Tuesday Playoff Preview
(Photos by Marion McReynolds, Mike Courson, & John Dowling)
By Kpreps.com & Kansas Pregame Magazine
Posted: November 2, 2010 - 6:44 PM
4A East: Columbus (5-4) at Chanute (7-2)
At first, the Chanute Blue Comets appear to be the clear favorite in their Class 4A playoff game against the Columbus Titans on Tuesday.
Chanute won its district championship and recently handed the Independence Bulldogs their only loss of the season. The Columbus Titans finished as district runner-up and registered recent losses to Coffeyville and Independence -- two teams Chanute has beaten this season.
However, rewind back to the third week of the season, and you’ll find that the Titans posted a 35-31 victory against the Blue Comets.
Chanute features the two-headed rushing attack of Jared McComb and Eric Bowman. Bowman has exploded for 1,338 yards in his first season as a Blue Comet after transferring from Girard, and McComb has shown big-game ability as in his 141 yards and two touchdowns in week nine against Girard.
Columbus’ running attack is led by Brandon Alberty. The senior rushed for 631 yards and six touchdowns in the regular season, including an 87-yard, two touchdown effort in the win over Chanute.
So Columbus has the confidence from the first meeting, but Chanute has the momentum.
Chanute 38, Columbus 28
4A East: KC Sumner Academy (8-1) at Basehor-Linwood (9-0)
The KC Sumner Academy Sabres are coming off their first loss of the season, 19-14 to KC Piper on Thursday. Now, the Sabres must try and rebound against an undefeated Basehor-Linwood team, which beat KC Piper 42-26 in the first week of the season.
Expect a high-scoring game as KC Sumner has scored at least 40 points in seven of their games this season, and the Bobcats like to spread it around with their passing game.
Basehor-Linwood quarterback Colin Murphy has completed 108 of 189 passes for 1,835 yards and 19 touchdowns. Ryan Murphy (43 rec., 931 yards, 10 TDs), Steyr Stubenrauch (31-425-1) and Ben Johnson (20-342-7) are the team’s top receivers.
For Sumner to advance, their veteran quarterback Armond Brisbane will have to spread the ball around to weapons Marcus Allen, Benny Parker, and Vernon Vaughn.
Basehor-Linwood 45, KC Sumner 28
4A West: Holton (7-2) at Rose Hill (7-2)
In perhaps the most intriguing first-round game in 4A, the fourth-ranked Holton Wildcats will be on the road to take on Rose Hill.
The Rockets blasted through their district competition by beating Augusta, Towanda Circle and El Dorado by a combined score of 159-34. Holton finished runner-up in a difficult district that included Class 4A’s top-ranked Topeka Hayden. Their other loss came week one to class 6A’s Topeka High Trojans, 33-22.
Rose Hill boasts a pair of 1,000-yard rushers in running back LaQue Mayes (1,326 yards, 23 TDs) and quarterback Derrick Decker (1,199 yards, 13 TDs.)
The Wildcats running game averages over 400 yards per contest led by Gunnar McKenna’s 1,055 yards and nine touchdowns on 147 carries.
Holton 35, Rose Hill 28
4A West: Hesston (7-2) at Concordia (8-1)
Second year coach Tim Lambert has the Concordia Panthers playing good football. The Panthers survived early season tests against Beloit (12-6) and Centralia (44-40) before suffering their only loss of the season to unbeaten Abilene in week four (31-14). The Panthers have since posted at least 36 points in four of five consecutive wins and played stout defense in a 20-7 victory to secure a district championship over Clay Center last week.
Hesston survived several early season scares from talented opponents winning three of their first four games by seven points or less before stumbling to an upstart Nickerson team enjoying one of it's best seasons in years.
The Swathers have since scored at least 44 points in wins versus three of their final four contests, but those teams posted a combined three wins this season. In a week eight match-up with Abilene the Swathers scored only seven points in a 26-7 loss.
Lucas Petrocci and Kyle Perry lead an offense that first-year Hesston coach Marc Marinelli utilized as the offensive coordinator for Andale the last few seasons.
