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

Week seven of the high school football season means all Northeast Kansas area teams are now in District play with 4A-DI & DII and 3A entering Districts this week and 2-1A along with 8-Man both continuing Districts. The games mean more and getting those crucial wins will be key for teams to earn a postseason bid.

Week Seven Games to be Broadcasted:
103.9 KNZA & Sabetha Channel – Sabetha at Nemaha Central 
      (click here to listen & to watch)
92.1 KMZA – Wetmore at Blue Valley-Randolph (click here to listen)
KAIR 93.7 FM – Tonganoxie at Atchison (click here to listen)
Holton Channel - Holton at Jeff West (click here to watch)
KAIR 1470 AM – Pleasant Ridge at Maur Hill-Mount Academy (click here to listen

Sabetha (6-0) at Nemaha Central (6-0)
For a regular season game, it doesn’t get much better than this.  Two bitter rivals collide with a perfect record to likely decide the Big 7 League Title and possible District One Titles for a second straight season.  Nemaha won the game last year 20-14 scoring in the final minute of the game and have also won nine of the past 10 meetings against the Jays, while neither team has trailed or been in a four-quarter dog-fight this year. 

Sabetha is led by a balanced rushing attack that produces 285 yards per game led by juniors, Joe Gruber and Mason Engelken and the Bluejays defense has been just as good as last year with only Perry Lecompton (21 points) getting more than one score.  Sabetha scored a season high 57 points against ACCHS a week ago to boost their average to 34 points per contest and is plus 10 in takeaways.  

Nemaha Central has discarded their first six opponents of the season and now are in pursuit of the District title and another berth into the 3A playoffs. The Thunder defense has been strong this season giving up 10.8 points per game and only one team has scored more than two touchdowns against them in a contest, having given up 20+points only three times out of the last 30 games. The defense has four 30+ tacklers and has forced 15 turnovers this season in six games. On offense the Thunder has sounded off for 40.3 points per game with Mitchell Henry leading the charge with 642 yards passing with seven touchdowns and 594 yards rushing with 11 scores.

Riverside (1-5) at Hiawatha (2-4)
With unbeaten Sabetha and Nemaha looming in District One, this game sets up big for two teams that have struggled this season.  Both teams were .500 going into this contest last season, which Hiawatha prevailed 27-14 and took a 3-2 lead in the overall series.  

Hiawatha was beaten 58-35 at Holton last week but kept the offense rolling as Tyler Brockoff threw for 385 yards and a new school record five touchdowns.  He now has now thrown for 1,272 yards in his sophomore campaign.  Michael Moreno and Andrew Woods combined for four scores and 306 yards in the air and now have more than 1,300 yards of total offense.  But the Redhawks defense continues to struggle and allowed a whopping 621 rush yards to the Wildcats last week.  Despite tight losses by 5 and 7 points, Hiawatha is allowing 36 points per game. 

Riverside is giving up 38 points an outing and allowed 30-plus in all five defeats.  The Cyclones haven’t had a game decided by less than 18 points this season and had one of their worst performances in a 45-8 loss at MH-MA last week.  Andrew Miller scored the lone TD and continues to be a threat with his arm and legs, but Riverside has committed too many mistakes and struggled developing a new line of scrimmage.  

ACCHS (0-6) at Maranatha (1-5)
The Eagles and Tigers have had disappointing seasons to this point combining for just one win. Maranatha is coming off a tough 34-26 loss to Uniontown and has lost three straight since a 40-14 win over McLouth back in week three. The Eagles passing game struggled in last week’s loss to Uniontown throwing four interceptions while completing just 12 of 28 passes. On the season the Eagles are averaging 17 points per game, while Nate Burdette is averaging 180 yards passing per contest with 14 touchdowns but 17 interceptions.

