The Pick List -- Week Three
Hope's Lucas Bird looks to lead the Lions past Centre. (Photo by Marion McReynolds, For Kansas Pregame/Kpreps.com)
By Kpreps.com & Kansas Pregame Magazine
Posted: September 30, 2010 - 10:25 PM
Week three is highlighted by a pair of games featuring ranked opponents. Perhaps the most talked about game this week is Gardner-Edgerton facing Bishop Miege. You will not find any further detail of that game in this week’s The Pick List as it will instead be a feature preview on Friday morning. What you will find in is a 6A showdown in the Sunflower League, a great small school battle out west, and a pair of important 8 Man games. Each Thursday throughout the regular season, The Pick List will feature six of the best match-ups across the state, and we will make our predictions on a handful of other games.
Feature Games of the Week:
6A #4 Olathe East (2-0) at 6A #1 Olathe North (2-0)
Sunflower League takes center stage in one of two marquee match-ups in the Kansas City area this week when the Olathe East Hawks visit defending 6A champion Olathe North.
Both teams have been amongst the most successful programs in Class 6A over the past six seasons, and both are ranked in our Kpreps.com top five this season.
Despite the loss of several talented players off of last year’s title team, Pete Flood’s Eagles are right where most of the state anticipated they would be; at the top.
Olathe North built a big lead and held on to withstand a furious Shawnee Mission West rally to win their opener 29-22.
Things were anything but normal last week in the Hawks win over Olathe South as the game was suspended Friday night due to weather with North leading 16-0. The Eagles and Falcons would resume on Saturday with North prevailing 30-7.
Quarterback Victor Simmons returns to lead the Olathe North attack. Simmons, a KU commit as a safety, is the Eagles leader, and has led by example in rushing for more than 270 yards through two games.
Adonis Saunders has shown the flair for big plays in his first two games as the feature back after replacing the school’s all-time leading rusher James Franklin.
Saunders has already broken three touchdown runs over 70 yards this season and has accumulated nearly 300 yards on the ground and five scores.
Olathe East has opened the season with wins over Shawnee Mission North (42-7) and Olathe Northwest (21-7).
Austin Fulson and Brandon Willingham have both been key in the Hawks’ first two wins rushing for 286 and 246 respectively.
Both Willingham and Fulson are also integral parts of the Hawks defense. Fulson is a returning all-league linebacker who accounted for 125 tackles last fall. He and fellow linebacker Vince Gerstner face the challenge of preventing the big plays of Saunders, and slowing down the Eagles.
Our Pick: Olathe North 27, Olathe East 20
Oakley (2-0) at Phillipsburg (2-0)
After posting one of the most significant victories in program history - a 19-14 win over rival Smith Center last week - the Phillipsburg Panthers must now host 2A power Oakley in a battle of unbeatens.
The Panthers used an efficient passing game to deliver the Redmen their first regular season loss since 2003, and they'll need more from sophomore quarterback Sean Newlan and junior running back Sheldyne Brown if they are going to record their third straight victory of the season.
Oakley, a team that returned only three total starters to open the season, has looked more than experienced on both sides of the ball thus far outscoring their first two opponents 102-6, allowing the only touchdown in their season opening 64-6 victory over Syracuse.
Phillipsburg will certainly provide stiffer competition than Syracuse and Sublette in week's one and two, but Oakley is no stranger to success under head coach Randall Rath, who posted his 100th win last week in only his 13th season as a head coach.
Our Pick: Oakley 16, Phillipsburg 6
Colby (2-0) at 3A #4 Scott City (2-0)
After two weeks on the road, against opponents from class 6A and 4A, the Scott City Beavers return home in week three to face what could be their toughest opponent yet in undefeated Colby.
The Eagles have scored at least 42 points in each of their first two victories.
Scott City, who competes in class 3A for football, is no stranger to success, making deep playoff runs for years, while Colby is considered an emerging 4A power under fourth year coach Chris Gardner.
The Eagles posted a 7-3 record last season and returned a whopping 11 players with starting experience - including 10 seniors - to open the 2010 season.
Led by quarterback Kale Arnberger and running back Andrew Flanagin the Eagles offense has been piling up the yards and points.
The Beavers feature multiple offensive weapons including 12 different players who carried the ball in last week's 39-0 win over Holcomb, but it's Scott City's defense that will need to step-up in this one.
Our Pick: Scott City 22, Colby 12
South Gray (2-0) at 8M-I #5 Jetmore-Hodgeman Co. (2-0)
South Gray will travel to Jetmore to take on the Hodgeman County Longhorns in the feature 8 Man game in the southwest region of the state.
Jetmore-Hodgeman County will be at home for the first time this season and the first time since the creation of the Hodgeman County school district which resulted in the addition of players from former rival Hanston.
