The Pick List -- Week 6
Linebacker Christian Tavernaro (#59 facing left) leads a stingy Fort Scott defense that has allowed less than 10 points per game. (Photo by Matt Gilmore, Kpreps.com)
By Kpreps.com & Kansas Pregame
Posted: October 6, 2011 - 12:02 AM
In most cases, Week 6 marks the last tune-up before the second season begins.
With district play looming next week, we have several good match-ups featuring close rivals.
League titles will be decided as the top two teams in each of the Sunflower, Kaw Valley, Big 7, and Southeast Kansas Leagues will do battle.
Finally, we have an East-West battle in 5A as McPherson travels to Gardner-Edgerton to take on the Trailblazers.
Feature Games of the Week:
6A #5 Olathe South (5-0) at 6A #2 Olathe North (5-0)
The two top teams in the Sunflower League this season will do battle as fifth-ranked Olathe South takes on #2 Olathe North.
Both teams remain unbeaten entering Friday night, but Olathe South had to survive a strong effort from Olathe Northwest to pull out a 44-41 win last week.
The Falcons spotted the Ravens a 20-point lead early in that game thanks to turnovers, but rallied and eventually won the game on a 36-yard field goal by Jared Douglass as time expired.
South can ill afford the turnovers this week.
The Falcons will try and use their Wing-T offense to control the ball and keep North’s talented group of skill players off the field.
Quarterback Frankie Seurer Jr. has thrown for 650 yards and six touchdowns thus far. Jordan Ward leads the Falcons rushing attack behind a talented offensive line that includes Scott Gourley (6-4; 265).
Falcon linebacker Remington Whitley has already had a special season with 75 tackles and three interceptions, but he’ll need another special performance on Friday night.
Olathe North features a pair of talented running backs in Treshawn Root and Orange Mooney. The duo have combined for more than 1,450 yards and 14 touchdowns already this season.
But the Pete Flood’s Eagles are not just about the run game.
Quarterback Jordan Bruce has lit up opposing defenses for 750 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Wideout Tanner Gentry has nearly 450 receiving yards and has already scored 10 times.
These two teams still want to establish the run first, so this one could be over quickly.
Give the edge to Olathe North which has won four straight in the series; including twice last season.
South’s last win in this series came in 2007 when the Falcons beat the Eagles 24-6 to advance to the 6A state title game.
Our Pick: Olathe North 35, Olathe South 24
5A #4 McPherson (5-0) at Gardner-Edgerton (3-2)
In one of the most highly anticipated rematches from 2010, the Bullpups must go on the road to face a young Trailblazer team that is still recovering from the loss of super athlete Bubba Starling.
While this game may have lost some of its luster due to G-E's 3-2 record, make no mistake, the Blazers will provide the toughest challenge for the Bullpups to this point in the season.
The Blazer offense is led by a pair of talented sophomores in quarterback Jared Hobby and running back Traevohn Wrench.
Wrench dismantled the Blue Valley Northwest defense with 314 yards rushing last week, while Hobby has a strong arm and veteran coach Marvin Diener has high expectations for the sophomore QB.
The Bullpup offense has been explosive scoring more than 40 points in four of their five games.
Senior quarterback Tyler Matthews is a TCU commit and is incredibly accurate, especially when throwing to his favorite target, Jordan Hart.
When Matthews is not hitting Hart through the air he's handing off to explosive junior running back Austin O'Bannon who has been timed at 10.6 in the 100 meter dash.
But for all the talk of offense it will be the Bullpup defense's game to win or lose. The Bullpup D has been a question mark for Mac this fall; allowing an average of 23 points through the first four games before shutting out Ark City last week.
Our Pick: Gardner-Edgerton 35, McPherson 28
4A #5 Basehor-Linwood (5-0) at Mill Valley (5-0)
Unbeatens will square off in Shawnee as Basehor-Linwood travels to Mill Valley in a battle for Kaw Valley League supremacy.
This game features the last three Kaw Valley League champions as the Bobcats have won the title the past two years, while the Jaguars were champs in 2008.
Last season, Mill Valley led 14-12 at halftime before the two teams traded touchdowns throughout the second half. The Bobcats eventually held on for a 39-34 win, breaking a long losing streak to Mill Valley.
Basehor-Linwood is led by senior quarterback Colin Murphy (6-6; 195) and his twin-brother Ryan (6-6; 205).
Together, the Murphy’s lead a Bobcat offense that has averaged nearly 48 points per game this season.
Last week, the Bobcats got their most difficult test to date in beating KC Turner, 28-14.
In that game, Colin threw for two touchdown passes and rushed for a third. Ryan was on the receiving end of one of his brother’s touchdown strikes, and added a rushing touchdown of his own.
Mill Valley features a prolific quarterback of its own.
Junior Skyler Windmiller has been starting since the second game of last season when the starter went down with an injury. Windmiller responded by finishing 2010 with 1,993 yards passing and 22 touchdowns.
He’s already thrown for 1,320 yards and 17 touchdowns this season as the Jaguars have had to replace a perennial 1,500-yard back Kyle Brunson graduated.