The Tigers are still searching for win No. 1 on the season after a 57-8 loss to undefeated Sabetha last week at home in which the Bluejays ran for 393 yards. The ACCHS defense forced three first half turnovers, but the offense only mustered together 56 total yards in the first two quarters. ACCHS enters Friday night averaging just over 14 points per game, and on the season have rushed for over 900 yards.

Last season’s meeting was won by Maranatha 60-44, as the Tigers gave up a 36-28 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Pleasant Ridge (2-4) at Maur Hill-Mount Academy (4-2)
The Ravens are coming off a second straight win in dominating fashion taking down Big 7 league foe Riverside 45-8 on homecoming. Sophomore quarterback Jack Caudle continued his strong play of late throwing for 220 yards and three touchdowns and in the last two games combined has thrown for seven scores. On the season Caudle has thrown for just over 950 yards and 12 touchdowns to just four interceptions. Ronald Faulk-Tindal is back to 100 percent for the first time since suffering a sprained ankle three weeks ago, and leads the Ravens in rushing with 270 yards and four touchdowns on the season.

Pleasant Ridge enters Friday night on a hot-streak winning two of their last three games after a 0-3 start to the season. The Rams are coming off a 22-16 win over Oskaloosa in which senior quarterback Breydon Baragary accounted for all three touchdowns tossing two to Glynn Smith while rushing for one as well. Baragary has been a work-horse for the Rams this season leading the team in rushing with 401 yards and three touchdowns, while also throwing for 682 yards and two more scores along with 11 interceptions.

Maur Hill-Mount Academy took last season’s meeting in a thriller 28-24, and the Ravens enter Friday night averaging 27 points per game to the Rams 12.

Perry Lecompton (4-2) at Royal Valley (3-3)
This is a huge game in 3A District 3 as both teams must still contend with Silver Lake.  After starting the year 4-0 against a weak schedule, the Kaws have lost to undefeated Sabetha and Nemaha teams the past two weeks. Still, Perry is averaging 372 yard and 47 points per game led by quarterback Dalton Kellum, who has 756 yards rushing and 550 passing with 22 total touchdowns.  Scott Urban (junior) and Grant Roush (sophomore) share with team lead with 10 tackles each per contest with freshman Hayden Robb right behind.

Royal Valley has already matched their win total from last year and their losses are against teams that have a 16-2 combined record.  The Panthers beat Jeff West 40-21 last week with a dominating second half as Jon Erhart had long touchdown runs of 62 and 67 yards and Gavin Cumpton added a pair trips to the endzone.  The balanced rushing attack of Royal Valley also include Chance Lyming and Brandon Rodewald and Dillon Smith.     

Perry has won five of the last six meetings against Royal Valley including a 44-8 win last season. 

Oskaloosa (3-3) at Silver Lake (6-0)
After a 2-0 start to the season the Bears have struggled of late losing three of their last four games including a disappointing 22-16 loss to Pleasant Ridge last week. Hunter Reed and Eli Tarwater each ran for scores last week, as Reed is second on the team in rushing with 385 yards and five touchdowns while Jared Miller leads the way with 656 yards on the ground and 11 scores. The Bears are averaging 275 rushing yards per game, but go up against a Silver Lake defense that gives up just 10 points per game. The Eagles are averaging over 315 yards per game and 32 points per contest.

Silver Lake dominated last season’s meeting 49-0, and enter Friday night as the current No. 3-ranked team in 3A.

Marysville (5-1) at Beloit (5-1)
District #13 won’t be easy for Marysville to work through in pursuit of a 3A playoff berth as there are three 5-1 teams in the District including themselves. The Bulldogs took down Chapman 38-20 last week for two-straight wins since their loss to Concordia. Coach Dustin Heuer knows he has a strong team but is looking for stronger starts to games as the Bulldogs have been able to distance themselves from their opponents more in the second half of games this year but Coach Heuer wants to see that perhaps earlier in games. The Bulldog offense is pretty balanced with 225 yards passing and 146 yards rushing per contest while scoring 43.8 points per game. Jack Blumer has put some really strong numbers through the first six weeks throwing for 1,356 yards with 17 touchdowns and only two interceptions and rushing for 465 yards and eight more scores. The aerial attack has four guys with around 150 or more yards receiving and five different guys caught a touchdown. Defensively the Bulldogs are just allowing 19.3 points per game.

