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Local Sports News
Friday Night Fever: Preview of all Week Six Area High School Football Matchups
By Jonny Kane
Copyright: MSC Sports
10/08/2020

Five 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 continued last week for all area classes with each game becoming more meaningful as the season moves on. Below you can find a preview on each game along with predictions from Jonny Kane, Justin Fluke and Jake Spalding on each matchup.

2020 Pick Records

Jonny

Last week: 18-3
Overall: 84-14 (86%)

Justin

Last week: 19-2
Overall: 82-16 (84%)

Jake

Last week: 17-4
Overall: 77-21 (79%)

Games to be Broadcast

Olpe at Jackson Heights - 103.9 KNZA
Holton at Hiawatha - Holton Channel
Sabetha at Royal Valley - Sabetha Channel
Nemaha Central vs. Baldwin – 92.1 KMZA
Jeff County North vs. Wabaunsee – KAIR 93.7 FM

Class 3A

Osawatomie (0-5) at Perry Lecompton (5-0) District 3

Number two ranked and undefeated Perry Lecompton tries to stay healthy and sharp a week before their big district showdown with Topeka Hayden. The Kaws haven't missed a beat since losing all state quarterback Billy Welch to a season ending injury with Thad Metcalfe leading the dynamic and balanced offense. Metcalfe has shown he can throw the ball, tossing for another 182 yards last week on 9-14 accuracy. Shane Quinlan returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown and Perry led 19-0 in the first quarter before defeating Winfield 41-13 in a schedule changing non-district affair and enjoying a three-hour bus ride home. 

Metcalfe has run for 565 yards this year and Reichen Rush ran for over 100 again last week. The Kaws have a mean of 260 yards rushing and 180 passing per contest and the defense is surrendering a mere eight points an outing with Hayden Robb, Ryley Besler and Jaxson Folks leading the way with more than 45 tackles each in just five games.

Osawatomie is 0-5 and averages only 138 rush yards and 48 more on the ground per game. The Trojans have scored 28 total points this season and lost every game by at least four touchdowns. Jay Filipin has 363 yards running to lead the team that has committed 12 turnovers. These teams have not meet on the football field. 

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

Holton (4-1) at Hiawatha (1-4) District 4

Holton is down to just 20 active players after all their athletes that played in the JV game at Royal Valley on Monday this week found out Wednesday, they are in quarantined for the next two weeks. Despite being thin and without some depth, the Wildcats still have all their top talent and players and are coming off a 64-6 victory against Royal Valley last Friday. A game in which the 20 varsity players did not see action in the second half after building a 38-0 first quarter and 58-0 lead at intermission.

Kale Purcell and Matt Lierz each had a pair of touchdowns for Holton who averages 341 yards rushing per game. They are led by Canon Karn with 622, who only had two carries (54-yard TD) last week and also leads the Wildcats in tackles. The Cats also had two special teams returns for scores.

 Hiawatha has lost four straight after beating Troy to start the season. The Redhawks fell 45-13 at Jeff West last Friday although they led 13-7 in the first half. Ashton Rockey had a pick-six and Alex Rockey scored another TD for Hiawatha who has lost 18 straight against Holton dating back to a 2001 playoff game.   

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

Jeff West (2-3) at Rock Creek (3-1) District 4

Jeff West has won back to back games following an 0-3 start and more key injuries than any other team in the area. The Tigers beat Hiawatha 45-13 last week and Josh and Sam Broxterman led the offense to another good night with two scores each and the Tigers got a late pick-six from Carson Brading.  Josh Broxterman has also been a kicking weapon making all six PAT's and nailing a 34-yard field goal last week.

Jeff West will likely need to score touchdowns to keep up with the high-flying Mustangs as they travel to Rock Creek. RC is 3-1 after a 35-21 win at Sabetha as quarterback Charlie Killingsworth had another huge game with five total touchdowns and completed 10 passes for 167 yards and two TDs to Brooks Whaley.  Rock Creek is averaging 45 points per game this year with their only loss a 58-57 shootout to start the season against Class 2A # 1 ranked Rossville.  These teams have not met on the football field.

