Tuesday, 18 September 2018
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Friday Night Fever - Preview of All Week Six Kanzaland Area Football Matchups
By Mike Smith
Copyright: MSC Sports

As the high school football season continues and rolls into week six a lot of the attention has been on the release of the 2018 and 2019 Classifications and District assignments. But the action on the gridiron continues to heat up this year with plenty of week six matchups that expect to be highly competitive showdowns. (to see the 2018 & 2019 football classifications – click here – for 2018 & 2019 football districts – click here)

Due to expected inclement weather on Friday many game times have been changed for area matchups. (game time changes are listed by matchup previews below)

Week Five Games to be Broadcasted:
103.9 KNZA – Horton at Doniphan West (click here to listen) 5:30pm start
92.1 KMZA – Nemaha Central at Perry Lecompton (click here to listen)
KAIR 93.7 FM – Riverside at Maur Hill-Mount Academy (click here to listen) 5:30pm start
Holton Channel – Hiawatha at Royal Valley (click here to listen & watch)
Sabetha Channel – Sabetha at ACCHS  (click here to listen & watch) 6:00pm start

Hiawatha (2-3) at Holton (3-2)
Two Big 7 teams trending in the right direction meet to try to keep momentum heading into tough district games. Hiawatha has won back-to-back games, including an impressive 36-13 homecoming triumph against Jeff West last week. Holton has also won their last two outings by a combined score of 83-6 and host homecoming this week playing for the fourth time at home in six games. 

The styles however are very contrasting as Holton averages 308 yards rushing per game completing just five total passes on the season. Jayger Carson leads the injury-plagued wishbone backfield with 98 yards per outing, but did not play last week and AJ Haussler has also missed a couple games but averaged 85 yards per contest. Last week, Jackson Martin filled in with 18 carries for 182 yards and a touchdown. Dylan Aeshliman also has totaled more than 300 yards offense and leads the team with 66 tackles in five games. 

The Redhawks are nearly balanced 50/50 on offense posting 185 passing yards with 178 rushing yards per game. Tyler Brockoff has thrown for 887 yards and 10 scores, including four touchdown tosses last week to Michael Moreno. Moreno has accounted for more than 600 yards and nine trips to the endzone, including 182 receiving a week ago.  Andrew Woods added 125 yards rushing and has 275 on the season while Hunter Pavlish leads the team with a mean of nine take downs per night. Holton won 66-26 last year and has won 15 straight against Hiawatha dating back to the 2001 playoffs.   

Sabetha (5-0) at ACCHS (0-5) (game moved to 6:00pm) 
Sabetha looks to remain perfect heading into their clash with 3A No. 1 Nemaha Central next week and is off to a 5-0 start for the second consecutive season. The Bluejays had their first true test of the season last Friday night taking down previously unbeaten Perry Lecompton 28-21. Sophomore running back Joe Gruber had a huge game rushing for 157 yards on 24 carries with three touchdowns, while Gabe Garber ran for 80 yards and a score. Wyatt Beyer also ran for 86 yards on 14 rushes, while also picking off a pass. Sabetha, who took down ACCHS last season 79-0, is averaging 263 rushing yards per game led by Joe Gruber who has surpassed 400 yards rushing on the year.

ACCHS is still looking for their first win of the season after a 34-16 loss to Riverside last week. The Tigers got off to a slow start down 16-0 at the half and 34-0 after the third quarter. ACCHS was held to just 78 yards of total offense with the only offensive score coming on a 19-yard run by Tucker Smith while Trystin Myers recovered a fumble for a TD as well. The Tigers have ran for 850 yards on the season led by Tucker Smith who leads the way with 409 rushing yards and seven touchdowns.

