Monday, 24 June 2019
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Friday Night Fever - Preview of All Week Eight High School Football Matchups
By Jonny Kane
Copyright: MSC Sports

It’s hard to believe that the final week of the high school football regular season is here. Teams have been fighting all season long to put themselves in position to be successful in the new playoff format and have just one final chance to solidify their spot before the playoffs get underway next week.

Games to be Broadcast

Holton at Wamego - 103.9 KNZA
Holton at Wamego – Holton Channel
Sabetha at Royal Valley  - Sabetha Channel
Maur Hill-Mount Academy at Nemaha Central  – 92.1 KMZA
Jeff County North at Troy – KAIR 93.7 FM

Bishop Ward (0-7) at Perry Lecompton (5-2) in 3A District 3

Perry Lecompton was a 35-33 setback at Sabetha away from being undefeated until they were shutout at Hayden last week 20-0.  Senior star Dalton Kellum has accounted for more than 1,500 yards of offense this season but managed only 60 total last week.  The Kaws are still posting an average of 345 yards per game and look to bounce back against a team that doesn’t have a win in the last five years. Yet, despite a 2-79 record dating back to 2009, Bishop Ward beat Perry their last meeting in 2009, by a 25-15 score.          

Jeff West (5-2) at Santa Fe Trail (4-3) in 3A District 3

Both teams are 2-2 in District play and battling for the third spot in District Three.  Jeff West snapped a two-game slide by whipping Wellsville 41-6 last week as Quinn Neuenswander made his first start at quarterback in a couple years, filing in for the injured Cade Ross, and accounted for five touchdowns in the win.  The junior, Neuenswander, now has more than 200 yards rushing and passing to go along with more than 300 yards receiving and 13 total touchdowns this season.   Pene Saili leads the Tigers defense that is allowing just 13 points per game with more than 10 tackles per game.

Santa Fe Trail has similar losses to Hayden and Perry Lecompton, as well as a season opening 20-19 setback against Prairie View.  The Chargers average 325 yards per game, 245 of which comes via the ground game and 124 of that comes from senior runningback, Will Herren.  Herren has 17 rushing touchdowns, and leads a defense along with Caleb Jeanneret that is surrendering only 14 points per outing. 

SFT beat Jeff West 18-0 a year ago and has won the matchup four years in a row, including a couple playoff contests.  The winner of this game likely goes to Marysville instead of Sabetha in week nine to open the post-season.   

Sabetha (7-0) at Royal Valley  (2-5) in 3A District 4 on Sabetha Channel

The defending state 3A Champs seem to be peaking after posting their second straight shutout and third of the year in a dominating 56-0 spanking.  The Bluejays have outscored their opponents by a scoring average of 42-8 this year and are healthy and putting it together in all facets of the game.  They scored plenty on offense last week but also had Joel Hackney return a blocked punt for a touchdown and kicking star, Braeden Cox return an interception 72 yards for a score.  Gabe Garber has led the Jays balanced 383 yards per game output with 674 yards rushing, but even more impressive, has been his 25-39 accuracy passing while accounting for another 458 yards and 18 total touchdowns.   Joe Gruber has gone over 100 yards rushing in three of the last four outings.

Royal Valley is coming off their second in of the season a 28-12 triumph at Hiawatha that showcased 341 rushing yards and zero turnovers.  The Panthers got 219 yards on the ground from Chance Lyming, while fellow junior, Gavin Cumpton added 106.  Lyming now has 735 yards on the ground this year and the Panther defense played their best game of the season.  In a battle of two predominantly rushing attacks, Royal Valley has lost to Sabetha the last couple seasons by a combined 72-6 score. 

Holton (3-4) at Wamego (4-3) in 3A District 4 on the Holton Channel/KNZA 103.9 FM

Holton had a three-game win steak halted by Marysville in a 6-0 defensive struggle last week at home, the second loss this season for the Cats by a single score.  The Wildcats had the ball in the redzone a few times, but could never punch it in while the defense played great allowing just one 22 yard run for a score in the third period.  Zane Moylan returned at QB for Holton, who is averaging about 265 yards per game rushing, but still more than 100 yards shy of their average the past nine years.  Trey Wright and Konnor Tannahill both have accumulated more than 400 yards on the ground and Kolby Roush has emerged as the tackle leader on defense.

Wamego is a team of speed and it has shown going 4-0 playing on turf this year while sporting an 0-3 record on grass.  The quarterback/running back combination of Ty Cooper and Taybor Vetter has produced over 1,500 yards rushing while Cooper has also thrown for more than 600 yards and both athletes have had a huge impact in the return game with a trio of special teams touchdowns and 22 total trips to pay-dirt.  The Red Raiders are led by first-year coach, Weston Moody, who has a roster of more than 70 kids with 20 different starters in a full platoon system that has only one player (Cooper) starting on both sides of the ball.        

Holton has dominated the last five meetings against Wamego, including a 56-6 score in their last meeting in 2013.  Both teams are 2-2 in District Four after a six-point loss to Marysville and the winner of this game goes to Perry Lecompton instead of Hayden for week nine to begin the playoffs.   

