Sunday, 25 July 2021
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Friday Night Fever: Preview of All Week Two Area High School Football Matchups
By Jonny Kane and Justin Fluke
Copyright: MSC Sports

Week one of the high school football season did not disappoint in Northeast Kansas as there were some dominate victories, close game down to the wire and some surprises.  A full preview of all the week two matchups involving area teams is below to get you ready for another week of football. 

Jonny Kane, Justin Fluke and Jake Spalding also give their picks for the week.

Week Two Games to be Broadcast

103.9 KNZA and Sabetha Channel – Riverside at Sabetha

92.1 KMZA – Axtell vs. Cornerstone

KAIR 93.7 FM – MH-MA at Oskaloosa

Holton Channel – Holton at Chapman

2020 Pick Record

Jonny: 13-4 (76%)
Justin: 12-5 (71%)
Jake: 11-6 (65%)

Hiawatha (1-0) at Perry Lecompton (1-0)

Both Big 7 teams are coming off impressive week one wins as Hiawatha pitched their first shutout since the 2015 opener and trumped Troy 23-0 and Perry Lecompton jumped to a 41-0 halftime lead and only allowed a kickoff return score in blasting rival Jeff West 54-6.

Perry Lecompton is ranked #2 in the state following their state runner up campaign and with virtually all their starters returning, looked like they picked up where they left off with a star-studded senior class. Billy Welch completed 9-11 passes for 264 yards and four touchdowns and ran for a TD while Thad Metcalfe scored three touchdowns on just 12 carries while racking up 181 yards.  Besides that, senior duo, four other seniors caught a pass including two touchdowns for Cadon Quinlan and one each for Parker Stone and Dawson Williams.

The Hiawatha defense will be test but did pick of four passes last week while Alex Rockey passed for 117 yards and ran for 52 more with a couple touchdowns. Trent Kolb caught nine of the 10 receptions for 99 yards against Troy and Cody Nevels added a late 70-yard TD run on a busted play. 

These two teams have not met the last two years, but Perry has won four straight in the series including a pair of shutouts between 2014-2017.

Jonny’s Pick: Perry Lecompton
Justin’s Pick: Perry Lecompton
Jake’s Pick: Perry Lecompton

Riverside (1-0) at Sabetha (0-1) on 103.9 KNZA and Sabetha Channel

Riverside is 0-8 against Sabetha and has been beaten by the Bluejays by an average score of 55-3 the last four years. Yet, it’s the Cyclones that come into week two with a win under their belt and full of confidence following a 6-3 breakout season last year.

Riverside scored 28 points in the second quarter and defeated Oskaloosa 50-22. Returning quarterback Kobe Davis passed for 202 yards and Riverside ran for 346 yards as a team led by Charlie Grable with more than 130. The Cyclones will have to cut down on mistakes and turnovers against a disciplined Sabetha run team that aims to control the clock. 

The Jays rallied from 20-7 deficit at home last week to take a 21-20 lead over Chapman, but ultimately came up just short in a 34-29 loss with a couple uncharacteristic turnovers themselves. Michael Gugelman ran for two touchdowns while Kaden Dillon ran for another and passed a TD strike to Drew Schmelzle. In the 22 starting positions, Sabetha has only one non-senior starter. The Bluejays celebrate homecoming and hope to limit big plays on defense in their Big 7 League opener.   

Jonny’s Pick: Riverside
Justin’s Pick: Sabetha
Jake’s Pick: Riverside

Nemaha Central (0-1) at Eudora (1-0)

Nemaha Central is looking to bounce back after a devastating and controversial week one loss to Holton 15-13 where the Thunder fell on the final play of the game on a 20-yard field goal by the Wildcats. Nemaha had blocked the Wildcats potential game-winner with 10 seconds left, but the Thunder had players celebrate too early which caused an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty giving Holton the second chance to win the game. Zac Kramer threw for 191 yards and two touchdowns for the Thunder while Tyler Gerety caught four passes for 122 yards and a touchdown.

