The Pick List - Week 5

Piper QB Ty Banes. (Photo courtesy of Instant Replay KC &
By: Matt Gilmore, John Baetz, & Conor Nicholl for
Oct 2, 2014

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Each Thursday throughout the regular season, The Pick List will feature a few of the best match-ups across the state, and make our predictions on a handful of other games.

Feature Games of the Week:

5A No. 4 Blue Valley West (3-1) at 4A-I No. 1 Bishop Miege (4-0)

Another week; another big test for Bishop Miege in the Eastern Kansas League.  The Stags will host 5A’s fourth-ranked Blue Valley West Jaguars in a game that will help sort out the EKL standings.

Miege is the only remaining unbeaten in the league after last week’s 37-20 win over St. Thomas Aquinas. Quarterback Ryan Willis threw for 282 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 56 yards and another score in the win. 

After battling with Aquinas in for the better part of three quarters, Willis' touchdown run early in the fourth quarter expanded the Stags' lead to 37-13. Miege put up nearly 450 yards of total offense on the night. Dawson Downing rushed for 95 yards and a score and caught four passes for 82 yards and two scores.

Willis has completed 62 percent of his pass attempts for 1,122 yards and 11 touchdowns already this season. He has shown the ability to spread the ball around to plenty of different targets. Jafar Armstrong and Danny Murphy each have 20 receptions for 389 and 302 yards, respectively. Meanwhile, Emilio Podrecca and Chris Ford have hauled in 12 and 11 catches respectively for 149 and 131 yards.

Downing leads the EKL in rushing with 616 yards and eight scores. He’s also caught seven passes for 126 yards and four touchdowns this season.

Blue Valley West returned to the 5A rankings after doubling-up Gardner-Edgerton 42-21. The Jaguars built a 28-0 lead in the first half and eventually led 42-7.

The Jaguars played without Zev Mallin at quarterback after he left the week prior with an injury. Nathan Wiles stepped in for Mallin to pass for 140 yards and a touchdown -- a 90-yard strike to Jake Lansford.  If Mallin is out again, Wiles will look to veteran receivers like Luke Curtis who has nearly 300 yards receiving through four games.

Tyler Cox leads Blue Valley West in rushing with 484 yards and six touchdowns.  Cox rushed for 158 yards and four touchdowns in last week’s win over the Trailblazers.

The Stags and Jaguars split a pair of games last season with Blue Valley West winning 38-24 in the 5A playoffs.

Our Pick: Bishop Miege 34, Blue Valley West 24 (Gilmore)

Bonner Springs (3-1) at 4A-I No. 4 KC Piper (4-0)

The Braves will take on the Pirates at Piper Stadium in what writer Dion Clisso calls one of the better rivalries in the Kaw Valley League.

The Piper Pirates are the fourth ranked team in 4A-I and are led by Kansas Pregame coverboy Colton Beebe.  Beebe is one of the top recruits in Kansas with offers from FBS programs Air Force, Kansas, and Minnesota. He is a vicious tackler and runs through opposing blockers on the way to the ball carrier, but is equally effective as a blocker, runner, or pass-catcher out of the backfield.

Piper quarterback Ty Banes is an efficient passer who has completed 25 of 39 passes for 370 yards with four TDs.  In addition, speedy running back Travon Jones is averaging 7.4 yards per carry.

Beebe leads the defense with an incredible 55 tackles but three other Pirate defenders have tallied 30 stops on the year. Senior Sean Pahls leads the team with six sacks.

Bonner Springs is 3-1 with their only loss coming by one touchdown to Eudora in the season opener. Since then the Braves have scored solid victories against Chanute, Basehor-Linwood, and Lansing.

The Braves offense is led by talented dual-threat QB Conner Byers and senior receivers Jonah Freese and Thaddeus Glenn.

Former Garden City Community College coach Lucas Aslin has done a good job developing the Brave program into a winner, but the Piper Pirates are proven playoff contender with experience and depth.

Our Pick: Piper 28, Bonner Springs 21 (Baetz)

Santa Fe Trail (4-0) at Wellsville (2-2)

One of the better stories of the 2014 season thus far is the success of the Santa Fe Trail Chargers.

Santa Fe Trail is off to a 4-0 start having dominated the opposition in winning by an average score of 51-6. The Chargers now have their most wins in a season in at least the past ten seasons.  Santa Fe Trail snapped a long losing streak last season, and entered this year with a combined 10-80 record over the past ten seasons.

Jayson Duncan’s roster is experienced with around 30 upperclassmen and working to develop a consistent winner. The Charger backfield is balanced this season with three backs having rushed for more than 250 yards thus far.

Darric Cashier leads the team with 493 yards and eight scores, while Cody Vandevord and Chaz Wright have added 275 and 263 yards, respectively.

Quarterback Weston Gloss has completed 70 percent of his passes for 487 yards and six scores. Three different receivers have more than 140 yards receiving, including Vandevord, Wright, and Daniel Courtwright.

The Chargers are one of two remaining unbeaten teams in the Pioneer League race along with Prairie View.  The Chargers and Buffaloes meet in a key district showdown in Week 8.

