Friday Playoff Preview: Class 4A-II

Columbus sophomore Keenan Stanley (photo by Carolyn Eddington)
By: Matt Gilmore & Conor Nicholl for
Nov 4, 2015

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Class 4A– Division II

East: Osawatomie (7-2) at No. 4 Holton (6-3)

Osawatomie will visit Holton to open the Class 4A, Division II playoffs for a second consecutive season.

The Trojans, ranked in the 4A-II top five for much of the season, qualified for the playoffs as the District 2 runner-up after losing at Santa Fe Trail 40-21 to close the regular season.

Osawatomie’s success has been headlined by senior running back Riley England. England (5-11, 200) has rushed for 2,364 yards and 26 touchdowns this season on 181 carries. England averages 263 yards per game and 13 yards per carry on the season.

For his career, England has rushed for 6,214 yards and 68 touchdowns.

Trojan quarterback Brody Russell has thrown for 678 yards and 13 scores.  He’s hit Chaseton Wylie 16 times for 327 yards and eight scores.

Holton has won six of its past seven games after beginning the season with consecutive losses to Silver Lake (23-22, OT) and Maize South (20-13). The Wildcats also lost to unbeaten Nemaha Central (27-13) in Week 5.

Mason Barta leads a balanced group of backs with 701 rushing yards and 11 scores. Seniors Will Wright and Justin Pool have contributed 541 and 500 rushing yards, respectively. Spencer Baum has added 463 yards on the ground and three scores, while Justin Rieschick has 452 yards and three more touchdowns. Rieschick has also passed for 216 yards.

Junior Bryson Patch has led an opportunistic secondary with four interceptions. The Wildcats have intercepted ten passes as a team.

Last season Holton dominated Osawatomie en route to a 54-8 win. The Wildcats “held” England to 123 rushing yards on 31 attempts. If the Wildcats can slow down England again, they’ll likely be moving on to the quarterfinals.

Holton 34, Osawatomie 18 (Gilmore)

West: Hugoton (4-5) at Colby (4-5)

One of the more unique splits the last two seasons belongs to Colby. Last year, the Eagles went 1-5 in non-district play before it finished 2-1 in districts and then fell 35-6 at Holcomb in the first round of the postseason.

This year, Colby opened 0-5, before upsetting Norton, 20-7, and reeling off three straight district victories. In the 1-5 start, the Eagles averaged 11.3 points per contest. In district play, the Eagles averaged 43.7 a game. Colby is significantly better at home than on the road, too. The Eagles are 3-2 at home, with only a 13-6 loss to Oakley and 27-16 to Ulysses, a pair of district champions.

Colby averages 236 rushing yards a contest and 72 passing. Senior Matthew Pieper, who didn’t play in Week 9, has 117 carries for 754 yards and five scores. Freshman Justin Schippers is second with 538 yards and four touchdowns.

In district play, Pieper had just nine carries for 29 yards. Schippers emerged as the standout runner with 189, 110 and 107 yards in districts. He averages 7.7 yards a carry.

Hugoton won three straight before a 27-12 home loss to Holcomb to complete the regular season. The Eagles have played in several close games, including a 2-2 mark in games decided by eight points or less.

Hugoton has passed for 181 and rushed for 121 yards a contest. The Eagels have 15 turnovers and has a zero turnover margin for the year. Colby is minus-1.

Junior quarterback Valentino Degollado has completed 118 of 217 yards for 1,587 yards with 13 scores versus eight interceptions. Plus, he leads the team with 174 carries for 597 yards and eight touchdowns.

Colby is 1-7 all-time in the playoffs with the lone victory in 1984. Hugoton is 6-11 in the postseason with its last win coming in a 10-1 season in 2009.

Colby defeated Hugoton, 27-12, in Week 3 of 2014, and lost 24-8 in Week 3 earlier this season. The Colby Eagles have won five of the last eight meetings. The Eagles are a significantly different team at home and earn the edge, especially with the standout performances from Schippers.

Colby 27, Hugoton 21 (Nicholl)

The rest of our 4A-II first-round picks:

No. 5 Frontenac (6-3) at Girard (6-3) – Frontenac

Jefferson West (5-3) at Santa Fe Trail (5-4) – Jefferson West

Anderson County (5-4) at No. 1 Columbus (9-0) – Columbus

Nickerson (4-5) at No. 2 Andale (7-2) – Andale

Clearwater (3-6) at Wamego (4-5) – Clearwater

Concordia (6-3) at No. 3 Holcomb (7-2) -- Holcomb


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