Preview: Week 9 Non-Bracket Games

Trey White (3) & Baxter Springs will take on Osawatomie in a non-bracket game. (by Matt Gilmore)
By: Conor Nicholl & Matt Gilmore for
Oct 24, 2018

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(Team from even numbered district is home team)

The new playoff format instituted by the Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) this season includes the expansion of districts and the reduction of the regular season to eight games. For Class 3A, 2A, and both divisions of eight-man football, KSHSAA organized schools into eight, six-team districts with the top four teams in each district qualifying for the playoff bracket.

Those fifth and sixth place teams not qualifying for the bracket are paired with the fifth and sixth place teams from the neighboring district to complete a nine-game season as in past years.

The following are the non-bracket matchups that will take place this week. The fifth-place finisher from District 1 is matched with the fifth-place team from District 2, sixth-place plays the sixth-place team from the adjacent district, etc.  Teams from the even numbered districts (2, 4, 6, 8) will serve as the host schools for these non-bracket games in this even year (2018). Odd numbered districts will host in odd-numbered years.

Here is a quick description of all of this week’s non-bracket matchups.


District 1 (5th) Columbus (1-7) at District 2 (5th) Iola (2-6)

Columbus missed out on the playoffs for the first time since 2006 as Dan Grundy’s Titans couldn’t overcome heavy graduation losses from a year ago. Add in that the schedule included opponents that combined for a 41-23 record and you can see the Titan’s struggles. Senior Shawn Robinson leads the ground game with 530 rush yards and five scores, while Clay Saparito can make plays at receiver. The emergence of freshman Gabe Martin has been needed as he has led the team in tackles with 82. Iola lost four straight to open the season before consecutive wins over Osawatomie and a surprising 28-6 victory over eventual district runner-up Burlington. Iola needed to win against Girard in Week 7, but fell 21-13 to the Trojans. Girard defeated Columbus, 23-16, back in Week 3.

District 1 (6th) Baxter Springs (1-7) at District 2 (6th) Osawatomie (0-8)

Either Baxter Springs or Osawatomie will get to end the season on a high note as the two meet in Osawatomie. Baxter Springs’ lone victory came against rival Riverton, 20-18, in a game where both teams ran offense in the same direction all night due to deep standing water covering one end of the field. The Lions were shut out five times this season, but played a really competitive schedule. Quarterback Trey White is a great athlete and Gage Piper has ran hard this season. Osawatomie has been shutout four times this season including each of the past two weeks. The Trojan offense is led by a pair of juniors in quarterback Boyd Cole (477 passing yards, 4 TDs) and Braden Bradshaw (443 rushing yards, TD).

District 3 (5th) Wellsville (3-5) at District 4 (5th) Royal Valley (2-6)

Wellsville’s string of eight consecutive playoff appearances has come to a close after the Eagles finished fifth in on of the most loaded districts in Class 3A.  Quarterback Zach Vance is a capable passer with 1,187 yards and 13 touchdowns on the season. Four different Eagle backs have rushed for more than 200 yards. Royal Valley hasn’t reached the playoffs since 2005. The Panthers’ wins have come 28-27 over Riverside (2-6) and 28-12 over Hiawatha (1-7).

District 3 (6th) Bishop Ward (0-8) at District 4 (6th) Hiawatha (1-7)

Bishop Ward will once again get another opportunity to snap what is now a 46-game losing streak. The Cyclones last win came exactly five years ago this Friday, 26-21 over Atchison on October 25, 2013. Bishop Ward has been shut out five times this season and has scored only 22 points. Hiawatha’s lone victory came 27-13 over Riverside in the season-opener. The Redhawks are led by Tyler Brockhoff who has passed for 551 yards and three scores, but been intercepted 10 times. Hiawatha has rushed for nine touchdowns as a team this season with senior Kaiser Isaac scoring four times.

