Kpreps Game Day - Week 4

Olathe East's Tre'von Kearney looks to lead the Hawks past Olathe South. (by Logan Brockschmidt)
By: Matt Gilmore & Conor Nicholl for
Sep 21, 2017

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Kpreps Game Day feature is designed to provide you with a program for things to watch out for each week in Kansas High School Football. If you have suggestions for what you would like to see in future Game Day features, send us a message on Twitter or Facebook.

With this week’s Kpreps Game Day, we’ll look at a few rivalry matchups across the states, check in on the longest current winning and losing streaks in the state, and looked at several other news and notes to get you ready for Week 4 action!

Rivalry Games:

Olathe East at Olathe South (ODAC) – Back in Week 1 we highlighted the struggles of the Olathe schools during the 2016 season when all four schools combined for a 13-24 record. It was an unusual season because Olathe North, East and South are traditional contenders that have posted better than a .600 winning percentage over the past 13 seasons. Through three weeks of the season, Olathe East and Olathe South appear to be two teams much improved from a season ago. Despite the Hawks and Falcons each entering Friday’s contest at ODAC with 1-2 records, both schools have been competitive against good competition.

Olathe East led Hutchinson in the season opener before the Salthawks scored with around a minute left in the game and converted a two-point conversion to win 22-21. After a win over Olathe North, the Hawks then Liberty (Mo.) for three quarters before the ranked BlueJays scored 27 points in the fourth quarter to pull away. Junior running back Tre'von Kearney is quick and explosive out of the Hawk backfield. He’s also been good on defense where he intercepted two Liberty passes last week.

Olathe South dropped their opener 28-6 to Class 6A’s No. 2 ranked Shawnee Mission East Lancers. South then bested Olathe Northwest 21-7 before falling 28-15 last week to Lee’s Summit (Mo.). Last season the Falcons beat Olathe East 28-21 to take a 15-13 all-time advantage in this rivalry.

Andover Central at Andover– Andover will host cross-town rival Andover Central in attempt to get back in the win column after a heartbreaking 21-17 loss to Class 5A No. 1 Goddard. The Lions scored with just over a minute to go to beat the Trojans last week. Andover fell 21-0 to Kapaun Mt. Carmel the week before. The Trojans get an Andover Central team coming off of its first win of the season; 41-14 over Abilene. Like the Trojans, the Jaguars two losses have come to quality opponents in Andale (3-0) and 4A-I No. 5 Buhler (2-1). Andover has won seven of the past ten meetings in this series including four of the last five.

Pittsburg at Fort Scott – Fort Scott is one of two SEK League teams the Purple Dragons kept on their schedule when making the decision to go independent prior to last season. Pittsburg has littered its schedule with some of Missouri’s top Class 4 programs in Webb City (No. 1), Carl Junction (No. 2) and defending state champion Harrisonville. The Dragons also picked up Andover Central, Bonner Springs, and Wichita North for this cycle. But Pittsburg and Fort Scott have been long-time rivals separated by just 30 miles on Highway 69. The Tigers are the last SEK League school to beat Pittsburg High, 41-20 back in 2012. The Purple Dragons have won the last four meetings in the series, including the last three by a combined 106-0. Fort Scott hasn’t scored on Pittsburg since 2013. 

Goddard Eisenhower at Goddard – The battle for Goddard features the top ranked Lions against winless Eisenhower. Goddard has won four of five all-time meetings in the series including last year, 60-12. After throttling Derby two weeks ago, the Lions had to score with a minute left to beat Andover, 21-17. Still Goddard boasts one of the state’s best playmakers in senior quarterback Blake Sullivan. Eisenhower started the season with a loss to Derby, before suffering close losses to Maize (13-10) and Newton (31-29). To beat the top-ranked Lions, Eisenhower will have to limit mistakes. The Tigers turned the ball over eight times in the two-point loss to Newton last week.

Winfield at Arkansas City – The annual battle for the “Cowley Cup” will take place in Winfield this year as the Ark City Bulldogs will make the short trip to take on the Vikings. This will be the 76th installment of the rivalry with Ark City holding a 51-23-1 advantage. The Bulldogs won last year’s meeting 24-21 and four straight in the series. Both teams enter with 1-2 records and looking to rebound from losses last week. Ark City fell 35-7 to Valley Center last week, while Winfield was beaten 38-14 by McPherson. Ark City looks to get junior Tryee Watkins back on track. After rushing for 228 yards in Ark City’s opener, Watkins has been held to 73 total yards the past two games.

Abilene at Chapman – Many believe Abilene and Chapman is the oldest rivalry west of the Mississippi. The two school are believed to have first met in 1892. Abilene has won the past four meetings and eight  of the last nine in the series.  Chapman last beat the Cowboys 29-28 in 2012. Abilene had started out at least 6-0 in each of the past three seasons, but the Cowboys enter Friday’s meeting at just 1-2. After surviving a 32-27 win over Thomas More Prep in Week 1, the Cowboys have dropped consecutive games to Marysville (43-20) and Andover Central (41-14). Meanwhile, Chapman snapped a nine-game losing streak with a Week 2 win over Southeast of Saline, 28-20. The Irish then dropped a 35-14 decision to Concordia last week.  

Macksville at St. John – About 15 miles separate these two Central Prairie League rivals who have alternated wins the past six years. St. John won 76-32 last season meaning it would be Macksville’s turn to keep the alternating win pattern alive. The Mustangs are 2-1 with wins over Ness City and Kinsley sandwiched around a 60-12 loss to 8M-I No. 5 Victoria. Macksville junior quarterback Kody Mead has passed for 445 yards and eight touchdowns in three games. Mead has spread the ball around well as seven different Mustangs have receptions and three players have more than 100 receiving yards. Jacob Rein has 177 yards and five touchdowns, while Kreed Parr has 127 yards and a score and Karson Waters has 108 yards and three scores.


News & Notes: What to watch for in Week 4?

Stingy defenses

Through three weeks there are four teams in the state (6A through 8-Man) that have yet to allow a point. Interestingly enough, two of those teams are in 4A, Division I and two are 8-Man schools. Basehor-Linwood and Maize South are the only 11-man football teams to post three consecutive shutouts this season. The Bobcats and Mavericks have outscored their opponents 173-0 and 114-0, respectively. Meanwhile, Hoxie and South Barber have yet to allow a point in the 8-Man ranks. Both schools face big tests this week; however, as Hoxie hosts unbeaten Atwood-Rawlins County and South Barber will travel to take on a solid Argonia-Attica team.

In total, 11 other teams have given up less than 10 points on the season. They include:
St. Francis (8M-I) – 4 points
Clifton-Clyde (8M-I) – 6 points
Jackson Heights (2-1A) – 6 points
Kapaun Mt. Carmel (5A) – 6 points
South Central (8M-I) – 6 points
West Elk (8M-I) – 6 points
Garden City (6A) – 7 points
Burlingame (8M-I) – 8 points
De Soto (4A-I) – 8 points
Phillipsburg (3A) – 8 points
St. Paul (8M-I) – 8 points

6-Man Showdown! Weskan vs Pawnee Heights
A rematch of last season’s inaugural 6-Man championship will take place on Friday afternoon (2:00 PM) in Ransom. The defending 6-Man champion Weskan Coyotes, riding an 11-game winning streak, will travel to take on the Pawnee Heights Tigers. Both teams are unbeaten entering Friday’s game. Weskan won both meetings in 2016 defeating the Tigers 36-25 during the regular season, and 36-18 in the 6-Man title game.

Northeast-Arma at Belle Plaine – Last year the Belle Plaine Dragons halted a 31-game losing streak with a 48-0 shutout over Northeast. The Vikings, who have now lost 15 straight games, were shut out in eight of their nine games during the 2016 season. Northeast ended a streak of nine consecutive games without a point in a 20-14 loss at Yates Center earlier this season. The Vikings suffered a heartbreaking 38-30 double-overtime loss to Uniontown last week. If they can break through with enough points to get into the win column it may be against Belle Plaine. The Dragons are giving up an average of 80.6 points per game this season. Yes, you read that correctly. Belle Plaine has given up 98 points to Conway Springs, 74 points to Chaparral, and 70 points to Chaparral thus far this season. It should be noted; however, that those three opponents are a combined 9-0 on the season.

