yards.

Santa Fe Trail has two wins against teams with just one win but played tough last week before falling to Baldwin 23-20.  The Chargers are led by McClain Weekly with 1,068 yards rushing while QB Andrew Langley has thrown for 848.

Perry is 12-0 against SFT dating back to 2004, although wins the last two years were only by 22 and 12 points.

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

Sabetha (4-3) at Hiawatha (2-5) District 4 on Sabetha Channel

The winner of this game is in the playoffs, the loser is not, albeit the reward for winning this game is likely a week nine post-season opener at Topeka Hayden. It's a battle of the birds in a Big 7 League rivalry and both teams are coming off wins. Hiawatha won for the first time since the season opener 28-14 at Royal Valley with Cody Nevels rushing for more than 100 yards and Alex Rockey having a fine night as well.

Sabetha meanwhile picked up a game late last week after Jeff West cancelled and the Bluejays won at Doniphan, Nebraska by a 41-15 score. Drew Schmelzle against stood out with 162 yards rushing and a touchdown while also catching a 19-yard pass and throwing a TD pass to Nic Niehues, while also leading the team with 12 tackles. Josh Herrmann added 108 yards of 21 carries and a score and Sabetha bult a 35-6 halftime lead that went on 41-6 on the first play of the third quarter. Both teams have just one district win against Royal Valley.

Sabetha has posted dominating wins for six straight years against Hiawatha by an average score of 60-5.

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

Holton (6-1) at Jeff West (2-4) District 4 – CANCELLED, COVID

Jonny’s Pick: No Pick
Justin’s Pick: No Pick

Royal Valley (0-5) at Rock Creek (4-2) District 4

Royal Valley played their closest contest of the season and had a chance to tie or take the lead late before an interception in the end zone turned the game around.  Bright spots included a trio of Panthers running for more than 50 yards. The Panthers are now just 3-21 in their last 24 games and of course this year had the early quarantine before then suffering several key injuries then playing the last two weeks with less than 20 active players before of the JV all quarantined.

Rock Creek is coming off their second loss of the season and a tough game in which they were dominated at Holton before falling 41-21. The Mustangs had two early turnovers which set up short field and were down 34-0 while allowing Holton to score of their first six offensive drives. The dynamic spread attack of Rock Creek is led by Charlie Killingsworth at QB and Brooks Whaley at receiver with several other explosive weapons.

Rock Creek beat Royal Valley in 2008 and 2009 including a 40-30 final their last meeting.

Jonny’s Pick: Rock Creek
Justin’s Pick: Rock Creek

Marysville (3-3) at Riley County (5-1) District 5

Following an 0-3 start to the season Marysville used their week four bye week and since then have won three straight district games including a 20-0 win over Clay Center Friday night. The Bulldogs raced out to a 13-0 lead after the first quarter and tacked on a touchdown in the third quarter. Caden Brinegar ran for a score and threw for a score while Ayden Price added a touchdown pass as well. In their last three wins the Bulldogs are rushing for over 200 yards per game while throwing for over 100 yards as well.

Marysville will have a much tougher test tonight against Riley County who has also won straight following a 44-23 win over Concordia last week. The Falcons ran for 363 yards last week between just two guys as Nic Allen ran 34 times for 247 yards and two touchdowns while Trey Harmison added 116 yards and three scores. Allen is now coming up on 1,000 yards rushing through six games with 17 touchdowns.

Riley County and Marysville have not played since 2017 where the Bulldogs won in a thriller 26-21.

Jonny’s Pick: Riley County
Justin’s Pick: Riley County

Class 2A

Pleasant Ridge (2-3) at Silver Lake (4-1) District 3

After starting the season 0-2 Pleasant Ridge has won two of their last three following a 44-0 shutout of Oskaloosa last week. Pleasant Ridge led 16-0 after the first quarter and got three receiving touchdowns from Devin Stutz while Connor Gibson threw for four scores. The Rams locked up a spot in the playoffs with that win last week and will finish district three in fourth.