District 5 (5th) Clay Center (1-7) at District 6 (5th) Wichita Trinity (1-7)

Clay Center took a heavy hit to graduation off of last year’s 7-4 squad that reached the 4A, Division II state quarterfinals. This season, the Tigers lost their first six games before a 27-21 win over Rock Creek. Junior quarterback Cooper Glavin leads the Tigers with nearly 700 yards of total offense. In its 11th season of varsity football, Wichita Trinity has yet to qualify for the playoffs. The Knights have averaged 4.5 wins person season in program history, but, this season, has only registered one win – last week’s 27-8 victory over Haven. Senior quarterback Nate Adler has completed 53 percent of his passes for 1,820 yards and 10 touchdowns. He’s also led the team with 307 rushing yards and three scores. Mark Hedstrom has a team-high 38 receptions for 625 yards and five scores. Trinity’s seven losses have come to opponents that are a combined 39-17.

District 5 (6th) Rock Creek (0-8) at District 6 (6th) Haven (1-7)

Rock Creek will try and send veteran coach Mike Beam out with a win. Beam, in his 27th year at Rock Creek, announced his plans to retire after the season. Beam has posted a 140-125 record in charge of the Mustangs. Two of the Mustangs losses have come by single digits – Rossville and Clay Center. Meanwhile, Haven’s lone win came back in the season-opener with a 28-10 decision over Lyons. Sophomore Darby Roper leads the team with 338 yards rushing and two scores.

District 7 (5th) Holcomb (3-5) at District 8 (5th) Goodland (1-7)

Holcomb, the defending Class 4A, Division II champions, had significant graduation losses from a year ago, most notably with quarterback Trey Gilbert. Still the Longhorns could have finished as the district runners-up if they had defeated Hugoton last week. Hugoton won, 14-7, and knocked the Longhorns out of the playoffs. 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 won 34-12 at Goodland to start the season. Holcomb, long known for its turnover creation, is minus-2 in turnover margin this fall. Holcomb has won eight straight against its current GWAC foe dating back to 2010.

District 7 (6th) Larned (0-8) at District 8 (6th) Russell (2-6)

Under new coach Jordan Echer, Russell opened 2-0 for the first time since 2004, but has lost six straight since. Russell took two losses by a combined 17 points. Larned lost games by seven, 12 and 16 points under new coach Tad Remy, a former assistant. The Indians were 6-5 last fall. This is the first matchup since 1997, according to Kansas Football History archives.


District 1 (5th) Erie (3-5) at District 2 (5th) Central Heights (2-6)

Erie finished tied with Southeast-Cherokee and Riverton at 2-3 in district play, but is the odd team out given the district margin points tie-breaker. Erie defeated Riverton 44-19, but lost to Southeast, 21-7. Other than the Riverton win, the Red Devils also defeated winless Northeast-Arma and Neodesha. Central Heights has lost four consecutive games since back-to-back wins over Wabaunsee and Oskaloosa. The Vikings’ win over Wabaunsee snapped an 18-game losing streak. Senior Dakota Beers has passed for 968 yards and eight touchdowns, while Matt Cubit (484 yards) and Mason Roberts (379 yards) are the Vikings top two receivers.

District 1 (6th) Northeast-Arma (0-8) at District 2 (6th) Oskaloosa (0-8)  -- Cancelled-Forfeit

Unfortunately, this game won’t be played as Oskaloosa has cancelled the remainder of its season two weeks ago due to a lack of available players. Neither Northeast or Oskaloosa have posted a win this season, and Oskie had only scored 12 total points. Northeast-Arma is currently on a 29-game losing streak dating back to 2015, while Oskie has dropped 12 straight games.

District 3 (5th) Atchison County (2-6) at District 4 (5th) St. Marys (2-6)

Atchison County snapped a 19-game losing streak by beating Oskaloosa in the season-opener. The Tigers then lost their next six games before last week’s 30-point win over Horton. The Tigers will try and get running back Tucker Smith going against a Bears’ defense that has given up more than 33 points per game. St. Marys has posted wins over Rock Creek and Council Grove. Five of the Bears’ six losses have come to opponents that have each won at least six games this season. Quarterback Caden Hurla has passed for nearly 600 yards and seven touchdowns.

District 3 (6th) Horton (0-8) at District 4 (6th) Council Grove (1-7)

Horton enters this week’s non-bracket game having given up more than 46 points per game. The Chargers closest game this season was a 52-22 loss to Pleasant Ridge during district play.  On the other side, Council Grove has played some quality competition. The Braves’ seven losses have come to opponents that are a combined 38-18. Last week, the Braves battled Southeast of Saline, a 7-1 team, to a 21-16 decision.

