Tuesday Playoff Preview: 8-Man, Division I

Caleb DeNoon will lead Yates Center into the playoffs for the first time since 1990. (David Jackson)
By: Conor Nicholl & Matt Gilmore for Kpreps.com
Nov 4, 2013

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Class 8-Man – Division I

8M-I East: No. 3 Madison (8-1) at No. 1 Osborne (9-0)

The state’s premier eight-man matchup could be a state championship-esque game in the first round.

Madison has won two of the last three state championships, has battled some injuries, had some turnovers and lost 40-34 to Peabody-Burns in Week 8, only the second regular season loss since 2009.

Osborne has rolled through their schedule with a variety of offensive weapons and is Kansas’ No. 1 offense with 554 points. The Bulldogs already have a three-win improvement from last season and has significantly improved their defense. Osborne allowed 350 points in 2012 and has permitted 148 points this year.

Sophomore quarterback Jake Tiernan, coach Steve Tiernan's son, continues to have more touchdown passes (19) than incompletions (11). Seniors Maverick Lerock (848 rushing,18 scores, three sacks) and Kenton Ubelaker (1,709 all-purpose yards, 28 TDs) have enjoyed great seasons. Ubelaker has five of the team’s eight defensive/special teams scores.

Statistically, Madison is actually the better team. The Bulldogs have outscored opponents 459-188 against the No. 5 strength of schedule, while Osborne has faced the No. 51 SOS, according to preppowerindex.com. However, Osborne is healthier, playing at home and simply has too many weapons.

Osborne 52, Madison 36 (Nicholl)

8M-I East: Clifton-Clyde (7-2) at Peabody-Burns (8-1)

Clifton-Clyde will travel to Peabody-Burns in what appears to be one of the most even first round match-ups on paper.

The Eagles are returning to the playoffs for the first time since 2010, while Peabody-Burns made the postseason a year ago falling to Mankato-Rock Hills 72-26 in the first round. The Warriors have failed to advance past the first round in each of their last four playoff apperances.

This season, though, Peabody-Burns has the signature 40-34 upset of then No. 1 Madison back in Week 8. Not only did that win propel the Warriors into the playoffs, but it set up perhaps the best first-round game in the state pitting Madison against No. 1 Osborne.

The Warriors are led by senior running back Fred Winsor who has totaled 1,276 yards and 20 touchdowns on the ground.  Quarterback Braxton Kyle provides a dual-threat option for Peabody having passed for 670 yards and six scores and rushed for 662 yards and eight touchdowns.

Junior Kevin Baatrup is Peabody’s leading receiver with 259 yards and three touchdowns.

Clifton-Clyde will likely keep things on the ground for the majority of Tuesday’s game.  The Eagles single wing attack has produced nearly 3,000 rushing yards on the season.

Caleb Gelino leads the Eagles with 1,179 yards and 17 touchdowns in only eight games. He’s also thrown for more than 560 yards and seven scores.

Coach Russ Steinbrock has found additional options in seniors Austin Biggerstaff and Cortne Vancampen. Biggerstaff has rushed for 756 yards and 11 touchdowns, while Vancampen has added 558 yards and 11 scores.

Speedster William Ohlde can be a difference maker in the return game having already returned four kicks for touchdowns this season.  Look for him to make a big play on special teams and lead the Eagles to their first playoff win since 2009.

Clifton-Clyde 36, Peabody-Burns 28 (Gilmore)

8M-I West:  South Central (8-1) at Central Plains (8-1)

While Central Plains hasn’t been among Eight-Man, Division I’s top-five teams, the Oilers have put together another strong season for coach Chris Steiner. Steiner had his son, Shrine Bowler Bryce, under center last season, but has capably filled the spot with sophomore Braedan Crites. He has completed 81 of 144 passes for 1,696 yards with 29 scores against four interceptions. Crites also has 82 carries for 531 yards and 10 scores. Central Plains has outscored teams 454-210 and has only lost to Victoria, currently ranked No. 4 in Eight-Man, Division II.

South Central has averaged 330 rushing yards a game, and senior quarterback Stetsen Underwood has completed 41 of 70 passes for 609 yards and 11 scores and rushed 162 times for 1,635 yards and 27 TDs. The T-Wolves’ only defeat was a 32-18 loss to Kiowa County in Week 5, but South Central has won two other games by a combined 14 points.

After four straight losing seasons, South Central is back in the playoffs for the first time since an 8-2 season in 2008. All six of South Central’s state appearances have come since 2002. They have never won more than one playoff game in any season. Central Plains reached the quarterfinals two years ago and the Oilers have too much offense for South Central in this one.

Central Plains 40, South Central 24 (Nicholl)

8M-I West: Solomon (8-1) at No. 2 Kiowa County (9-0)

Solomon ranks No. 2 in Eight-Man, Division I in scoring offense at 504 points, but has struggled on defense against the classification’s No. 10 strength of schedule. The Gorillas have allowed 320 points, most among Division I teams that won at least six games. Senior quarterback Colton Shirack has completed 30 of 65 passes for 487 yards with 11 TDs against four interceptions. Senior Mason Demars has 171 carries for 1,294 yards and 23 TDs. Solomon has 70 TDs, 54 on the ground.

Kiowa County has enjoyed plenty of talent the last couple of years, but has finally put it together for a big year. The Mavericks, led by senior Trever Powell, have outscored opponents 460-88 and rank second in the classification in scoring defense. Powell has rushed 162 times for 1,962 yards and 31 scores. He has 2,298 all-purpose yards, 62 tackles and seven interceptions.

These two teams met in the first round last season with Solomon winning 54-42. Kiowa County’s defense and Powell’s all-around talent is the difference this time in what should be a close contest.

Kiowa County 36, Solomon 32  (Nicholl)
The rest of our 8 Man-I first-round picks:
Yates Center (6-3) at West Elk (9-0)
South Haven (8-1) at No. 4 Marais des Cygnes Valley (8-1)
Atwood-Rawlins Co. (8-1) at Hodgeman County (9-0)
Spearville (8-1) at No. 5 Hoxie (8-1)


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