Hiawatha (1-6) at Marysville (5-2) in 3A District 4

Hiawatha is playing for pride the next two games and Marysville has already locked up a second place finish and week nine home game.  The Redhawks were 0-4 on fourth down and stalled a few times inside the Royal Valley 40-yard-line in a 28-12 home loss last week while Marysville eeked out a 6-0 win at Holton.  Atreyau Hornbeak had a 22-yard touchdown run in the third quarter that stood up for the defending state runner-up Bulldogs. 

These teams played four straight times from 2004-2007 with Marysville winning three of those games, including a 42-0 final their last meeting in 2007. 

Riverside (2-5) at Pleasant Ridge (4-3) in 2A District 3

The third seed in 2A district three is on the line Friday night as the Cyclones and Rams each enter the contest 2-2 in district play. The Rams are looking to bounce back after suffering their second loss in their last three games last week falling to Maur Hill-Mount Academy in thriller 38-22. Pleasant Ridge dominated a majority of the first half and led at halftime, but the Ravens were able to score 20 points in the third quarter to eventually take control. Quarterback Colton Comer had another solid outing combining for 131 total yards and three touchdowns, but the Pleasant Ridge offense finished with just 217 total yards in the contest and averaged less than three yards per carry and less than 10 yards through the air.

Riverside got their second win of the season and posted their first shutout in a 36-0 victory against Horton last week.  The Cyclones had Bradley Libel pass for a touchdown while running 11 times for 96 yards and three more scores in his best game of the season. 

Maur Hill-Mount Academy (6-1) at Nemaha Central (5-2) in 2A District 3 on 92.1 KMZA

A district title is on the line in Seneca as the Ravens and Thunder meet up with each team on a current hot streak. The Ravens enter tonight on a current four game win streak since their week three loss to Jackson Heights, and are coming off a hard-fought 38-22 win over Pleasant Ridge last week. The Ravens trailed the entirety of the first half falling behind 14-12 at halftime, but scored 20 points in the fourth quarter to take control with the momentum changer coming on a 96-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jack Caudle to wideout Tate Vowels. Caudle finished with 207 yards through the air with two touchdowns and two picks, while Vowels hauled in six receptions for 173 yards and a score. Andrew Schwinn also scored twice on the ground, as the Ravens enter with an offense that is averaging over 36 points per game.

Nemaha Central is in the midst of a current four game win streak as well since a week three loss to Holton, and are coming off a 50-0 beat down last week of ACCHS. Matt Baumgartner had another big game earning him athlete of the week, as the senior tight end hauled in four catches for 153 yards and three touchdowns giving him six touchdown receptions the last two weeks. Noe Gauna also ran for 71 yards and a touchdown, while sophomore Tyler Gerety also compiked 67 yards on the ground with a score. Gauna leads the team on the ground with 307 yards and five touchdowns, while through the air Dalton Schmelzle leads the way with 1138 yards passing and 16 touchdowns to go along with just four interceptions with two of them coming in last week’s win.

Tonight marks the first meeting between the two schools since Nemaha Valley consolidated with Baileyville in 2014, and the first meeting between the Ravens and Nemaha since the early 2000’s.

ACCHS (1-6) at Horton (0-7) in 2A District 3

The Tigers and Chargers have nothing but pride to play for Friday night as both teams will miss out on the playoffs with 0-4 records in district play as the bottom two teams off the district. The Tigers are looking to snap what is a current six game losing streak since a week one win over Oskaloosa, and are coming off a 50-0 loss to Nemaha Central. The Tigers did force two turnovers on defense picking off two passes, but couldn’t get anything going offensively struggling to finish off drives. Horton managed less than 80 total yards of offense last week and was shutout for the third time this season. 

Reunited by the Northeast Kansas League, these rival teams are facing off on the football field for the first time since 2013, when ACCHS stopped a four-game losing streak to the Chargers with a 32-8 win. 

McLouth (4-3) at Osage City (6-1) in 2A District 2

The second spot in district two is on the line as the Bulldogs and Osage City enter the contest with identical 3-1 records. McLouth picked up their third consecutive victory last week taking down Central Heights 54-14, and have scored over 50 points in their last two games. The Bulldogs are averaging nearly 30 points per game, but are going up against an Osage City defense that is giving up less than 13 points per contest.

Valley Heights (5-2) at Centralia (5-2) in 1A District 4

A TVL championship and a district title is on the line tonight in Centralia as the Mustangs and Panthers each enter 5-2 on the season and 2-0 in district play. Valley Heights enters tonight off two consecutive blowout victories with the latest coming in a 38-0 shutout of Northern Heights. Trey Martin continued to make an impact in just his second game of the season finishing with four total touchdowns, with one coming on the ground and three receiving. The Mustangs ran for over 360 yards in the week six win over Wabaunsee, but with the addition of Martin head coach Tony Trimble now has options if he needs to drop back and throw the ball.