The test is much tougher this week with Silver Lake coming to town following their first loss of the season last week to rival Rossville 50-35. The Eagles are led by junior quarterback Daigen Kruger who is coming up on 1,000 yards passing with 15 touchdowns compared to just three interceptions. Silver Lake dominated the last meeting between the two sides back in the 2015 playoffs winning 49-0.

Jonny’s Pick: Silver Lake
Justin’s Pick: Silver Lake

Oskaloosa (0-7) at McLouth (0-7) District 3

It is a battle for pride tonight with Oskaloosa and McLouth both eliminated from the playoffs with losses last week. Oskaloosa was shutout by Pleasant Ridge 44-0 as the Bears struggled with the air-attack of the Rams. McLouth played much better at Mission Valley but still had no answer offensively falling to the Vikings 38-0. The Bulldogs allowed 281 yards on the ground and two touchdowns through the air.

The winner of this game determines who will host a week nine game with Oskaloosa winning last season 38-14.

Jonny’s Pick: Oskaloosa
Justin’s Pick: Oskaloosa

Riverside (4-3) at Maur Hill-Mount Academy (6-0) District 4 on KAIR 93.7 FM

There is plenty on the line tonight in this district four game as Maur Hill-Mount Academy needs a win by at least 21 points to force a coin flip for the district title with Nemaha Central while Riverside has locked up the fourth spot.

The Ravens got back in action last week following a one-week hiatus and picked up right where they left off with a 37-14 win over St. Marys last week. Maur Hill led 15-0 after the first quarter and got four total touchdowns from Andrew Schwinn. Drew Caudle finished 14 of 19 passing for 224 yards with two scores against one interception. Caudle has now thrown for 850 yards and 11 touchdowns to just one interception while Schwinn has run for 1,192 yards and 18 scores this season.

Riverside fell to Nemaha Central 48-8 last week after trailing 42-0 at halftime. Kobe Davis ran in a short touchdown in the fourth quarter to avoid the shutout the the Cyclones were 0-8 on third downs and just could not put together offensive drives. They also struggled on defense after learning late in the day they would be without top tackler Todrick Duncan, who is expected to return for this week’s matchup.

In one of the best games of the season last year, Riverside threw a touchdown in the final second to complete a fourth quarter comeback and top MH-MA 28-27 in a district showdown. The Ravens had won three straight in the series before being upset a year ago and will no doubt have revenge on their mind this week at home.

Jonny’s Pick: Maur Hill
Justin’s Pick: Maur Hill

St. Mary’s (1-6) at ACCHS (2-5) District 4

It is another game with nothing but pride on the line tonight after ACCHS and St. Marys were both eliminated from the postseason last week. ACCHS had their game against Republic County last week cancelled to due to a quarantine so instead of taking a bye the Tigers traveled to the No. 1-ranked team in Missouri Class One in Mid-Buchannan and fell 63-7. This week the Tigers get St. Marys who fell to Maur Hill last week 37-14 allowing over 400 yards of total offense and three rushing touchdowns.

ACCHS last played St. Marys back in 2018 and fell 42-30.

Jonny’s Pick: St. Marys
Justin’s Pick: St. Marys

Republic County (4-3) at Nemaha Central (5-2) District 4 – CANCELLED, COVID

Nemaha Central was hoping to continue district play in what was expected to be a test against a strong Republic County rushing attack, but the Buffaloes were forced to go into quarantine last week cancelling this game.

Jonny’s Pick: No Pick  
Justin’s Pick: No Pick

Class 1A

Valley Heights (6-1) at Northern Heights (1-6) Non-District

Facing adversity and having only 11 guys last week, Valley Heights went on the road to Jackson Heights and dominated 56-15. The Mustangs led just 14-7 after the first quarter but led 28-15 at the half and held the Cobras scoreless in the final two quarters including just 34 total yards of offense. Trenton L’Ecuyer ran for 194 yards and two touchdowns while Jake Yungeberg added four rushing scores along with Cameron Beardsley tacking on two more.

The Mustangs now head to Northern Heights who has just a 22-20 win over Northeast-Arma to their credit and coming off a 61-0 loss to Olpe last week. The Wildcats have struggled all season offensively and average less than 100 yards of offense per game so it could be tough sledding tonight.