The task does not get any easier this week for the Thunder as they travel to Eudora to take on the Cardinals in place of Royal Valley who is still under a team quarantine. Eudora is off to a 1-0 start to the season after an impressive 35-6 win over Baldwin last week. The Cardinals finished 3-6 a year ago and have not finished above .500 since the 2015 season.

Jonny’s Pick: Eudora
Justin’s Pick: Eudora
Jake’s Pick: Eudora

Holton (1-0) at Chapman (1-0) on Holton Channel

Number four ranked Holton won a battle of ranked teams and had quite the ending last week in a 15-13 victory at defending 2A Champ, Nemaha Central. The Wildcats thought they had scored on a rushing play in the final minute, and one the next play had a penalty, which led to a field goal try.  The kick was blocked for the third time on the night, but the Thunder were flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after a player took his helmet off on the field with five seconds remaining in the game. Holton then made the kick after the penalty for the win.  Powerful seniors Konnor Tannahill and Canon Karn rushed for more than 200 yards to lead a strong rushing attack, despite the Wildcats losing one of their top linemen to injury. Holton is 13-2 against NCKL teams in the last decade but no matchups with Chapman since 2003.

Chapman meets their second Big 7 League opponent after getting a road win at Sabetha 34-29 last week. Trevor Erickson is a super senior signal caller that ran a kickoff back for a score last week and accounted for four other rushing scores and 125 yards on the ground and 119 in the air. The Figthing Irish have high expectations in 2020 despite posting more than two wins only one time in the previous four years.

Jonny’s Pick: Holton
Justin’s Pick: Holton
Jake’s Pick: Holton

Clay Center (1-0) at Jeff West (0-1)

Another Big 7 versus NCKL matchup in Meriden where the Tigers try to bounce back from a 54-6 loss against rival, Perry Lecompton. Jeff West managed only 50 yards of total offense and only scored on a 75-yard kickoff return by Carson Brading. JW also lost top lineman Danny Saili to a knee injury and have a couple other key senior starters banged up that may miss this game.

Clay Center racked up more than 450 yards in a 57-0 rout of Abilene. Logan Mullin (149 yards), Keegan McDonald (128 yards) and Blake Frederick (100 yards) combined for seven rushing touchdowns. The Tigers are looking to start a season 2-0 for the first time since 2013. It has been much longer than that since these teams met on the football field.  

Jonny’s Pick: Clay Center
Justin’s Pick: Clay Center
Jake’s Pick: Clay Center

ACCHS (1-0) at Jackson Heights (0-0) on Monday at 7 p.m. on 103.9 KNZA

ACCHS was dominant in week one blowing out Horton 42-0 behind over 400 yards rushing including 246 total yards from quarterback Kieran Courter who accounted for four total touchdowns. Coltin Myers also ran for 123 yards on just seven carries with two touchdowns while the Tiger defense recorded five tackles for loss and two interceptions in week one.

The Cobras had to spend 14 days in quarantine after just three days of practice but have been back at it for a couple week.  They are elgible to play a game on Monday, and that will indeed happen. Following P-Ridge covid case and not being able to play ACCHS this week, the Tigers agreed to battle the Cobras in a varsity week two game. This will allow Heights to get a game in before a week three matchup with Centralia.  The Cobras have some returning offensive lineman from their 9-3 season last year and will rely on returning talent like Jason Bosley, Dylan Thompson, and Grant Amon to led wishbone the rushing attack.   Jackson Heights over ACCHS.

Jonny’s Pick: Jackson Heights
Justin’s Pick: Jackson Heights
Jake’s Pick: Jackson Heights

Maur Hill-Mount Academy (1-0) at Oskaloosa (0-1) on KAIR 93.7 FM

Oskaloosa is looking to bounce back after a tough week one which saw the Bears go up against Riverside in place of Jackson Heights and falling 50-22. The Bears turned the ball over four times in the contest while Chord Perry tossed two touchdowns but three interceptions. Kyan Blaufielder also recorded a 20-yard fumble return for a touchdown as the Bears were outscored 28-8 in the second quarter.

Maur Hill-Mount Academy started 2020 clicking on all cylinders and cruised to a 47-12 win over McLouth after leading 34-0 at halftime. First-year quarterback Drew Caudle accounted for three total touchdowns in the win while Andrew Schwinn ran for 215 yards and three touchdowns. The Ravens have won the last two meetings with Oskaloosa by a combined score of 102-0 including a 54-0-win last season.

