Tuesday, 18 September 2018
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Friday Night Fever - Preview of All Week Five Kanzaland Area Football Matchups
By Mike Smith, Justin Fluke & Jonny Kane
Copyright: MSC Sports

District play in high school football starts to ramp up this week as 8-Man area teams and many 2-1A area teams will compete in a District contest with all area teams getting into District play next week. There has been plenty of football news and action four weeks into the 2017 season affecting this year with the action on the gridiron and also the coming years with the announcement of the 2018 and 2019 football classifications (schedules and Districts will be decided next Wednesday, October 4th – to see the 2018 & 2019 football classifications – click here)

Week Five Games to be Broadcasted:
103.9 KNZA – Jeff West at Hiawatha  (click here to listen)
92.1 KMZA – Frankfort at Axtell (click here to listen)
KAIR 93.7 FM – Atchison at KC Washington (click here to listen)
Holton Channel – Holton at Royal Valley (click here to listen & watch)
Sabetha Channel – Perry Lecompton at Sabetha  (click here to listen & watch

Frankfort (2-2) at Axtell (2-2)
Starting District play with a win is always key and Frankfort and Axtell will look to accomplish that against each other. Last year Frankfort won this matchup handily 70-20 but Axtell win the prior four contests and the last six matchups between the two have been decided by on average 33.8 points with 2014 being the exception (six point game). Frankfort comes into the contest off a Week four win over Valley Falls 52-6 a game in which they ran the ball for 260 yards led by Garret Dalinghaus and Carson Schreiner who finished with 150 and 127 yards rushing with five rushing touchdowns and a touchdown reception between them. Wildcats are still looking for consistency having been shut out two times and scored 50+ two times on the season, while on defense trying to find a level of consistency too limiting opponent’s big plays.

Axtell on the season after a week one loss to St. Mary’s Academy has put up some strong offensive numbers with 380+yards total offense each of the last three games scoring 70+ points in the two wins over Valley Falls and Southern Cloud, but are coming off a loss to St. Paul last week. The trio of Quinn Buessing, Hunter Koch and Michael Swanson led the charge for the Eagles as Buessing 686 yards passing with 12 touchdowns on the season, while Koch has caught 25 passes for 470 yards with nine touchdowns and Swanson around 400 yards total offense with seven touchdowns. The Eagles however are giving up 42 points per game this season and teams have been able to move the ball.

Hanover (4-0) at Wetmore (2-2)
Hanover Wildcats look like a championship caliber team yet again cruising to a 4-0 start and are currently riding a 16-game winning streak. The Wildcats have dominated their four opponents outscoring them 206-12 and ending three of the games early. The eye popping stats might not be their but that’s only because the Wildcats just plain haven’t had the ball much because they have scored quick and often and in multiple ways having a touchdown by run, pass, punt return, kick return and interception return on the year. Thomas Atkins has proved to be a weapon in many ways playing multiple positions.

Wildcats won the matchup last year 50-0 and have won 15-straight Twin Valley contests. Wetmore who started the season strong with two wins have fell in the last two contests and have been beat up by a pair of teams that were physical. The Cardinals are rushing for 205 yards per game with the duo of Joel Hutfles and Kyler Vance leading the charge rushing for 794 yards of the teams 821 yards rushing and scoring all 10 rushing touchdowns. Finding a way to get turnovers like the first couple of weeks and being opportunistic will help establish what the Cardinals want to do to challenge in District play.

Wakefield (3-1) at Blue Valley-Randolph (1-3)
Wakefield took this contest last year to open District play winning 52-6 and the Bombers are off to a strong start this season. The ground game is where the Bombers like to do their damage with 225 yards rushing per game with Justin Carver, Skylur Merritt and Ashton Pickering leading the way having scored 21 of the teams 22 rushing touchdowns. Wakefield’s defense has been solid too recording 12 sacks and forcing 15 turnovers and outside of the 58 points given up in the loss to Little River the Bombers have not surrendered more than 26 points in any of the other three games.

Back to back weeks with close games for Blue Valley but last week the Rams were on the wrong side of the score falling to Southern Cloud who the previous week snapped one of the longest losing streaks in Kansas. Rams are rushing for around 190 yards per game but have been dealing with injuries since the start of the season leading to some moving pieces. Lane Peter and Cole Montgomery have been the leading playmakers for Blue Valley through the first four weeks.  