Centralia is riding one of the hottest streaks around the area right now as the Panthers are on a current five-game win streak after a 52-14 beat down of Wabaunsee last week. Kamble Haverkamp had a monster game with 230 rushing yards and four touchdowns on just 11 carries, while Devon Feldkamp put together another solid outing rushing for 127 yards and a score. With last week’s big game Haverkamp is now over 1,000 yards rushing on the season with 13 touchdowns, while he also has 390 passing yards and six touchdowns on the year.

Centralia took last season’s week eight game in a thriller 30-22, stopping the Mustangs inside the 10 yard line with under a minute to play.

Jeff County North (2-5) at Troy (4-3) in 1A District 3 on KAIR 93.7 FM

Former Delaware Valley League rivals square off in a game that doesn’t mean much for District standings as Troy is all but locked into the number two seed and JCN is likely to end up fourth with a week nine trip to face the winner of tonight’s Centralia/Valley Heights TVL showdown. 

Troy snapped a tough three-game losing streak, including a pair of losses by one-point, with a 35-0 win at Lyndon last week as the Trojan defense pitched their second shutout of the year and forced seven turnovers.  The Kipp to Reid Jasper combo hooked up for three more touchdowns as the Trojans capitalized on some short fields and got a defensive score by Cale Hamilon. 

Jeff County North is looking to bounce back after suffering their third straight loss last week, falling to Jackson Heights on the road 38-8. The Chargers couldn’t find a way to stop the rushing attack of the Cobras, as they allowed four different guys to find the end zone.

Lyndon (3-4) at Jackson Heights (6-1) in 1A District 3

Speaking of defense, Jackson Heights has allowed the third fewest points in the state in Class 1A and nearly had a fourth shutout this season until JCN scored on the final play last week in a 38-8 final that secured the Cobras third straight NEKL Title.  Five different backs scored a touchdown for Jackson Heights and Conlon Bruggeman and Cooper Williams each ran for more than 100 yards again.  Lyndon has now been shutout three games this fall and will play Jackson Heights for the first time in 15 years tonight.   

Maranatha (5-2) at Valley Falls (1-6) in 8-man DI District 3

It’s senior night for Valley Falls who has lost six straight games and all by 45 points or more.  The lone senior for the Dragons is lineman Garrett Steinlicht.  Valley Falls is coming off a 68-18 loss at Chase County. 

Clifton-Clyde (7-0) at Lincoln (2-5) in 8-man D1 District 7

The only thing on the line for the Eagles tonight is their undefeated record after wrapping up a district title last week in a 52-6 win over Washington County. The Eagles led 38-6 at halftime thanks to a couple of touchdowns by Drake Steinbrock and Christian Seifert in the second quarter. Clifton-Clyde enters tonight as one of the five remaining unbeaten in the class, as the Eagles lead the class in points scored at over 56 per game and are second in points allowed per game allowing just six per contest.

Axtell (6-1) at Doniphan West (3-4) in 8-man D2 District 3

Doniphan West had won three straight games but fell at home to Blue Valley Randolph last week 36-12.  Cooper Jensen scored on a 25 yard run and a 20 yard pass but was dinged up in the game and did not finish the contest.  The Mustangs had some tough penalties they couldn’t overcome but will stay qualify for the playoffs as the fourth seed in District instead of Blue Valley since the Rams forfeited one of their District games. 

Axtell continued to roll along last week bouncing back from their lone loss to Hanover by going on the road and blowing out previously unbeaten Frankfort 76-28. Quinn Buessing was big once again completing 24 of 34 passes for 336 yards and five touchdowns, while J.J. Hart hauled in three touchdowns on the night. Hunter Koch also caught another touchdown pass to move his season total up to 23, as he stands just six touchdown receptions shy of the all-time state record for touchdown catches in a single season.

Frankfort (6-1) at Hanover (7-0) in 8-man D2 District 3

The Wildcats continued to roll right along last week and have a chance to wrap up a district title with a win after blowing by Wetmore last week 52-6. The Wildcats led 38-6 at halftime, as Colin Jueneman rushed for a touchdown, caught a touchdown and ran a kickoff back for a score. Jacob Jueneman also accounted for four touchdowns in the win, as Hanover moved their current win streak to 32 straight victories.

Frankfort is looking to bounce back and forget about what was a disappointing showing against Axtell last week, as the Wildcats suffered their first loss of the season 76-28. Frankfort answered the Eagles score for score early on, but a couple of turnovers and missed opportunities allowed Axtell to take control. Carson Schreiner did catch two touchdowns and returned a kickoff for a score, as he now has five total return touchdowns on the season.

Wetmore (1-6) at Onaga (1-6) in 8-man D2 District 3

The Cardinals and Buffaloes are each looking to end district play on a high note as both teams have struggled so far on the season with 1-6 records. Wetmore is looking to move on and build off last weeks 52-6 loss to No. 1-ranked Hanover as the Cardinals did play well, not turning the football and playing into the fourth quarter. Onaga meanwhile is coming off their first victory of the season, as the Buffaloes took down Tescott last week 48-0. The Cardinals and Buffaloes played in a shootout last season with Wetmore winning 62-36, as Onaga finished with six turnovers in the contest after leading early.

©2019 MSC Sports
Hiawatha, KS 66434
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