Royal Valley (2-3) at Jeff West (2-3)
Two Big 7 teams trying to turn their season and momentum around before District play collide as Jeff West has dropped three straight after a 2-0 start and Royal Valley has lost their last two games by a combined 85-6 margin. The Tigers allowed the most points they had all season in a 36-13 loss at Hiawatha last week, but are hopeful to get stud freshman lineman Peneusta Saili back, who is their second leading tackler. The young Jeff West offense is also trying to get on track after 17 turnovers including 13 interceptions thrown and is averaging just 15 points per game. Caleb Middendorf had 142 yards receiving and 47 rushing last week while leading the Tigers in tackles.    

Royal Valley snapped a four-game losing streak against the Tigers with a 24-8 victory last year and looks to get their offense back on track after just six first downs last week and 140 total yards.   

Nemaha Central (5-0) at Perry Lecompton (4-1)
The toughest test of the season through five weeks for Nemaha Central was last week has they held off Centralia for the 13-0 win to remain unbeaten. It doesn’t get any easier for the Thunder as they travel to 4-1 Perry Lecompton this week before a big District showdown against Sabetha next week. The Thunder defense has been stout all year giving up 10.4 points per game and has forced 12 turnovers. On offense the Thunder have plenty of playmakers lead by Mitchell Henry who thrown for 497 yards with six scores and ran for 477 yards with nine touchdowns and caught six passes for 91 yards on the season. Guys like Dalton Schmelzle, Luke Reitz, Noe Gauna, Alec Suther and Cameron Feldkamp all have 100+ yards rushing or receiving on the season. As a team the Thunder are averaging nearly 390 yards total offense per game and 42.4 points per game.

Last year Nemaha Central controlled the battle with the Kaws winning 48-7 using a strong defensive performance. The Thunder will need strong defense again this year as Perry Lecompton has been potent on offense averaging 54.6 points per game and nearly 400 yards of total offense. Junior, Dalton Kellum spear heads the Kaws attack having tossed for 693 yards with six touchdowns and ran for 566 yards with 14 scores. Guys like Shane Quinlan, Tyler Erickson and Colton Mallonee have all made plays this season, too. The Kaws defense has been good too giving up 17.2 points per game and forcing 21 turnovers. Kaws are coming off their first loss falling to Sabetha in a tight battle last week 28-21.

Riverside (1-4) at Maur Hill-Mount Academy (3-2) (game moved to 5:30pm)
Riverside steps outside Big 7 League play for the first and only time this season traveling to Maur Hill-Mount Academy for the Ravens’ homecoming. The Cyclones picked up their first win of 2017 last week with a 34-16 win over ACCHS as Luke Horn ran for 154 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries. Scott Resler also ran for a 19-yard touchdown and caught a 41-yard TD from Andrew Miller.

MH-MA played host to the Missouri Military Academy and won 43-0 last week as Jack Caudle went 8 of 9 passing for 190 yards and five touchdowns. Tate Vowels had three catches for 129 yards and three touchdowns, while Ronald Faulk-Tindal ran for 77 yards and a score. Colton Kocour and Nathan Peltzer each caught touchdown passes as well, while the MH-MA defense forced a safety. The Ravens beat Riverside for the first time last season 41-28, as the Cyclones lead the overall series 3-1.

Pleasant Ridge (1-4) at Oskaloosa (3-2)
The Bears ended a two-game losing streak last week with a dominant performance in a 54-14 win over Maranatha. The Bears posted a 24-0 second quarter to put the game out of reach rushing for 444 total yards. Jared Miller notched a three touchdown performance and 131 yards on just 13 carries, while Hunter Reed added 150 yards on just six carries with two scores. Eli King and Heath Knopp also each ran for scores, as the Bears on the season are averaging just under 300 yards rushing per game.

After picking up their first win of the season against McLouth in week four, the Rams suffered a setback last week falling to Jayhawk-Linn at home 38-22. Pleasant Ridge trailed by just one score at halftime, but a 16-0 third quarter by Jayhawk-Linn kept the Rams from a comeback. In the loss Breydon Baragary ran for a touchdown and tossed an 11-yard score to Colton Comer, while Jake Heckman added a 12-yard TD run. The Rams are averaging just 10 points per game, while compiling just 190 total yards a contest.

