Player Picks to Click - Week 3

Bishop Carroll QB Braden Howell will lead the Eagles against Wichita West. (photo: Sarah Bullinger)
By: John Baetz; Dion Clisso; Taylor Eldridge; Matt Gilmore; Chet Kuplen; Brent Maycock; Conor Nicholl; Mark Schremmer
Sep 13, 2017

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

This season, we’ve assembled a team of eight 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 2017 season include: John Baetz (Kansas Pregame Magazine); Dion Clisso (; Taylor Eldridge (Wichita Eagle); Matt Gilmore (; Chet Kuplen ( & @sportsinkansas); Brent Maycock (Topeka Capital Journal); Conor Nicholl (; and Mark Schremmer (

Check back next Thursday to see our picks for Week 4, and how the players performed that we picked the week prior. See the bottom of this article for details.

Easton Dean, QB, Labette County (Maycock)

Dean was shut down by a stiff Andale defense a week ago, but should bounce back in a big way this week against Osawatomie. The junior quarterback threw for 237 yards and 5 touchdowns in the Grizzlies’ season-opening rout of Fredonia and did it on just 18 passing attempts. With a stable of talented receivers going up against a Trojan defense which has given up high completion percentage to run-oriented Santa Fe Trail and Wellsville, Dean should be able to pick it apart and have a huge night.

Brody Flaming, QB, Mill Valley  (Clisso)

Mill Valley battled through an up-and-down 2016 regular season that included a four-game losing streak, but the Jaguars rebounded to win their last six games and claim a second straight Class 5A state title. Quarterback Brody Flaming led that run to a second title by putting up an all-state season with 2,700 passing yards, 33 touchdowns, 1,297 rushing yards, and six more rushing scores.

This season, Mill Valley is off to a 1-1 start and Flaming is back at quarterback to lead the charge for a three-peat. But the Jaguars stumbled in a Week 1 loss to St. James Academy (45-21) when they committed five turnovers. Flaming was intercepted three times in the opener. Mill Valley responded last week with a 35-14 win over Blue Valley Northwest thanks to a big game from their senior signal-caller. Flaming completed 32 of his 60 pass attempts for 425 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 95 yards and two more scores.

This week, the Jaguars go head-to-head with a Blue Valley Southwest offense that has scored 96 points in two games. The Timberwolves have also fallen to St. James Academy, 38-26 last week. The T-Wolves have surrendered 87 points in two games which should give Flaming the opportunity to fill the stat sheet again this week.

Micah Grover, QB, Cheney  (Eldridge)

Cheney is off to a 2-0 start and is averaging more than 60 points per game with Grover leading the team with 12 touchdowns. He has proven to be a dual-threat in coach Shelby Wehrman's offense and Grover should be in line for another big performance in a road game against Medicine Lodge, which just allowed 56 points in a loss to Chaparral. Grover has thrown for 448 yards and rushed for 149 yards so far this season, and I think he's in line to continue the strong start to his senior season.

Will Herren, RB, Santa Fe Trail (Kuplen)

Herren, a 6-foot-1 198-pound junior, has burst onto the scene in the first two weeks of the season for Jayson Duncan's Chargers with 435 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. He went off in week one with 294 yards and five touchdowns against Osawatomie. Santa Fe Trail is off to a 2-0 start and Herren should have another big night on the ground against Anderson County this week. Herren, who had over 400 yards rushing as a sophomore last fall, has looked great in replacing the graduated Peyton Newton who rushed for more than 1,600 yards and 20 touchdowns in earning Kpreps 4A-II all-state honors last fall. 

Braden Howell, QB, Bishop Carroll  (Baetz)

After a big 40-35 win over Wichita Northwest to open the season, Bishop Carroll improved to 2-0 last week with a 48-24 win at Salina South. The offensive explosion all starts with senior quarterback Braden Howell, one of the state's top dual-threat signal callers.

Through two games, Howell has completed nearly 60 percent of his passes for 587 yards and 6 TDs against only 1 interception. He has also added another 111 yards on the ground and two more scores. Couple his accurate passing and hard-nosed running style with an effective offensive line and a stable of outstanding receivers, including FBS tight end prospect Clay Cundiff, and the Carroll offense is nothing short of spectacular.

Wichita West could pose a stiff test this week under veteran coach Weston Schartz. The Pioneers are 2-0 with wins over Dodge City and Wichita South. The West defense has allowed a total of 15 points through two games, but the Eagle offense, sparked by the play of Howell, could be the best offense the Pioneers see all season.