District 5 (5th) Cherryvale (3-5) at District 6 (5th) Whitewater-Remington (1-7)

Cherryvale had a chance to secure the fourth playoff spot from District 5, but lost at home to Eureka. The Chargers’ three wins have come against Leon-Bluestem, Erie, and Neodesha. Cherryvale also played Fredonia well, but lost 7-0 to the Yellow Jackets. Cherryvale running back Garrett Novotny has had some good performances including a 202-yard, four-touchdown rushing performance in the Chargers’ 41-40 loss to Belle Plaine. Remington delivered coach Simon McKee’s first career coaching win last week with a 43-14 decision over Wichita Independent. The Broncos have struggled through a difficult schedule that included seven teams that have at least five wins, five of which have been state-ranked at some point this season.

District 5 (6th) Neodesha (1-7) at District 6 (6th) Wichita Independent (0-8)

Neodesha delivered one of the most surprising wins of last week, defeating rival Fredonia (5-3), 35-20. Neodesha has passed for 129 yards a contest and rushed for 148 yards a game. The Blue Streaks’ major concern is 28 turnovers and a minus-20 turnover margin. Neodesha has fumbled 23 times and lost 18. The Blue Streaks were 1-8 in ’13 and then 7-3, 9-2, 5-4 and 5-5 the last four years. Neodesha had four losses within 16 points, including a double overtime defeat to Belle Plaine. Wichita Independent has not had a winning record since a 6-4 season in ’12 and did post a winless year in 2011. This is believed to be the first matchup between the squads.

District 7 (5th) Ellinwood (3-5) at District 8 (5th) Minneapolis (3-5)

Ellinwood jumped from Eight-Man, Division I to Class 2A and ended a 19-game 11-man losing streak with wins against Sublette and Ellis in Weeks 2 and 3.  Minneapolis opened 3-1 and has bettered its record for a fourth straight season. This is the first matchup between the teams in at least 14 years.

District 7 (6th) Lyons (0-8) at District 8 (6th) Thomas More Prep (2-6)

Lyons has dropped 28 straight contests. A win helps Thomas More Prep-Marian, under new coach David Bowen, match last fall’s win total. The Monarchs have scored just 34 points but have close wins against Ellis and Minneapolis. Lyons has tallied 44. The teams have two of the three lowest scoring offenses in 2A.


District 1 (5th) Flinthills (2-6) at District 2 (5th) Medicine Lodge (4-4)

Medicine Lodge was the odd team out in highly competitive District 2 with five squads that finished at .500 or better. The Indians rushed for just 64 yards a contest but had one of the state’s most prolific passing offenses in their first season of eight-man football. Senior Garrett Burden has thrown for 1,930 yards with a 31/5 TD/INT ratio. Senior Dakota Bayliff has 64 catches for 1,123 yards and 17 scores. A victory gives Medicine Lodge its first winning season since a 5-4 mark in 2009. Flinthills had 14-point wins against Oxford and West Elk. The Week 3 victory over Oxford halted the Mustang’s 35-game losing streak.

District 1 (6th) West Elk (1-7) at District 2 (6th) Oxford (0-8)

West Elk has been a perennial power with just five losses in the last three years and nine in the past five. The Patriots have endured an injury-plagued season with its top two offensive players William Silvey and Nic Moreno lost midway through the season. Silvey played in just five games, Moreno four. Moreno rushed for 669 yards, while Silvey led the team with six touchdowns. The two South Central Border League squads have matched up very frequently with West Elk winning 10 straight in the series dating back to 2006. Oxford had just one game within 14 points and struggled en route to a five-win decrease in strong District 2. Oxford has played the hardest Division I schedule, according to Prep Power Index.

District 3 (5th) Chase County (1-7) at District 4 (5th) Goessel (3-5)

Chase County, in its first season of eight-man football, struggled with 48.3 points allowed a contest. The Bulldogs’ only win was a 68-18 victory against Valley Falls. Goessel opened 3-2 but has dropped three straight contests. A win gives the Bluebirds a two-win increase over last fall. A 54-52 loss to Peabody-Burns kept the Bluebirds from making their first playoff appearance since 2012.

