Tuesday Playoff Preview: Class 3A

Neodesha will try and get by TVL rival Cherryvale in the first round. (by Pamela Black)
By: Matt Gilmore, Kpreps Editor
Nov 2, 2015

Share This Story:

Kpreps.com breaks down first round playoff action in Class 8-man Division I including a battle of 8-1 teams as Solomon travels to South Central. - See more at: http://kpreps.com/kansas/#sthash.cpvyUnhr.dpuf
Kpreps.com breaks down first round playoff action in Class 8-man Division I including a battle of 8-1 teams as Solomon travels to South Central. - See more at: http://kpreps.com/kansas/#sthash.cpvyUnhr.dpuf

Class 3A

East: Cherryvale (8-1) at Neodesha (8-1)

For the second time this season, Cherryvale will travel to Neodesha in a big game.  While the first meeting ultimately decided the Tri-Valley League championship, this one is a little bigger with a trip to the second round of the playoffs on the line.

Cherryvale is on the road to open the playoffs because the Chargers were beaten by Galena 42-12 in district play.  They rebounded with wins over Riverton (28-24) and Southeast-Cherokee (49-0) to advance as the district runner-up.

Neodesha captured the District 7 title by dominating rival Fredonia (35-0), then beating Caney Valley (31-14) and Eureka (28-14).

Cherryvale won the TVL title escaping Neodesha with a 20-14 win back in Week 5.  The Chargers got off to a strong with an interception return for a touchdown by Ian Pearson to take the early lead.

Brendan Menzer then scored on a 35-yard touchdown run to put the Chargers up 14-0 before Neodesha pulled to within 14-7 late in the first half.

Menzer’s long touchdown run in the third quarter put the Chargers up 20-7.  Neodesha would later pull within 20-14 and got a late chance to drive for the win before an interception.

The key for the Blue Streaks this time is to try and control Menzer.  The senior has 839 rushing yards and ten touchdowns on only 101 carries.

Quarterback Lane Raida has added 700 yards rushing and 13 scores, while passing for 448 yards and seven touchdowns.  Raida has also thrown seven interceptions.

Zack Steed has rushed for an additional 503 yards for the Chargers.

On defense, Menzer has six interceptions, while Pearson has four picks.

Neodesha’s offense averages 33 points per game behind leaders like Matthew Shinkle, Colton Cunningham, and McKadin Songer.

Cunningham rushed for touchdowns and kicked a 28-yard field goal in the key district win over Caney Valley.

Cherryvale 26, Neodesha 20 (Gilmore)

West: Garden Plain (8-1) at Hesston (8-1)

Garden Plain will travel to Hesston in one of the premiere games in the opening round of the playoffs. The Owls and Swathers both enter the game with identical 8-1 records, both having lost to No. 4 Halstead during the regular season.

Hesston has won seven consecutive games since falling 18-6 to the Dragons in Week 2. Since that loss, the Swathers have cruised to big victories other than a 14-7 win over Pratt in Week 6.

Junior Zach Esau has had an exceptional season in replacing an all-state caliber player in Grant Raleigh. Esau has completed 60 percent of his pass attempts for 1,272 yards and 21 touchdowns with only four interceptions. He has also rushed for a team-high 597 yards and six scores.

The Swather offense is incredibly balanced under third-year coach Clint Rider. Hesston averages 154 yards rushing per game and 142 yards passing. Freshman Parker Roth has added 399 yards on the ground and five touchdowns.

Zach Vogt and Scott Duerksen lead the team with 30 and 27 receptions, respectively. Vogt has 546 receiving yards and nine touchdowns, while Duerksen has 342 yards and six scores.

Esau has five interceptions to lead the defense.

Garden Plain rattled off seven consecutive wins to open the season before the Owls met Halstead in Week 8. The Dragons scored with 1:34 remaining to beat Garden Plain 32-28.  Garden Plain gave up 325 rushing yards to Halstead, but the Owls challenged the Dragons with an efficient passing game. Quarterback Alex Becker passed for 229 yards and four touchdowns in that game.

On the season, Becker has thrown for 856 yards and 12 touchdowns.  Nate Pauly and Chip Dockers have been Becker’s primary targets. Pauly has 17 receptions for 450 yards, an average of 26.5 yards per catch, and seven touchdowns. Dockers has 232 receiving yards and two scores.

Pauly also leads the Garden Plain ground game with 503 yards and five touchdowns while averaging 16.8 yards per carry. Senior Walter Stuhlsatz adds 424 yards and four touchdowns, while Marty Landwehr and Keynan Wright have 379 and 346 yards, respectively.

Hesston 32, Garden Plain 26 (Gilmore)

The rest of our 3A first-round picks:

Centralia (5-4) at Sabetha (5-4) – Sabetha

No. 5 Silver Lake (8-1) at Pleasant Ridge (8-1) – Silver Lake

Erie (3-6) at Wellsville (7-2) – Wellsville

Riverside (4-5) at Nemaha Central (9-0) – Nemaha Central

Maur Hill-Mount Academy (6-2) at No. 1 Rossville (9-0) – Rossville

Jayhawk-Linn (5-4) at St. Mary’s Colgan (7-2) – St. Mary’s Colgan

Caney Valley (5-4) at Galena (6-3) – Galena

Wichita Independent (3-6) at Cheney (7-2) – Cheney

Southeast of Saline (7-2) at No. 4 Halstead (9-0) – Halstead

Beloit (7-2) at Washington County (9-0) – Beloit

Cimarron (6-3) at Hoisington (9-0) – Hoisington

Conway Springs (6-3) at No. 2 Wichita Collegiate (9-0) – Collegiate

Marysville (4-5) at Norton (7-2) – Norton

Lyons (3-6) at No. 3 Scott City (9-0) – Scott City


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.