The Pick List -- Week 5
Austin Duncan (4) leads Mulvane against Buhler in a battle of 4A unbeatens. (Photo by Marion McReynolds for Kansas Pregame Magazine)
By Kpreps.com & Kansas Pregame Magazine
Posted: September 30, 2011 - 8:53 AM
Week 5 marks the beginning of district play for all 8-man teams and Class 2-1A. While some 8-man districts began the second season a couple of weeks ago, the rest of the small schools will catch up this week.
We feature a pair of 8-man district games in this week’s Pick List as unbeatens Pretty Prairie and Macksville square off in Division I, and Dighton visits Ashland in Division II.
In the larger classes, the Eastern Kansas League takes up two of our feature games as Bishop Miege visits St. Thomas Aquinas, and Blue Valley Northwest takes on Gardner-Edgerton.
Finally, we preview a pair of games around the Wichita area as Wichita Northwest takes on Wichita Heights and unbeaten Mulvane takes on Buhler.
Feature Games of the Week:
Wichita Northwest (3-1) at 6A #1 Wichita Heights (4-0)
Northwest was riding high after three solid wins to open the season.
Strong performances from the Grizzly defense held opponents to a touchdown apiece in each of those first three wins, but city league power Bishop Carroll solved the Northwest defense last week scoring 31 points and allowing the Grizzilies only one score in handing them their first loss.
This week it gets really tough as Northwest faces defending 6A champion Heights.
It appeared Heights might take a slight step backwards this year with the loss of Evan Wessel, Daniel DeShazer, and Dreamius Smith to graduation, but the return of quarterback Matt Reed has the Falcon steam roller continuing to pave the road to another championship at an astonishing 57 points per game pace including a 45-14 season opening victory over Carroll.
Our Pick: Wichita Heights 35, Wichita Northwest 7
Blue Valley Northwest (3-1) at Gardner-Edgerton (2-2)
Before the season started, Blue Valley Northwest coach Mike Zegunis had some pretty high praise for senior quarterback Garrett Fugate.
Zegunis told Kansas Pregame Magazine that, “I haven’t seen a better quarterback than Garrett.”
That’s saying something since two years ago he coached quarterback Koby Chadick who led the Huskies to a 9-2 record and was a finalist for the Simone Award for the Kansas City Metro’s top player.
So far this season, Fugate (6-2, 175) has backed up his coaches words.
He has led Northwest to a 3-1 start by throwing nine touchdown passes and rushing for three more scores. He threw for 196 yards and four touchdowns before leaving with a broken nose in a season opening win over rival Blue Valley North.
A week later, he threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes to give the Huskies a late lead against Bishop Miege before the Stags scored late for a 27-24 win.
Last week, Northwest rallied from a 14-0 halftime deficit to beat St. Thomas Aquinas, 18-14. The Huskies did not gain the lead in that game until 1:12 left in the fourth quarter when Fugate hit Austin Moses on a 45-yard touchdown pass.
This week’s task is to go on the road and try and defeat Marvin Diener’s Gardner-Edgerton Trailblazers – a team the Huskies lost to by 49 points a year ago.
The Trailblazers rebounded from a 34-0 shutout loss to Bishop Miege in Week 3 to beat Blue Valley Southwest, 35-19.
In that game, sophomore Traevohn Wrench rushed for 219 yards and a pair of touchdowns to lead Gardner-Edgerton.
In fact, only Miege has been able to slow the talented sophomore who managed just 46 yards on the ground against the Stags.
Jared Hobby continues to gain experience at quarterback and threw for 106 yards and a touchdown against Southwest.
The key for the Blazers is to control the tempo with their running game and keep Fugate off the field.
Our Pick: Gardner-Edgerton 27, Blue Valley Northwest 21
Bishop Miege (3-1) at St. Thomas Aquinas (3-1)
It seems that week in and week out the Eastern Kansas League produces a match-up worthy of making our Pick List.
This week Bishop Miege, fresh off a three-point loss to top-ranked Blue Valley, will travel to St. Thomas Aquinas to take on the Saints.
Aquinas also lost for the first time a week ago; surrendering a 14-0 halftime lead in an 18-14 loss to Blue Valley Northwest.
The Saints are led by senior quarterback Paul Heit and stand-out wide receiver Clayton Henning (6-3, 170).
Heit has thrown for six touchdowns; hitting Henning on four of those touchdowns. He has also rushed for four scores in a 44-14 win over Blue Valley North.
The Saints’ offense will need to be clicking on all cylinders when they take on Miege.
The Stags have a marquee win in the 34-0 shutout of Gardner-Edgerton, and a dramatic win over Blue Valley Northwest with a late touchdown.
Last week the Stags pushed top-ranked Blue Valley as quarterback Montel Cozart threw two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to pull within 24-21.
