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Preview of All Week Nine 8-man High School Football Games
By Jonny Kane and Justin Fluke
Copyright: MSC Sports
10/28/2020

It’s playoff time across the state of Kansas thanks to the new classification changes, and although it is just week nine it is win or go home with all classes getting underway this week. While most 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A games will take place on Friday, some will be played Thursday so note each game while most 8-man games take place Thursday. Jonny Kane and Justin Fluke also continue to give their picks for all games in week nine.

Jonny’s Pick Record

Last week: 16-0
Overall record: 135-19 (88%)

Justin’s Pick Record

Last week: 15-1
Overall record: 133-21 (86%)

Games to Be Broadcast

Frankfort vs. Lakeside (Thursday at 6 p.m.) – 92.1 KMZA

8-man DI

Bennington (2-6) at Clifton-Clyde (6-1) on Thursday

For the third straight week Clifton-Clyde had their opponent cancel on them with Maranatha being hit with a team quarantine so the Eagles had a bye. Clifton-Clyde has been dominant through seven games with the only loss coming by 20 to Hanover while beating previously unbeaten Argonia/Attica two weeks ago by 48. The Eagles have scored over 60 points three times this season and are allowing just 15 points per game.

Bennington has struggled this season with just a 4-point win over Wakefield and an 18-point win over Soloman to their credit. Last week the Bulldogs fell to Herington 50-34 which was their third consecutive loss.

The winner of this game with get either Little River or Washington County in the regional round next week.

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

Valley Falls (3-4) at Canton-Galva (8-0) on Thursday

The good news is Valley Falls is in the playoffs for the first time since 2010.  The bad news is they start the post season by traveling and facing the #1 ranked team in the state. The Dragons were idle last week after Washington County could not play and since a 3-1 start, Valley Falls has lost not won since week four.

Canton Galva has pitched five shutouts this year and held two other foes to only one score, while playing only one competitive game, and even that was a 56-38 win against Little River. The high-flying Eagles have scored at least 48 points in all eight games this year. 

Jonny’s Pick: Canton-Galva
Justin’s Pick: Canton-Galva

Doniphan West (3-3) at Soloman (4-4) Non-Playoffs on Thursday

It's a final game for pride between the Mustangs and Gorillas, who both lost a tiebreaker in districts to just miss the playoffs. Solomon started the season 4-0, but now has lost four straight contest and been shut out by ranked teams the last two weeks in Canton Galva and Little River.

The Gorillas were state runner-up two years ago and tonight try to surpass their four-win total from last season. Solomon has rushed for 151 yards per game and passed for an average of 81 yards. Senior, Alex Herbel has passed for 553 yards and ran for 585 to lead his team.  

Doniphan West is led by their quarterback as well in junior, Trent Spiker who had 170 yards last week and accounted for both Mustang scores in a 46-12 home loss to Burlingame. D-West lost the turnover battle 5-0 last week and showed some rust after sitting out the previous two weeks due to a lack of available players because of COVID quarantines. Spiker has rushed for 920 yards this season.

Both these teams are looking to use this final game of 2020 as a springboard to next year as each have only a couple seniors on their roster.

Jonny’s Pick: Soloman
Justin’s Pick: Doniphan West

8-man DII

Osborne (4-4) at Hanover (6-0) on Thursday at 6 p.m.

It is a rematch from week five where Hanover dominated the defending state champions by a 54-6 final. The Wildcats led 14-0 after one and took complete control with a 20-0 third quarter. Osborne was held to just 137 yards of offense in the loss with their only touchdown coming in the second quarter.

Hanover is coming off a dominant win over Wetmore last week where they led 42-0 after one. Tyler Bonser ran for three touchdowns while Collin Jueneman ran for two more. Osborne meanwhile suffered their fourth loss of the season last week in a heartbreaker to Pike Valley 30-28.

The winner of this game will get either Axtell or Thunder Ridge next week in the regional round.

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

Axtell (6-2) at Thunder Ridge (5-3) on Thursday at 6 p.m.

On paper this has a chance to be one of the better week nine matchups in the 8-man ranks as Axtell is on the road in the first round due to falling to Hanover and Frankfort in district play.