Concordia 24, Hesston 14
The rest of our 4A first-round picks:
Perry-Lecompton (6-3) at KC Piper (5-4)
Eudora (6-3) at DeSoto (5-4)
Anderson County (6-3) at Louisburg (9-0)
Blue Valley Southwest (3-6) at Baldwin (8-1)
Paola (6-3) at Fort Scott (6-3)
Independence (8-1) at Coffeyville (4-5)
Towanda Circle (5-4) at Topeka Hayden (8-1)
Maize South (4-5) at Mulvane (5-4)
Hugoton (4-5) at Buhler (9-0)
Clay Center (5-4) at Abilene (9-0)
Wellington (2-7) at Andale (8-1)
Pratt (5-4) at Ulysses (7-2)
3A East: Riverton (7-2) at Neodesha (6-3)
Another showdown between the Tri Valley and CNC League as Riverton travels to Neodesha.
The Rams are led by a talented sophomore quarterback Greyson Spriggs who is a threat to stretch defenses with his arm or his legs. Riverton is a bit of a surprise this season in having just 25 players out and a first-year head coach in Derrick Rider.
Neodesha features one of the top backs in 3A in Anthony Thayer. Thayer has rushed for 1,179 yards this season including 214 yards and three touchdowns in last week’s win over Leon-Bluestem.
The Rams and Blue Streaks have three common opponents in Frontenac, Erie and Caney Valley. Both Riverton and Neodesha posted big wins against Frontenac and Erie, but Riverton edged Caney Valley 12-6 in overtime, and Neodesha fell 45-27 to the Bullpups.
Neodesha is at home, but expect Riverton to have the edge.
Riverton 21, Neodesha 14
3A East: Rossville (6-3) at Burlington (7-2)
The Rossville Bulldogs will begin their trek towards another deep playoff run as they travel to Burlington Tuesday night to take on the Wildcats.
Rossville has advanced past the first round of the playoffs in each of the past seven years; reaching the state semifinals four times in that span. The Bulldogs have a veteran presence under center in Mitch Buhler. Buhler has thrown for 1,930 yards and 24 touchdowns this season despite the departure of his brother Matt, an all-state wide out from a year ago. The Bulldogs’ three losses have all come to playoff teams in Centralia (20-13), Riley County (35-21), and Silver Lake (34-28).
Burlington’s success may come as a surprise to many after the Wildcats finished just 3-6 a year ago. Sophomore quarterback Korbin Ratzlaff has paced the Wildcat offense in throwing for 781 yards and 12 touchdowns to go along with 470 yards rushing and 13 scores. Britton Curtis leads the Burlington ground attack with 869 yards and five touchdowns.
While Burlington is much improved, the experience of Buhler and the preparation of the Bulldogs after playing in the Mid-East League should be plenty to carry Rossville through to the second round again.
Rossville 34, Burlington 14
3A West: Beloit (7-2) at Ellsworth (6-3)
After opening the season on a three-game losing streak - including a 44-6 loss to Beloit - the Ellsworth Bearcats have ripped off six straight wins and earned a district championship in the process. Veteran Bearcat head coach Ken Windholz has stepped away from his traditional Power-I Toss scheme with a shotgun double slot offense intended to capitalize on the talents of 5-11, 190 pound junior quarterback Jacob Froese.
Beloit has posted two losses this season by a total of 11 points. The Trojans opened the season with a 12-6 loss to rival Concordia and were handed a 35-30 loss to Smith Center to open district play - a game in which the Trojans nearly rallied from 21 points down for a comeback victory.
Greg Koenig's double-wing attack is led by strong-armed freshman quarterback Peyton Vetter and welcomed the return of standout senior running back Luke Shamburg in week six. Shamburg, a 1,000 yard rusher a year ago, sustained a broken collar-bone in week one and is reportedly back to 100 percent.
The Bearcats are not the same team that lost to the Trojans by 38 points in week two, but the Trojans are a perennial playoff qualifier that seldom exits in the first round.
Beloit 30, Ellsworth 12
3A West: Hutchinson Trinity (8-1) at Whitewater Remington (7-2)
Two of 3A’s top quarterbacks will square off as Hutch Trinity visits Whitewater Remington. The two Heart of America League rivals were both unbeaten when they met in week five with the Celtics coming out on top 43-12.
In that game, Trinity quarterback Derek Racette heaved a 60-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass to Austin Rea as time expired in the first half to extend a two-point lead to 21-12. The Celtic defense would take over from there, shutting out Bronco quarterback Caleb Cherryholmes in the second half. Racette completed only eight passes for more than 240 yards and five scores that night, while Cherryholmes completed 21 of 33 attempts for more than 200 yards, but was pressured and sacked several times.