Beloit has rattled off four-straight lopsided wins after a tough 13-6 win week one over Concordia and their lone loss week two at Ellsworth falling by six points in overtime. The Trojans are giving up just 13.7 points per game, while on offense it’s the run game that leads Beloit. Tate Ahlvers and Zach Meier both have over 600 yards rushing on the year with two other guys over 140 yards rushing.

Doniphan West (4-2) at Jefferson County North (6-0)
It’s a 2-1A District title opportunity for the Mustangs and Chargers with both teams unbeaten in District One.  Doniphan West has doubled their win total from a year ago following a 44-34 victory against Horton last week that featured Zeb Speer scoring with a rushing and receiving touchdown as well as a 90 yard fumble return to pay-dirt.  The Mustangs also scored on special teams when Carter Jensen blocked and returned a punt for a score to open the game.  This helped the Mustangs overcome being outgained on offense for the second consecutive game.  Levi Watts did throw for 200 yards to push to 914 for the season and Luke Blevins caught his fifth TD of the year. 

JCN has been ranked in the top three of the state and had stream-rolled through their first five opponents until holding on for a 12-6 win last week against Christ Prep to remain without a loss.  The Chargers had surpassed at least 48 points in their first give contest.  Ridge Robertson leads the offense with 882 yards rushing while Brayden Summers has more than 300 yards receiving. 

JCN has won the last two meetings against D-West with both tilts deciding a playoff spot, including a 22-7 win last season and the Chargers now own a 4-3 advantage in the series. 

Horton (2-4) at Mclouth (0-6)
Both of these teams are playing for pride and trying to close a frustrating season with something positive. While McLouth has lost all six of their games, they have improved and closed the gap with a couple games within 10 points. The Bulldogs lost 36-12 against Troy last week but have scored at least a dozen points in five of their six defeats.  Jeremy Carlton had 27 carries for 91 yards and threw for 82 more while scoring twice to pace the McLouth offense.

Horton has battled injuries the last few weeks but managed 379 yards of offense last week and scored on special teams, but couldn’t overcome a trio of turnovers and recover from a 30-point second half deficit against Doniphan West (lost 44-34). Matthew Lobdell leads the Chargers with 360 yards rushing and 298 passing.  Lane Selle has been a wrecking crew on defense and registered 14 tackles including a handful for loss and four quarterback pressures last week. 

Horton is 0-6 against McLouth dating back to 2004 and lost to the Bulldogs 37-6 last year. 

Troy (2-4) at Washington County (0-6)
What a difference a year makes as these teams were 11-1 going into this game and battling for the Twin Valley League title last season. Tonight, it’s just the last 11-man meeting and final Twin Valley League game for the Tigers and Trojans tonight. Washington County continues to fight and finish out their schedule, despite having only 11 total players suited up in week seven.  Washington County fell to Centralia 50-0 last week and managed only 35 yards of total offense.  Troy got their second win of the season 36-12 against McLouth and keep playoff hopes alive as Kipp Jasper again led the team in rushing and threw for 230 yards and three touchdowns to surpass 1,000 yards in the air this year. Tate Smith caught two scores as the Trojans never trailed in their best defensive effort of the season. Troy won last year’s clash 20-6.   