The Bears took last season’s meeting 28-6, jumping out to a 14-0 lead at halftime.

Christ Prep Academy (4-1) at Jefferson County North (5-0)
The Chargers are at the top of the Northeast Kansas League following a 48-7 win over Horton last week and are off to a 5-0 start for the second consecutive season. Boston Lane delivered a huge game against Horton last week completing 7 of 13 passes for 117 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 44 yards and two more scores. Ridge Robertson also recorded 208 yards on the ground with a TD, while Brayden Summers caught five passes for 114 yards and three scores. The Chargers are averaging 51 points per game, while Ridge Robertson leads the way with over 700 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns. Christ Prep enters Friday night off a 28-20 win over McLouth last week and are averaging 20 points per game.

The Chargers took last year’s meeting 66-12, jumping out to a 48-6 lead at halftime behind four total touchdowns from Boston Lane and three rushing scores by Samuel Larson.

Jackson Heights (5-0) at Wabaunsee (0-5) (game moved to 6:00pm)
It’s a District 2 game in Class 2-1A as Jackson Heights tries to stay undefeated against a Wabaunsee team that is better than their 0-5 record indicates. Wabaunsee in the mid-east league has scored just 40 total points this year and lost all their games by at least 20 points including a 50-20 district loss to Valley Heights last week. The Chargers have battled injuries and low numbers all season after graduating a strong senior class that keyed a 28-14 win against the Cobras last season. 

Jackson Heights has allowed 20 total points in five games this season and pitched their third shutout 44-0 against Washington County last week. Brady Holiday ran for 200 yards and a trio of TDs last week pushing his season totals to 736 yards and 11 touchdowns. The Cobras are averaging 335 yards rushing per game and are 4-7 passing on the year after a pair of incompletions last week. 

Horton (2-3) at Doniphan West (3-2) (game moved to 5:30pm)
An intriguing District One showdown between two teams that have been competitive through the years with four contest decided by single digits. This year, Horton has already surpassed their win total from the last couple years combined, but needs a win to keep playoff hopes alive after falling 48-7 against JCN last week. Matthew Lobdell scored again last week and leads the offense, which has limited mistakes but struggled to keep key players on the field. 

D-West beat Troy, which was their second win by five points this season (18-13). Doniphan West averages just 74 rushing yards per game, but Levi Watts has tossed 101 passes and completed 51 for 737 yards and 9 scores this season while Luke Blevins has 417 yards receiving and four touchdowns and seniors - Matt Buser, Zeb Speer and Newt Smith lead the team in tackles.   

The Mustangs have also already surpassed last year’s win total and a victory against Horton would all but lock up a playoff appearance for the first time since 2014. D-West won 38-14 last year and is now 5-4 in the series.   

Mclouth (0-5) at Troy (1-4) (game moved to 5:30pm)
Both teams have struggled this year and are looking for a district win. The Bulldogs played their closest game of the season before falling 28-20 against Christ Prep last week. Still, McLouth is being outscored 37-16 on average.  Troy lost a tough 18-13 district game at rival Doniphan West despite outgaining the Mustangs 315 to 178 yards. Kipp Jasper and Tysen Williams each ran for more than 100 yards but the Trojans couldn’t finish dives in the redzone and allowed too many big plays. Jasper has thrown for 839 yards this season, but Troy is scoring just 20 points per game. Troy throttled McLouth 51-6 last year on way to an undefeated state championship. 