On the season, Racette has thrown for 2,251 yards and 32 touchdowns and has multiple weapons at receiver including Michael Mesh (31 rec., 929 yards, 10TD), Will Bothwell (22 rec., 572 yards, 11TD), Austin Rea (21 rec., 365 yards, 5 TD), and Brandon Koenigsman (19 rec., 338 yards, 6TD). But for Trinity to make another deep playoff run, they’ll need to find consistency in the running game as well.
Cherryholmes has completed 61 percent of his passes this season for 1,387 yards. Jake Green is a talented wide receiver who has been one of Cherryholmes’ main targets. Green caught eight balls for 130 yards and three touchdowns last week.
Hutchinson Trinity 41, Whitewater Remington 14
The rest of our 3A first-round picks:
Eureka (5-4) at Caney Valley (7-2)
Central Heights (3-6) at Southeast-Cherokee (2-7)
Marysville (5-4) at Effingham-Atchison Co. (8-1)
Frontenac (2-7) at Wellsville (8-1)
Northern Heights (7-2) at Silver Lake (8-1)
Sabetha (3-6) at Riley County (7-2)
Chaparral (7-2) at Wichita Collegiate (8-1)
Cimarron (6-3) at Norton (8-0)
Hillsboro (5-4) at Garden Plain (7-2)
Wichita Independent (3-6) at Conway Springs (9-0)
Sterling (6-3) at Smith Center (6-2)
Goodland (6-3) at Scott City (9-0)
Class 8-Man – Division I
8M-I East: Clifton-Clyde (7-2) at Madison (9-0)
Traditional Twin Valley League powers Baileyville B&B and Hanover may be absent from Division I, but Clifton-Clyde will try and carry the banner for the state’s best 8-Man league. It won’t be an easy task though as the Ealges will travel to Madison to take on the unbeaten Bulldogs.
Clifton-Clyde was thought by many to be one of the favorite to reach the Division I title this fall, but after a 40-6 loss to Axtell and a 52-28 district loss to Lakeside-Downs, the Eagles appeared like they had come down to earth. Clifton-Clyde has posted a 60-16 record over the past six seasons, but has yet to capture a state title in that time. If the Eagles are to reach that goal this season they’ll continue to need big performances from Alex Deaver. The junior is among the state leaders in rushing with 1,762 yards and 26 touchdowns.
Deaver will have his hands full with a Madison defense that had given up only 16 points all season prior to last week’s 68-34 win over Burlingame. The Bulldogs have rolled to an unbeaten start thanks to running back Kole Schankie who has rushed for 1,058 yards and 29 touchdowns. Collin Kile also gives Madison a passing threat as evidenced by his 219-yard, four-touchdown performance against Burlingame.
Madison has struggled against Twin Valley League schools in the past, but this may be their shot at revenge and a deep playoff run.
Madison 32, Clifton-Clyde 24
8M-I East: Lebo (8-1) at Lakeside-Downs (8-1)
Lebo was considered a strong contender on the east side of Division I until injuries seemed to take out the entire team. Junior quarterback Trevor White went down with a shoulder separation in second half of the Wolves’ 40-point win over Burlingame. A week later, receiver Alex Linsey missed sat out due to an appendectomy, and star tailback Sam Strawder left went out with an ankle injury. To make matters worse, back-up quarterback Tyson Robke suffered an injury to his collarbone forcing Butch Jones to either move players around or go to a freshman under center.
Despite the injuries, the Wolves have won two straight after suffering their only loss of the season in a 46-0 shutout to Madison. It’s unknown how healthy the Wolves are, but they’ll need to be as they travel to Downs to take on the Lakeside Knights.
The Knights are in the midst of best season in some time. In fact, Lakeside entered this year just 12-40 over the past six seasons without a playoff appearance. This year’s Knights are an offensive juggernaut in averaging 53 points per game. Their lone loss came in week one 46-42 to now third-ranked Osborne.
Miles Thomas leads the Lakeside ground attack with 1,000 yards and 18 touchdowns, while Coe Weis has added 750 yards and 12 scores. Quarterback Alex Renken has provided the Knight offense with balance in throwing for 830 yards and 20 touchdowns.
The outcome of this game will largely come down to how healthy Lebo is. If the Wovles are at full strength, you have to like their chances. If not, Lakeside has plenty of weapons to get by to the second round.
Lakeside 36, Lebo 20
8M-I West: Hill City (8-1) at Lincoln (8-1)
Lincoln is enjoying their best season in 30 years thanks to a high-powered offense that features senior running back Brady Coover (1,458 yards rushing, 27 TDs), senior wide receivers Kevin Street (50 receptions, 791 yards, 14 TDs) and Tryaun Richard (32 receptions, 509 yards, 8 TDs) and sophomore quarterback Dayton Walter (1,719 yards passing, 28 TDs, 3 Ints.). Since joining the Leopards in 2008 following a winless 2007 in 11-Man, third-year coach Mike Strack has led the Leopards to 2, 5, and now at least 8 wins in his three years as head coach.
In similar fashion, the Hill City Ringnecks have posted their best record since 1970 and would set a school record for wins with a victory over the Leopards. Hill City will be making their second consecutive playoff appearance and only their second ever trip to the postseason. The Ringnecks have posted a winning record for the third consecutive season for the first time since 1979-81.
Lincoln must slow down one of the top players in all of 8-Man, Ringneck quarterback Reggie Jordan. Jordan has tallied nearly 2,500 total yards and is the most prolific scorer in 8-Man Division I scoring at a 26.2 points per game rate. The Ringnecks also boast one of the top defenses in 8-Man D-I allowing only 134 points this season, the third best scoring defense behind only Pretty Prairie and Madison. Ringneck defensive end Tyler Bess has posted 12 sacks this seson.
Hill City 56, Lincoln 32
8M-I West: Macksville (7-2) at Jetmore-Hodgeman Co. (8-1)
The Macksville Mustangs will make their sixth consecutive playoff appearance as they travel to Jetmore to take on the Hodgeman County Longhorns. Jetmore is back in the playoffs for the first time since 2007, and just four years removed from a state runner-up finish in 2006. That season, the Longhorns beat Macksville 46-44 in overtime in the state semifinals before falling to Waverly in the championship game. The Mustangs would return the following year to win the Division I state title.
This year’s version of the Mustangs is led by quarterback Seth Filbert. Filbert has thrown for 1,121 yards and 20 touchdowns while rushing for 630 yards and 13 scores. Running backs Adam Oak and Dakota Allison provide options to the Macksville rushing attack with 532 yards and 420 yards respectively.
Jetmore-Hodgeman County is led by Evan Kreger who opened eyes around the state by scoring ten touchdowns in their season opening win over Pawnee Heights. Kerger rushed for 215 yards and five touchdowns last week in a win over Spearville. Backfield mate Isaiah Richardson also added three touchdowns in that game, and provides another scoring threat.
On paper this is one of the best first round match-ups in the state. Hopefully it will play out that way.
Jetmore-Hodgeman Co. 32, Macksville 26
The rest of our 8 Man-I first-round picks:
St. Paul (6-3) at Central Burden (6-3)
Cedar Vale-Dexter (6-3) at Colony Crest (8-1)
Ness City (5-4) at Pretty Prairie (9-0)
Peabody-Burns (6-3) at Osborne (8-1)
Class 8-Man – Division II
8M-II East: Quivira Heights (7-2) at Baileyville B&B (9-0)
The top-ranked B&B Falcons will take the field for the first time in two weeks after their week eight and nine scheduled opponents forfeited. Their challenge, last season’s Division II runners-up in the Quivira Heights T-Birds.
B&B has been dominant all season averaging more than 60 points per game, while allowing just 14. The Falcons have been tested too as they edged second-ranked Hanover 31-28 in overtime thanks to a Logan Haug field goal.
The Falcons feature multiple weapons in the rushing game with Mitch Engleken (370 yards, 9TD), Dylan Buessing (367 yards, 9TD), Cody Heiman (295 yards, 7TD), and Eric Huerter (220 yards, 6TD). Huerter, the Falcons quarterback, hasn’t played since a week five win over Axtell due to injury. It’s unknown if he will be available for Tuesday’s game.