Jonny’s Pick: Rock Creek
Justin’s Pick: Rock Creek
Jake’s Pick:Rock Creek

Sabetha (2-3) at Royal Valley (0-3) District 4

Sabetha's loss to Rock Creek left the Bluejays at 0-2 in district play, however their final three opponents have combined for just three total wins this year. Sabetha had the only two turnovers of their game with the Mustangs last week and could never quite catch up despite two touchdowns from Drew Schmlezle, who continues to play multiple positions and again quarterbacked through most of the second half last week.

The Bluejays average 330 yards of offense per game even though their two starting runningbacks to start this season have been out with injuries. Schmelzle has 376 yards rushing, 113 receiving and a team high 49 tackles.  Kaden Dillon has thrown for 224 yards and Noah Nonnast has 190 receiving yards. The Jays defense however is allowing more than 28 points per outing.

Royal Valley has had a tough season after a team quarantine and missing the first two games of this year then losing three straight games by at least 30 points. Now, the Panthers have had multiple injuries as well as illness and other covid circumstances they led to practice with only 22 players this week.  Starting quarterback Cole Dressman was one of the latest injuries sophomore Murata may took over or senior Kenny Bell who has been a bright spot and scored the lone points last week for Royal Valley in their 64-6 setback at Holton. 

Sabetha has won four in a row and six of the last seven against Royal Valley including a 56-21 route a year ago.

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

Concordia (4-1) at Marysville (1-3) District 5

The top spot in district five is on the line as Marysville got their first win last week in dominant fashion over Council Grove and holds the top spot by points over Concordia who is 2-0 in district play.

The Bulldogs won 58-0 a week ago rushing for over 400 yards and eight total touchdowns on the ground while having two guys over the century mark in Patrick Smith and Jack Lott. Those two combined for five of the eight rushing scores while Ayden Price added 132 yards through the air.

Marysville now gets Concordia this week who has just a loss to Beloit on their schedule while winning 47-35 over Clay Center a week ago. The Panthers average over 270 yards on the ground per game and are led by Wyatt Trost who has over 500 yards rushing with seven touchdowns this season while Hunter Schroeder has added 420 yards and eight scores.

Marysville won this matchup a season ago 28-12 but graduated a strong senior class off that team.

Jonny’s Pick: Concordia
Justin’s Pick: Concordia
Jake’s Pick:Concordia

Class 2A

Silver Lake (3-0) at McLouth (0-5) District 3

McLouth is still searching for answers after what was a disappointing loss last week to Pleasant Ridge 54-0. The Bulldogs have not found the end zone the past two weeks and head coach Gary Freeman said last week his guys just simply did not come ready to play.

It certainly doesn’t get any easier this week as Silver Lake will come to town with three impressive victories to their credit including a 56-14 win over Mission Valley last week. The Eagles are ranked second in Class 2A right behind rival Rossville and enter this week with three guys over the century mark rushing led by Daigen Kruger who has over 300 yards on the ground with seven touchdowns this season.

Silver Lake has dominated this series all-time winning last season by a 69-0 final.

Jonny’s Pick: Silver Lake
Justin’s Pick: Silver Lake
Jake’s Pick: Silver Lake

Oskaloosa (0-5) at Mission Valley (3-2) District 3

Oskaloosa made it through their gauntlet portion of their schedule featuring Silver Lake and Rossville and look to bounce back after that 63-0 loss to the Bulldogs last week. The Bears had just five total starters against Rossville last week but should have at least three of those guys back for this matchup against Mission Valley.

The Vikings have had an up-and-down season to this point where they started 2-0 before losing two of their last three including a 56-14 loss to Silver Lake last week. Mission Valley trailed just 21-14 at halftime of that game last week but Silver Lake flexed their muscles in the second half to pull away. The Vikings run for nearly 200 yards per game and are led by Justice Dunbar who has run for 443 yards and five touchdowns this season.

