The Pick List - Week 9

Keshaun McGaugh & Wichita Northwest will try an win a district title. (Photo by Brooklyn Bockover)
By: Matt Gilmore, Conor Nicholl, & Mark Schremmer for
Oct 29, 2014

Share This Story:

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:

Lawrence Free State (5-3) at 6A No. 4 Topeka High (7-1)

The Class 6A District 5 championship will be on the line when Lawrence Free State travels to Topeka High.

Two of the better dual-threat quarterbacks in the classification will square off in Free State’s Bryce Torneden and Topeka’s Alec Beatty.

Topeka High as won two straight since on overtime loss to Shawnee Heights. The Trojans have lived with an explosive offense that averages 55 points per game. Beatty leads that offense having rushed for 971 yards, while passing for 1,488 yards.

Mike McCoy has been steady out of the Trojan backfield with 957 yards rushing on just 115 carries.

Last week, Trojan junior running back Saylor Caraway rushed for 233 yards and a touchdown in the 49-28 win over Washburn Rural.

Beatty had what has become a typical game for him. The senior quarterback put up 418 yards of total offense, rushed for a score, and passed for three more touchdowns.

Khalil Austin caught nine Beatty passes for 186 yards and a score. Austin has 722 receiving yards this season.

Free State is led by Torneden who has rushed for 949 yards and ten touchdowns. He has been able to throw the ball effectively as well with 628 yards and seven touchdowns.

Joel Spain leads the Firebirds with 270 receiving yards and three scores.

The Free State defense has been solid in allowing 18 points per game. That total is skewed as a result of a 35-21 upset loss to Leavenworth and a 42-14 loss to top-ranked Shawnee Mission East.

Last week, the Firebirds won at Manhattan 35-14. Topeka High defeated the Indians 52-41 a week earlier.

Our Pick: Free State 27, Topeka High 24 (Gilmore)

Wichita Northwest (7-1) at Hutchinson (4-4)

Another district championship will be decided in Class 6A District 8.

Wichita Northwest puts a seven-game winning streak on the line when the Grizzlies visit Hutchinson.

Steve Martin’s Grizzlies opened the season with a 43-14 loss to 5A No. 1 Bishop Carroll and have been impressive ever since.

Northwest’s closest wins came by 17 points over Kapaun Mt. Carmel and 21 points at Garden City last week.

Keshaun McGaugh has had a breakout senior season in rushing for 1,125 yards and 16 touchdowns. Sophomore Jahlyl Rounds has added 341 yards and seven scores on the ground.

K’Veion Richard has been effective at quarterback since taking over when starter Kevin Folsom was lost for the season with an ankle injury. Richard has passed for 477 yards and four scores, while rushing for 255 yards and three scores.

The Grizzlies have good options at receiver with Karol Williams, Alex Bott, and Shane Brock. Williams leads Northwest with 18 catches for 339 yards and six scores.

Hutchinson’s 2014 season has been eerily similar to 2013. The Salthawks have dealt with numerous injuries to key players, but have won two straight to even their record at 4-4.

Dodge City transfer Blaik Middleton rushed for 313 yards and five touchdowns as the Salthawks topped Middleton’s former school 48-28.

The question for Hutchinson is on defense where as many as eight starters are injured.

In addition, Hutch quarterback Turner Wintz, a two-way starter, sustained a concussion last week and is not expected to play.

Our Pick: Northwest 31, Hutchinson 20 (Gilmore)

Fort Scott (7-1) at Paola (6-2)

Fort Scott is on a five-game winning streak since falling 41-0 to Class 5A Pittsburg in Week 3.

The Tigers defeated Chanute 23-8 in the first week of district play.

Chase Brown has been the Tigers’ leading rusher with 552 yards and eight touchdowns. Junior Carter Young has rushed for 308 yards and five touchdowns. Quinney Brendyn and Mason Knopp have both rushed for more than 200.

Paola (6-2) has a knack for keeping games close.

The Panthers have played in three overtime games this year, and five of their games have been decided by six point or fewer.

Paola suffered overtime losses to Spring Hill and Baldwin but earned a 21-20 double-overtime win over Chanute last week.

Our Pick: Fort Scott 21, Paola 14 (Schremmer)

Hays (7-1) at 4A-I No. 4 McPherson (6-2)

Perhaps no district will receive more attention than Class 4A, Division I, District  8 with Abilene, Buhler, Hays and McPherson all quality teams – and all alive entering the final week.