Jonny’s Pick: MH-MA
Justin’s Pick: MH-MA
Jake’s Pick: MH-MA

Horton (0-1) at St. Mary’s (0-1)

Despite moving the ball, Horton could not find the endzone last week in a 42-0 loss against ACCHS. Trey Lockwood at QB and new runningback Jaiden Oswald helped the Charger offense rack up more than 200 yards, but they had too many mistakes to finish drives and produce points. Horton was scheduled to play Jackson Heights in week two, but the Cobras don't have enough practices in to play a game this Friday. 

So, Horton picked up St. Mary's, who was open while Silver Lake misses a second week because of Covid to start the season.  This game will be played on the new turf and stadium at St. Mary's where the Bears lost to Riley County 47-8 in week one after trailing 47-0 entering the fourth quarter.

Jonny’s Pick: St. Mary’s
Justin’s Pick: St. Mary’s
Jake’s Pick: St. Mary’s

Bishop Ward (0-1) at McLouth (0-1)

McLouth is looking to bounce back after a tough loss to Maur Hill-Mount Academy in week one where the Ravens ran for 330 yards and five touchdowns. The Bulldogs trailed 34-0 at halftime and got a pair of late touchdowns from Matt Kuglin which included a 9-yard passing score. McLouth turned the ball over twice and allowed MH-MA’s quarterback Drew Caudle to complete all seven of his passing attempts for 103 yards and two touchdowns.

The Bulldogs though will have a chance to rebound against a Bishop Ward team that has not won a game since week eight of the 2013 season which includes a 56-game losing streak. The Cylones opened the season last week with a 22-7 loss to Wright City, Mo where they led 7-0 after the first quarter but were outscored 14-0 in the second and 8-0 in the fourth.

Tonight, marks the first meeting between Bishop Ward and McLouth in a 3A vs. 2A matchup.

Jonny’s Pick: McLouth
Justin’s Pick: McLouth
Jake’s Pick: McLouth

Jeff County North (1-0) at Valley Heights (1-0)

Jeff County North had a strong start to the 2020 season last week as the Chargers blanked Pleasant Ridge in both the second and fourth quarters to pick up a 42-14 runaway victory. The Chargers started slow and led just 14-6 at the half and Pleasant Ridge even tied the game in the third quarter but JCN got two late scores at the end of the third quarter and two more in the fourth to pull away. Landon Gutchensritter ran for two touchdowns while Blake Fowler threw three touchdowns including two to Emmitt Jobbins and one to Ryan Feldkamp.

Valley Heights meanwhile had perhaps the most impressive win in week one as the Mustangs went on the road to 3A Marysville and came away with a 32-12 victory. Valley Heights jumped out to a 14-0 lead after one quarter and blanked Marysville in the first and fourth quarters. Jake Yungeberg ran for two touchdowns while Cameron Beardsley threw two more including a 62-yard score to Jackson O’Toole.

It is a rematch of last season’s week nine game where the Chargers went toe to toe with Valley Heights throughout until the Mustangs pulled away late for a 60-34 victory.

Jonny’s Pick: Valley Heights
Justin’s Pick: Valley Heights
Jake’s Pick: Valley Heights

Troy (0-1) at Centralia (0-1)

Troy was simply happy to be able to play last week, despite having four of their players quarantined and two others injured which led to three players switching to lineman jerseys in a 23-0 loss at Hiawatha. The Trojans had some drops, including potential touchdown catches and threw four interceptions while also muffing a punt return. Troy had negative rushing yards with a makeshift line, but Cam Anderson did complete 23 of 38 passes for 215 yards and looks to build on that effort this week in their Twin Valley League showdown with the defending state 1A champs. 

Centralia is looking to forget about what was a miserable week one following a 42-6 loss to 2A No. 1-ranked Rossville. Rossville led 7-0 after the first quarter and took control with a 21-6 second. The Panthers turned the ball over three time while Centralia's only touchdown came on an Ethan McNally to Presley Bowers pass. Ian Haverkamp ran for 60 yards and threw for 75 as the Panthers had just 250 yards of total offense.