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

Rossville (5-0) at Pleasant Ridge (1-2) District 3

In just their third game this season Pleasant Ridge got into the win column in a 54-0 rout of McLouth last week. The Rams new air attack under first-year head coach Logan Fritz finally got going while Pleasant Ridge took advantage of every Bulldog mistake.

The task this week will be the toughest of the season as the Rams face off against Rossville who has been dominant all season long including a 63-0 win over Oskaloosa last week. The Bulldogs ran for 228 yards and six touchdowns last week and continue to be led by Torrey Horak who has accounted for over 1,000 all-purpose yards through five games.

These two teams last played in the playoffs in 2018 where Rossville grinded out a 36-14 victory.

Jonny’s Pick: Rossville
Justin’s Pick: Rossville
Jake’s Pick: Rossville

Riverside (3-2) at ACCHS (2-3) District 4

Riverside lost a critical district game last week getting surprised at home in a 32-12 setback against Republic County. One of the touchdowns for the Cyclones came on a 99-yard fumble return by Todrick Duncan who has had a monster year and leads the team in tackles (56 stops) as a sophomore. Kobe Davis tossed a touchdown to Bray Davies, but the Cyclones could not stop the Buffaloe stampede rushing attack and get off the field.  Davis has thrown for 869 yards and 11 touchdowns this season while Charlie Grable has eclipsed 300 yards rushing.

After a 2-1 start ACCHS has gone in reverse the past two weeks and last week fell on the road at Maur Hill-Mount Academy 53-6. The Tigers got their lone score on a run by Kieran Courter, but they turned the football over twice that led directly to Raven scores. ACCHS has dealt with plenty of adversity the past couple weeks and now need a big win this week or their hopes of reaching the playoffs could get out of reach.

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

Baldwin (0-3) at Nemaha Central (3-2) Non-District on 92.1 KMZA 

Nemaha Central was scheduled to host Maur Hill-Mount Academy in what was likely going to determine the district four champion, but Wednesday the Ravens were placed in remote learning and all activities were halted. So, Thunder head coach Warren Seitz went to Twitter Thursday and found that Baldwin was also looking for an opponent this week so Nemaha Central will get their homecoming game tonight.

The Thunder are coming off a dominant 41-8 win over St. Mary’s where the run game continued to get going with Gage Palic putting together a couple of scores to lead the way. Zac Kramer continues to lead the way offensively for the Thunder as has run for 463 yards and eight touchdowns while throwing for 660 yards and four scores. Tyler Gerety has caught 21 passes from Kramer this season totaling 431 yards with three touchdowns.

Baldwin meanwhile is just simply happy to play as they have yet to compete in a district game in Class 3A and have not played since a 32-6 loss to Louisburg back on Sept. 18. The Bulldogs were scheduled to play Bishop Ward this week, but positive COVID cases caused that to be cancelled. Baldwin is 0-3 and has one common opponent with Nemaha Central in Eudora, whom the Bulldogs loss to in week one 35-6 while the Thunder beat the Cardinals 36-6.

Jonny’s Pick: Nemaha Central
Justin’s Pick: Nemaha Central
Jake’s Pick: Nemaha Central

Class 1A

Centralia (4-1) at Horton (0-5) District 2 – CANCELLED, COVID

Centralia was looking to potentially wrap up a district two title with a win on the road at Horton tonight, but Thursday afternoon Horton was placed under a team quarantine cancelling tonight’s game. Centralia has not picked up a new opponent and will use the week as a bye.

Jonny’s Pick: No Pick
Justin’s Pick: No Pick
Jake’s Pick: No Pick

Wabaunsee (2-3) at Jeff County North (3-2) District 2 on KAIR 93.7 FM

Jeff County North is looking to quickly get back on the field and forget about what was a miserable outing last week in a 46-6 loss to Centralia. The Chargers got their only score on a late touchdown run in the fourth quarter and were held to negative 13 rushing yards in the contest. This week JCN gets Wabaunsee who has lost two straight to Jackson Heights and Valley Heights including a 58-0 loss to the Mustangs last week. Wabaunsee has wins over Uniontown and Troy to their credit this season to go along with a 37-30 loss to Mission Valley in week one.

