The Pick List - Week 3

Kirk Coomes & Phillipsburg will try and halt Plainville's momentum. (by Rachel Martin)
By: Conor Nicholl & Matt Gilmore for
Sep 14, 2016

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

Feature Games of the Week:

Class 5A No. 2 St. Thomas Aquians (2-0) at 4A-I No. 1 Bishop Miege (1-1)

Each week it seems as if there is a premiere showdown in the Eastern Kanss League.  This week’s big game features Class 5A’s No. 2 St. Thomas Aquinas traveling to 4A-I No. 1 Bishop Miege.

Bishop Miege rebounded from a 35-28 loss to Blue Valley in Week 1 with a 38-7 win over Gardner-Edgerton last week.  The Stags trailed 7-0 to the Blazers before rattling off the next 38 points.

Junior quarterback Carter Putz completed 16 of 23 passes for 231 yards and three touchdowns for the Stags. He tossed two touchdown passes to Joseph Gleason and another to Landry Weber. Putz also rushed for 44 yards and a score.

Putz has completed 66 percent of his passes this season for 585 yards and six touchdowns. Jafar Armstrong leads the Stags with 10 catches for 249 yards and a score, while Weber has 10 receptions for 176 yards and two touchdowns.

Miege has averaged only 120 yards rushing per game led by Cameron Clark’s 79 yards.  Putz has added 56 yards on the ground, while freshman Brison Cobbins led the Stags with 56 rushing yards on six carries against Gardner-Edgerton.

Aquinas defeated Blue Valley North 35-14 last week despite fumbling seven times and losing five of those.

Saints’ running back Drew Hicks scored two on a pair of touchdown runs, while Will Swanson hit Joseph Clune on a 79-yard touchdown pass to give Aquinas the lead for good in the second quarter.  Swanson later hit Mason Howard on a 49-yard scoring pass to give the Saints a 35-7 lead in the third quarter.

Hicks, who rushed for 113 yards in the 42-13 season-opening win over Gardner-Edgerton, has five rushing touchdowns in the first two games.

Aquinas will have to do a much better job of holding on to the football on Friday to come away with a win.  Can Miege establish a solid ground game to keep the Saints off balance and win a fourth straight time in the series?

Our Pick: Miege 42, Aquinas 27 (Gilmore)

KC Schlagle (2-0) at Atchison (2-0)

KC Schlagle visits Atchison on Friday night with the winner getting the inside track towards the Kansas City-Atchison League title.

The Stallions and Redmen have been two of the most consistent KCAL teams since the league’s formation in 2010.  Since the KCAL begain, Schlagle and Atchison have split six meetings with the Redmen having won two straight in the series.  Schlagle won three in a row from 2011-2013.

The Stallions are 38-37 overall since the beginning of the 2008 season, while Atchison is 40-37 over that same time period.

Former Iowa Hawkeye Dewayne Williams, in his third season, is now 11-9 as head coach of the Stallions.  Schlagle opened the season with wins over Missouri’s KC Southeast (42-12), and KC Central (36-8).

Schlagle has been led by bruising senior running back Cornelius Ruff.  The 5-foot-11, 220-pound senior has rushed for 402 yards and seven touchdowns in the first two games.  In Ruff’s 265-yard, 5-touchdown performance in Week 1, he rushed for 215 yards and four scores by halftime.  Ruff has carried 28 and 25 times in the first two week and expects to be the focal point of the Stallion offense again on Friday night.

Atchison opened the season with a 24-14 win over state power Holton.  The Redmen scored 10 points in the fourth quarter to knock off the Wildcats.  Atchison returned to action last week with a 51-8 victory over KC Sumner Academy to open KCAL play.

The Redmen are led by senior quarterback Adam Smith who has thrown for 266 yards and three scores in the first two games.  Bryce Enzbrenner has caught eight passes for 222 yards and all three of Smith’s touchdowns.

Smith has also contributed 112 rushing yards and two touchdowns.  Dylon LeBlue is the Redmen’s leading rusher with 205 yards and three scores. LeBlue is averaging nearly 10 yards per carry through two games.

Matthew Schrick leads the Atchison defense with 16 stops thus far, while Dai Coye Haley has 13 tackles including four for loss.

Our Pick: Atchison 34, Schlagle 14 (Gilmore)

4A-I1 No. 2 Andale (2-0) at Mulvane (2-0)

Two strong 4A-I squads match up in an AVCTL Division 4 contest.

Andale bumped up to Class 4A-I this season and ranks second behind two-time defending state champion Bishop Miege. The Indians won the 4A-II title two years and lost to eventual champion Holcomb in the sub-state title last fall.

Andale opened with two home victories: 50-14 victory versus Andover Central and then a 49-8 win versus Labette County.

Running back Zach Meyer, the team leader, suffered a severe knee injury in Week 1. Seniors Tristen Dagenais and Dylan Horsch stepped in and helped the offense to 364 rushing yards in the first game.

Last Friday, Labette County senior quarterback Logan Dean completed 25 of 37 passes for 278 yards with a score and an interception. However, the Indians’ rush defense limited the Grizzlies to 2.7 yards per carry and just 49 rusn yards.

Andale led 14-0 after the first quarter and 35-8 at halftime.

In the Week 1 contest, Andale led 29-7 after the first quarter and then scored its last 14 points in the second quarter. Similar to last Friday, the Indian defense limited Andover Central to 2.4 yards per carry and just 56 rushing yards. Andale held senior Cole Taylor to 4 of 13 passing for 120 yards and zero scores versus two interceptions.

Last season, the trend was similar in many of the Indians’ key games. In a 27-7 victory versus Mulvane, a 46-45 overtime loss to Collegiate, a 28-27 overtime playoff win against Hugoton and the 26-13 playoff loss to Holcomb, the four opponents combined for 25 carries for 98 rushing yards. In the wins, Andale held Mulvane and Hugoton to 2.0 and 2.7 yards per carry, respectively. In the losses, Holcomb rushed for 4.5 yards a carry, Collegiate 6.7.

However, all four teams had success passing, including seven scores versus no interceptions for Mulvane, Holcomb and Hugoton. All four teams threw for between 139 and 157 yards. Mulvane quarterback Jayden Price completed 10 of 16 passes for 149 yards with a score and no interceptions. Yet, the Indians held the dual threat playmaker to 12 carries for 16 yards and no rush longer than nine yards.

Mulvane went 5-5 last season but was expected to improve this year behind an offense that averaged 29 points a contest in 2015. The Wildcats have averaged 46 points per game with two road wins versus El Dorado (52-28) and Rose Hill (40-20).

This Friday starts a challenging five-week schedule versus Andale, at Collegiate, home with Maize South and Conway Springs and at Ulysses. Price and senior running back Keaton Shoemaker lead the Wildcat attack.

Andale is 5-1 in the last six meetings including 27-7 and 50-14 wins the last two years. Before then, the last meeting was a 44-19 Mulvane victory in 2011 when the Wildcats rushed for 231 yards and 6.5 yards per carry.

Mulvane is going to score, but the Wildcats have to get the running game going to win. This one is going to be very close, but Andale’s experienced front holds off Mulvane enough to earn the victory.

Our Pick: Andale 28, Mulvane 24 (Nicholl)

4A-I No. 5 Louisburg (2-0) at De Soto (2-0)

The De Soto Wildcat football program has been steadily building momentum under coach Brian King.  The Wildcats followed up a winless season in 2013 with three wins the next year.  Last season, De Soto finished 6-4 and reached the 4A-I playoffs before falling 38-21 to Frontier League rival Paola in a rematch of a game the Wildcats had won earlier in the year (23-7).

This week, De Soto continues play in the ultra-competitive Frontier League as the Wildcats host Louisburg.  The Louisburg Wildcats enter at 2-0 and ranked No. 5 in Class 4A-I. The two sets of Wildcats are the only two Frontier League teams remaining without a loss.

De Soto opened with dramatic 28-27 victory over FHL member Ottawa. Trailing 21-7 at halftime, the Wildcats rallied to win and took the lead on a touchdown pass from Bryce Mohl to Darren Winans late in the fourth quarter.  The Wildcats rushed for more than 320 yards in the game led by Mohl’s 124 yards and Mason Clark’s 127 yards.   De Soto limited Ottawa to 56 rush yards.

In last week’s 28-0 shutout of Bonner Springs, Mohl rushed for a pair of touchdowns, but defense and special teams also set up the Wildcats.  A De Soto punt deep into Bonner Springs territory led to a safety and a 16-0 lead.  Trevor Watts took the ensuing free kick back 70 yards for a touchdown. The Wildcats later recovered a bad punt snap by Bonner Springs in the end zone for a touchdown.

Louisburg opened with a 48-0 blanking of KC Wyandotte, and last week handled then 4A-I No. 5 KC Piper, 39-6 in a game that was played in parts over Friday/Saturday.

Louisburg's game with Piper was postponed on Friday night with the Wildcats leading 14-6 late in the first half. Louisburg opened the restart on Saturday with a 73-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Korbin Hankinson to take a 20-6 lead into halftime.

The Wildcats continued to dominate the second half as Thomas San Agustin scored a pair of touchdowns sandwiched around Grant Harding's 22-yard touchdown pass to Hankinson. 

Both Louisburg and De Soto are poised for strong seasons in the Frontier League and in 4A-I. Louisburg has won six of the last eight meetings in the series including last year, 43-28.  De Soto last defeated Louisburg 13-12 in 2014.

Our Pick: Louisburg 26, De Soto 20 (Gilmore)

Colby (2-0) at 4A-II No. 5 Hugoton (2-0)

A GWAC matchup features Class 4A-II two teams on the rise – and two of the state’s best playmakers with Colby sophomore Jordan Schippers and Hugoton quarterback Valentino Degollado.

Last season, Colby lost 24-8 at Hugoton in Week 3, and 20-14 in the first round of the playoffs after Hugoton scored 14 points in the fourth quarter.

After several slow starts the last few seasons, including 0-5 in 2015, Colby has opened 2-0. Schippers, who exploded in the second half of his freshman year, has opened with 17 carries for 255 yards and five scores. He also has four catches for 172 yards and three touchdowns.

Junior quarterback Zach Hart, in his first season as a starter, has completed 12 of 26 passes for 362 yards with six scores versus no interceptions. Colby rolled over Oakley 41-9 before a 55-26 win at La Crosse.

Hugoton moved into the 4A-II rankings after two road wins, 42-14 versus Lakin and 15-14 versus GWAC foe Ulysses. Last week, the Eagles ended a six-game losing streak versus the Tigers. Ulysses had won 11 of the last 12 meetings dating back to ’04.

Degollado found senior Colby Korf with a touchdown with 31 seconds left and then Hugoton converted the two-point conversion for the one-point win.

Degollado has completed 24 of 44 passes for 348 yards with five scores versus four interceptions.  He has rushed 34 times for 156 yards and a touchdown. The offense has averaged 5.9 yards per play and 4.8 yards per rush, up from last season’s numbers of five yards per play and 3.5 yards per carry.

Colby holds a 5-4 lead in the last nine meetings in a series that’s often close and low scoring. In six of those meetings, the winning team has scored less than 28 points.

The contest will likely come down to turnovers. Colby has yet to turn the ball over this season, while Hugoton has six turnovers in two contests. However, Hugoton has found a way to win games, going 4-1 in its last five games decided by seven points or fewer, helping the Eagles go 6-2 in its last eight contests. Hugoton wins close.

Our Pick: Hugoton 28, Colby 26 (Nicholl)

2-1A No. 2 Plainville (2-0) at 3A No. 4 Phillipsburg (2-0)

Plainville has been a huge surprise in the first two weeks of the season with a 20-16 victory against Smith Center and a 20-14 win versus Norton, both at home.

The Cardinal defense has delivered a big turnaround after it permitted 36 points per contest last year. Plainville freshman Jared Casey and juniors Noah Hanson and Hayden Gillum – a third-year starter – have contained opponents for second-year coach Grant Stephenson. Casey has a team-high 21 stops, along with 2.5 tackles for loss. Hanson has tallied 16 tackles with four TFLs, while Gillum has collected 11 stops.