This week, Santa Fe Trail gets traditional Pioneer League power Wellsville.

The Eagles are 2-2 on the season, but those two losses have come 3-0 to Prairie View in overtime and 19-16 at Eudora last week.

Wellsville is led by senior back Brett Osbern who has rushed for 428 yards and six scores after running for more than 1,240 yards and 15 scores a season ago.

Beating the Eagles at home will be a tough task, but the experience and balance of the Chargers may be enough to carry them through.

Our Pick: Santa Fe Trail 27, Wellsville 21 (Gilmore)

Wichita Trinity (4-0) at Cheney (4-0)

Wichita Trinity travels to Cheney in a battle of unbeatens in the Central Plains League.

The story for Trinity has been Kansas Pregame coverboy Tyler Burns. The younger brother to K-State cornerback Morgan Burns, Tyler has rushed for 712 yards and 15 touchdowns through three games.  He is one of the top college recruits in Kansas, but Burns isn't the only offensive weapon for the Knights.

Senior quarterback Matt Jones has completed 24 of 37 passes for 391 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions. Senior Garrett Kuntz and junior Josh Osborne both have seven catches on the year to lead the Knights.

The Knights are averaging 50.5 points per game and have pitched three shutouts, but against teams that are a combined 1-11. Against Chaparral (3-1) the Knight defense appeared to have question marks in allowing 46 points. Senior Christian Harvey leads the Knight defense with 27 tackles, including 12 for loss.

Cheney appears on the brink of an outstanding season under third-year coach Cory Brack, the former Wichita South head coach.

The Cardinals entered the season with seven returning starters on both sides of the ball and looked impressive in a week one win over traditional CPL power Garden Plain, 35-21.

The Cheney offense - which is no slouch averaging 38.5 points per game - is paced by senior running back Tyler Trego who is third in the CPL in rushing with 624 yards on 82 carries - Burns is second. Junior quarterback Austin Wheelock is a dual threat completing 16 of 25 passes for 242 yards and rushing for 237 yards on 26 carries.

The Cheney defense may also have some question marks. After allowing 21 points to Garden Plain, the Cardinals were solid until surrendering 22 points in last week’s win over struggling Leon-Bluestem.

The Knights will score some points, but the Cardinals will challenge Trinity's defense.

Our Pick: Cheney 42, Trinity 35 (Baetz)

Argonia-Attica (4-0) at Caldwell (3-1)

This will be a matchup of offense versus defense in wide-open Eight-Man, Division II, District 4.

Argonia-Attica owns a quality win against previously undefeated Pratt-Skyline, 90-52, last week. The Titans have outscored opponents 258-132 and ranks No. 2 in scoring offense in the classification, according to A&A went 5-4 last season in the first year of the co-op, including a 42-14 victory against Caldwell in Week 8.

The Titans have averaged 413 yards of offense per game – 180 in the air and 233 through the ground. Junior Alec McDaniel has rushed for 633 yards with a 13/3 TD/INT ratio. He has also rushed for 413 yards and nine touchdowns.

Caldwell has outscored opponents 112-46 and stands second to Chetopa, ranked No. 1 in the classification poll, in scoring defense. The Blue Jays’ lone loss was a 14-12 road defeat to Udall in Week 2.

Argonia hasn’t made the playoffs since 2006, Attica since 1997. Caldwell has reached the postseason most recently in 2009, ’10 and ’12.

Caldwell has 10 seniors this season, including six returning starters on both sides of the ball. Senior Hunter Stuewe is Caldwell’s biggest returning starter at 6-0, 210 pounds.

Argonia-Attica is one of six undefeated teams left in the classification, an eclectic group that includes Chetopa, defending state runner-up Wallace County, Chase, Northern Valley, Ingalls and Stafford. Of that group, A&A, Chase, and Northern Valley were not playoff teams in 2013, while Stafford and Ingalls lost in the first round.

The Titans pass this test by scoring just enough to win.

Our Pick: Argonia-Attica 30, Caldwell 28 (Nicholl)

The Pick List:

Hutchinson (1-3) at Maize (3-1) – Maize

6A No. 1 SM East (4-0) at Lawrence Free State (2-2) – SM East

Wichita Northwest (3-1) at Wichita West (2-2) – Wichita Northwest

5A No. 2 Salina South (4-0) at Andover (4-0) – Salina South

4A-II No. 1 Andale (4-0) at Wellington (4-0) – Andale

Chanute (1-3) at Independence (3-1) – Chanute

Winfield (2-2) at 3A No. 1 Silver Lake (4-0) – Silver Lake

4A-II No. 3 Holton (3-1) at Nemaha Central (4-0) – Holton

Beloit (3-1) at Southeast of Saline (4-0) -- Beloit

Ell-Saline (3-1) at Hutchinson Trinity (4-0) – Hutch Trinity

Rural Vista (3-1) at 8M-I No. 5 Madison (3-1) – Madison

Wheatland-Grinnell (3-1) at Hoxie (1-3) -- Hoxie


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