Jeff County North dominated this matchup a year ago 50-0 which was their second straight dominant win over Wabaunsee.

Jonny’s Pick: JCN
Justin’s Pick: JCN
Jake’s Pick: JCN

Troy (1-4) at Valley Heights (4-1) District 2

Following their first win of the year against Pleasanton, Troy played a great first half against Jackson Heights last week and had a 3-0 lead before trailing only 8-3 at halftime. However, the Cobras went back to their basic wishbone ground attack after losing their starting quarterback to an injury and dominated the Trojans in the second half of a 36-3 final. Cam Anderson is closing in on 1,000 yards passing this season and is expected to get his top weapon, Blaine Shellenberger, back from injury this week. Troy has had plenty of injuries and lost leading tackler Keaton Neuman last week while Brayden Hamilton stepped up and registered 12 take downs for the Trojans. 

After suffering their first loss of the year to Centralia two wees ago, Valley Heights got back on track last week with a 58-0 shut out of Wabaunsee. The Mustangs led 26-0 after the first quarter and forced four interceptions to go along with a fumble. It was a dominant defensive performance all the way around as the Mustangs gave up just 18 rushing yards and 97 yards total.

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

Olpe (5-0) at Jackson Heights (3-1) Non-District on 103.9 KNZA

Jackson Heights rattled of 36 straight points after a slow start at Troy and only led 8-3 at halftime last week when they also lost their dual threat starting quarterback, Jason Bosely to an injury. The Cobras went back to their staple wishbone attack and ran for 422 yards with Alex Browning breaking two long 50+ yard runs for scores and finishing with a career high 175 yards on the ground. Dylan Thompson added 100 yards and Brantley Dohl added 91.

Jackson Heights has a lone loss to Centralia entering their home non-district game against Olpe. The Eagles are ranked #1 in Class 1A and return a lot of starting talent from their 10-1 team a year ago that loss to Centralia in Sub State 22-20. The Eagles have beaten the Cobras the past couple years including a 20-18 game that was paused and weather delayed last season. Olpe is led by new starting QB Damon Redeker who has 455 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns and another 348 yards and six rushing Tds. The only test this year for Olpe was a 13-7 win against Lyndon and they have scored more than 60 points now in three of their five games including a 62-0 victory at Pleasanton last Friday. 

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

8-man DI

Maranatha (0-5) at Washington County (3-2) District 3

After a 2-0 start to the year Washington County has struggled recently losing two of their last three games including a 48-28 loss to Burlingame last week. The Tigers led that game 8-6 after one quarter but were outscored 28-14 in the second half. Drew Buhrman threw two touchdowns while running in two more for the Tigers who need Buhrman to be big in every game.

Washington County will look to get back on track against Maranatha who has yet to pick up a win this season following a 52-0 loss to Doniphan West last week. The Eagles have been shut out in two consecutive games with their closest game coming in a 36-22 loss to KC East Christian in week two.

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

Burlingame (3-2) at Valley Falls (3-2) District 3

Valley Falls is coming off a 46-0 loss against Clifton Clyde and Burlingame lost to Clyde 62-12 a couple weeks ago. That is the only common opponent between these 3-2 teams entering this huge district showdown. The Bearcats have beaten the Dragons by at least 50 points however each of the past four years. However, Burlingame has also posted six straight winning seasons, while the Dragons are having their most successful campaign since transitioning to 8-man play in 2016.

Valley Falls is led by Cade Norris with 325 rushing while Sam Drinkard has added 209. Dylan Cervantez has passed for 314 yards and added 163 on the ground with Gage Burdiek having a team-high 139 receiving yards. Norris and Trenton Kraxner pace the Dragon defense in tackles. 

Burlingame quarterback Evan Young has passed for 640 yards while fellow senior Wyatt Ledom has 513 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. Two other seniors Austin Tyson and Garrett Robinson have combined for 40 receptions and 522 yards. 