Senior Hayden Friend has delivered in all facets for the Cardinals, which finished 3-6 each of the last two years. He has completed 31 of 61 passes for 431 yards with a 4/4 TD/INT ratio and has rushed 44 times for 131 yards and a touchdown.

Defensively, Friend has picked off three passes, recovered a fumble and caused a fumble. Plainville has forced six turnovers and also allowed six turnovers. The Cardinals are solid on special teams with senior Ryan Buresh, who has 106 yards on seven returns this season. Friend has five of nine punts inside the opponent 20-yard line.

Phillipsburg has opened with a 36-6 home win versus Clay Center as the Panthers slowly extended the lead throughout the game. Last week, the Panthers defeated Smith Center, 29-16. The Panthers, defending 2-1A state champions, have an experienced backfield with sophomore quarterback Trey Sides and the Coomes brothers, Mark and Kirk. Linemen Drew Stapel and Seth Jacobs are strong up front with John Gower at linebacker.

Phillipsburg holds a 9-1 edge in the last 10 meetings, including the last four. Last season, the Panthers won 76-42. Plainville’s only victory in that stretch was a 37-21 win in 2011 when the Cardinals finished 10-2. In last year’s contest, Friend threw for 505 yards (321 to Buresh) but the Cardinals averaged just 2.6 yards per carry.

There are a lot of great matchups in this game, namely up front. But both Sides and Friend have the speed to create plays on their own. The battle between the wideouts and the secondaries will likely prove the difference.

Defensively, Phillipsburg has had some struggles in the last two years versus the pass against Ruder, Sedgwick’s Grant Hilliard, Friend and Troy’s Reid Greaser.  The Panthers have been more successful against run-heavy teams like Smith Center and Meade. Greaser threw for 298 yards in the state title game, while Ruder and Hilliard had 171 and 172, respectively.

Smith Center and Norton were able to move the ball against the Plainville in the running game, but the passing attacks went a combined 10 of 33 for 210 yards with two scores versus four interceptions.

Plainville thwarted a pair of Norton drives deep into Cardinal territory with interceptions, including one in the end zone. The Cardinals stay hot with just enough plays in the passing game and get another win.

Our Pick: Plainville 24, Phillipsburg 20 (Nicholl)

The Pick List:

Blue Valley North (1-1) at 6A No. 3 Blue Valley (2-0) – Blue Valley

Garden City (2-0) at Wichita South (2-0) – Garden City

5A No. 5 Great Bend (2-0) at Wichita Northwest (1-1) – Wichita Northwest

6A No. 2 Shawnee Mission East (2-0) at Rockhurst (Mo.) (4-0) – SM East

Topeka Seaman (2-0) at 4A-II No. 3 Topeka Hayden (0-2) – Hayden

Webb City (Mo.) (2-2) at Pittsburg (1-1) – Webb City

Andover Central (0-2) at Abilene (2-0) – Abilene

Bonner Springs (1-1) at KC Piper (1-1) – KC Piper

Ulysses (1-1) at 4A-II No. 1 Holcomb (2-0) – Holcomb

4A-II No. 4 Wichita Collegiate (1-1) at 4A-I No. 3 Buhler (2-0) – Buhler

Nemaha Central (2-0) at Holton (0-2) – Holton

St. Marys Colgan (1-1) at 4A-II No. 2 Frontenac (2-0) – Frontenac

Cimarron (1-1) at Scott City (0-2) – Scott City

Sacred Heart (2-0) at Beloit (2-0) – Beloit

Marion (2-0) at Sedgwick (2-0) – Sedgwick

3A No. 5 Norton (1-1) at Oakley (1-1) – Norton

2-1A No. 1 Troy (2-0) at Centralia (0-2) – Troy

Sharon Springs-Wallace Co. (0-2) at Hoxie (2-0) – Wallace County

St. Paul (1-0) at Frankfort (1-1) – Frankfort

South Central (2-0) at Ingalls (2-0) – South Central


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