Wednesday, 19 December 2018
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Friday Night Fever - Preview of All Week Four Kanzaland Area Matchups
By Jonny Kane and Justin Fluke
Copyright: MSC Sports
09/21/2018

Three weeks of the high school football regular season are in the books and some teams have started the season strong, while others are still in search of their first win. District play begins for Classes 4A, 3A and 2A with each game becoming more meaningful as the season moves on. 

Games to be Broadcast

Olpe at Jackson Heights - 103.9 KNZA
Sabetha at Marysville - Sabetha Channel
Centralia vs. Pittsburg-Colgan – 92.1 KMZA
Holton at Hiawatha – Holton Channel
Pleasant Ridge at ACCHS – KAIR 93.7 FM

Pleasant Ridge (2-1) at ACCHS (1-2) on KAIR 93.7 FM

The Rams bounced back after a week two shutout loss to Troy by taking down McLouth last week at home 34-12. Quarterback Colton Komer ran for 166 yards and four touchdowns, while he also threw for 120 yards and a score. Komer leads the team in both rushing and passing, as on the ground he has compiled 384 yards and five touchdowns while through the air has thrown for 156 yards and three interceptions.

ACCHS is looking to bounce back after going on the road and falling to Valley Heights 66-26. The Tigers defense really struggled to stop the Mustangs rushing attack, giving up 606 yards on the ground and eight touchdowns. Matt Oswalt did throw for 115 yards and two touchdowns, but the Tigers had just 242 total yards and turned the football over four times.

The Rams took last season’s meeting 28-18 and have won the last six meetings dating back to 2012.  

Horton (0-3) at Nemaha Central (1-2)

Both teams come into 2A District play hoping for a fresh start and some good fortune.  Horton is down to just 14 athletes on their roster, but did score their first points of the season last week as Matthew Lobdell ran back a fourth quarter kickoff 75 yards for the first Charger score of the year.  Horton fell to Troy 41-8 and has allowed more than 40 points in each game this season. 

The Thunder suffered a heartbreaking loss last week falling to Holton in a shootout 37-32. The Thunder traded scores with the Wildcats throughout the contest, but turned the football over inside the Holton five yard line with just over two minutes remaining which allowed the Cats to pick up their first win. Dalton Schmelzle had a big game through the air throwing for 284 yards and two touchdowns, while senior tight end Matt Baumgartner has six catches for 127 yards and a score.

Olpe (3-0) at Jackson Heights (3-0) on KNZA 103.9 FM

Defense, defense and more defense.  The first team to score might win this battle of 3-0 teams in a rematch from a second-round 2015 playoff game.  Olpe beat Jackson Heights 26-6 that year. 

This year, Olpe whipped their first two opponents of the season by a 71-0 combined score and last week topped previously unbeaten Christ Prep 13-8.  The Eagles returned the majority of their starters from a team that went 9-3 last year and has posted a winning ledger for 13 straight years and been a playoff staple.  Olpe has a two-headed backfield of Blaine Hinrichs (256 yards) and Kynden Robert (341 yards), however Colby Hoelting has completed 18 of 40 passes for 184 yards through the first three games this season and leads the tough defense in tackles.

Jackson Heights host homecoming and each game they have played this year has been against a more difficult opponent.  Yet, the Cobras haven’t allowed a point scored against them all year with a combined winning margin of 94-0.  Last week they beat MH-MA in Atchison 14-0 as Cooper Williams surpassed 500 yards rushing for the season.  Kolby Rethman has 241 yards and Conlon Bruggeman has 153 yards on the ground and leads the Cobra defense with 28 tackles.          

Jeff County North (1-2) at Wabaunsee (0-3)

The Chargers picked up their first win of the season last week in dominant fashion on homecoming, blowing out the Oskaloosa Bears 44-6. JCN got the run game going with their two tailbacks combining for 299 yards and six scores. Mason Noll led the way with 174 yards on the ground and three touchdowns, while Boyd Tweed added 125 yards and three more scores. Wabaunsee meanwhile is looking for their first win of the season after falling to Central Heights last week 34-22.

Central Heights (1-2) at Oskaloosa (0-3)

The Bears are still searching for their first win of 2018 after falling to Jefferson County North last week on the road 44-6. The Bears gave up over 300 yards rushing to the Chargers and on the season are allowing 46 points per game. The offense finally got their first score of the season, but youth and inexperience is still holding the Bears back from being successful. As to Central Heights they picked up their first victory of the season last week, taking down Wabaunsee 34-22.