The Longhorns have received quite a bit of press already in this season thanks to the play of Evan Kreger.
The senior running back set a Kansas state 8-man record and tied a national high school record by scoring ten touchdowns in the opening win over Pawnee Heights.
In that game, Kreger accumulated some 360 yards of total offense, rushed for eight touchdowns, and returned both a punt and interception for scores.
Kreger would follow that performance up by scoring five more times in a 54-6 win over WaKeeney-Trego in week two. Jetmore-Hodgeman County has outscored opponents 128-14 so far this season.
The South Gray Rebels have been equally impressive through two weeks. The Rebels opened with a hard fought 24-20 victory over Kiowa County in week one, and last week raced out to a 36-6 halftime lead before outscoring South Central 58-26.
The Rebels have been led by Coulter Croft who has five rushing touchdowns in two games. Croft rushed for 167 yards and four scores against South Central, while passing for another.
Garrison Hendricks has led the thrown and rushed for a pair of touchdowns already for South Gray. When he looks to throw, it is likely to Austin Love who has three touchdown receptions in two games.
The South Gray defense has already given up a 230-yard rushing performance to Ross Binford in narrowly escaping Kiowa County by four points. If that happens this week, Kreger has the speed to make the Rebels pay.
Our Pick: Jetmore-Hodgeman Co. 32, South Gray 26
Centre-Lost Springs (2-0) at Hope (2-0)
In a rematch of one of the state's most exciting games from 2009, Centre and Hope will square off in a key match-up which could ultimately decide the champion of the new Wheat State League the season is complete.
These two rivals, which are separated by less than 20 miles and the Dickinson/Marion county line, played a classic last season with Hope defeating Centre 30-24 in four overtimes.
Hope, a perennial playoff team and Centre, recently returned to the ranks of 8-Man's elite, both posted 8-2 records a season ago.
The Lions are led by senior running back Lucas Bird who tallied five touchdowns in last week's 48-0 shutout of Goessel. Bird rushed for three scores, returned an interception for a touchdown, and return the game’s opening kickoff 75 yards for a score as well.
For the Centre Cougars, 6-2, 185 pound quarterback Tanner Brunner is the offensive juggernaut.
Brunner has posted nearly 300 yards rushing and six touchdowns on the ground in the Cougars season opening victories over Peabody-Burns and Little River.
Expect another classic in this match-up.
Our Pick: Hope 32, Centre-Lost Springs 30
Liberal (2-0) at Hays (2-0)
In his first season as the head coach at Hays High in 2009 all former LaCrosse coach Ryan Cornelsen did was lead the Indians to a 7-2 season and a WAC championship - only the third conference title in school history and the first since 2001.
The cardiac Indians won five contests by 11 points or fewer in '09, including four within six points.
This week Cornelsen will put his Indians' 2-0 record on the line against his hometown team, the Liberal Redskins, who come to Hays with their own 2-0 record under second year coach Wade Standley.
Behind quarterback Slader McVey and wideout Jade Cathey - a K-State commit - the Redskins have scored 40 and 42 points in their first two contests.
For the Indians, defense is the name of the game as the team has allowed only 19 points in two season opening wins. The defense is led by returning all-WAC selections Casey Sedbrook at linebacker and Josh Baalman in the defensive backfield.
This one was close last year as the Indians won 21-17 in a key WAC match-up.
Our Pick: Hays High 24, Liberal 14
The Pick List:
Paola (0-2) at Pittsburg (2-0) -- Pittsburg
8M-II #2 Hanover (2-0) at Axtell (2-0) -- Hanover
2-1A #3 Olpe (2-0) at Wellsville (2-0) -- Olpe
Hoxie (2-0) at 8M-I #4 Hill City (1-0) – Hill City
Shawnee Mission West (1-1) at Lawrence Free State (2-0) – SM West
8M-I #3 Lebo (2-0) at Waverly (2-0) -- Lebo
Lyndon (2-0) at Northern Heights (2-0) -- Lyndon
Emporia (1-1) at 6A #3 Manhattan (2-0) -- Manhattan
5A #3 McPherson (2-0) at Andover Central (2-0) -- McPherson
Shawnee Heights (0-2) at Washburn Rural (2-0) – Shawnee Heights
Smith Center (1-1) at Ellis (1-1) – Smith Center
6A #5 Topeka High (2-0) at Topeka Seaman (1-1) – Topeka High
Whitewater-Remington (2-0) at Ell-Saline (1-1) -- Remington
5A #2 Gardner-Edgerton (2-0) at 5A #5 Bishop Miege (2-0) – Gardner-Edgerton
2-1A #5 Centralia (1-1) at Onaga (1-1) -- Centralia