Valley Heights can wrap up the second spot in district two with a victory tonight but again will have just 11 guys.

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

Troy (1-6) at Horton (0-6) District 2

Although both these teams will make the 1A playoff bracket next week, the loser of this game will finish last in the district and have to play at Lyndon. The winner will not only help salvage a disappointing season, but likely start the post-season against a much-lesser opponent like a .500 Uniontown squad.

Both Troy and Horton have struggled to play consistent and mistake free football in 2020 with younger and fairly inexperienced teams. Troy has a lone week four win against Pleasanton that snapped a nine-game losing streak, while Horton has now lost 27 consecutive contests, with one 24-point setback and the other defeats all by at least 30 points.  Troy has beaten Horton four straight years including a 58-24 final a season ago.

Horton fell 59-8 against Wabaunsee last week with a Jaiden Oswald touchdown, but the Chargers are scoring just six points per game. Troy lost to JCN 52-3 despite trailing only 8-3 after one quarter and the Trojans have scored just eight points on average. 

Jonny’s Pick: Troy
Justin’s Pick: Troy

Wabaunsee (3-4) at Centralia (6-1) District 2

Centralia has wrapped up the district two title and can finish district play unbeaten with a win tonight. The Panthers picked up a statement win a week ago going on the road and blowing out previously No. 5 Lyndon 48-17. Centralia Centralia raced out to a 22-6 lead after one and held Lyndon scoreless in the second half. Devon Feldkamp ran for 217 yards and two touchdowns while Raef Osterhaus and Ian Haverkamp each added two scores. Feldkamp is now over 1,000 yards on the ground this season with 12 touchdowns while Haverkamp has run for 600 yards and 11 more scores.

Wabaunsee meanwhile put an end to a three-game losing streak last week with a 59-8 win over Horton. The Chargers got 224 passing yards and four touchdowns from junior Cade Oliver while Wabaunsee added three rushing scores as well. Oliver has thrown for 1,441 yards and 14 touchdowns this season while the Chargers do not have a running back over 180 yards on the year.

Centralia dominated this matchup a year ago 62-0 and has won the past three meetings dating back to 2017.

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

Jackson Heights (3-3) at Jeff County North (5-2) District 2

There is a lot on the line tonight with the winner of tonight’s game locking up the third spot in district two as both teams have two district losses.

Jeff County North won big last week over Troy 52-3 as the Chargers led 28-3 at the half and put the game away with a 24-0 third. Karson Worthington and Landon Gutchenritter each recorded two rushing touchdowns while Blake Fowler threw two, one each to Ryan Feldkamp and Emmett Jobbins.

Jackson Heights meanwhile was blasted by Valley Heights 56-15 for their second straight loss. Dylan Thompson ran for 86 of the teams 134 total yards and tossed a touchdown pass to Grant Amon in the setback. There is a chance that top athlete Jason Bosely could return to help ignite the Cobra offense which has been stuck without their dual-threat QB the past two weeks. 

Jackson Heights has won five of the last six meetings against JCN.

Jonny’s Pick: Jeff County North
Justin’s Pick: Jeff County North

8-man DI

Valley Falls (3-4) at Washington County (4-2) – CANCELLED COVID

Washington County is still in quarantine so Valley Falls is going to miss out on the playoffs without having a chance to win their spot.

Jonny’s Pick: No Pick
Justin’s Pick: No Pick

Clifton-Clyde (6-1) at Maranatha (0-7) District 3

For the second straight week Clifton-Clyde had their district game cancelled and for the second straight time the Eagles picked up a formidable opponent as last week undefeated Argonia/Attica came to town. Unlike two weeks ago when Hanover gave the Eagles their first loss, Clyde rolled last week with an impressive 64-16 victory. Aiden Rudolph accounted for seven total touchdowns rushing for six in the victory as he continued to be the far and away team leader. This week the Eagles get winless Maranatha who was shutout by Burlingame last week 52-0. The Eagles have now been shutout three times so far this season as the defense is allowing over 54 points per game.

With a win, Clyde would lock up the district three championship while Maranatha will miss out on the postseason.