McPherson pulled off a big win, 44-42, against Buhler last week and can win the district Friday at home. McPherson is 2-0 with a plus-13 points in district play, Buhler is 1-1 at plus-19, Hays is minus-20 and Abilene is minus-12.

McPherson lost 61-32 to Salina South and 42-21 to Andale – two teams with a combined one loss – in the first two weeks and haven’t lost since. In the Buhler victory, quarterback Kyler Kinnamon ran for two
scores, threw for three scores and returned an interception for a score. Kinnamon threw touchdowns of 48, 20 and 45 yards and finished with 327 yards of total offense.

Hays High has enjoyed a great season with a rare undefeated WAC title, and is 7-1 in its first season of Class 4A, Division I with new coach Bo Black.

However, the Indians are in real danger of beating McPherson on the road, finishing 8-1 – and not making the playoffs. No Kansas 11-man team has gone 8-1 without a playoff berth since Sabetha in 2007, according to archives.

Hays High held off Abilene, 34-33, in Senior Night last Friday after a big loss to Buhler, 55-21, in Week 7.

The Indians have averaged 444 yards of offense per game. Senior quarterback Alex Delton has delivered the best season of his career with 1,341 rushing yards and 1,220 passing yards with 25 touchdowns accounted for.

Hays High has allowed 50, 55 and 33 points in the last three games.

Hays High will win the game in a shootout, but the margin won’t be enough for give the Indians the tiebreaker.

Our Pick: Hays 54, McPherson 42 (Nicholl)

3A No. 1 Silver Lake (8-0) at 3A No. 2 Rossville (8-0)

The top two ranked teams in Class 3A happen to be in the same district.

No. 1 Silver Lake (8-0) will make the short trip to face No. 2 Rossville (8-0) in the War on 24 Thursday night. The Class 3A District 4 championship will be on the line.

Both teams have been dominant through the first eight games of the season. Rossville has scored at least 41 points every game, and the Bulldogs have won their first two district games by a combined score of 168-30.

Rossville junior quarterback Tucker Horak has passed for more than 1,000 yards and has rushed for almost 1,200.

Silver Lake has allowed only 22 points all season and has won its district games by a combined score of 134-8.

Eagles senior quarterback Ryan Matzke has passed for almost 1,300 yards, while rushing for more than 400.

No matter who wins this game, there is a good chance the two teams will have a rematch in the state semifinals.

Rossville beat Silver Lake 27-21 in the regular season last year before falling 27-13 in the semifinals.

The Eagles went on to a dominating victory in the state championship game.

Our Pick: Silver Lake 28, Rossville 21 (Schremmer)

The Pick List:

Blue Valley (7-1) at Blue Valley Northwest (5-3) – Blue Valley

Garden City (3-5) at Dodge City (4-4) – Dodge City

Kapaun Mt. Carmel (5-3) at Wichita Heights (7-1) – Wichita Heights

Pittsburg (7-1) at St. Thomas Aquinas (6-2) -- Aquinas

St. James Academy (6-2) at Bonner Springs (6-2) – St. James

Topeka Seaman (4-4) at Shawnee Heights (4-4) – Shawnee Heights

Baldwin (5-3) at Eudora (5-3) -- Eudora

Buhler (6-2) at Abilene (6-2) -- Buhler

Wellington (5-3) at Ulysses (6-2) -- Ulysses

Santa Fe Trail (6-2) at Osawatomie (6-2) – Santa Fe Trail

Cimarron (6-2) at Scott City (8-0) – Scott City

Conway Springs (8-0) at Chaparral (7-1) – Conway Springs

Galena (4-4) at Riverton (5-3) -- Galena

Halstead (6-2) at Hutchinson Trinity (8-0) – Hutchinson Trinity

La Crosse (7-1) at Oakley (5-3) – La Crosse

Smith Center (5-3) at Phillipsburg (7-1) -- Phillipsburg

Whitewater-Remington (4-4) at Lyndon (7-1) – Lyndon

Burlingame (6-2) at Madison (6-2) -- Madison

Hodgeman County (7-1) at Ness City (6-2) – Ness City

Uniontown (5-3) at Waverly (7-1) -- Uniontown

Minneola (7-1) at Stafford (8-0) -- Minneola


Use your Facebook account to add a comment or start a discussion. Posts are subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment.