District Preview: 8-Man, Division II

Does Luke Schemm and Sharon Springs-Wallace County have enough for a playoff run? (by Peggy Fischer)
By: John Baetz, Matt Gilmore, Conor Nicholl, & Mark Schremmer for Kpreps.com
Sep 30, 2014

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Eight-Man, Division II will crown a new champion in 2014 as two-time defending champion Baileyville B&B closed its doors last year. The Falcons had won three of the past four 8-Man II titles.

As we begin to focus on district play and potential playoff contenders this season, it doesn’t take long before your eyes focus on District 7.

That district houses three ranked teams in No. 2 Beloit St. John’s-Tipton, No. 3 Thunder Ridge, and No. 4 Victoria, but it also features unbeaten Northern Valley and high-scoring Otis Bison.

On the east side of the bracket, top-ranked Chetopa gets the headlines and should roll through the remainder of the regular season.

District 4 should be competitive with unbeaten Argonia-Attica, a strong Caldwell team, Pretty Prairie, and a talented South Barber team that has been depleted by injuries.


District 1   (Schremmer)

  • Axtell (2-2) – The Eagles have played only one Kansas team through for games. Axtell fell 52-12 in the season-opener. Since then, the Eagles have defeated two Nebraska schools before falling St. Joseph Christian in Missouri.
  • Frankfort (2-2) – Frankfort’s two losses are to quality teams in Hanover and Burlingame. Jake Rose and Jase Suther have each rushed for more than 325 yards.
  • Linn (2-2) – After starting the season 2-0, the Bulldogs have dropped consecutive games to Hodgeman County and Chase. Sophomore quarterback Chase McGatlin has passed for 819 yards and nine touchdowns. Chad Gross has been McGatlin’s favorite target with 26 catches for more than 500 yards.
  • Blue Valley Randolph (0-4) – The Rams have been limited to 22 points all season. Blue Valley Randolph started the 2013 season 5-0. Since then, it has been on an eight-game losing streak.
  • Pike Valley (0-4) – The Panthers enter district competition on a seven-game losing streak. Pike Valley played Lakeside-Downs close in the season-opening game, but have scored only 12 points in the past three outings.
  • Southern Cloud (0-4) – The Warriors finished 6-4 and advanced to the playoffs last season. This year, they are allowing 55.5 points per game.

Key games: (Wk 5) Axtell at Frankfort; (Wk 7) Frankfort at Linn; (Wk 9) Axtell at Linn

Winner: Axtell

Runner-up: Frankfort

District 2   (Baetz)

  • Chase (4-0) – The Chase Kats feature an explosive offense that has rolled up at least 50 points in each of their four wins. Last week, the Kats beat a solid Linn team 56-6.
  • Tescott (2-2) – After opening the season with two losses, the Trojans have won their last two and have scored at least 42 points in each of the last three games. The offense is led by quarterback Joel McCosh and running back Josh Luder, both seniors. Luder rushed for 225 yards on 26 carries in last week's win over Southern Cloud.
  • Centre-Lost Springs (1-3) – The Centre Cougars have allowed at least 52 points in each of their three losses, and have squeaked by Goessel 30-28 in Week 3. Quarterback Dakota Stimpson directs the Cougar offense. He rushed for 153 yards and was 5 of 13 passing for 48 yards in the win over Goessel.
  • Sylvan-Lucas Unified (1-3) – After a week one drubbing of Natoma, the Mustangs have dropped their last three games and allowed at least 36 points in each contest. The Mustangs have been hit by the injury bug this season as quarterback Collin Herold and tailback Ty Heenan have both missed time. Herold and Heenan are the offensive leaders of the Mustang squad.
  • Burrton (0-4) – The Chargers are currently mired in a 27-game losing streak dating back to Week 5 of the 2011 season. During that stretch Burrton has allowed at least 42 points in every loss.
  • Wilson (0-4) – Wilson is winless having allowed at least 29 points in all four losses. In the last two contests, the Dragons have lost a heartbreaker to St. John's Military, 29-24, and scored 26 points in a 58-26 loss to Natoma.

Key games:  (Wk 6) Sylvan-Lucas at Tescott; (Wk 7) Tescott at Centre; (Wk 9) Centre at Sylvan-Lucas

Winner: Chase

Runner-up: Sylvan-Lucas

District 3   (Schremmer)

  • Chetopa (4-0) – The Green Hornets are ranked No. 1 in the state, crushing their first four opponents. Chetopa boasts a big-play offense with quarterback Phillip Moses, running back Derrick Cassell and receiver Sherrick Rogers leading the way.
  • Colony-Crest (3-1) – The Lancers’ only loss was to Uniontown, a team that Chetopa beat 56-8. Senior Rene Rodriguez has been the Lancers’ leading rusher.
  • Hartford (1-3) – The Jaguars’ record may be a little misleading. Hartford’s first three losses came to 3-1 Burlingame, 4-0 Waverly and 3-1 Madison. This past week, the Jaguars earned a convincing win over Marais des Cygnes Valley.
  • Elk Valley (0-2) – Elk Valley has played only twice this season. In those games, the Lions fell 66-0 to Sedan and 42-8 to Flinthills.
  • Altoona-Midway (0-4) – Altoona-Midway has scored only seven points this season. The Jets are allowing an average of 75.0 points.
  • Southern Coffey Co. (0-4) – The Titans are on a five-game losing streak. Southern Coffey Co. played within six points of Waverly in the season-opener.

Key games: (Wk 6) Colony-Crest at Hartford should decide the second playoff spot

Winner: Chetopa

Runner-up: Hartford

District 4  (Gilmore)

  • Argonia-Attica (4-0) – In their first year of eligibility, the Titans look to make a playoff run. A&A posted a solid win over Pratt-Skyline 90-52 last week. The Titans have averaged 64.5 points per game this season. Junior quarterback Alec McDaniel leads the Titans with 633 yards passing and 13 scores, while rushing for 413 yards and nine more touchdowns.
  • Caldwell (3-1) – After posting a two-point win over Central Burden and losing by two points at Udall in Week 2, the Blue Jays got on track with an impressive 54-20 win over West Elk. In that game, Caldwell held the Patriot’s standout running back Armando Gomez to 18 yards on 23 carries.
  • Norwich (2-2) – Norwich quarterback Jacob Norris had already compiled more than 3,500 yards and 55 touchdowns before a season-ending injury in Week 6 last year. He returned for his junior campaign this year, but hasn’t played since leaving the game in Week 1. Sophomore Nick Kyle has filled in and passed for 933 yards and 13 scores.
  • Pretty Prairie (2-2) – Pretty Prairie has alternated losses and wins this season after four week. The Bulldogs have lost to unbeaten Stafford and one-loss Pratt-Skyline. The Bulldogs saw their streak of four straight playoff appearances end a year ago as they posted their only losing record in the past ten seasons.
  • South Barber (1-3) – South Barber’s chances at a playoff run have taken a hit with a knee injury to All-State quarterback Peyton Yandel. Although sophomore Grant Cantrell has been good in his absence. Cantrell passed for 232 yards and three scores and rushed for 111 more and a touchdown in last week’s 42-34 loss to Stafford. He and Dylan Allison, who has also been hurt, will try and replace Yandel who has more than 5,500 yards of total offense and 104 touchdowns in his career.
  • South Haven (1-3) – South Haven has reached the playoffs in each of the past ten seasons, but the Cardinals are just 1-3 this year. South Haven’s only win came in Week 2 over Sedan, 44-38. The Cardinals have surrendered more than 50 points per game in their three losses.

Key Games: (Wk 5) Argonia-Attica at Caldwell; (Wk 6) Caldwell at Pretty Prairie; (Wk 7) Argonia-Attica at Pretty Prairie; (Wk 7) Caldwell at South Barber; (Wk 8) South Barber at Pretty Prairie; (Wk 9) Argonia-Attica at South Barber

Winner: Caldwell

Runner-up: Argonia-Attica


District 5   (Gilmore)

