Player Picks to Click - Week 5

Schlagle's Neil Ruff has 877 rush yards & 11 TDs in 4 games. (photo by David Brox,
By: John Baetz; Dion Clisso; Matt Gilmore; Chet Kuplen; Conor Nicholl; Mark Schremmer
Sep 28, 2016

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In our Picks to Click, we feature six players or units from across the state that we feel will have breakout performances on Friday night.

Like last season, we’ve 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 2016 season include: John Baetz (Kansas Pregame Magazine); Dion Clisso (; Matt Gilmore (; Chet Kuplen ( & @sportsinkansas); Conor Nicholl (; and Mark Schremmer (

Check back next Thursday to see our picks for Week 6, and how the players performed that we picked the week prior. See the bottom of this article for details.

Kaden Davis, WR, Ellsworth  (Schremmer)

Davis has helped the Bearcats claw back to a 2-2 record with wins in each of their past two games. Davis has been a jack-of-all trades for Ellsworth. He has 19 receptions for 569 yards and eight touchdowns. He’s also rushed for 222 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries and completed 3 of 5 passes for 78 yards and a touchdown. Expect Davis to be a big factor again this week against Sacred Heart.

Michael Maffry, LB, Blue Valley  (Kuplen)

Maffry was a tackling machine last fall as he racked up over 170 stops in leading the Tigers to a 6A runner-up finish. Not much has changed for the senior linebacker as he is averaging over 15 tackles per contest with 61 on the season. Maffry also has three interceptions for the Tigers who look to improve to 5-0 this week against Eastern Kansas League opponent, St. James Academy. 

Phillipsburg Offensive Line (Nicholl)

Phillipsburg’s offensive line has continued to open holes for Panther running backs Mark and Kirk Coomes and fullback John Gower, along with speedy sophomore quarterback Trey Sides. The Panthers have continued to pull away from their opponents throughout the year, including a 49-0 road win at Oakley last week. Phillipsburg, the defending 2-1A state champions, have won 11 straight contests. Senior Seth Jacobs, a returning first team all-league lineman, anchors the front. Phillipsburg is at Ellis (3-1), which had key injuries to running back Clay Feik and lineman Daniel Carbajal in a loss to Valley Heights last week.

Cornelius Ruff, RB, KC Schlagle   (Clisso)

Neil Ruff has been a great story for the Schlagle Stallions so far this season.  The 5-11, 220-pound senior has rushed for 877 yards and 11 touchdowns in the Stallions’ first four games. After putting up 274 yards and five touchdowns in the season-opener against KC Southeast (Mo.), Ruff added 128 yards and 112 yards against KC Central (Mo.) and Atchison, respectively.  Last week, Ruff exploded for 363 yards and four touchdowns on 23 carries in the Stallions’ 63-20 win over KC Washington. This week, Ruff and the Stallions will take on KC Wyandotte.  The Bulldogs are 1-2 on the season, but have given up an average of 48 points per game.

 Hunter Stevenson, RB, Valley Heights  (Baetz)

The Mustangs posted an impressive victory over previously unbeaten Ellis last Friday and Stevenson led the way with 274 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 19 carries. He pushed his rushing total to 839 yards on the year, already 30 more than he posted all of last season. His 11 rushing touchdowns lead a team that has won three straight since a season opening loss to top-ranked Troy. The Mustangs now begin play in likely one of the most competitive districts in all of 2-1A. Stevenson will have to continue to produce if Valley Heights is to advance to the playoffs beginning this week against an improved Wabaunsee squad.

Dexton Swinehart, WR, Lyndon  (Gilmore)

After his brother Dawson finished an outstanding career at Lyndon in 2014, Dexton Swinehart stepped in as the primary offensive threat for the Tigers as a sophomore last fall. The younger Swinehart rushed for 1,248 yards and 17 touchdowns and added 37 receptions for 395 yards and four scores. He earned Kpreps 2-1A All-State as an all-purpose threat for his efforts. Listed as a wide receiver, Swinehart typically moves around and gets the ball a lot.  Through four games this season, Dexton has 518 rush yards and six touchdowns, while catching 18 passes for 444 yards and five scores. For his career, the junior has amassed 3,162 all-purpose yards and 34 touchdowns.  With a season and a half still to play, he’s on pace to top his brother’s career marks of 4,552 all-purpose yards and 59 touchdowns.  Dexton and the Tigers may get a test this week when they go on the road to take on unbeaten Council Grove.

Week 5 Picks to Click results (scoring):

Jacob Bradshaw, QB, Rossville – Bradshaw passed for 110 yards and three touchdowns in the Bulldawgs’ 28-6 win over Wabaunsee. Bradshaw also rushed for a team-high 134 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries. (Gilmore – 48 pts)

Isaiah McPherson, RB, Labette County – McPherson rushed for 184 yards and scored all seven Grizzly touchdowns in Labette’s 42-21 win over rival Parsons. McPherson rushed for six scores and caught an 11-yard TD pass from Logan Dean. (Kuplen – 61 pts)

Parker O’Neal, LB, Abilene – O’Neal registered 10 total tackles in the Cowboys’ 48-8 win over rival Chapman. O’Neal also forced a fumble and blocked two kicks in the win. (Baetz –20 pts)

Shawnee Mission East Offensive Line – The Lancer front helped account for 546 yards of total offense in a 48-13 win over Olathe North. SM East rushed for four touchdowns and got three touchdown passes from Luke Kaiser to Trevor Thompson. (Clisso – 31 pts)

Cole Stricker, LB, Pike Valley  – Strickler registered 13 tackles including a tackle for loss in the Panthers 34-32 loss to 8M-I No. 4 Osborne. (Nicholl –26 pts)

Wichita Northwest Offensive Line – The Grizzlies put up 545 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns in a 57-24 win over Wichita West.  Northwest also passes for 141 yards and another score. (Schremmer – 37 pts)


Standings for the 2016 season through Week 4:

1.       Matt Gilmore,                                                          205 points

2.       Chet Kuplen, & @sportsinkansas      192 points

3.       Mark Schremmer, Kpreps contributor                                      152 points

4.       Dion Clisso,                                                       128 points

5.       John Baetz, Kansas Pregame Magazine                                107 points

6.       Conor Nicholl, Kpreps contributor                                             87 points

 2016 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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