District 3 (6th) Valley Falls (1-7) at District 4 (6th) Herington (2-6)

Herington can match last year’s total with a victory. The Railers edged Chase County, 36-34, in the season opener, then put up 88 points in an 88-40 win over Rural Vista in Week 3. Freshman quarterback Easton Idleman leads Herington with 969 yards of total offense and 12 touchdowns. Valley Falls opened the season with a 54-48 overtime win versus Onaga, and in doing so, snapped a 17-game losing streak. Since then, the Dragons have permitted at least 52 points in every game.

District 5 (5th) Pratt-Skyline (2-6) at District 6 (5th) Kinsley (2-6)

Kinsley defeated St. John, 36-24, in Week 2 to end a 22-losing streak. Pratt-Skyline has just three wins total in the last two years. A victory in this game gives Kinsley its most victories since 2014. Skyline holds a 3-1 lead in the last 14 years of the matchup with the last game coming in 2015. Skyline, despite the win/loss record, only has a minus-10 average point differential and has permitted only 264 points. Several Division I .500 or better teams have allowed more.

District 5 (6th) St. John (0-8) at District 6 (6th) Kiowa County (3-5)

St. John has dropped 12 straight contests. Kiowa County opened the season 3-0 before five consecutive losses. St. John has scored 56 total points, fewest in the classification and joins Oxford as the only Division I squads without a victory. Kiowa County has scored 248 points and allowed 256.

District 7 (5th) Washington County (3-5) at District 8 (5th) Oberlin-Decatur Co. (3-5)

Washington County opened 3-2 but has lost three in a row after it transitioned back down to eight-man football. Oberlin-Decatur Community also started 3-2. Last year, Washington County was 0-9, while Oberlin finished 2-6. The two schools are 185 miles apart on Highway 36.

District 7 (6th) Lincoln (2-6) at District 8 (6th) Atwood-Rawlins Co. (1-7)

Lincoln opened 2-0 with new coach Dustin Patee before six straight losses. Atwood-Rawlins County had its record flipped after a 7-1 season and eight-man’s top-ranked scoring defense last fall. The Buffs took heavy graduation losses and returned just one starter. All but 15 of Rawlins County’s offensive yards come from non-seniors. Sophomore quarterback Travis Chvatal has 356 passing and 703 rushing with six TDs accounted for. For Lincoln, senior quarterback Drew Biggs has put together a solid year with 480 passing, 888 rushing and 16 TDs accounted for. Lincoln is minus-7 in turnover margin.


District 1 (5th) Chetopa (1-6) at District 2 (5th) Rural Vista (1-7)

Chetopa will make the long trip west to take on Rural Vista. The Green Hornets have struggled with low numbers for a few years now, and this season posted only a 42-6 victory over Colony-Crest. On the other sideline, Rural Vista delivered the first coaching win for Derron Reddick with a 46-26 decision over Marais des Cygnes Valley in Week 5. The Heat have been shut out twice and held to six points two other times. Sophomore Dylan Worrell leads the team in rushing with 543 yards and six touchdowns. Worrell has also passed for 521 yards and five scores.

District 1 (6th) Colony-Crest (0-8) at District 2 (6th) Marais des Cygnes Valley (0-8)

A pair of winless teams will battle when Colony-Crest travels to Melvern to take on the Trojans. Crest has been shut out four times this season and scored 44 total points in eight games. Meanwhile, Marais des Cygnes Valley given up an average of 54.5 points per game and has been outscored 436 to 72.  The Lancers and Trojans met in each of the last two regular seasons with Crest winning 42-34 last year and 50-20 in 2016.

District 3 (5th) Blue Valley Randolph (4-4) at District 4 (5th) Lakeside-Downs (2-6)

For a second consecutive week, Blue Valley Randolph will take on Lakeside-Downs. The Rams and Knights met last week in a non-district game as both schools were members of seven-team districts, meaning one team does not play a district opponent each week. Blue Valley Randolph won last week’s meeting, 52-6. The Rams actually finished with a better district record than playoff-bound Doniphan West. In fact, Blue Valley beat Doniphan West, 36-12 in district play, but because the Rams voluntarily forfeited a district game, they were, by rule, eliminated from playoff consideration. Blue Valley forfeited their district game against Hanover.

