SureFire Picks to Click -- Week 2

Labette County's Klein Ryan (15) hauls in a reception against Independence.(Photo by David Jackson)
By: John Baetz; Dion Clisso; Matt Gilmore; Chet Kuplen; Conor Nicholl; Mark Schremmer
Sep 9, 2015

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We are proud to welcome SureFire Ag Systems as the primary sponsor of our “SureFire Picks to Click” feature for 2015. Our SureFire Picks to Click feature six players or units from across the state that we feel will have breakout performances on Friday night. 

SureFire Ag Systems provides solutions for the control and application of liquid and anhydrous ammonia fertilizer.  SureFire Ag is proud to support Kansas high school football. Learn more about these products, and other industry leading agriculture technologies by visiting and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

We have assembled a team of six media members across the state to each select one player (or unit) each week.  We will track the cumulative statistics of our selections throughout the season similar to fantasy scoring.  

Picks to Click contributors for the 2015 season include: John Baetz (Kansas Pregame Magazine); Dion Clisso (; Matt Gilmore (; Chet Kuplen ( & @sportsinkansas); Conor Nicholl (Kpreps contributor); and Mark Schremmer (The Joplin Globe)

Check back next Thursday to see our picks for week three, and how the players performed that we picked the week prior. See the bottom of this article for details.

Dawson Downing, RB, Bishop Miege  (Clisso)

One of the top players in the state, Downing began his senior season with a 254-yard, five-touchdown effort in the Stags’ 57-14 win over Blue Valley Northwest. Downing earned all-state honors as a junior last fall after rushing for 1,955 yards and 31 touchdowns.  He also accumulated 297 receiving yards and five scores. Look for Downing to have another big game on Friday night as Miege visits a Gardner-Edgerton program currently mired in an 11-game losing streak.

Jacob Green, DL , Norton   (Nicholl)

Green enjoyed another standout game in a 54-14 Week 1 win versus Ellis. Norton led 47-0 at the end of the third quarter. Green supplied six tackles, four for loss and forced a fumble. Norton coach Lucas Melvin said Green is the most athletic big lineman he has ever coached. Last season, Green led the Bluejays with 86 tackles, including 22 for loss. Green is a former 220-pounder third-place finisher in Class 3-2-1A as a freshman and had a standout sophomore year in wrestling before he suffered a knee injury at the end of the year. Norton travels to rival Phillipsburg on Friday. The teams have split the last five meetings, including a 34-7 victory by Norton last year. The matchup is generally low scoring with 27, 36 and 41 combined points in the last three matchups.

Jace McDown, RB, Columbus   (Kuplen)

McDown rushed for 286 yards and five touchdowns last Friday against Class 4A-I’s Chanute Blue Comets. Although he may get limited carries this week unless Southeast-Cherokee can keep the game close, expect another big week for the 4A-II all-state running back. Last season McDown had over 1,600 yards rushing for the 4A-II state runner-up Titans.

Christian Merz, WR, Holcomb  (Baetz)

Longhorn senior quarterback Trey Teeter had Holcomb's offense clicking on all cylinders in their season-opening 48-8 win against Cimarron last week. Teeter connected with three different receivers for more than 75 yards, including classmate Christian Merz, six times for 105 yards.  Merz was unable to score against Cimarron, but look for him to get on the scoreboard this week against Goodland.  Goodland appears to be explosive under new coach Jeff Savage, a veteran of the 8-man ranks. But the Cowboys have struggled to slow down the Longhorn offense in recent seasons and Teeter, Merz, and the rest of the Longhorn weapons will look to capitalize.

Klein Ryan, WR, Labette County (Schremmer)

The 6-foot-2, 175-pound senior had seven catches for 266 yards and two touchdowns during last week's 28-14 loss to Independence. With former Chetopa and Columbus coach Sean Price now leading the Grizzlies, expect them to continue to air it out this week at home against Osawatomie. Ryan, who had seven of Labette County's 10 receptions last week, will be the No. 1 target. 

Zac Walter, QB, Lincoln  (Gilmore)

Walter (6-0, 200) began his senior season by completing seven of eight passes for 202 yards and three touchdowns in the Leopards 50-26 win over Tescott. He also rushed for 50 yards and a touchdown on only six carries. A season ago, Walter passed for 1,228 yards and 15 touchdowns, while rushing for 1,464 yards and 24 scores. In his career, Zac has passed for nearly 2,400 yards and 32 touchdowns and rushed for 3,457 yards and 57 scores. Look for Walter to have another complete game on Friday against Sylvan-Lucas Unified.

Week 1 Picks to Click results (scoring):

Connor Byers, QB, Bonner Springs – Byers led Bonner Springs to a 28-14 win over Eudora. The senior quarterback completed 17 of 31 passes for 246 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 122 yards and two more scores for the Braves. (Clisso – 54 pts)

Brady Dinkel, QB, Victoria  – Dinkel rushed for 89 yards on 17 carries and passed for 57 more yards as Victoria won the battle of 8-Man champions 16-12 over Central Plains. Dinkel was exceptional on defense as well, coming up with two interceptions. (Nicholl – 13 pts)

Armando Gomez, RB, West Elk  – Gomez carried 19 times for 151 yards and four touchdowns in the Patriots 70-48 road win over St. Paul.  Gomez also hauled in one reception for 22 yards and returned a kickoff 72 yards for another score. (Kuplen – 41 pts)

Tucker Horak, QB, Rossville – Horak had a big night on offense to lead the Bulldawgs to a 48-13 win over Clay Center. Horak carried 15 times for 248 yards and three touchdowns.  He also completed 10 of 14 passes for 147 yards and two more touchdowns with one interception. (Gilmore – 68 pts)

Mike McCoy, RB, Topeka High  – McCoy rushed for 112 yards and three touchdowns as Topeka High routed Schlagle, 42-0. McCoy scored on touchdown runs of 10, 4, and 55 yards. (Schremmer – 29 pts)

Ian Rudzik, RB, Ulysses – Rudzik had another big night as the Tigers beat Liberal 38-19. Rudzik rushed for 267 yards and four touchdowns for Ulysses.  (Baetz – 50 pts)

Standings for the 2015 season through Week 1:

  1. Matt Gilmore,                                                          68 points
  2. Dion Clisso,                                                        54 points
  3. John Baetz, Kansas Pregame Magazine                                 50 points
  4. Chet Kuplen, & @sportsinkansas       41 points
  5. Mark Schremmer, The Joplin Globe                                          29 points
  6. Conor Nicholl, Kpreps contributor                                             13 points


2015 Picks to Click

- The objective will be to have the most cumulative points over the course of the season.

- Participants may select a quarterback, running back, WR/TE, offensive line or a defensive player each week.

- Everyone must pick a WR/TE, offensive line and defensive player at least once.

- Points will be rewarded only for the player's offensive or defensive stats, depending on how you designate the player that week. For instance, if you pick a running back then you will not receive any of his points for defense.

Scoring system


- 1 point for every 10 yards passing, rushing or receiving from a quarterback, running back or wide receiver

- 6 points for every passing, rushing or receiving touchdown

Offensive line

- 1 point for every 50 yards gained as an offense

- 3 points for every offensive touchdown

Defensive player

- 2 points for every tackle

- 4 points for every INT, sack or fumble recovery

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