Silver Lake (3-0) at McLouth (1-2)

After picking up their first victory of the season in week two the Bulldogs struggled last week falling to Pleasant Ridge on the road 34-12. McLouth gave up four touchdowns on the ground, and on the season are allowing over 31 points per game. Silver Lake enters the contest 3-0 on the season, coming off a 31-12 win over Riley County who they’ve beat now 22 consecutive times. The Eagles are currently ranked third in 2A according to kpreps and have won 25 of their last 27 games.

MH-MA (2-1) at Riverside (0-3) on Saturday at 12:00

Riverside led through most of their matchup at Royal Valley last Friday night but a late turnover and score by the Panthers left the Cyclones still looking for their first win of the season.  Dawson Dick continues to be a leader for the Cyclones, who fell 28-27 and will actually play their first true home game of the season in Wathena this week after the second game of the season was moved to Highland CC.  However, due to tragedy for MH-MA, this game has been moved to a noon kickoff on Saturday. 

The Ravens are looking to bounce back after a heartbreaking first loss of the season last week, falling to Jackson Heights 14-0 at home. The Ravens had plenty of chances down just 6-0 the majority of the game, but offensively compiled just 158 total yards with a couple of turnovers. The Ravens are playing with heavy hearts after a tragic car crash claimed the lives of two MH-MA students this past weekend.

Riverside had won three straight against the Ravens but lost games the last two years to MH-MA by a combined score of 86-36.    

Sabetha (3-0) at Marysville (2-1) on Sabetha Channel

It’s a rematch of the 3A State Championship game from a year ago when Sabetha won 7-6 in a battle of one-loss teams.  Now in the same 3A District, the schools square off again, but the teams on the field will look quite a bit different. 

For Marysville, that’s because they had to replace 12 terrific seniors and only returned a few starters on each side of the ball, none on the offensive or defensive line.  Yet, the Bulldogs after a week one loss have rebounded with wins against Clay Center and Concordia by a combined 74-6 margin.  Marysville is very balanced on offense with 167 yards rushing and 174 passing averages per contest, with junior quarterback Brandon Schroedl throwing for more than 500 yards already on 62 percent accuracy.  Atreyau Hornbeak paces the ground attack with 220 yards and Jacob Backus has 20 receptions for 327 yards as the go-to–target.  Backus was a beast last week with nine catches for 135 yards and a touchdown while also returning a punt 85 yards for a score. 

Sabetha might look different because of several injuries to starters this week following a really tough and physical 35-33 victory last Friday versus Perry Lecompton.  The Bluejays returned the core of their starters from a year ago and are unbeaten, but banged up, and need some players to step up tonight with Marysville hyped and seeking revenge.  The Jays have a mean of 335 rushing yards per game with Mason Engelken’s 335 leading the way.  Quarterback Gabe Garber is right behind with 325 yards and has added 128 passing on 9-16 completions.  Joel Hackney and Joe Gruber are each over 100 yards rushing as well and Ryan Stappleton is the only player on the team with more than one catch this season (5-71). 

Holton (1-2) at Hiawatha (1-2)  on Holton Channel

Even though it wasn’t a district game, Holton might have saved their season last week with a 37-32 home victory against Nemaha Central.  Coach Brooks Barta took a ship struggling to stay afloat and beat up and made some changes and challenges to a team that gritted out a tough win and brought confidence, renewed optimism and most importantly, a new demeanor and attitude to the Wildcats who are now healthier and stable.  Konnor Tannahill was a horse last week as the sophomore fullback ran 30 times for 173 yards and four rushing touchdowns.  He now has almost double any other runningback carries and a team high 262 yards while Jackson Martin and Trey Wright have both surpassed 100 rushing yards in three games.  A major part of the success last week was the return of starting offensive tackles Creighton Baxter and Noah Woltje. 

Hiawatha has had plenty of injury problems themselves and lost two straight after a season opening win against Riverside.  The Redhawks were competitive early against both Nemaha and Jeff West (25-7 loss last week), but had too many costly mistakes to keep their score climbing.  Tyler Brockoff returned to ignite some passing offense for Hiawatha last week and threw a long TD to the other signal caller, Kaiser Isaac.  Brockoff broke his own school record in week six last year against Holton with 385 passing yards and five touchdowns.  Yet, the Hawks fell 58-35 in that game and has lost 16 straight against Holton dating back to the playoffs in 2001.   