District 3 (6th) Onaga (2-6) at District 4 (6th) Linn (1-7)

Both Onaga and Linn have new coaches this fall. Ben Kolterman has taken over at Onaga after Travis Callaway left to take the Spearville job. Meanwhile, Ron Smith is the new coach at Linn after Jeremy Miller replaced the legendary Don Melby at Pike Valley. Onaga has shown the ability to put up some points at times this season. The Buffaloes have averaged 35 points per game in the last three weeks, including consecutive wins over Tescott and Wetmore. Onaga also dropped a 54-48, overtime decision to Valley Falls back in the season-opener. Linn has also had some high scoring games. The Bulldogs beat Tescott 48-6, but also put up 44 points in a loss to Southern Cloud two weeks ago. Linn has been outscored by an average of 50-21 this season.

District 3 (7th) Wetmore (1-7) at District 4 (7th) Tescott (0-8)

Since a 5-4 mark in 2015, Tescott has just three wins in the last three years and has struggled mightily with numbers. The Trojans last posted a winless season in 2011. Tescott has scored 44 points, tied for last in the classification, and permitted 453 points, most in Division II. Wetmore has scored 114 and permitted 380. The Cardinals’ one win this season came, 44-24, against a playoff-bound team, Southern Cloud, back in Week 2. Southern Cloud defeated Tescott, 56-6, last week.

District 5 (5th) Logan-Palco (2-6) at District 6 (5th) Quinter (1-7)

Logan-Palco was expected to have a drop off after huge graduation losses from Colton Greving, Riley Allen and most notably David Thompson, who rushed for 4,764 yards and had 385 tackles in his career. All three players signed to play a college sport. Quinter ended a 33-game losing streak with a 54-20 win against rival Wheatland-Grinnell in Week 6. Before then, the Bulldogs’ last victory was a 54-34 home win against Logan-Palco on Oct. 10, 2014. The following year, the Trojans beat Quinter, 54-6, the last meeting before this year. The Trojans have 98 percent of its rushing yards from non-seniors and have significantly used freshman quarterback Dylan Van Laeys.

District 5 (6th) Wilson (1-7) at District 6 (6th) Wheatland-Grinnell (1-7)

Both teams have lost seven straight games after winning their season-opener. After back-to-back winning seasons, Wilson is 2-15 in the last two falls. Wheatland-Grinnell is back in the eight-man ranks after it previously played six-man. These teams split two meetings in ’04-05 for the last games between the squads. Wheatland-Grinnell won 44-8 in ’04 and Wilson earned a 46-24 win the following year.

District 7 (5th) Norwich (2-6) at District 8 (5th) Bucklin (3-5)

Norwich had posted a 10-9 record in the last two seasons and has taken a three-win decrease from 2017. Bucklin has its most victories since its last winning season, a 6-2 mark in 2007. The teams have been pretty equal in points scored/allowed. Norwich has scored 186 and allowed 302. Bucklin has scored 166 and permitted 319. The Red Aces did their part in keeping SPIAA League rival Minneola out of the playoffs by beating the Wildcats, 48-42 last week.

District 7 (6th) Fairfield (1-7) at District 8 (6th) Minneola (3-5)

Fairfield has tallied just 92 points all season, one of five Division teams with under 100 points scored this fall. The Falcons defeated Burrton, 50-38, in Week 3 and ended a 19-game losing streak. Meanwhile, Minneola scored 92 points in one game – a 92-80 victory over Ingalls back in Week 7. The Wildcats are 3-2 since an 0-3 start to the season. Minneola had three straight winning seasons before a 2-7 mark last fall. Sophomore Bryton Lantz has rushed for 784 yards and nine scores. All but two of the team’s rushing yards have come from non-seniors.

District 7 (7th) Burrton (0-8) at District 8 (7th) Chase (1-7)

For a second consecutive week, Burrton will play Chase. The Chargers and Kats met last week in a non-district game as both schools were members of seven-team districts, meaning one team does not play a district opponent each week. Chase won last week’s meeting, 56-6, and in doing so extended Burrton’s losing streak to 16 in a row. Chase won its first playoff game since 1986 two years ago, but the Kats are just 3-14 since. Burrton has scored 134 points but permitted 419, while Chase has tallied 122 and allowed 356.

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