The Eagles were dominant last week and picked up their second district win with a 68-26 victory over Onaga where they took control with a 26-0 second quarter. Isaac Detweiler scored seven total touchdowns including six rushing scores while Dakota Barber added two scores. Axtell won without leading receiver Mitchell Buessing who was in quarantine for the game, but he should be back this week.

Thunder Ridge comes into Thursday solid and feeling good after snapping a two-game losing streak last week in a 46-0 shutout of Southern Cloud. The Longhorns have lost twice by less than one score to St. Johns-Tipton and Osborne and have a 70-40 loss to Lebo. Thunder Ridge rushes for nearly 220 yards per game with Dylan Bice compiling over 2,000 total yards of offense with 26 touchdowns.

Axtell and Thunder Ridge have not played in recent memory with the winner getting Hanover or Osborne next week.

Jonny’s Pick: Axtell
Justin’s Pick: Thunder Ridge

Onaga (2-5) at Beloit-St. John (6-2) on Thursday

Onaga is into the playoffs despite falling last week to Axtell 68-26 where the Buffaloes were outscored 26-0 in the second quarter. Zach Fischer accounted for all four Onaga touchdowns as he ran for three and threw one to Casey Myers. The Buffaloes have two blowout wins so far to their credit over High Plains Nebraska and Blue Valley, but all five losses have been at least 30 points.

Onaga now gets St. John for the second time this season who the Buffaloes played tough in week six but fell short 36-12. The Blujays have won six straight since an 0-2 start where they fell to Sylvan-Lucas and Osborne. In four of their six wins the Blujays have scored over 40 points and are averaging over 230 yards per game with three guys over 400 yards rushing including 943 yards and 21 touchdowns from Brayden Perez.

The winner of this game will get the winner of Lakeside-Frankfort next week.  

Jonny’s Pick: St. John
Justin’s Pick: St. John

Lakeside (5-3) at Frankfort (4-1) on Thursday on 92.1 KMZA at 6 p.m.

Despite being a first-round playoff matchup, this has a chance to be a really good matchup on paper between the high-powered offense of Lakeside and the strong defense of Frankfort.

The Wildcats are playing their first game in nearly a month after missing two weeks due to a team quarantine and having an open date last week. Frankfort’s only loss came back in week one where the Wildcats fell to Washington County on the game’s final play 44-36. Of the Cats four wins, two of them have been via shutout while scoring over 50 points in three of the four. Gavin Cornelison leads the offense with over 700 total yards of offense with 14 touchdowns while defensively Aiden Gerstner has 54 tackles with 4.5 tackles for loss.

Lakeside meanwhile has played tough all season long with a four-point loss in week one and a 68-50 loss to Thunder Ridge along with a 59-34 loss to St. John-Tipton. The Knights average over 190 yards through the air and 160 on the ground led by junior Kylan Cunningham who has just under 2,00 all-purpose yards this season and 37 touchdowns. Jace Shoen is the leading receiver for the Knights with over 880 yards and 14 touchdowns. Wyatt Eberle leads the defense with 128 tackles and eight tackles for loss on the season.  

Jonny’s Pick: Frankfort
Justin’s Pick: Lakeside

Wetmore (1-4) at Rock Hills (3-5) Non-Playoffs

With just one district win over Blue Valley, Wetmore missed out on the playoffs and will wrap up the season tonight against Rock Hills. The Cardinals are coming off a 72-6 loss to Hanover and have now lost four games by at least 20 points this season. Rock Hills meanwhile is coming off a 53-6 loss to Beloit St. John-Tipton which snapped a two-game losing streak. Wetmore and Rock Hills share a common opponent in Axtell who the Grizzlies lost to 64-18 while the Cardinals fell 58-12.

Jonny’s Pick: Rock Hills
Justin’s Pick: Rock Hills

Blue Valley (0-5) at Southern Cloud (1-7) Non-Playoffs

After missing the first three weeks of the season due to being in quarantine, Blue Valley struggled on the 2020 season and it continued last week in a 52-6 loss to Lakeside. The Rams have been shutout in three of five games so far this season and have scored just 38 total points. Southern Cloud meanwhile has just a 22-6 win over Tescott to their credit this season and last week fell to Thunder Ridge 46-0 which was their third shutout loss this season.

Jonny’s Pick: Southern Cloud
Justin’s Pick: Southern Cloud

 


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