Linn (2-2) at St. John’s/Tipton (2-2)
Two convincing wins and two blowout losses that is how Linn’s season has went through the first four games of the season which is a mirror image of last year. Last year to open Districts the Bulldogs suffered a 46-0 loss to St. John’s/Tipton. The Bulldogs this year are averaging 260 yards per game total offense and look to run the ball and have four guys with 110+ yards each rushing on the season with the duo of Joseph Trumble and Evan Bott leading the way.

St. John’s/Tipton has two wins in close ballgames while their two losses were lopsided affairs falling to Osborne and Bennington. Bluejays are averaging just 171 total yards of offense per game this season with Ty Brummer leading the charge having rushed for 406 yards with six touchdowns while also being the team’s leading tackler on the season with 12 more tackles than the second most on the team.

Burlingame (4-0) at Onaga (0-4)
Onaga Buffaloes have been close to the win column but just a few plays going the way of their opponent leading to Herington edging Onaga 42-30; the final score was two scores but the game was a one score game throughout. The first four weeks the Buffaloes have been working to piece everything together with plenty of inexperience and have taken strides forward throughout the season. Tanner Marten continues to lead the team with 765 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns but both Kameron Henneberg and Quinton Norris both found running room and each have over 120 yards rushing on the season.

Standing in front of Onaga this week is the unbeaten #1 8-Man DI in Burlingame who has rolled past their opponents scoring 57+ points in every game and have gave up just 20 points in four games with two shutouts. Bearcats are balanced also with 121 yards passing and 169 yards rushing per game. Montana Griffin leads the team at quarterback with 310 yards passing with seven touchdowns, while Seth Greenwood has ran for 242 yards with seven touchdowns and Caiden Musick has 213 yards receiving with five touchdowns. Burlingame won this contest last year 48-0.

Clifton-Clyde (4-0) at Herington (1-3)
Clifton-Clyde Eagles are flying around to open the 2017 season sitting at 4-0 controlling all four games to start the year outscoring their opponents 231 to 12. Several guys have made plays for the Eagles on the season Aiden Rudolph as just a freshman has been very impactful for the Eagles with 260 yards passing and five scores while rushing for 203 yards with five touchdowns. Drake Steinbrock has run for 207 yards with eight scores, while Nathan Ohlde and Christian Seifert have been in the game plan. The Eagles defense on top of giving up just three points per game has forced 13 turnovers and recorded seven sacks.

Herington is coming off their first win of the season beating Onaga last week but their prize is a Eagles team that is flying high. The Railroaders like to run the ball averaging 208 yards per game on the ground with Ethan Moorman-meador leading the way with 525 yards and nine touchdowns on the season. Clifton-Clyde won this showdown last year 50-36.

Valley Falls (0-4) at Rural Vista (2-2)
Last year Rural Vista won this contest 56-6 over Valley Falls and this season the Dragons have struggled stopping their opponents. Despite being able to move the ball against Frankfort the Dragons fell 52-6 and have been outscored 260-48 in the first four games of the season. Looking to spice things up and find something to continue to build upon Valley Falls plans to move Carter Allen to quarterback and Tyler Lockhart to receiver hoping to ignite their offense, while defensively they are looking to rein in opponents big plays.

Rural Vista has traded wins and losses over the course of the first four games of the season falling to Clifton-Clyde 59-6 last week. Watching out for playmakers like Eli Fleming and Chase Krause who are looking to lead the way for new coach Austin Flowers who took over the team this year after being an assistant.

Troy (1-3) at Doniphan West (2-2)
This rivalry takes on a new sense of urgency in a Twin Valley League matchup that is also the district opener for the Trojans and Mustangs. Both teams have a win against a Big 7 opponent, but have struggled against League foes Centralia and Valley Heights. D-West fell to the Panthers 58-6 last week with just 125 yards of offense and four turnovers. Troy had seven turnovers while being thumped by Perry Lecompton 74-22. Not only have the two squads struggled stopping the opposition and giving up big point numbers, but both offenses are very similar and like to throw the football around. Troy has won four straight in this series including last year’s 62-28 victory. 