Quivira Heights is led by senior quarterback Gunnar Phelan. Phelan has thrown for 1,427 yards and 29 touchdowns on the season, and added 422 yards rushing. Nick Schepmann leads the T-Birds’ rushing attack with 750 yards and 16 touchdowns. Taylor Siemsen is Phelan’s primary receiving target having hauled in 40 catches for 586 yards and 15 touchdowns. Jordan Trevino has also caught 25 balls for 532 yards and nine scores for the T-Birds.
Baileyville B&B 52, Quivira Heights 16
8M-II East: Hanover (8-1) at Hope (8-1)
Hope has qualified for the playoffs in 17 of the last 18 seasons with their only absence from the postseason in 2008. The Lions had an early exit from the 2009 playoffs with a first round loss to Beloit St. John's-Tipton. Hope has posted only one loss in 2010, a 28-22 setback against Centre-Lost Springs in week three. The offense has been explosive scoring at least 38 points in all eight wins and more than 50 points five times. The Lions posted an impressive victory over Quivira Heights in week seven handing the defending 8-Man II runner-up a 38-14 loss.
The Lions will again have their hands full in week one as their district championship earns them a home contest with 8-Man Division II's second ranked Hanover. The Wildcats have played in three consecutive state title games winning the last two 8-Man Division II titles. Hanover has posted a 53-5 record the last five seasons and outscored Victoria and Quivira Heights a combined 112-50 in its two championship game wins. Their only loss on the season came at the hands of the state's top-ranked Baileyville Falcons by a field goal in overtime.
This game will feature a dual-threat quarterback in Hanover's Austin Steinfort who has posted more than 1,200 total yards and 29 total touchdowns this season while the Hope offense will go through backs Lucas Bird and Tyler Mudd.
Hanover 44, Hope 22
8M-II East: South Haven (8-1) at Centre-Lost Springs (8-0)
Two teams ranked right around that fifth through seventh spot in our Kpreps 8-Man Division II poll all season will square off in the first round as South Haven visits Centre. This game is a rematch of a first round playoff match from last season won by Centre, 56-26.
The Cardinals have been a bit of a surprise having finished second in a strong district that featured Caldwell and South Barber. The district playoff qualifiers were decided by the points tie-breaker as the three teams tied atop the standings. South Haven’s only loss came to Caldwell 37-20 in week eight. The Cardinals are led by a talented quarterback in Austin Showman who paces a South Haven offense that averages 44 points per game. Equally impressive has been the Cardinal defense that has allowed only 14 points per game this season.
The Centre Cougars are led by senior quarterback Tanner Brunner. Brunner is a threat to run or pass in a Cougar offense that has outscored its opponents 401-114. Centre’s big test came in week three as they held off Hope for a 28-22 win. The Cougars hope to better their quarterfinal playoff appearance from last season which resulted in a 48-0 shutout loss to eventual champion Hanover.
Centre-Lost Springs 34, South Haven 26
8M-II West: Victoria (7-2) at Cheylin (9-0)
Victoria was riding a seven game winning streak heading into last week's district championship match-up with Thunder Ridge. What was billed as a potential shootout turned into a Longhorn blow-out due in part to injuries to the Knights top two offensive weapons Kameron Dinkel and Dalton Dreiling. Dinkel, Victoria's best player, is not expected to play in this week's first round playoff match-up with undefeated Cheylin and Dreiling will be nursing injured ribs.
The Cougars of Cheylin made a six-game improvement from last year's 3-6 season after posting six wins total in the past three years prior to 2010. The Cougars are making their first appearance in the playoffs since 2005. Cheylin has been up and down the last three weeks of the season escaping a three-win Natoma team 22-18 in week six and handing a six-win Tribune-Greeley Co. team a 58-12 loss in week seven before pummeling a winless Triplains-Brewster team 50-0 last week.
Victoria will utilize a number of underclassmen in the backfield while the Cougars will rely on the one-two punch of quarterback Caleb Keltz (557 yards passing, 8 TDs, 453 yards rushing, 13 TDs) and Dalton Magnani (1,233 yards rushing, 20 TDs).
The Cougars are having a fantastic year, but Victoria will be the best team Cheylin has seen in 2010.
Victoria 30, Cheylin 22
The rest of our 8 Man-II first-round picks:
Waverly (6-3) at Caldwell (8-1)
Fowler (7-2) at Otis-Bison (8-0)
Chase (7-1) at Ashland (8-0)
Sharon Springs (5-4) at Thunder Ridge (7-2)