Centralia (3-2) at Washington County (0-5) (game moved to 5:40pm)
The Centralia look to be back in the contender category in Class 2-1A as the Panthers yes are just 3-2 but both losses to unbeaten 3A schools in Sabetha and Nemaha Central. Centralia played well in both of those games including just a 13-0 loss to the Thunder last week on the road. The Panthers are rushing for 315 yards per game and doing it with a plethora of runners five guys have 170+ yards rushing this season with Trenton Flentie leading the charge and guys like Kamble Haverkamp, Devon Feldkamp and Noah Quigley all contributing and Isaac Gore’s return still looms for the Panthers. The defense has been stout like years past of Panther teams as Centralia is surrendering only 11 points per game with the trio of Josh Hasenkamp, Nathan Rempe and Ethan Becker all with 50+ tackles.

Washington County won a thrilling contest with Centralia last year 28-21 in a pretty even game. Games this year however haven’t been even for the Tigers on the scoreboard, in the stats and even in amount of players compared to their opponents. Struggles with low numbers have led to struggles on the field but the Tigers continue to fight as they battle to learn and gain experience for the years to come. Tigers have just 13 points scored on the season and have given up 160 in four games played with the other contest being a forfeit.

Oswego (1-4) at Valley Heights (5-0) (game on Saturday - originally scheduled that way)
Valley Heights continues to run over their opponents this season beating Wabaunsee 50-20 last week to snag a District win. The Mustangs will step out of District play this week and host Oswego who will make the four-plus hour trek to Blue Rapids for a Saturday afternoon game. Valley Heights offense has been strong scoring 46+ points in every game and averaging 455 yards per game amassing already over 2,000 yards rushing as a team in just five games. Multiple guys have shown they can run the ball for the Mustangs while Cole Coggins leads the charge with 873 yards and Jordan Yungeberg has 592 yards with 14 and 11 touchdowns, respectively. Defensively the team continues to look to improve and are giving up just 19.8 points per game but are focused on continued improvement especially looking to limit big plays.

Oswego heads into this game coming off their first win of the season but have been outscored by their opponents 205-73 on the year. The Indians are averaging just 138 yards per game as Chase and Ethan Evans led the offense with 240+ yards rushing each on the season. Valley Heights rolled in this matchup last year winning 55-0 on the road.

Axtell (3-2) at Wetmore (2-3) (game moved up to 5:00pm)
The battle of the birds in the TVL last year was an interesting one in which Axtell won 30-16 but Wetmore led early and took advantage of some Eagle miscues. This season Axtell sits at 3-2 beating Frankfort 50-36 last week to open Districts and looks to continue an upward flight pattern as Districts continue. The offense has been there scoring 48.4 points per game and been balanced with 188.2 yards per game passing and 163.8 yards per game rushing. Quinn Buessing has tossed for 826 yards with 16 touchdowns to four interceptions, while Michael Swanson has amassed 670+ yards of offense with nine scores and Hunter Koch has 13 touchdown receptions on 31 catches for 569 yards. But the Eagle defense is giving up 40.8 points per game and have seen teams move the ball against them and look to shore that side of the ball up moving forward.

Wetmore Cardinals after two wins to open the season have had three rough outings falling in lopsided affairs including losses to 4-1 Madison and 5-0 Hanover the past two weeks. The Cardinals enter the contest with Axtell looking to settle things back in and find a level of consistency on both sides of the ball. Offensively Wetmore is averaging just over 200 yards per game with Joel Hutfles and Kyler Vance leading the way as they each have 400+ yards rushing with four and six touchdowns, while Ethan Osterhaus has caught five of the six Hutfles touchdown passes of the season. But like Axtell the Cardinals have struggled keeping their opponents off the scoreboard giving up 44.8 points per game this season to their opponents. 

Blue Valley-Randolph (1-4) at Hanover (5-0)
Hanover Wildcats continue to dominate their opponents coasting to another win last week to extend their win streak to 17-straight games and their Twin Valley League win streak to 16-straight games. The Wildcats over the last 17 wins have won by 40 or more points in 15 of the 17 games and this year are tied with Clifton-Clyde for the stingiest scoring defense in 8-Man in Kansas giving up just 12 points in five games with the last three weeks being shutouts. Offensively the Wildcats have scored 254 points and are getting scores from a wide array of playmakers including guys like Brennan Zabokrtsky, Kevin Diederich, Carter Bruna and others.