Cozart threw for 263 yards and three scores against the Tigers and has several weapons in running back Quanzee Johnson and wide receiver Tre’ Parmalee.
Johnson caught two passes for more than 100 yards and a touchdown last week.
Miege hasn’t beaten Aquinas since 2007 when the Stags won 36-19. Even though the Saints have won four out of the last five in the series, Miege has the talent to get their third EKL road win of the season.
Our Pick: Bishop Miege 31, St. Thomas Aquinas 24
4A #3 Buhler (4-0) at Mulvane (4-0)
Third-ranked Buhler travels to Mulvane in what could be the Crusaders’ last test of the regular season.
Buhler has outscored its last three opponents 172-13 after a season opening 18-10 win at Rose Hill.
Steve Warner’s Crusaders are trying to improve upon a 12-1 season in 2010 which ended in a semifinal loss to Holton.
Plenty of talent returns including all-everything back Tanner Fisher.
Fisher rushed for 2,374 yards and 40 touchdowns a year ago, and already has accumulated 839 yards and 15 scores this season. He is averaging 14.7 yards per carry through Buhler’s first four games.
Quarterback Chandler Shantz and wide-out J.P. Lohrentz provide a solid pass-catch combo to supplement Fisher’s explosiveness on the ground.
Mulvane, on the other hand, is trying to improve on a 6-5 campaign in 2010 which ended in a second-round playoff loss to Topeka Hayden.
The Wildcats feature more of a balanced offense which relies on multiple players to produce positive results.
Quarterback Ty Reddington has thrown for 874 yards and 10 touchdowns. He has spread the ball around to receivers Nolan Smith (15 rec–254 yds-2TDs), and Austin Duncan (13 rec-216 yds-TD). Todd Parton also has 13 receptions for 231 yards and three touchdowns out of the backfield.
Parton is also the leading rusher for the Wildcats with 299 yards and five scores. Michael Bird has rushed for 279 yards and seven touchdowns, while Reddington has added 260 yards and five scores on the ground.
Buhler has won three out of the last five meetings between the two schools including three in a row, but last season, Mulvane gave the Crusaders their closest game of the regular season in a 46-33 loss.
Both teams enter unbeaten, but Mulvane is also untested as their four opponents are a combined 1-15.
Our Pick: Buhler 48, Mulvane 21
Pretty Prairie (4-0) at Macksville (4-0)
Pretty Prairie's dream team of 2010 plowed through the regular season with ease including a 68-20 thrashing of Macksville for what turned out to be the district championship.
But gone from that 10-1 team are Daniel Krehbiel, Hunter Pittman and several other key pieces.
The Bulldogs appear to have developed new weapons for 2011 and Friday's contest with Macksville may very well again determine the district championship.
For Pretty Prairie to repeat as district champs talented junior safety Stetson Broce and the Bulldog defense will have to shutdown Macksville senior quarterback Seth Filbert and dual-threat running back Adam Oak and a high powered Mustang offense.
Our Pick: Pretty Prairie 44, Macksville 28
Dighton (4-0) at 8M-II #5 Ashland (4-0)
In a key District 6 contest, Ashland looks to prove they are an 8-Man II contender against the potent running attack of the Hornets led by Guy Fullmer.
Fullmer has already rushed for 696 yards and 11 touchdowns this season and Pruitt Loomis has added 417 yards and seven scores.
For Ashland running backs Chance Stebens and Giles Fox provide a potent one-two punch. The duo has combined for nearly 500 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns.
After opening the season with a narrow win over Minneola the Blue Jays have scored at least 50 points in the last three victories, while Dighton has been dominant scoring at least 50 points in all four wins.
Our pick: Ashland 38, Dighton 36
The Pick List:
Salina South (2-2) at 5A #2 Hutchinson (3-1) – Hutchinson
Mill Valley (4-0) at KC Piper (3-1) – Mill Valley
De Soto (2-2) at Louisburg (2-2)– Louisburg
4A #4 Paola (4-0) at Eudora (3-1) – Paola
Perry-Lecompton (4-0) at Royal Valley (3-1) – Perry-Lecompton
Marion (4-0) at Sedgwick (4-0) – Sedgwick
Norton (3-1) at Smith Center (3-1) – Smith Center
Rossville (4-0) at Riley County (4-0) – Riley County
3A #5 Silver Lake (3-1) at Rock Creek (4-0) – Silver Lake
2-1A #5 LaCrosse (4-0) at Sacred Heart (2-2) – LaCrosse
Olpe (2-2) at Lyndon (4-0) – Lyndon
Clifton-Clyde (3-1) at 8M-I #3 Lakeside-Downs (4-0) – Lakeside-Downs
Quinter (4-0) at Sharon Springs – Wallace Co. (3-1) – Quinter
Moscow (4-0) at Ingalls (4-0) – Moscow