Connor Jeffers, QB, Burlington  (Gilmore)

Jeffers (5-10, 175) has been exceptional in the Wildcats first two games this season. The senior quarterback has rushed for 494 yards and seven touchdowns in two games. He rushed for 877 yards and 13 scores all of last season. Jeffers opened with a 229-yard, three touchdown-effort as the Wildcats surprised Wellsville, 40-20. Last week in a 36-28 loss to Santa Fe Trail, Jeffers rushed for 265 yards and four scores and passed for another touchdown. He will need to deliver another big performance at home against Prairie View this week if the Wildcats want to remain near the top of the Pioneer League standings. Prairie View enters Friday’s game 2-0 and has surrendered a total of 14 points in those two wins.

Parker Roth, RB, Hesston  (Nicholl)

Hesston junior running back Parker Roth was a key reason for the Swathers’ rebound after a 1-3 start in 2016. Hesston captured nine straight wins and then lost to Rossville in the Class 3A state title game. As a sophomore, Roth had 196 carries for 1,270 yards and 21 scores. This season, he recorded 181 rushing yards in the season opener and 265 yards last week. He has five total rushing TDs.

Hesston travels to Larned for a key Class 3A and Central Kansas League matchup. Larned has a high-octane offense but has struggled some in run defense the first two weeks. Roth finished with seven games of at least 100 yards last year.

Blake Sullivan, QB, Goddard  (Schremmer)

The dual-threat quarterback helped the Lions to a 50-20 win over defending Class 6A state champion Derby. Sullivan passed for 187 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for 163 yards and three touchdowns. He has accounted for nearly 650 yards of total offense in Goddard’s first two games. For his career, Sullivan has passed for 3,331 yards and 49 touchdowns, while rushing for 2,732 yards and 37 more scores. The senior will lead Goddard against Andover this week. 

Week 2 Picks to Click results (scoring):

Kipp Jasper, QB, Troy – Jasper completed 16 of 26 passes for 298 yards and three touchdowns in the Trojans’ 42-24 win over Atchison County. (Eldridge – 47 pts)

Hunter Krom, RB, Lawrence – Krom left Thursday’s game with an injury after carrying three times for 28 yards. Lawrence went on to beat Shawnee Mission North, 69-31. (Clisso – 2 pts)

David McFarland, QB, Thomas More Prep – McFarland followed up his record-setting performance by completing 18 of 31 passes for 218 yards and two touchdowns in the Monarch’s 49-13 win over Ellis. (Baetz – 33 pts)

Gabe Pieschl, WR, Marysville – Pieschl grabbed five catches for 148 yards in the Bulldogs 43-20 win over Abilene. In two games, the senior receiver has 11 catches for 334 yards and four touchdowns. He’s also picked off three passes on defense. (Gilmore – 14 pts)

Spearville Offensive Line – Spearville’s offense produced 560 yards of total offense and nine touchdowns in the 64-34 win over Hodgeman County. (Nicholl – 38 pts)

Dexton Swinehart, QB/RB, Lyndon – Swinehart rushed for 155 yards and four touchdowns as the Tigers beat Mission Valley, 48-6. Dexton also completed all five of his passes for 82 yards and a score. (Kuplen – 53 pts)

Travis Theis, RB, Pratt – Theis carried 16 times for 123 yards and two scores in the Greenbacks’ 49-8 win over Haven. For the season, Theis has rushed for 560 yards and eight touchdowns in two games. (Maycock – 24 pts)

Lane Whisennand, QB, Elkhart –The junior passed for 77 yards and a touchdown, and rushed for 217 yards and three touchdowns during a 32-6 win over Southwestern Heights. (Schremmer – 52 pts)

Standings for the 2017 season through Week 2:

1.      Mark Schremmer,                                               107 points

2.      Taylor Eldridge, Wichita Eagle-Varsity Kansas                    103 points

3.      Brent Maycock, Topeka Capital Journal                                83 points

4.      Chet Kuplen, & @sportsinkansas           79 points

5.      Conor Nicholl, Kpreps                                                            58 points

6.      John Baetz, Kansas Pregame Magazine                                 57 points

7.      Matt Gilmore,                                                     50 points

8.      Dion Clisso,                                                     21 points

 2017 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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Last updated: November 25, 2018 - 11:21 pm