Tuesday Playoff First Look
Otis-Bison solved Moscow’s high-scoring offense by building a big lead en route to a 68-20 first-round win. (Photo by Everett Royer)
Posted: November 2, 2011 - 1:13 AM
If Tuesday night is any indication of how the Kansas high school football playoffs are going to play out, then we all are in for an exciting few weeks.
The playoffs kicked off for Class 4A, 3A, and both 8-Man classifications on Tuesday with a few upsets and several close games.
Let’s start in Class 4A where perhaps the biggest game produced what many would view as the biggest surprise. Fourth-ranked Rose Hill jumped out to an early lead and eliminated #2 Holton 28-12. This marked the second consecutive season the Rockets and Wildcats have met in the first round with Holton winning last year’s meeting 32-25. But this meeting belonged to the Rockets who took advantage of two Holton fumbles, and received big games from Jonny Pearson and Derrick Decker to advance.
Other upsets in 4A (at least on paper) occurred in the southeast corner of the state where defending champion Louisburg edged Fort Scott 27-20 behind a huge night from senior running back Garrett Griffin. Griffin carried 37 times for 295 yards and all four Wildcat touchdowns as Louisburg improved to 5-5, while ending Fort Scott’s season at 8-2.
Elsewhere, a pair of rematches from SEK League games took place on Tuesday, and the team that lost the regular season match-up enacted their revenge when it counted the most. Columbus won for the fourth time this season by routing Parsons 41-13, while Chanute edged Coffeyville 28-27 in overtime. The Golden Tornado scored first in the overtime period, but could not convert a two-point conversion attempt. The Blue Comets would score on their overtime possession and kick a successful PAT for the win. Chanute will not travel to Louisburg on Saturday.
In Class 3A, four quarters wasn’t enough to decide a winner between Central Heights and Erie as the Vikings and Red Devils went into overtime tied at 13. Central Heights would kick a field goal in their overtime possession, while Erie would score a touchdown and win 19-16.
Elsewhere a couple of the top teams on the eastern side of the bracket perhaps had a more difficult time than expected on Tuesday night. Unbeaten Wellsville fell behind Frontenac 7-0 at the end of the first quarter before rallying to win 24-7. The Eagles defeated the Raiders 61-0 in the first round last season. And Silver Lake won a surprising 55-31 shootout with a three-win Council Grove team. The Eagles will get tested on Saturday as they travel to Riley County – 48-27 winners over Sabetha.
In the western half of 3A, Garden Plain won a showdown with Southeast of Saline 42-29. The Owls and Trojans were tied at 21 at halftime before Garden Plain would pull away. Their reward is a home game with Wichita Collegiate on Saturday. The second round of 3A games features some showdowns between some tradition-rich programs. Aside from the Owls and Spartans, Beloit hosts Phillipsburg, Scott City hosts Smith Center, and Conway Springs plays host to the upstart, undefeated Sedgwick Cardinals.
The game of the night took place in 8 Man, Division I where Marmaton Valley edged Udall 46-45. In a back-and-forth affair that featured several lead changes, the Wildcats scored with 1:27 left to take a 46-39 lead. Udall would respond with a touchdown with 20 seconds remaining in the game. The Eagles would elect to go for the two-point conversion and the win, but the conversion was stopped and Marmaton Valley advanced.
Elsewhere in 8 Man-I, third-ranked Lakeside-Downs pulled away from #2 Lebo 48-20 to earn the schools’ first-ever playoff win. The Knights overcame 14 penalties in the game and took advantage of an injury to Lebo starting quarterback Trevor White to advance to the second round where they will play Marmaton Valley which will make the near 300-mile one-way trip to Downs on Saturday.
In the rest of the bracket, top-ranked Madison led Mankato-Rock Hills just 16-8 before pulling away for a 46-8 win. The Bulldogs will now take on Central Burden which hammered Chetopa 72-0 in a game that ended at halftime.
On the west side of the bracket, Macksville fell behind early and rallied, and held on late for a 42-40 win over Ness City. Their reward will be an Osborne team that puts up ridiculous point totals, but gives up their fair share of points as well. The Bulldogs outscored Little River 70-44 on Tuesday night. The other second-round match-up will feature Central Plains traveling to South Gray. The Oilers blasted Quinter 50-22, while the Rebels burned Pretty Prairie, 60-12.
Finally in 8 Man-II, blow out wins where the theme on Tuesday night in a classification that appears to be very top-heavy amongst four or five teams. Baileyville B&B, South Barber, South Haven, Ashland, and Thunder Ridge all posted big wins.
Otis-Bison solved the high-powered Moscow offense in a 68-20 victory. The Cougars will travel to Victoria on Saturday as the Knights survived a back-and-fourth contest with Cheylin before pulling away in the fourth quarter for a 36-18 win. Fourth-ranked Ashland will travel to second-ranked Thunder Ridge in the highlight of the second round schedule on Saturday.