Kpreps Helmet Stickers - Week 8

Artwork by Joe Wachter,
By: Matt Gilmore, Conor Nicholl, & Chet Kuplen for
Oct 23, 2018

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Back to Kpreps this fall, our contributors will hand out helmet stickers to a team or individual that delivered the most important performance of the week in their opinion. Check back each week to see that week’s helmet stickers, and follow @Kpreps on Twitter and Facebook to watch as the Kpreps helmet fills up with stickers as the season goes on.

Helmet sticker: Altoona-Midway (Matt Gilmore of Kpreps & Chet Kuplen of Sports in Kansas)

We both wanted to congratulate Altoona-Midway for earning its first playoff appearance since 1992 with a 36-20 win over Colony-Crest on Friday. The Jets have won just twice this season, but those two district wins were good enough to finish fourth in Eight-Man, Division II, District 1.

The Jets rushed for more than 330 yards in Friday's win over Crest. Dayton Marsh rushed for 158 yards and three touchdowns, while Clement Huffman added 70 yards on the ground and two more scores. 

This will be the fourth playoff appearance in school history for Altoona-Midway with the others coming in a three-year span from 1990-1992. The Jets reached the state semifinals in 8M-I in 1992 before falling to Pretty Prairie.

Coach Joe Arell is starting to build some momentum with a Jet program that has struggled with numbers for a long time. Altoona-Midway has now posted four combined wins in the past two seasons after only winning five total games since 2006.

Altoona-Midway will travel to Waverly (7-1) to open the playoffs next week.

Helmet sticker:  Eureka (Matt Gilmore – Kpreps)

My sticker this week goes to the Eureka Tornadoes for qualifying as the fourth-place qualifier from District 5 and earned a playoff berth for the first time since 2013. It’s an amazing accomplishment for first-year coach Jason Nichols and the Tornadoes considering they have played every game this season on the road after an actual tornado damaged the Eureka football field earlier this summer.

On Friday, Eureka shut out Cherryvale 13-0 in the second half to preserve a 27-13 victory. Quarterback Cade Burden passed for 198 yards and three touchdowns in the game. Burden threw touchdown passes to Zach Hare, Justin Zimmers, and Bradley Bohl.

Their reward for reaching the playoffs? A road trip to state-ranked Conway Springs this week!

Helmet sticker:  Hugoton (Chet Kuplen – Sports in Kansas)

Hugoton defeated Holcomb, 14-7, on Friday to finish as the runner-up in Class 3A, District 7. The victory also knocked Holcomb, last year’s Class 4A, Division II state champion, out of the playoffs.

The Eagles scored the winning touchdown midway through the fourth quarter when Jeff Persinger recovered teammate Dawson Kerbow’s fumble in the end zone. The ball popped loose as Kerbow neared the goal line and Persinger was there for the recovery. Holcomb later mounted a drive to the Hugoton 5-yard line, but was stopped short on a fourth-down play.

Kerbow was a workhorse for the Eagle offense, rushing for 195 yards on 25 carries. An all-state selection as a return man a year ago, Kerbow was injured early in the season and recently returned to the Eagle backfield.

Hugoton (4-4) has won four of its last five games under first-year coach Nick O’Loughlin. The Eagles’ four losses have come to Scott City, Colby, Ulysses, and Pratt – opponents that have combined for a 26-5 record this season. O’Loughlin returned to his hometown to lead the Eagles this season after spending time as an assistant at St. Francis.

With the loss, Holcomb is the third team in the past two seasons (Pratt, Rossville) to miss out on the playoffs after winning the state title the previous year. The Longhorns (3-5) would have finished as the district runners-up with a win over Hugoton, but instead will finish the season with a non-bracket game at Goodland. Holcomb defeated Goodland, 34-12, in the season-opener.

Helmet sticker:  Louisburg  (Matt Gilmore – Kpreps)

It’s been quite a fall sports season for the Louisburg Wildcats. The volleyball team captured the Frontier League title and the football team delivered one of the more impressive performances from last Friday night with its dominating 25-7 win at Paola.

The Wildcats and Panthers both entered the game undefeated with the Frontier League title and the overall top seed on the east side of Class 4A on the line.