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

8-man DII

Wetmore (0-2) at Blue Valley (0-2) District 3

It’s week six but Wetmore and Blue Valley have each played just two games and are each looking for their first win of the 2020 season.

The Cardinals are playing their first game in over three weeks after being in a team quarantine for two weeks before last week’s opponent, Onaga, faced the same giving Wetmore three consecutive weeks off. Blue Valley meanwhile has played two straight following a three-week quarantine to begin the season, but the Rams have been greeted to a pair of shutout losses to Frankfort and a 46-0 loss to Rawlins County last week.

Jonny’s Pick: Blue Valley
Justin’s Pick: Wetmore
Jake’s Pick: Wetmore

Clifton-Clyde (5-0) at Hanover (5-0) Non-District

Well when you are faced with adversity what do you do? If you are Hanover and Clifton-Clyde, you find the top opponent in your league seven hours before game time and decide to put a game together. That is exactly what happened after Clifton-Clyde had Doniphan West cancel due to not having enough players to play this week while Hanover had Frankfort cancel earlier today because of positive COVID test.

Clyde continued their hot start last week and showed once again why they are ranked in a 46-0 beat down of Valley Falls. The Eagles have scored the fourth most points so far this season in 8-man DII and have scored at least 42 points in every game.

Hanover meanwhile continues to roll and proved once again last week why they are worthy of their No. 2 ranking in the state after a 54-6 win over defending state champion Osborne last week. The Wildcats led 14-0 after one and like they have all season didn’t need a full four quarters to get the job done.

Clifton-Clyde and Hanover have not played since the 2015 when the Wildcats won convincingly 46-0.

Jonny’s Pick:Hanover 
Justin’s Pick: Clifton-Clyde
Jake’s Pick: Clifton-Clyde

St. John-Tipton (3-2) at Onaga (1-3) Non-District

After a wild couple of weeks which included a team quarantine last week, Onaga gets back on the gridiron tonight in a non-district game. The Buffaloes are coming off a win in their last game two weeks ago over High Plains Community but have two losses in district play meaning Onaga is on the outside of the playoffs looking in. Their game tonight will not mean much except for their overall record as St. John-Tipton comes to town looking for their fourth consecutive win. The Bluejays won 41-8 over Pike Valley last week and beat Onaga last season 50-0.

Jonny’s Pick: St. John-Tipton
Justin’s Pick: St. John-Tipton
Jake’s Pick:St. John - Tipton

Cair Paravel (3-2) at Axtell (3-2) Non-District

Axtell is in desperate need of a bounce back win following their second straight loss falling to Frankfort 36-14. If the season ended today, the Eagles would miss out on the playoffs and unfortunately Axtell will not have a chance to fix that this week as it is a non-district game.

In the loss to Frankfort last week the Eagles turned the ball over twice and had just 185 yards of total offense with Isaac Detweiler throwing for 101 of those yards to Mitchell Buessing who caught a touchdown pass as well.

It will be another tough test this week against Cair Paravel who average over 315 total yards of offense per game. The Lions do most of their damage through the air as junior quarterback Carter Brian has thrown for over 1,300 yards and 22 touchdowns this season. Cair Paravel has lost two straight after starting the season 3-0.

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

OTHERS

Atchison (2-3) at Basehor-Linwood (2-3) Class 4A East

Atchison is coming off their most dominant win of the season last week which came in a 56-6 blowout of Turner. The Redmen led 28-0 after the first quarter and rolled as Xavier Cushinberry ran for four touchdowns while Jesse Greenley added three scores.

The Redmen now have perhaps their biggest game of the year against Basehor-Linwood who their tied with in the 4A East standings with identical 2-3 records. The Bobcats have lost two of their last three games but last week got back on track with a 47-16 win over Shawnee Heights.

Basehor beat Atchison last season 39-20 and have won four straight dating back to 2016.

Jonny’s Pick: Basehor-Linwood
Justin’s Pick: Basehor-Linwood
Jake’s Pick: Atchison


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