Wabaunsee (0-4) at Valley Heights (4-0)
Nearly 1,800 yards rushing has been compiled by Valley Heights through four games to open season 4-0 but now District play starts and the Mustangs have their sights set on another trip to the postseason and look to start Districts with a win something they did last year against Wabaunsee winning 34-28. Cole Coggins and Jordan Yungeberg have been great with the line and ends leading the charge as Coggins has 735 yards rushing with 11 touchdowns and Yungeberg 505 yards with nine scores. Defensively the Mustangs continue to progress giving up 26 points or less each week so far but Coach Trimble still wants to see the team improve and a big way is limiting big plays which have been a bit of an issue the first few weeks of the season for the Mustang defense.

Wabaunsee has struggled on the season and even forfeited a game due to injuries. The Chargers have managed only 20 points in the three games played. The Chargers due like to run the ball and have a trio of guys with 100+yards rushing on the season as Valley Heights will have to look out for Chase Nelson, Riley Tubbs and Tanner Imthurm.

Centralia (3-1) at Nemaha Central (4-0)
After a pair of not so typical Centralia Panther seasons the last two years the Panthers appear to be back this season rattling off three-straight wins after a tough week one loss to Sabetha. The Panthers have given up just 14 points in the last three weeks and stymied their opponents best aspect of their teams, while rushing for 351 yards per game this season. The rushing attack out of the single wing for Centralia has plenty of capable ball carriers as six different guys have a rushing touchdown on the season and five guys have 160+yards rushing with five over 200 yards. Senior, Trenton Flentie is leading the way at quarterback with 512 yards rushing, but youngsters Devon Feldkamp and Kamble Haverkamp have been huge early in the season.

Another big test looms this week for Centralia as #1 Class 3A team in Nemaha Central hosts the Panthers. Nemaha Central is off to 4-0 start for the fourth straight year after beating Jeff West 35-14 last week. Mitchell Henry has been leading a balanced offense and again threw for 100+ and ran for 100+ yards last week, the development of the guys around him continued as Alec Suther and Cameron Feldkamp (5 catches 102 yards vs. Jeff West) have stepped up in the absence of Luke Haverkamp and Luke Reitz has ran the ball solidly. Defensively the Thunder is giving up just 13 points per game through the first four contests and last week picked off Jeff West four times and have got their hands on the ball multiple times this season, while special teams continues to be a difference maker for the Thunder.

Thunder rolled last year in this matchup winning 53-19.

Holton (2-2) at Royal Valley (2-2)
This year’s Big 7 League and Jackson County rivalry finds both the Wildcats and Panthers with an even record. Both teams have really struggled getting off to a quick start in the first quarter of games this season. After being tied 6-6 into the second quarter against Riverside last week, Holton went into domination mode with 480 yards of offense and ended up running circles around the Cyclones in a 47-6 final. The Wildcats have struggled to keep runningbacks healthy but had Jayger Carson run for 158 and four scores while AJ Haussler added 130 yards on two touchdowns last week.  The Panthers fell 49-6 at home to Sabetha and managed just 172 yards of offense with a trio of turnovers.  Brandon Rodewald led the Royal Valley rushing attack with 83 yards on a score, but the Panthers will need to find more balance and win the battle in the trenches against another similar rushing football team in week five. Holton won 47-7 a year ago and hasn’t allowed more than one score to Royal Valley the last five meetings. The Panthers last beat Holton the year Brooks Barta arrived with the Wildcats in 1996.

Jeff West (2-2) at Hiawatha (1-3)
After starting the season 2-0 and surpassing last year’s win total, Jeff West has fallen to Big 7 unbeatens Sabetha and Nemaha Central (35-14) the past two weeks. The Tigers only win last season was 16-14 versus Hiawatha in a penalty and mistake field contest. The Redhawks, who were 3-1 at this time last year, have already lost two games by a single score this season, but captured their first win last week with a 28-20 comeback thriller at ACCHS. Many new faces are finding the varsity field for Hiawatha, including freshman Jayden Oswald who had 78 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown last week.  Like the Hawks, Jeff West has about half their starters as underclassmen this fall, but the Tigers have been much better on defense to this point of the season. Hiawatha hopes to get a boost during homecoming as they have lost 10 of their last 11 games against Jeff West.         