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

Burlingame (5-2) at Doniphan West (3-2) District 3 on 103.9 KNZA

There is still a lot to be determined in district three between the two, three and fourth seeds behind Clifton-Clyde. Doniphan West has been off the past two weeks due to all but a handful of their players in quarantine. The Mustangs could easily be 5-0 however if not for blowing a 30-point lead in week one and losing their star quarterback in an 82-60 setback against Washington County in week four.

Now, D-West has almost everyone back and healthy, including QB Trent Spiker who has 768 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns while adding 247 yards and five more scores. Kole Franken and Hunter Smith each have ran for more than 300 yards as well  in a physical rushing attack. Lafe Blevins is the leading receiver with 262 yards and five trips to the endzone and paces the team in tackles along with Michael Lackey.

Burlingame is 5-2 with losses to ranked Madison and Clifton Clyde teams. The Bearcats average 42 points per game with Evan Young throwing for 845 yards and Wyatt Ledom rushing for 669. A third senior, Austin Tyson had 383 yards receiving for a Burlingame team that has posted seven straight winning campaigns.

This will be the first meeting between these teams on the football field.

Jonny’s Pick: Burlingame
Justin’s Pick: Doniphan West

8-man DII

Onaga (2-4) at Axtell (5-2) District 3 on 92.1 KMZA

A spot in the playoffs is on the line tonight with both teams tied with Wetmore with a 1-2 district record. Axtell should still get into the playoffs with a loss barring Wetmore upsetting Hanover while Onaga just simply needs a win.

Axtell rolled for the second straight week last week as the Eagles went on the road and flew by Wetmore 58-12. Axtell led 12-0 after the first quarter but put up 46 in the second to end the game at halftime. Isaac Detweiler threw for five touchdowns while George Volle caught three and addded a rushing score.

Onaga meanwhile got back on track last week and pitched a shutout against Blue Valley winning 64-0. The Buffaloes have scored over 58 points in each of their two wins, while in their two losses they have not scored more than 18. The Buffaloes had their game against Wetmore cancelled two weeks ago, or they would be firmly in the playoffs.

Axtell won this meeting last season in week three 60-14 and have won the only two meetings since the Buffaloes have been at the 8-man level.

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

Wetmore (1-3) at Hanover (5-0) District 3

It is win or potentially miss the playoffs for Wetmore after being blown out by Axtell last week 58-12. The Cardinals were held to just 193 yards of total offense but turned the ball over three times including twice on interceptions. Kael McQueen totaled 128 total yards of offense for the Cardinals while scoring both touchdowns. Wetmore will have a tough task this week against Hanover who is still unbeaten after having their second bye week of the season last week. The Wildcats have scored over 40 points in every game so far this season and have allowed just 38 total points.

Hanover has won the past four meetings over Wetmore including a 54-7 victory last season.

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

Blue Valley (0-4) at Lakeside (4-3) Non-District

After missing the first three games of the season Blue Valley has struggled and last week the struggles continued in a 64-0 loss to Onaga. The Rams have been shutout three times this season and have lost every game by at least 36 points. Tonight, Blue Valley heads to Lakeside who had a two-game losing streak snapped last week in a 59-34 loss to Beloit- St. John/Tipton. The Knights have scored at least 28 points in every game so far this season and put up 82 points two weeks ago in a win over Pike Valley.

Lakeside won last season’s meeting 54-28 and have now won three straight in the series.

Jonny’s Pick: Lakeside
Justin’s Pick: Lakeside

Leavenworth (2-3) at Atchison (2-5) Non-District

It is a massive game tonight for Atchison who has a chance to move up five spots in the Class 4A East standings with a win over Leavenworth. The Redmen played well on the road last week at Pittsburg staying within one score going into the fourth quarter before ultimately falling 26-9. This week the task does not get any easier as Class 5A Leavenworth comes to town holding in the middle of the pack of the 5A standings needing a win tonight to hold serve. The Pioneers lost last week to De Soto 35-28 with their other two losses coming to Basehor-Linwood and KC Piper.

Jonny’s Pick: Leavenworth
Justin’s Pick: Leavenworth

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