Bishop Ward (0-3) at Jeff West (3-0)

After winning only three football games the past two years combined, Jeff West is off to their best start in a long time.  The Tigers beat Hiawatha 25-7 a week ago on the road and get their second game on new home turf tonight to start district play.  Their no huddle offense has averaged 229 yards passing per game behind sophomore quarterback Cade Ross, who has completed passes to 10 different receivers.  Joe Anderson has 17 grabs for 166 yards and Zeth Unruh leads the way with 264 yards on 14 catches and four scores. 

Jeff West faces a new opponent to start district play in Bishop Ward.  The Cyclones have won just two football games since the start of the 2010 season and none the past four years.  

Royal Valley  (1-2) at Wamego (2-1) 

The Panthers got their first win of the season coming into District play but it wasn’t easy as they trailed most of the night, then got a takeaway from their defense and went and scored for a 28-27 homecoming win against Riverside.  One of Royal Valley’s big plays came on a 53-yard touchdown pass from Gavin Cumpton to Kobe Mills. 

Royal Valley had won four straight against Wamego from 2010-2012, but Wamego won the last meeting in 2013 between these schools 28-12.  Wamego is now 2-1 coming off a 43-6 win against Clay Center last week and their defense is allowing just 11 points per game this season.  Last week Ty Cooper had 336 all purpose yards while scoring on offense and a kickoff return for the Red Raiders.     

Wellsville (2-1) at Perry Lecompton (2-1)

Despite a 35-33 loss at Sabetha last week, Perry Lecompton has some respect and attention around the state and stays in the top five of the state rankings.  The Kaws scored a touchdown in the final minute, but missed the two-point-conversion for the tie.  Dalton Kellum had another monster game with 234 yards rushing and four touchdowns while throwing for another.  Yet, he moved to runningback as Billy Welch took over the quarterbacking duties for Perry in the second half last week and shined with six completions to Colton Mallonee. Kellum has 631 yards rushing however on the season in just three games. 

Wellsville has been in the playoffs the last eight years with a winning record and started this year 2-0 before falling to Burlington last week 34-12.  The Eagles throw the football for 193 yards per game in 2018 behind senior Zach Vance who has completed passes to nine different receivers.  There are no recent meetings between these two teams. 

Pittsburg-Colgan (3-0) at Centralia (1-2) at 6:00pm on 92.1 KMZA

It’s a big-time matchup in Centralia tonight as two perennial powers face off in a non-league, non-district matchup of two teams who love to run the ball.

The Panthers are the current No. 2-ranked team in 1A and for good reason. Pitt-Colgan is off to a 3-0 start and have allowed just 14 points all season long, with the latest victory coming in a 47-8 blowout of Baxter Springs. Cade Simmons leads the way for the Panthers and enters tonight as one of the top athletes in the state of Kansas. The senior quarterback is off to a torrid start, throwing for 208 yards and three touchdowns while also leading the team in rushing with 448 yards and six scores. Kash Marietta also has 265 yards rushing and three touchdowns, as the Panthers are averaging over 325 rushing yards per game.

After a tough first two weeks to the season Centralia bounced back last week and picked up their first win taking down St. Marys 56-14. The Panthers churned out 416 yards on the ground, led by quarterback Kamble Haverkamp who compiled 124 yards and three touchdowns whilie Isaac Gore added 121 yards and two more scores. Haverkamp leads Centralia in rushing with 341 yards on the ground and five touchdowns, while Gore isn’t far behind racking up 326 yards and five more scores.

Tonight marks the 11th meeting between the two schools with Pitt-Colgan leading the series 7-3 after a 25-18 win last season in the sectional round of the 2-1A playoffs.

Christ Prep (3-1) at Troy (3-0)

Troy is 3-0 on the season and has allowed a total of just 20 points all season.  In last week’s 41-6 win at Horton, it was second-string special teams unit that gave up points with the game well in-hand.  Troy worked on the passing game in week three and Kipp Jasper was 11-17 for 284 yards with four touchdown tosses.  The Trojans figure to get their toughest test of the season tonight on homecoming as Chris Prep comes to town 3-1 after suffering their first loss of the season last week at #3 ranked Olpe 13-8.  Christ Prep has beaten a couple teams in Missouri.      

Valley Heights (2-1) at Republic County (0-3)

The Mustangs are on a roll after picking up a second consecutive win last week in a 66-26 beat down of ACCHS. Valley Heights really got the ground game going last week rushing for 606 yards as a team, led by Cole Coggins who rushed for 285 yards and three touchdowns while Jeremy Reed added 172 yards and two more scores. On the season the Mustangs are averaging over 45 points per game and are starting to find their groove after the week one loss to Troy. Republic County is still searching for their first win of the season after a 44-14 loss to LaCrosse last week, as the Buffaloes are averaging less than 200 total yards per game.