Jonny’s Pick: Centralia
Justin’s Pick: Centralia
Jake’s Pick: Centralia

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

Wetmore played tough in week one but turned the ball over twice and gave up 210 rushing yards to Valley Falls in a 40-20 loss. The Cardinals led 14-12 after the first quarter but were outscored 22-0 in the second which was the difference. Dierk Hanzlicek did throw two touchdowns and ran for another while Kael McQueen totaled over 150 yards of total offense.

Just like Wetmore the Frankfort Wildcats are looking to bounce back after a heart-breaking 44-36 to Washington County last week. The Wildcats trailed 24-6 before tying the game at 36, but Washington County got a pick-six with 30 seconds left to win it. Ethan Armstrong recorded three scores for Frankfort while Gavin Cornelison added two throwing for 170 yards and a touchdown. Caden Dalinghaus caught three passes for 76 yards while Aiden Gerstner added 60 yards receiving and one score.

Frankfort has won the last five meetings against Wetmore including a 50-0 win last season and outscoring the Cardinals 106-0 the last two meetings.

Jonny’s Pick: Frankfort
Justin’s Pick: Frankfort
Jake’s Pick: Frankfort

Hanover (1-0) at Onaga (0-1)

Hanover was dominant in their season opener beating Pike Valley 46-0 in a game that was ended at halftime. The Wildcats have won their season opener over Pike Valley for three consecutive seasons and each game by over 44 points. Hanover has lost just twice since 2015 with both losses coming to Axtell last season.

Onaga on the other hand is looking to rebound after a tough week one loss to an exceptionally good Clifton-Clyde team by a 68-18 final. The Buffaloes did not turn the ball over in the game but had no answer for the Eagles who scored 32 points in the first quarter and 30 in the second. Zac Fisher threw for 126 yards and two touchdowns in the loss while he also ran for 48 yards and a score.

Hanover has dominated the last two meetings with the Buffaloes winning both matchups by over 45 points.

Jonny’s Pick: Hanover
Justin’s Pick: Hanover
Jake’s Pick: Hanover

Cornerstone (1-1) at Axtell (1-0) on 92.1 KMZA

In another game that was made because of COVID-19 the Axtell Eagles are set to host the Cornerstone Saints after Blue Valley was shut down last week due to a positive test.

Axtell had a strong showing in the opening game of the season going on the road and blowing out Wheatland/Grinnell fairly easily 58-18. Sophomore quarterback Isaac Detweiler was 22 of 29 passing with 296 yards, 6 TD's and zero INT's while senior Mitchell Buessing had 11 catches, 224 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions and a 79-yard pick six. Despite the win Axtell was dealt with a big loss as stud lineman Kolby Talbot suffered a torn ACL and will unfortunately be done for the rest of the season.

The Eagles will welcome to town the Cornerstone Saints who are off to a 1-1 start to the year with a win over a school out of Joplin but a loss last week to Saint Mary’s Academy 74-28. The Saints are led on the ground by Adam Maurer who recorded 132 yards on the ground with two touchdowns last week while Draven Webb added 114 yards and a score. Cornerstone is a run-oriented team that has thrown the ball just 20 times through the first two weeks.

Jonny’s Pick: Axtell
Justin’s Pick: Axtell
Jake’s Pick: Axtell

Little River (1-0) at Clifton-Clyde (1-0)

Clifton-Clyde, ranked fifth in 8-man DI, opened the season in a big way last week scoring early and often in a 68-18 beat down of Onaga. The Eagles now turn their attention to what will be one of the premier games around the state against No. 3-ranked Little River. Clifton-Clyde has not lost a regular season game since week seven of the 2017 season but will be playing Little River for the first time in the two school’s history.

Little River is 1-0 after a shutout 50-0 win over Peabody-Burns last week where they scored 36 points in the second quarter to end the game at halftime. Seniors Jayden Garrison and Graham Stephens combined for 75 yards passing and a pair of touchdowns while also combining for 124 rushing yards and four scores.

Jonny’s Pick: Clifton-Clyde
Justin’s Pick: Clifton-Clyde
Jake’s Pick: Little River

Bishop Leblond (0-2) at Doniphan West (0-1)

Doniphan West plays a good Missouri 8-man opponent for the second straight week and is hoping to play a more complete game. The Mustangs jumped on Worth County to the tune of a 30-6 halftime lead last week but ended up losing 54-42. One key was losing the turnover battle 3-0. On a positive note, Michael Lackey had 11 tackles on defense and Trent Spiker had 166 yards and 18 rushes while adding 142 yards on 6-19 passing with six total touchdowns. 

Bishop Leblond is 0-2 but has lost to a pair of ranked teams to start their season under a new head coach in Chuck Davis. Landon Gardner is a sophomore QB that is already 22-50 for 308 yards passing the football. This game is homecoming and senior night for Doniphan West.

Jonny’s Pick: Bishop Leblond
Justin’s Pick: Bishop Leblond
Jake’s Pick: Doniphan West

Bennington (1-0) at Washington County (1-0)

Washington County pulled off what some believe was an upset in week one taking down Frankfort 44-36 getting an interception return for a touchdown by Drew Buhrman with 30 seconds left to win it which was his second interception of the night. Buhrman was a stud all night long for the Tigers as he threw for 105 yards and a score while rushing 31 times for 232 yards and four touchdowns.

Washington County will now face off with Bennington who also had a thrilling week one win taking down Wakefield 34-30. The Bulldogs are coming off a 6-3 season where they won six games and reached the second round of the 8-man DI playoffs.

Jonny’s Pick: Washington County
Justin’s Pick: Washington County
Jake’s Pick: Washington County

Pretty Prairie (0-1) at Valley Falls (1-0) at 6 p.m.

Despite having just 13 kids for game one, Valley Falls was impressive in a 40-20 win at Wetmore last week. Now, the Dragon roster is expanding to 18 athletes. Samuel Drinkard had a 50-yard rushing touchdown (128 total yds) and a 56-yard pick-six while new quarterback Dylan Cervantez accounted for three scores and Cade Norris added 95 yards in a balanced attack. The Dragons were supposed to play Centre-Lost Springs, but they had to forfeit because of a lack of players. Fortunately, Valley Falls was able to pick up a game with Pretty Prairie who will make the 211-mile drive to Jefferson County. 

The Bulldogs lost 48-14 to Hutchinson Central Christian in their season opener and had their scheduled game against St. John cancelled.

Jonny’s Pick: Valley Falls
Justin’s Pick: Valley Falls
Jake’s Pick: Valley Falls

Marysville (0-1) at Wamego (0-1)

Marysville is looking to bounce back after a disappointing week one loss to 1A Valley Heights 32-12 where the Mustangs held the Bulldogs to six points in both the second and third quarters. Ayden Price threw for 122 yards and a touchdown in the loss while Patrick Smith rushed for 52 yards and a score. Ben Kirkland was the only effective receiver for the Bulldogs as he finished with 99 yards and a touchdown.

Wamego meanwhile is hungry to bounce back after a tough 14-7 loss to Concordia who is just outside of the rankings in Class 3A. The Red Raiders went 6-3 a year ago and have lost two straight games to Marysville by seven points or less.

Jonny’s Pick: Wamego
Justin’s Pick: Wamego
Jake’s Pick: Wamego

Emporia (0-1) at Atchison (0-1)

In another schedule change Atchison is set to welcome Emporia to town after Highland Park had to cancel last week. The Redmen opened the season last week at Lafayette and got an opening touchdown from Xavier Cushinberry before Lafayette scored four unanswered touchdowns to win 28-7.

 Atchison now has a tough task tonight facing off against 5A Emporia who is looking to bounce back after a 47-7 loss to a very good Hayden team last week. The Spartan turned the ball over twice on interceptions last week but did get 142 rushing yards from Camden Kirmer.

Empora and Atchison haven’t played since the 70’s.

Jonny’s Pick: Emporia
Justin’s Pick: Emporia
Jake’s Pick: Emporia

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Hiawatha, KS 66434
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