By Matt Gilmore, Kpreps.com & John Baetz, Kansas Pregame Magazine
Posted: September 5, 2012 - 11:33 PM
In our Picks to Click, we feature six players or units from across the state that we feel will have breakout performances on Friday night. Check back next Thursday to see our picks for week three, and how the players performed that we picked this week.
Tyler Burns, RB, Wichita Trinity
The younger brother of former Trinity standout Morgan Burns, Tyler (6-0, 185) began his sophomore season by rushing for 346 yards and scoring seven touchdowns in the Knights’ 60-36 win over Chaparral. Burns rushed for 301 yards on his six rushing touchdowns alone, and added 27-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Matt Jones. Burns’ night included long touchdown runs of 85, 66, 62, 53, and 33 yards. As a freshman a year ago, Burns rushed for nearly 850 yards.
Caleb Carson, QB, Clay Center
Carson (6-2, 210) carried 18 times for 308 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Tigers to a 32-26 win over Riley County. While Carson was gashing the Falcons on the ground, his touchdown pass with 13 seconds remaining propelled Clay Center to the win. The Tigers take on Thomas More Prep in Week 2. TMP beat Ellinwood 36-20 to open the season.
Garrett Flax, RB, Ness City
Diminutive senior Garrett Flax is listed at 170 pounds and 5 feet, 9 inches tall, numbers probably inflated by coach Chris Bamberger. Flax rushed for over 800 yards last year prior to a week eight broken leg that ended his season and sidelined him for basketball and much of track. Flax returned with 132 yards rushing and two touchdowns in last week's season opening victory over Kinsley. Now the Eagles face a Macksville team that ended their 2011 season in a heartbreaking, 42-40, playoff loss. Revenge will certainly be on the Eagles mind and rejuvenated Flax will most likely lead the way.
Austin Hodison, RB, Royal Valley
All Hodison did in his season debut was rush for 282 yards and five touchdowns in the Panthers 40-20 win over Santa Fe Trail. The 6-0, 160-pound junior carried only 14 times averaging more than 20 yards per touch. This week the Panthers host Nemaha Valley who lost 32-6 to McLouth to open the season.
Sean Newlan, QB, Phillipsburg
Newlan and the Panthers entered the season with high expectations, but few predicted they would dismantle highly ranked Plainville 48-18 last Friday. Newlan connected on touchdown passes of 88, 49, and 84 yards and accounted for 278 of the Panthers' 378 yards in the game. The Panthers step out of league play this week and travel to face the Oberlin-Decatur County Red Devils. If the Panthers are truly ready to make a run at a 3A state title Newlan will continue to lead the way, and a big performance against the Red Devils will keep Phillipsburg headed in the right direction.
Travis Young, S, Derby
The 6-foot, 200-pound safety is part of an enormously talented junior class that intends to put Derby at the top of 6A. Young opened his season with a 50-yard interception return and a sack off a safety blitz that helped propel the Panthers to a win over Salina South last Thursday night. Now Derby faces Tom Audley's Andover Central Jaguars and a passing attack that produced almost 200 yards in a season-opening win over Valley Center. If Derby is to move to 2-0, they will need a strong performance by their secondary, and specifically the versatile safety Young.
Last week’s Picks to Click (Week One):
Riley Allen, RB, Buhler – Allen rushed for 278 yards and all four Buhler touchdowns in a 26-21 win over defending 4A champion Rose Hill.
Trevor Axelson, RB, Plainville – Axelson rushed for 96 yards and two touchdowns, but the Cardinals fell victim to Phillipsburg’s big plays in a 48-18 loss.
Jayce Brack, DL, Great Bend – Brack and the Great Bend defense held Hoisington to just 176 yards of total offense in a 14-6 Panther win.
Calahan Brown, RB, Frankfort – Brown rushed 17 times for 163 yards and two touchdowns as the Wildcats beat Southern Cloud, 66-20. Brown also added 15 tackles on defense.
J’veyon Browning, RB, KC Schlagle – Browning rushed 17 times for 263 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Stallions past Topeka West, 36-6.
Austin O’Bannon, RB, McPherson – O’Bannon battled cramps all game and was limited to just six carries for 26 yards in the Bullpups’ 41-20 win over El Dorado.