Closing in on 1,000 yards in 4 games?

Usually it takes us until Week 5 before we see backs begin to flirt with the 1,000-yard mark for the season, but there is a real possibility that comes this week. KC Schagle running back Ivan Webb has rushed for 856 yards in the Stallions’ three games this season.  Webb opened with a 348-yard effort against KC Southeast (Mo.) then rushed for 231 yards against KC Central (Mo.). Last week, Webb added 277 yards and three scores in Schlagle’s 30-0 shutout of Atchison. The Stallions host winless KC Washington on Friday night with Webb needing just 144 yards to clip 1,000 for the season. Last season, Webb’s teammate Cornelius Ruff finished with 2,019 rushing yards on the season, but Webb is actually ahead of Ruff’s pace. Ruff had 514 rushing yards through three games and 877 yards after four weeks.

Pratt’s Travis Theis has an outside chance at reaching 1,000 yards this week as well. The junior back has 746 yards in the Greenback’s three games leaving him 254 yards shy of 1,000 heading into Friday night. Theis has rushed for more than 250 yards in a game twice in his high school career already, once this season against Larned (437 yards) and in last year’s 4A-II state championship win over Topeka Hayden (270 yards).

Pleasanton to play third game in 8 days

Pleasanton will play a third game in the past week this Friday when the Blu-Jays travel to Lebo. After opening up with a 32-8 loss to St. Paul in Week 1, Pleasanton didn’t play again until last Friday’s 54-8 win over Marais des Cygnes Valley. The Blu-Jays then traveled to Osceola (Mo.) on Tuesday and came away with a 38-26 win.

Last season the Blu-Jays played a three-game stretch over the period of nine days. Pleasanton dropped all three games to St. Paul, Greenfield (Mo.) and Pierce City (Mo.).

The Blu-Jays were forced to search for replacement games after McAuley Catholic of Joplin (Mo.) cancelled their football program late in the summer of 2016 due to consistently battling low numbers.

Pleasanton and St. Paul had each scheduled the McAuley Warriors for the 2016 and 2017 football seasons. St. Paul found games in scheduling opponents from the Twin Valley League in extreme Northeast Kansas. The Indians had home-and-home games against Frankfort and Axtell both seasons. Thus far the Indians are 3-0 in those games and will travel to Axtell on Friday.

Current Longest Winning Streaks:

16 - Osborne (8M-I)
15 - Bishop Miege (4A-I)
15 - Hanover (8M-II)
12 - St. Mary’s Academy (KCAA)
11 - Pratt (4A-II)
11 - Weskan (6M)

Current Longest Losing Streaks:

32 - Bishop Ward (4A-II)
28 - Topeka Highland Park (5A)
27 - Flinthills (8M-I)
23 - Quinter (8M-I)
23 - Southeast-Cherokee (3A)
17 - Sublette (2-1A)
17 - Thunder Ridge (8M-II)
15 - KC Harmon (5A)
15 - Kinsley (8M-I)
15 - Northeast-Arma (3A)
15 - Wichita North (6A)
14 - Deerfield (8M-II)
14 - Lyons (3A)
13 - Atchison County (3A)
12 - Salina Central (5A)
10 - Towanda-Circle (4A-I)

South Barber’s defense

While Class 4A-I’s Basehor-Linwood and Maize South and Eight-Man, Division I Hoxie have earned plenty of attention for its three straight shutouts to start 2017, Eight-Man, Division II South Barber has accomplished the same feat. South Barber, the only unbeaten in District 7, defeated Pratt-Skyline and Norwich, 46-0, and Burrton, 52-0.

Norwich (2-1) averaged 45 points a game in its other two contests, while Burrton (1-2) has averaged 33 and Skyline 18. It’s continued a big defensive improvement for the Chieftains, which plays at Attica against Division I Argonia-Attica (2-1) in a key contest Friday.