  • Stafford (4-0) – Last season the Trojans reached the playoffs for only the fourth time in school history and the first since 1990. The Trojans scored their first playoff points in school history, but fell 24-20 to Waverly in the first round. Now, 2013 Kpreps All-State selection Ethan Johnson is looking to lead the Trojans deeper into the playoffs. Johnson has already rushed for 790 yards and 12 scores this season and is approaching 3,700 yards for his career.
  • Fairfield (3-1) – The Falcons have posted consecutive winning seasons for the first time since 2007 and 2008, but haven’t made the playoffs in the past ten seasons. If Fairfield is to make it this year, it will be Cannon Burns that carries them there. The senior has already rushed for 1,325 yards and 20 touchdowns in four games – or 331.3 yards per game. Fairfield is averaging 70 points per game, but giving up nearly 53 per game.
  • Minneola (3-1) – Minneola’s only loss this season has come to unbeaten Ingalls, 50-38. The Wildcats feature junior Landon Walker, a Kpreps All-District selection in 2013, who has 589 yards rushing and nearly 250 yards receiving to go with ten touchdowns. Quarterback Joey Harrington has also rushed for 585 yards and 12 scores.
  • Ashland (1-3) – Ashland’s only win thus far has come 44-12 against Fowler. In their three losses, the Blue Jays have surrendered 56 points per game. Senior Corey McCann has passed for 600 yards and eight scores this season.
  • Bucklin (0-4) – The Red Aces haven’t won a game since a 1-8 season since 2008; some 52 losses ago. The best shot this season may come Week 7 against Cunningham. Bucklin’s only postseason appearance since 1999 came in 2006. The team has six seniors on the roster including 2013 Kpreps All-District Honorable Mention Colton Downey.
  • Cunningham (0-4) – Cunningham has been struggling with numbers and injuries as evidenced by their Week Three forfeit to South Barber. The Wildcats have lost 14 consecutive games entering district play.

Key Games:  (Wk 5) Fairfield at Minneola; (Wk 7) Fairfield at Stafford; (Wk 9) Minneola at Stafford

Winner: Stafford

Runner-up: Fairfield

District 6   (Nicholl)

  • Ingalls (4-0) – Ingalls, a district runner-up last season, has scored at least 50 points in every contest. The Bulldogs’ closest game was a 50-38 victory against Minneola in Week 3. Junior Branson Sandoval has 33 carries for 271 yards and four scores, and senior quarterback Zeke Cox has eight completions – six for scores, against no interceptions.
  • Satanta (3-1) – Satanta won its first three games by 50, 38 and 12 points before a 48-0 loss to Hodgeman County last week. Satanta went 4-5 and 2-7 in the eight-man ranks in 2013 and ’12 after it moved down from 2-1A. Satanta is 1-5 all-time in the playoffs with the last appearance in 2004.
  • Fowler (1-3) – After back-to-back playoff seasons (and three in four years), the Goldbugs graduated plenty of talent and have slid back. Fowler has just 13 players and picked up a 46-0 victory against struggling Bucklin last Friday.
  • Moscow (0-3)Moscow, with first-year coach C.J. Madison, lost its first two contests by at least 34 points and took a 44-30 defeat against Dighton-Healy last week.
  • Rolla (0-3) - After back-to-back playoff appearances, Rolla has scored just 16 points in three games and lost every contest by at least 44 points.
  • Deerfield (0-4) – Deerfield has lost three games by at least 21 points, but did play a solid Triplains-Brewster team to a 36-28 margin in Week 2. First-year coach Jarrod Hernandez’s squad has averaged 71 passing yards and 124 rushing yards per game.

Key Games:  (Wk 6) Satanta at Ingalls will likely decide both playoff spots

Winner: Ingalls

Runner-up: Satanta

District 7   (Nicholl)