Perry Lecompton (4-0) at Sabetha (4-0)
For the second straight season Sabetha is off to a perfect 4-0 start and at the top of the Big 7 League. The Bluejays remained unbeaten with a dominating 49-6 victory over Royal Valley last week as the offense ran for over 300 yards. Joel Hackney led the way on the ground rushing for 73 yards and two touchdowns, while Mason Engelken ran for 82 yards on just six carries. The Bluejays are averaging 30 points per game and are also averaging 245 yards per contest on the ground.

The Kaws are off to a 4-0 start for the first time since the 2011-12 season which resulted in a trip to the playoffs. Perry Lecompton is coming off its highest scoring output of the season in a 74-22 blowout of Troy. Dalton Kellum led the Kaws going 8 of 16 through the air for 120 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for 66 yards and three scores. The Kaws are averaging a staggering 63 points and 345 rushing yards per game, and are tied for first in the state with 11 interceptions on defense and have 20 takeaways overall.

The Bluejays took last season’s meeting 28-7, as the teams have split the last five meetings in games that have been decided by less than three scores.

ACCHS (0-4) at Riverside (0-4)
Both ACCHS and Riverside are hungry for their first win of the season.  The Tigers have lost 14 straight and look to give new coach Corey Thomas a taste of victory. However, Riverside has won all five games against the Tigers since the teams joined the Big 7 League, including a 24-6 win a year ago. Both teams are struggling on defense with ACCHS surrendering 52 points per game and Riverside allowing 42 per contest. Tucker Smith was a bright spot for the Tigers last week with 137 yards rushing and three scores, but two late touchdowns in the fourth quarter blew the lead and resulted in 28-20 setback against Hiawatha. Riverside had more turnover problems despite scoring first and being tied with Holton 6-6 at the end of one quarter last week.

Washington County (0-4) at Jackson Heights (4-0)
It’s district play in Class 2-1A and perhaps the toughest district in the state with the Cobras as well as Valley Heights undefeated and Centralia coming on strong with a 2-2 record. Jackson Heights meanwhile got their first test of the year and came from behind twice to defeat MH-MA 16-14 on the Cobras homecoming. Still, Heights defense has allowed just 20 total points on the season and scored 150. Brady Holliday was a beast on both sides of the football and Sebastian Butto went over 120 yards rushing for the second straight week. 

Washington County made the playoffs a year ago and knocked off Jackson Heights 22-14, however it’s been a struggle for Washington County this football season with just 13 guys out to open the year and down a few players now in the season leading to a forfeit last week against Hoisington. The Tigers head into District play looking to play tough in what is expected to be a tough District in 2-1A action. Tigers have scored just two touchdowns on the season with Riley Moore recording both scores, while Tyler Nelson has been making an impact also.

Jefferson County North (4-0) at Horton (2-2)
It’s a battle of Chargers to start District play as JCN has yet to be tested this year and won all four of their games by at least 38 points. The Chargers continue to show balance and score in all three phases of the game while notching at least 50 points in every contest to date. JCN whipped Oskaloosa 50-8 last Friday as Ridge Robertson had 221 yards and four TDs on just nine carries and also caught a touchdown pass from Boston Lane.  Horton meanwhile got healthy and snapped a two game skid with a 57-16 get well soon card at Maranatha. Cole Gormley scored twice on defense and Marshall Randall and Nathan Isaacs added defensive touchdowns as the Eagles turned the ball over seven times and managed just 161 yards of offense. JCN has won two straight and five of the last seven games against Horton, all by at least 21 points, including a 42-6 win a year ago.  

Oskaloosa (2-2) at Maranatha (1-3)
Both teams enter this week off tough losses as the Eagles fell to Horton 57-16, while the Bears were topped by Jefferson County North 50-8. Maranatha is averaging just 15 points per game on the season with Nate Burdette tossing seven touchdowns through the air and Brock West being his favorite target. Oskaloosa has lost two straight after a 2-0 start to the season, but the last two losses have come against the top two teams in the NEKL who are a combined 8-0. Oskaloosa has scored just eight total points in the last two games and on the season are averaging 25 points per game, but are averaging 257 yards rushing per game with Jared Miller rushing for 487 yards with eight touchdowns. Along with Miller the Bears have three other guys with more than 100 yards rushing on the season. 