Last week, Windmiller completed 26 of 44 for 300 yards and four touchdowns as the Jaguars escaped KC Piper, 27-20.
The last two games between these two teams have been decided by a total of eight points, so Friday’s match-up has a lot to live up to.
Our Pick: Basehor-Linwood 42, Mill Valley 35
Fort Scott (5-0) at Pittsburg (4-1)
The SEK League title is on the line at Hutchinson Field in Pittsburg on Friday night as the hometown Purple Dragons host arch-rival Fort Scott.
The Tigers enter this game unbeaten and having outscored their opponents by an average of 37 to 10.
The Fort Scott program has been reenergized under Coach Bob Campbell who returned to the sidelines in 2010 after a four-year hiatus.
Campbell has led the Tigers to a 130-38 record in his 15 years including two 4A state championships.
Fort Scott finished 6-4 last season and is significantly stronger this season.
When preparing for Fort Scott, you prepare for a heavy dose of the split-back veer, a tough defense, and a team that will take on the fiery personality of their head coach.
Expect no different on Friday night against their arch rivals.
While Pittsburg has owned this rivalry the past few years, three out of the last four games have been decided by single digits.
The Purple Dragons are rolling again after a 35-12 loss at powerful Paola in Week 3.
Running back Marcus Striplin has been special of late; including a 138-yard, three-touchdown performance against Labette County last week.
The Dragon offense will face a stiff challenge in the Tiger defense led by linebacker Christian Tavernaro, but expect Pittsburg to be opportunistic at home and pull out a close win.
Our Pick: Pittsburg 26, Fort Scott 20
4A #2 Holton (5-0) at Perry-Lecompton (5-0)
The Perry-Lecompton Kaws have featured an explosive offense thanks in large part to dual-threat senior quarterback Jeremy Immenschuh. But the Kaws have yet to face a defense as stout as the Holton Wildcats led by the linebacking tandem of Rob Riederer and Trent Tanking.
The Kaws are scoring nearly 40 points a game, but the Wildcats are no pushover. Holton is averaging averaging 47 points per contest on offense, and features a defense that has allowed only 20 total points in their last four games.
Immenschuh, a 5-9, 170 pound left-handed senior, has been compared to former Kaw standout Shane Gimzo who led the Kaws to the 4A title game in 2008. His numbers thus far are impressive: 989 yards passing, 70 percent completion rate, nine touchdowns, no interceptions, 437 yards rushing, and nine more scores.
He is joined in the backfield by senior running back Luke Kellum who has rushed for 630 yards and nine scores.
The Wildcat Barta Bone is averaging 400 yards rushing per game behind a big, physical, offensive line. But the key to this game will be whether or not the Kaws’ can score on the Holton defense.
Our Pick: Holton 48, Perry-Lecompton 24
Lincoln (5-0) at Mankato - Rock Hills (4-1)
The Leopards have rolled to a 5-0 start with an explosive offense that scores an average of 68 points per game but the Leopard defense and an undersized offensive line will get their toughest test of the season against a Rock Hills team that has used a power run game to dominate in their four wins with their only loss coming to state-ranked Osborne, 56-34, in week two.
The Leopard offense is led by junior quarterback Dayton Walter who has thrown for 957 yards with 20 touchdowns and only one interception. Walter is also getting it done on the ground for the Leopards rushing for 416 yards and two more scores.
His top receiving target is senior Sean Ussrey with 22 catches for 406 yards. Ussrey is also the team's second leading rusher with 415 yards on the ground.
The Grizzlies' offense starts with the big boys up front which average more than 200 pounds and is bolstered by the return of senior quarterback Blake Walter who was lost early in the 2010 season to injury.
The Rock Hills ground game averages 327 yards per contest and features three backs with over 350 yards rushing on the season in Walter (439 yards, 7 TDs), Alex Smith (714 yards, 11 TDs) and Clay Cosand (377 yards, 12 TDs).
This non-district contest should feature plenty of scoring and will be a good gauge for these two teams just past the mid-point of the season.
Our Pick: Rock Hills 66, Lincoln 58
The Pick List:
Kapaun Mt. Carmel (4-1) at 5A #5 Bishop Carroll (4-1) – Bishop Carroll
St. Thomas Aquinas (3-2) at Webb City (Mo) (6-0) – Webb City
Mulvane (4-1) at Rose Hill (4-1) – Rose Hill
Parsons (4-1) at Galena (4-1) -- Galena
Neodesha (5-0) at Caney Valley (5-0) – Caney Valley
Rock Creek (4-1) at Rossville (5-0) – Rossville
Riley County (4-1) at 3A #5 Silver Lake (4-1) – Silver Lake
8M-I #5 Central Burden (5-0) at Udall (4-1) – Central Burden
Jetmore-Hodgeman Co. (3-1) at Ness City (5-0) – Ness City
Marais des Cygnes Valley (4-1) at 8M-I #1 Madison (5-0) -- Madison
Dighton (4-1) at Moscow (5-0) -- Dighton