Valley Heights (6-0) at Jackson Heights (6-0)
A battle to remain unbeaten and also stay atop the 2-1A District #2 standings as the Valley Heights Mustangs and Jackson Heights Cobras do battle. The showdown has plenty of playoff implications and both teams want the win with Centralia still looming in District play for each team. Last year it was a tough contest with Valley Heights taking a 26-21 win but the teams have traded wins in the series the last four years. The Mustangs are galloping past their opponents running the ball straight at them for nearly 400 yards per game on the ground amassing 2,392 yards rushing in six games. Cole Coggins enters week seven 11 yards away from 1,000 and has 15 touchdowns, while Jordan Yungeberg has ran for 745 yards with 16 touchdowns. The defense has been solid too with 16 takeaways and giving up just 16.5 points per game with Brady Trimble leading the charge with 51 tackles but this week represents the toughest task the Mustangs have faced this season.

Jackson Heights has allowed a mere 20 total points all season and pitched their fourth shutout 52-0 against Wabaunsee last week.  However, MH-MA is the only opponent the Cobras have beaten that has a winning record (4-2) and that was their only game decided by fewer than 28 points (16-14). Brady Holliday has 856 yards rushing in the balanced wishbone attack and Sebastian Butto has added nearly 500. 

Wabaunsee (0-6) at Centralia (4-2)
Centralia Panthers might have two losses but the Panthers look to be back in 2-1A and are a team to be reckoned with as their two losses are to the unbeaten Sabetha and Nemaha Central a pair of 3A schools. The single wing offensive attack is producing 32 points per game and 309 yards rushing per game with five guys rushing for 180+ yards on the season and all five have three or more rushing touchdowns and the rushing attack only expects to get even more dynamic with the return of junior, Isaac Gore this week. Defensively the Panthers are on the prowl holding opponents to 9.2 points per game and 154.7 yards per game. Josh Hasenkamp has been a monster on defense with 78 tackles, while guys like Ethan Becker, Evan Slater and Nathan Rempe have all been great.

Wabaunsee has struggled this season losing by 20 or more points in every game played this season and had to forfeit one contest but the level of competition for the Chargers is tough in the Mideast League and their other opponents have been Valley Heights and Jackson Heights both unbeaten. Wabaunsee will look to run the ball with quarterback, Chase Nelson along with Tanner Imthurn and Riley Tubbs. Teams have outscored the Chargers 235-40 this season.

Wetmore (2-4) at Blue Valley-Randolph (1-5)
Last year this game was a close showdown with Blue Valley taking the 50-44 win scoring the game winning touchdown in the final minute of the game. This both teams head into the contest in very similar positions looking to just notch another win while both matchup on paper well with low numbers and solid playmakers.

Wetmore is looking to snap a four-game losing streak falling to Axtell last week 62-26. The Cardinals in the first two weeks took advantage of their opponents turnovers but the last few weeks have been unable to get many opportunities off turnovers and turned the ball over themselves a few times and look to remedy that. The tandem of Joel Huftles and Kyler Vance have ran for 455 and 515 yards with four and seven touchdowns on the season to lead the Cardinal offense. The team should get an uplift upfront on both sides of the ball as senior, Britton Myers will play for the first time this season.

Blue Valley has played musical chairs all season from the very first game of the year with injuries piling up. The Rams are still missing Cole Montgomery but are perhaps the healthiest they have been since the start of the season. Lane Peter leads the charge on offense with around 500 yards rushing with four touchdowns, while at quarterback Dylan Krause is a playmaker. The Rams have actually had to use four different guys at quarterback during the season but Krause returned to the fold a few weeks ago after a week one injury. The game could be a shootout as both teams give up over 47 points per game this season.

Hanover (6-0) at Frankfort (2-4)
The Hanover Wildcats have dominated the competition this year winning by 40+ points in all six contests ending five of the six early via point-rule in the process stretching their win streak to 18-straight and the Twin Valley League win streak to 17-straight. The Wildcats have scored 316 points in six games and only surrendered 12 with the last four weeks being shutouts. On offense the plethora of playmakers continues to showcase itself as Kevin Diederich ran for over 100 yards on just three carries last week with two touchdowns against Blue Valley, while Daiken Stallbaumer, Carter Bruna and others continue to help lead the charge for the Wildcats.