Blue Valley has struggled in many ways this season and last week had their hands full with Wakefield falling 56-6, this week not any easier with Hanover. On the season the Rams are scoring just 18.4 points per game and giving up 46.6 points per game. Lane Peter has been a solid playmaker with 475 yards rushing and four touchdowns in five games.

Frankfort (2-3) at Wakefield (4-1) (game moved up to 5:00pm)
The Frankfort Wildcats haven’t had their full array of players healthy this season from the start and are again banged up headed into the showdown with Wakefield this week. The Wildcats lost a tough 50-36 battle against Axtell to open Districts last week and a tough 44-40 loss last year versus Wakefield with a Bombers final minute score kept the Wildcats out of the playoffs last year so looking to bounce back Frankfort is this week in multiple ways. The rushing attack has been there all season between the trio of Garret Dalinghaus (465 yards & 7 TDs), Brandon Bussmann (271 yards & 6 TDs) and Carson Schreiner (209 yards & 2 TDs) but all three have not be able to play together much this season at 100%. Defensively Frankfort is looking to continue to make strides as they are giving up 38.4 points per game. Dalinghaus on top of leading the way on offense has been a monster on defense with 65 tackles on the year.

Wakefield is off to a strong start with their lone loss coming to a good Little River team in week three. The Bombers are scoring plenty of points notching 50 points per game while amassing 320 yards of total offense per game. The rushing attack leads the way with Justin Carver who has 639 yards with 13 touchdowns, while Skylur Merritt and Ashton Pickering each had 180+ yards rushing and seven touchdowns each. The Bombers defense has been solid too racking up 13 sacks and 17 forced turnovers while giving up 27.2 points per game.

Linn (2-3) at Southern Cloud (2-3) (game moved to 5:30pm)
Linn rolled last year in this showdown claiming a 60-0 win over Southern Cloud. But this year Southern Cloud has been able to find some success and will be more of challenge for Linn. The Warriors snapped a 30+ losing streak a few weeks ago and have picked up two wins this season scoring 92 points against Wilson and beating Blue Valley from the Twin Valley League. A trio of guys have ran for 260+ yards each this season for Southern Cloud as Blake Gumm, Lane Martin and Carson Bellows lead the Warriors. Southern Cloud on defense has however given up plenty of points this season surrendering 46.8 points per game to their opponents.

Linn continues to play lopsided games winning big in their two wins but losing big in their three loses including a 53-6 setback last week versus St. John’s/Tipton. On the ground is where Linn looks to work the ball and have four guys with 120+ yards rushing and also have three different guys that have thrown passes this season with all three connecting on at least one touchdown with most of the aerial TD’s going to Dillon Cooper who is the team’s top target in the passing game. Joseph Trumble and Evan Bott continue to lead the charge on the ground. The Bulldogs defense has been 13 points better than Southern Cloud giving up just 33.8 points per game.  

Burlingame (5-0) at Clifton-Clyde (5-0) (game moved up to 6:00pm)
Most likely this battle of unbeaten will decided the District 3 8-Man DI title as the two teams look to be the cream of the crop in the District. Last year Burlingame won big 66-20 over Clifton-Clyde rushing for 300+ yards in the win and the Eagles had six turnovers in the contest. This year the Eagles are flying high again and defensively are tied with Hanover for the lowest points given up in 8-Man football across Kansas surrendering only 12 points in the first five weeks. The Eagles defense also has 11 sacks and 14 forced turnovers on the season. Offensively several guys have made plays as four guys have 100+ yards rushing and five different guys have two more rushing touchdowns, Drake Steinbrock leads the charge with 348 yards rushing with 12 touchdowns.