Argonia-Attica lost 38-20 at Caldwell (3-0) in Week 2, one of the few times this season a Division II team defeated a Division I squad in a high-profile matchup. The Titans have not scored fewer than 42 points in a home game since a 28-26 win versus Cedar Vale-Dexter in Week 2 of the 2014 season.

Last year, the Chieftains improved from 6-3 to 9-2. South Barber permitted 33.2 points a contest two years ago and 11.1 last season, the third-best defensive improvement among eight-man teams from ’15-16.

South Barber graduated all-stater Grant Cantrell, but junior Trevor Rooks has stepped in with 18 of 29 passing for 254 yards with six scores against no interceptions. He and seniors Neal Gugelmeyer and Trae Rathgeber have helped the Chieftains average 186 rushing yards a game.

Gugelmeyer, who exceed 1,000 rushing yards and 100 tackles in ’16, leads the team with 24 stops. Sophomore Gage Cantrell has five tackles for loss. He has picked off two passes and helped the Chieftains start plus-six in turnover margin. Last year, the Chieftains were plus-10 in turnover margin and opened the season with permitting six points in the first three contests before a 40-26 loss to A&A. South Barber is 1-3 against the Titans with three straight losses.

South Central seeing key contributions from all four classes

Eight-Man Division I South Central has made major news with senior Zach Jellison’s one-yard touchdown last week. Additionally, South Central is off to a 3-0 start and plays host to 2-1 Hodgeman County, ranked fourth in Division II. The T-Wolves, tenth in eight-man football in scoring defense from ’14-16, has permitted just six points this year.

Sophomore Chayde Snyder is in his second year as the starting quarterback. He has completed 15 of 22 passes for 238 yards with two touchdowns. Snyder has rushed 15 times for 61 yards and a pair of TDs.

Last year, South Central went 9-2 and experienced significant injuries to then-senior quarterback Gerald Morehead (foot) and then-senior standout Kody Huck (broken foot). Snyder didn’t play quarterback until Week 5 last year and completed 56 of 93 passes for 1,141 yards with a 0/4 TD/INT ratio.

Snyder had played well running the option in JV games before he took over as the signal caller. Second-year coach Billy D. Nichols has a stable of fast running backs, led by freshman Jonny Robles, who has 12 carries for 148 yards and five TDs, the latter two leading the team.

Sophomore Eli Jellison has returned a punt for a score, while junior Ethan Jellison has a receiving touchdown and a fumble recovery for a touchdown. Seniors Tristin Hazen and Cabe Lindsay lead the team with 37 combined stops, while senior Dalton Morehead has contributed on both sides.

Nichols and Hodgeman County assistant coach Oliver Salmans have known each other for years. Both played under legendary coach Jerry Slaton, Nichols in Oklahoma, and Salmans in Hanston. Salmans replaced Slaton as Hanston’s coach before the school closed and eventually formed with Jetmore for Hodgeman County.

Norton’s offense off to strong start

Norton (3-0) hosts Mid-Continent League rival Smith Center (2-1) at Travis Field. Norton has averaged 66 plays a game with 149 passing yards and 285 rushing yards a contest. Since ’07, Norton is on pace for the program’s highest passing yards in a season and third-most rushing, along with third-best passer rating (93.1).

Last season, Norton was 2-1 after three games and averaged just 48 plays a game. Senior quarterback Jace Ruder has improved his running and efficiency. The North Carolina commit has rushed 44 times for 385 yards and six rushing touchdowns. Senior running back Tevin Petrie, who has been offered Division II scholarships, has 63 carries for 424 yards and six scores.

Ruder has completed 36 of 67 passes for 429 yards with a 5/1 TD/INT ratio. Sophomore Kade Melvin, junior Hayden Wiltfong and senior Ryan Johnson have combined for 27 catches. The trio combined for eight catches last season.

Through three games last year, Ruder threw for 504 yards but completed just 19 of 51 passes with a 4/2 TD/INT ratio. He had 28 carries for 217 yards and four rushing scores at this point last season. Smith Center has won three of the last four in the series, with the only Norton win a 32-0 victory on Sept. 26, 2014. Ruder suffered injury in the contest and missed the rest of his freshman year.


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Last updated: October 14, 2019 - 05:12 am