The Bears took last year’s meeting with then Maranatha 60-20, jumping out to a 32-8 lead at halftime.

Jayhawk-Linn (4-0) at Pleasant Ridge (1-3)
After a 0-3 start to the season the Rams got in the win column for the first time last week with a 34-24 win over McLouth. Pleasant Ridge scored just 26 total points through the first three weeks before last week’s outburst, and are averaging just 146 yards per game. Breydon Baragary leads the Rams in every category on offense passing for 227 yards and a touchdown, while also rushing for 171 yards and a score. Jayhawk-Linn enters Friday night undefeated on the season outscoring their opponents 154-38.

Missouri Military Academy (0-6) at Maur Hill-Mount Academy (2-2)
The Ravens are coming off a tough 16-14 loss to Jackson Heights last week which put an end to a two-game win streak. Ronald Faulk-Tindal led MH-MA in the loss rushing for 85 yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns after missing the Ravens’ previous two contests. The Ravens are led on the ground by sophomore Dylan Smith who has surpassed 220 yards rushing on the season with three scores. Sophomore quarterback Jack Caudle has also thrown for nearly 500 yards through the air and four touchdowns with his main target being junior Tate Vowels who has 15 catches on the season for 279 yards and one touchdown. The Missouri Military Academy comes to Atchison from Mexico, Missouri which is a three and a half hour trip for the Fighting Colonels.

Christ Prep Academy (3-1) at Mclouth (0-4)
The Bulldogs are searching for their first win of the season after a heartbreaking 34-24 loss to Pleasant Ridge last week in a game that finished on Sunday because of weather Friday. It’s a critical week for McLouth, who will open up district play at Troy next week. The Bulldogs have struggled with turnovers and are looking for Jeremy Carlton to help ignite the offense with some production and help the team find consistency on both sides of the ball. Christ Prep is team that relies heavily on the run game, with five guys currently over the 100 yard mark on the season. The Bulldogs took last season’s meeting with Christ Prep 19-15, scoring late in the fourth quarter to escape with a win.

Atchison (2-2) at KC Washington (0-4)
The Redmen got back on track in the KCA League last week taking down Wyandotte 12-0 on homecoming. Atchison held Wyandotte to just 108 yards of total offense, while Taye Helms ran for 101 yards on 20 carries and scored both touchdowns. The Redmen are averaging 221 yards on the ground per game, as Helms leads the way with 405 yards and five touchdowns on the season. Washington has struggled through the first four weeks being outscored 223-28 and have given up 50+ points in three of the four games this season.

Atchison dominated last season’s week five meeting between the two teams 58-6 jumping out to a 49-0 lead at halftime.

Marysville (3-1) at Clay Center (3-1)
Marysville notched big wins to open the season but perhaps was surprised in week four by Concordia falling in the contest 22-16 as the Panthers ran for 260 yards in the win over the Bulldogs scoring winning touchdown with just over one minute left in the contest. The Bulldogs are looking to put that game in the rear view mirror this week as they still take on Clay Center this week in NCKL action. Marysville is averaging 354 yards of total offense with 228 in the air. Jack Blumer has nearly 1,000 yards passing in four games (915) with 13 touchdowns to only one interception, while rushing for 225 yards with five scores. In the aerial attack Blumer has multiple targets with a trio of guys with over 100+yards receiving including 483 yards by Gabe Pieschl who has caught six touchdowns.

Clay Center has won three in a row since a week one loss to Phillipsburg including a 27-14 win over Wamego last week. The Tigers have been led by the run with 174 yards per game rushing as Levi Pfizenmaier has ran for 281 yards with a touchdown and Caleb Mendum has 209 yards rushing with two touchdowns. Defensively the Tigers in the three wins have given up just 46 points, while on the season have forced seven turnovers and have seven sacks.

Marysville won last year 28-14 in the NCKL battle.

©2018 MSC Sports
Hiawatha, KS 66434
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