Burlingame brought back most of last year’s team that fell to Osborne in Sub-State and this year the Bearcats have mauled their opponents outscoring them 295 to 20 with three shutouts. It’s a balanced attack on offense with 107 yards passing and 166 yards rushing per game and there is playmakers all over with guys like Seth Greenwood, Montana Griffin and Caiden Musick leading the way. On defense Tristan Lee has been a monster with 54 tackles and 3.5 sacks as the team has eight sacks and 12 forced turnovers.

Centre (2-2) at Onaga (0-5) (game moved up to 6:00pm)
Centre took this matchup last year 50-36 with turnovers hurting the Buffaloes in the contest having five of them. Turnovers have hurt Onaga this year also as the inexperience Buffaloes continue to learn. Tanner Marten returns this week after being sidelined due to illness last week and his presence along with the team perhaps being the healthiest it’s been all year hopes to be a boost for Onaga. Marten on the season has 765 yards with 11 touchdowns rushing averaging 6.3 yards per carry. Continued establishment of other playmakers around Marten will be critical for Onaga to take steps forward for the rest of the season.

It’s been over a week since Centre has played a game after being off last week and the Cougars head into this contest against Onaga at 2-2 with their losses to Burlingame and Little River who have a combined record of 9-1, while in their wins they scored 60+ points but beat teams that are a combined 1-9.

Herington (1-4) at Valley Falls (0-5)
Five weeks into the season and the struggles continue for Valley Falls as the Dragons tired changing things up last week against Rural Vista putting Carter Allen at quarterback and while he tossed a pair of touchdown passes it came in a 62-14 loss. The Dragons big trouble continues to be on the defensive side of the ball as teams are averaging 64.4 points per game against them and all their opponents have scored over 50 this year (have given up second most points in 8-Man football in the State (322) behind only Deerfield (345)). Plenty of young freshman and sophomores are seeing action for the Dragons and the team continues to look to learn and build for the future.

Herington topped Valley Falls last year 56-6 and won seven games last season but the Railroaders are down this having just one win through the first five weeks. The Railroaders have struggled stopping teams also giving up 50.8 points per game on the season and on offense are more focused on the run than the Dragons averaging 208 yards on the ground per contest.

KC Harmon (0-5) at Atchison (3-2) (game moved to 5:30pm)
The Redmen moved above .500 last week for the first time this season after taking down Washington on the road 33-20. Atchison ran for over 300 in the win as Taye Helms led the charge with 167 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown while Sercy Duncan hit the century mark on just 13 carries with a score. Cole Batemon also ran for 90 yards on the ground on just 12 carries and added three scores of his own. The Redmen are averaging 254 rushing yards per game as Taye Helms has surpassed 550 rushing yards on the season with 13 touchdowns. Sercy Duncan backs up Helms with 391 yards of his own, adding six scores on the ground. Atchison took last season’s meeting 55-27 over Harmon and have won the last six times the two teams have met.

Chapman (1-4) at Marysville (4-1) (game moved to Saturday at 3:00pm)
Marysville got back on track in week five with a 28-8 win over Clay Center after the setback against Concordia the week before and the win keeps the Bulldogs hopes alive for North Central Kansas League something they haven’t won since 2008. While the offense has been there for the Bulldogs averaging 37.4 points per game and 360 yards per game the defense is playing well too surrendering just 15.2 points per game and has forced 10 turnovers. Senior quarterback, Jack Blumer continues lead the Bulldogs completing 71.3% of his passes for 1,056 yards and 14 touchdowns to only two interceptions and is the team’s leading rusher also with seven touchdowns on the ground. Four guys have over 100 yards receiving on the season and two more on top of Blumer have 100+ yards rushing on the year.

Chapman after a week two close win over Southeast of Saline have lost three-straight including a tough 14-12 battle with Wamego last week. The Irish like to run the ball as they have completed only nine passes on the season, while they do average 240 yards rushing per game and have a quartet of ball carrier with 190 rush yards or more and at least one touchdown each this season. Junior, Dalton Harvey leads the way with 441 yards and is the team’s leading tackler with 49 on the season.

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