  • Northern Valley (4-0) — Northern Valley graduated its three best players: QB Hunter Chandler, RB Jordan Baird and OL Ian Vincent, from a 5-4 team in 2013. The Huskies have been perhaps the biggest surprise in the west behind QB Matt Stutsman, and arguably one of Kansas’ more
    underrated players, RB/LB Phillip Bryant. Northern Valley is now 22-9 since the start of the 2011 season, but has no playoff berths since 2005.
  • Beloit St. John’s-Tipton (3-1)The Blujays’ lone loss came in Week 2 against Osborne, currently on a 17-game winning streak. BSJT gets both Thunder Ridge and Victoria at home, a place where it has lost just once in the last three years. BSJT defeated Thunder Ridge in the regular season and Victoria in the playoffs last season. Senior quarterback Trey Dubbert has thrown for 410 yards with a 7/2 TD/INT ratio.
  • Otis-Bison (3-1) - Otis-Bison won the highest-scoring game in eight-man state history, 104-70, against Kinsley last week. Sophomore Brad Lightfoot had 415 total yards and 10 scores. Otis-Bison has matched last season’s win total. The Cougars have had some problems with injuries, including to sophomore quarterback Kade Urban.
  • Thunder Ridge (3-1) - The Longhorns, like BSJT, have just lost to Osborne. Since then, Thunder Ridge have won three in a row by at least 36 points. Senior running back Trent Rietzke leads the Longhorn offense.
  • Victoria (3-1) - The Knights have had four defensive/special teams scores (one in each game) and another kickoff down to the seven-yard line that set up a score in another game. Victoria has won three straight after an opening 42-24 loss to Central Plains – and won the turnover margin handily in each game. The Knights have the longest current eight-man playoff streak at 12 seasons.
  • Natoma (2-2) - Natoma, with just 11 players, is now 7-6 in its last 13 games, but will likely have trouble competing in such a strong district. The Tigers have averaged 382 yards of offense per game and junior Dean Masters has 53 carries for 428 yards and seven scores.

Key Games:  The top five teams are all playoff caliber and even Natoma, in another district, could finish with a winning record. But this district comes down to BSJT, Thunder Ridge and Victoria, ranked 2-3-4 in the classification. (Wk 6) Victoria at St. John’s-Tipton; (Wk 7) Thunder Ridge at Victoria; (Wk 8) Thunder Ridge at St. John’s-Tipton

Winner: St. John’s-Tipton

Runner-up: Victoria

District 8   (Nicholl)

  • Triplains-Brewster (3-1, 2-0 district) — Triplains-Brewster quietly went 6-3 in 2013 and has started 3-1 this season under third-year coach Tony Stramel. Triplains-Brewster took a solid 26-20 Week 1 loss to St. Francis and then defeated struggling Deerfield 36-28 in Week 2 before back-to-back big victories. Home games against Wallace County and Hoxie the next two weeks will likely determine the Titans’ season.
  • Wheatland-Grinnell (3-1, 2-0 district) — The Thunderhawks are another big surprise out west after they couldn’t finish the season last year due to injury. After a 50-0 season-opening loss to Chase, Wheatland-Grinnell has won three straight, each game by at least 28 points.
  • Sharon Springs-Wallace Co. (4-0, 1-0 district) – Wallace County has been very impressive under new coach Jeff Hennick, an assistant last season and the quarterback on the ’07 state championship team. The Wildcats have three quality victories against Atwood, Oberlin, and Hoxie by 12, 14 and eight points.
  • Hoxie (1-3, 1-1 district) – Hoxie, which finished 10-2 and played in the sub-state championship game last season, has faced a brutal early schedule. The Indians, with just a 15-player roster, lost 46-14 to Oberlin in Week 1 and then 38-34 in the final seconds to Quinter in Week 2. After a blowout Week 3 victory, Hoxie fell to Wallace County, 24-16, in another close matchup. Senior all-state running back Connor Katt has 71 carries for 702 yards and five scores.
  • Tribune-Greeley Co. (1-3, 0-1 district) – Greeley County defeated Weskan, 32-31, in a season-opening six-man contest and then has lost each game by at least 44 points since.
  • Cheylin (0-4, 0-2 district) – Cheylin has lost every game by at least 39 points and will play 6-man game with Weskan on Friday before starting district play. The Cougars have now lost eight straight games.
  • Golden Plains (0-4, 0-2 district)The Bulldogs, a program historically known for staying around .500 and strong offense, have struggled greatly in 2014. Golden Plains has lost every game by at least 45 points.

Key Games:  (Wk 6) Hoxie at Triplains-Brewster should decide the runner-up spot

Winner: Sharon Springs-Wallace County

Runner-up: Hoxie


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