Tonight marks the first meeting since 2015, which the Buffaloes won in a thriller 26-21.

Hanover (3-0) at Blue Valley (1-2)

The Wildcats and Rams are each coming off wins last week as Hanover moved to 3-0 with a 68-0 win over Rock Hills, while Blue Valley picked up their first win of the season taking down Wetmore 60-14. The Wildcats enter tonight on a 28-game win streak and on the season have given up just six total points. The Rams meanwhile are looking to build on what was a strong performance last week giving up just 227 total yards of offense, while also forcing seven turnovers.

The Wildcats took last season’s meeting 62-0 leading 48-0 after the first quarter.

Doniphan West (0-3) at Onaga (0-3)

It’s a battle of winless teams tonight for a couple teams that have struggled to start the year.  Doniphan West in their first year of 8-man football, and with a new Coach, and faced the toughest schedule in the state in 8-man and after falling to #1 ranked Hanover, the Mustangs dropped a game at Frankfort 54-6 last week.  D-West has scored in every game this year and is the only team to put points up against Hanover. 

Onaga is looking to bounce back after a tough loss to state-ranked Axtell last week 48-0. The Buffaloes have struggled defensively on the season giving up over 51 points per game this season, while offensively averaging just 18 points per contest.

The Mustangs took the last meeting between the two schools back in 2015 32-6, holding the Buffaloes scoreless in the second half.

Frankfort (3-0) at Wetmore (1-2)

The Wildcats moved to 3-0 on the year with a 54-6 win over Doniphan West last week. Garret Dalinghaus had a huge game on both sides of the ball as on offense he rushed for 92 yards and two touchdowns, while defensively he recorded 11 tackles, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and a sack. The Wildcats are averaging over 56 points per game and have recorded more than five special teams touchdowns on the season.

Wetmore is looking to bounce back after what was a disappointing week three loss to Blue Valley, 60-14. The Cardinals turned the football over seven times in the contest and racked up seven penalties with just over 220 yards of total offense. The Cardinals need to sure up their defense which is giving up over 44 points per game, while the offense is looking to improve upon their 19 points per game average.

The Wildcats took last season’s meeting 78-38, scoring 36 points in the second quarter to take control.

Pike Valley (2-1) at Axtell (3-0)

The Eagles continued their torrid start to the season last week with another blowout win, this time taking down Onaga 48-0. Quinn Buessing had another big game throwing for 195 yards and five touchdowns, while Hunter Koch had 143 yards receiving and three scores. Buessing is currently eighth in the state in passing with 672 yards, while Koch is third throughout all classes with 432 yards receiving. Pike Valley is coming off a 5-0 win over Southern Cloud last week, averaging just 173 yards per game on the ground without completing a pass on the season.

Clifton-Clyde (3-0) at Hill City (2-1)

The Eagles are off to a 3-0 start to the year after another dominating victory last week taking down Wilson on the road 62-12. Clifton-Clyde hasn’t played that tough of a schedule early, but will surely be tested this week by a Ringnecks team that is averaging over 59 points per game. The Eagles are no slouch offensively themselves averaging 57 points per contest, rushing for 285 yards a game led by Drake Steinbrock who has compiled 259 yards on the ground and three touchdowns.

Valley Falls (1-2) at Lebo (2-1)

Too many turnovers and a roster of less than 14 healthy athletes has led to consecutive losses for Valley Falls after an opening week OT victory against Onaga.  The Dragons want to run the football, but have struggled up front and scored just six points in each of the last two games against very good and state ranked Clifton Clyde and Frankfort teams.  Valley now faces a 2-1 Lebo squad that has shutout their last two foes 48-0 and 46-0, respectively.  Lebo quarterback Devan McEwen was 7-9 for 170 yards and four touchdowns last week and also have a hand in five two-point-conversions.     

Atchison (1-2) at KC Harmon (0-3)

The Redman are coming off a tough loss on homecoming last week 56-28 to Piper, who is one of the top ranked teams in 4A. Atchison did have over 400 yards of total offense, but the Redman gave up over 615 yards of offense to the Pirates including 457 yards on the ground. Sercy Duncan had a huge game rushing for 77 yards, recording 130 yards receiving and two scroes, while also throwing a 58-yard touchdown to Garyeon Simpson.

Atchison took last season’s meeting with Harmon 50-0, holding the Hawks to negative seven yards rushing in the contest.


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