But it was Louisburg that turned in a complete performance to win on Paola’s home field. The Wildcats got on the board early with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Madden Rutherford to Blue Caplinger, then almost immediately recovered a Paola fumble. While Louisburg couldn’t convert that turnover into points, it indicated what kind of night it was going to be for Paola.

Rutherford connected with Brayden Gage on a 38-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter to push the lead to 12-0.

Then, late in the second quarter, Caplinger completed a reverse-throwback touchdown pass to Rutherford from 8 yards out for a 19-0 lead. Caplinger, a former quarterback in the Louisburg system, made the change to running back when Rutherford took over as the quarterback last season.

Paola’s only points of the night came just before halftime as quarterback Seth Richmond hit Corbin Gant on a 79-yard touchdown pass to pull within 19-7.

The Panthers mounted a drive into the red zone in the third quarter, but the Wildat defense once again rose to the occasion and stopped them on fourth down.

Louisburg then went on an 88-yard drive that culminated in a short touchdown run by Rutherford late in the third quarter to put the game away.

Louisburg forced four Paola turnovers in the win, and never allowed the Panther rushing attack to get going. Paola managed to move the chains only eight times on the night.

The victory gave Louisburg the Frontier League title for the first time since 2010 when the Wildcats on the Class 4A state championship. Louisburg also claimed the top seed and will open the playoffs with winless Ottawa. The Wildcats defeated Ottawa 25-0 two weeks ago.

Helmet sticker: Shawnee Mission South (Conor Nicholl -- Kpreps)

Shawnee Mission South defeated Shawnee Mission Northwest, 49-41, last week and moved to 6-2 for its most victories in more than 20 years. Fourth-year coach Brett Oberzan has enjoyed a big turnaround after a 4-23 mark in his first three seasons.

Oberzan, a veteran of more than 20 years of coaching, has had an experienced group of seniors.

Many of the seniors started and played significant time during a winless 2016 season. Oberzan has been impressed with the team’s work ethic and chemistry.

Quarterback Jack Roberts had 282 rushing yards, four rushing scores and one passing touchdown in the victory. Overall, Roberts, who has run the offense for three years, has great vision and exceeded 1,150 rushing yards and 700 passing yards in the triple option.

In addition, senior wide receiver Seth Macklin has been key and four seniors: Austin Conner, Hunter Carpenter, Brett Harrison and Nolan Thimmesch have led the squad in tackles and set a good example for the team. Carpenter plays significantly in all three phases, including receiver, running back and safety. Junior Will Huggins has had a great year as a wide receiver and specialist, including more than 300 receiving yards and a 50-yard field goal.

Last week, the Raiders’ delivered a third straight victory after a 30-24 comeback win versus Lawrence and a 38-21 victory at Olathe Northwest.

SM South entered this fall with 17 straight losing seasons, according to Sunflower League historian Kevin Booker and Kansas Football History archives.

In 2000, the Raiders went 5-5. Before then, the Raiders finished 6-4 in 1997.

This season marks the first time the Raiders have defeated Olathe Northwest in eight tries and was 2-8 in its last 10 meetings against Lawrence. Against Lawrence, SM South trailed 14-3 before the comeback. In Oberzan’s eyes, the win marked a key turning point for the program.

One of the seniors stepped up vocally after Lawrence scored a touchdown, and Carpenter immediately responded with a kick return for a score. Senior Matt Miller has anchored the line at right tackle and returned before the Lawrence game after a hip injury.

SM South faces Olathe Northwest again this weekend and has the chance to win seven games for the first time since ’93.

Helmet Stickers (2018 Season)

Week 1 – Chapman, Salina Central, St. James Academy, Southeast-Cherokee, Wichita North

Week 2 – Kapaun Mt. Carmel, Russell, South Central, Washburn Rural

Week 3 – Colby, Ellinwood, Flinthills, Sylvan-Lucas Unified

Week 4 – Blue Valley North, Centralia, Gardner-Edgerton, Ness City, Smith Center

Week 5 – Bishop Miege, Newton, Olathe West, Oswego, Phillipsburg

Week 6 – Dodge City, Cimarron, Hillsboro, Jackson Heights, Junction City

Week 7 – Canton-Galva, St. Thomas Aquinas, Scott City, Wellington, Wichita Homeschool


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