Frankfort Wildcats have had a tough few weeks falling to Wakefield last week. The Wildcats are looking to get back on track and continue to progress with their young squad. Against Wakefield the Wildcats looked to develop the pass game and took strides but want to continue to add to that dynamic of their offense to go along with their running attack that has three guys with 220+ yards rushing on the season with Garret Dalinghaus leading the way with 482 yards, while Brandon Bussmann and Carson Schreiner have been solid also.

Wakefield (5-1) at Axtell (4-2)
Three teams in the 8-Man DII District #3 sit at 2-0 in District play and two do battle in Wakefield and Axtell this week with the other being Hanover. The Eagles are flying high after scoring 50 and 62 the last two weeks against Frankfort and Wetmore in wins and got off to a better start to the game against Wetmore despite trailing at the end of the first quarter. On offense Axtell is posting 50.7 points per game with 370 total yards per game. Quinn Buessing has thrown for over 1,000 yards with 21 touchdowns and just five interceptions, while Michael Swanson has amassed 955 yards of offense with 14 touchdowns and Hunter Koch has 661 yards receiving with 15 touchdowns. The defense is still looking to improve as the Eagles are giving up 38.3 points per game but this week will need to buckle down against a tough Wakefield team. Nate Buessing leads the defense with 66 tackles this season.

Wakefield just like Axtell is scoring 50.7 points per game and average 320 yards per game with 235 coming on the ground. Justin Carver leads the Bombers on the ground with 639 yards rushing with 13 touchdowns, while Skylur Merritt has 303 yards rushing with seven scores and Ashton Pickering also has seven rushing touchdowns. Defensively the Bombers are giving up 24 points per game but have recorded 13 sacks and 17 turnovers on the year. The Bombers took this game last year 54-6.

Rock Hills (5-1) at Linn (3-3)
After tough lopsided losses against high caliber opponents Linn jumped back into the win column last week with a 52-6 trouncing of Southern Cloud. This week however it’s a much tougher task with the 5-1 Rock Hills Grizzles. Linn has gotten contributions from many places all season and have four guys with 130+ yards rushing led by Joseph Trumble who has ran for 470 yards with seven touchdowns averaging 7.5 yards per carry and Evan Bott has ran for nearly 300 yards while passing for 340 yards. Overall the season has once again been a tale of lopsided games with Linn outscoring their opponents 159-14 in their wins and being outscored 161-12 in their losses.

Rock Hills lone loss was last week against Pike Valley in a game that wrapped up Monday falling in overtime by four points. The Grizzles are averaging 53 points per game while only surrendering 13.7 points per game. Behind the ground game Rock Hills found their success rushing for 244 yards per game led by Zane Colson who has 853 yards rushing with 15 touchdowns, Rylee Whelchel has added 437 yards and 13 touchdowns. On defense Colson leads the team with 65 tackles as the team has notched 14 sacks and 17 turnovers. Rock Hills won this showdown last year 56-6.

Clifton-Clyde (5-1) at Centre (3-2)
A strong second half last year guided Clifton-Clyde to the 51-20 win over Centre and just like last year the Eagles head into the showdown with Centre coming off their first loss of the season falling to Burlingame last week 48-0 in a game that was delayed for three and half hours because of a tornado warning. Despite giving up 48 points last week the Eagles are still only giving up just 10 points per game this season and on offense averaging 47.2 points per game. Speed has carried the Eagles on the ground has four guys have 100+ yards rushing on the season led by Drake Steinbrock and Aiden Rudolph who have 17 rushing touchdowns between the two of them.

Centre sits at 3-2 on the season after beating Onaga 64-14 last week and have scored 60+ points in all three wins with their two losses to a solid Little River team and an unbeaten Burlingame squad. If Centre wants a shot at the playoffs the game against Clifton-Clyde is a must win.

Valley Falls (0-6) at Burlingame (6-0)
Valley Falls Dragons are building on small things to continue to get better and that they did last week despite a 46-20 loss to Herington. The contest marked the first full game the Dragons played this season and their highest offensive output on the scoreboard. Coach Nick Cummings continues to tinker with his lineup and positions for his players to find the right answer to the equation to find success for the Dragons. This week the task is a big one against the #1 8-Man DI team in the State in Burlingame and with the Valley Falls defense surrendering 61.3 points per game it will be tough against the Bearcats but Coach Cummings is looking for positive things to come out of the contest.

Burlingame won this matchup 54-0 last year and have outscored their opponents 343 to 20 this year with shutouts in three of the last four weeks. Bearcats average around 300 yards of total offense per game and Seth Greenwood leads the charge with 520 yards rushing with 11 touchdowns.

Onaga (0-6) at Waverly (5-1)
This year has been a rough one for the Onaga Buffaloes has they have taken their lumps including falling 64-14 last week. The Buffaloes are looking to get off to better starts in contests as they have fallen behind early in multiple games and struggled to get back into games. Tanner Marten leads the team with 836 yards rushing with 11 touchdowns and has thrown five touchdowns including two last week to Jaiden Kolterman and Aaron Schwartz. Limiting turnovers and finding a way to stay in the contest early will be key for the Buffaloes to earn their first win of the season.

Facing Onaga this week is a non-district contest against Waverly who won 62-40 last year against the Buffaloes. The Bulldogs sit at 5-1 on the season averaging 52.7 points per game, while giving up 20 points per game. Waverly’s lone loss was a week two six point loss against Southern Coffey County, while all five of their wins are against teams that are .500 or worst this season.

Holton (4-2) at Jeff West (2-4)
Two teams trending in opposite directions meet in Meriden to start 4A Division II play in District One. Jeff West has lost four straight games, including a 40-21 setback against Royal Valley last week, although it was just the second time this season the Tigers surpassed 14 points in a game. Turnovers, penalties and dropped passes, as well as a couple key injuries have rattled the confidence of the young Jeff West squad with freshman Cade Ross attempting more than 200 passes in six games this season for 1,129 yards. 

Holton has won three straight, crushing the middle third of their schedule for the second consecutive year. Despite allowing 35 points and nearly 400 yards passing, Holton scored a season high 58 points last week against Hiawatha and racked up more than 600 yards. Holton is averaging 360 yards rushing per game, but quarterback Mason Strader had only ran for 74 total in the first five games, and went off for 246 and five touchdowns last week. Despite a banged up backfield, four other Holton players have at least 300 yards on the ground including: Jackson Martin (316), Dylan Aeschliman (356), Jayger Carson (393) and AJ Haussler (419 yards).  

Jeff West hasn’t beaten Holton in a couple decades and only played the Wildcats closer than 14 points on one occasion. Last year Holton won 47-6. 

Tonganoxie (6-0) at Atchison (4-2)
In what could be perhaps the toughest in district in the state of Kansas the Chieftains and Redmen face off Friday night with just two losses combined between the two. Atchison is coming off a dominant 50-0 win over Harmon last week holding the Hawks to negative seven yards rushing and just 114 yards total forcing five turnovers. Sercy Duncan ran for 146 yards and two touchdowns, while Cole Batemon threw and ran for scores. The Redmen are averaging 254 yards per game, led by Taye Helms who has over 600 yards rushing on the season while Duncan adds over 500 yards on the ground.

Tonganoxie is coming off a 41-8 win over Turner last week and on the season the Chieftains are averaging over 400 yards of total offense per game with 300 of those yards coming on the ground.

Tonganoxie took last season’s meeting 22-16 in overtime, as Atchison let a 16-0 third quarter lead slip away.

©2018 MSC Sports
Hiawatha, KS 66434
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