By Matt Gilmore, Conor Nicholl, Mark Schremmer, & John Baetz for Kpreps.com
Posted: October 14, 2012 - 10:07 PM
Week 5 of The Pick List features two ranked showdowns as 5A No. 4 Salina South takes on 6A’s top-ranked Hutchinson Salthawks, and No. 2 Stanton County hosts No. 3 Meade as Class 2-1A kicks off district play.
In the Centennial League, two surprises square off as unbeaten Topeka High takes on 5A No. 5 Topeka Seaman. The Vikings are trying to rebound from a two-point loss to No. 2 Emporia last week, while the Trojans are just on the outside of the 6A rankings and looking to move into the top five.
Elsewhere, a pair of unbeatens take center stage in the Delaware Valley League as Atchison County travels to Riverside, and a key early district game in 8-Man, Division-I as unbeaten Little River takes on Pretty Prairie.
Each Thursday throughout the regular season, The Pick List will feature six of the best match-ups across the state, and we will make our predictions on a handful of other games.
Feature Games of the Week:
5A #4 Salina South (3-1) at 6A #1 Hutchinson (3-1)
The Salina South Cougars will face their third ranked team this season when they travel to Gowans Stadium to take on the top-ranked team in 6A, the Hutchinson Salthawks.
The Cougars have bounced back from a Week 1 27-13 loss to 6A’s second-ranked Derby Panthers by posting three consecutive wins, highlighted by a 28-7 road victory at Blue Valley.
Needless to say, the Cougars have been tested.
Senior running back Cody Busby has rushed for 531 yards and seven touchdowns this season. He’s averaging 133 yards per game on the ground and recently became South’s all-time leading rusher with more than 3,300 yards. This season, Busby is complemented in the backfield by junior Mike Jones (440 yards), and quarterback Justin Stonebreaker (394 yards).
When Stonebreaker goes to the air, he looks for Zach Nachbar who has a team high 11 catches for 184 yards and four scores.
Cade Calvert and Mike Shirk have led the Cougar defense which has surrendered just over 16 points per game. Grant Flemming has already registered 3.5 sacks.
The South defense will certainly be tested against the Hutch Flexbone.
Seven Salthawk backs have already rushed for more than 100 yards on the season led by senior Wil Smith who has carried 56 times for 336 yards and five scores.
Trevor Turner is a three-year starter at quarterback, but missed last week’s win over Newton with a sore knee. Sophomore Turner Wintz filled in nicely, rushing for 123 yards and two touchdowns, and completing five of nine passes for 109 yards and a score. Turner is expected to return to the Salthawk lineup this week.
Turnovers have been an early season theme for the Salthawks. Hutch has fumbled 11 times in four games, losing seven, and has thrown a pair of interceptions. It was a lost fumble deep in Rockhurst territory in the fourth quarter that helped spark the Hawklets rally from down 31-13 to shock Hutchinson 35-31.
In the last eight meetings between the Salthawks and Cougars, Hutchinson has dominated winning all eight by an average margin of 34 points. The closest of those game was last season’s 42-24 Hutchinson win in Week 5.
Our Pick: Hutchinson 35, Salina South 17 (Gilmore)
5A #1 Bishop Carroll (4-0) at Wichita Northwest (3-1)
The Bishop Carroll Eagles opened the season with a statement, beating perennial 6A contender Wichita Heights 47-16. Since then, however, the Eagles haven’t really been tested. Carroll beat two winless teams – Wichita North and Wichita South – by a combined score of 97-0. Last week, Bishop Carroll beat Wichita West 59-13.
Now, the Eagles will face a 3-1 Wichita Northwest Grizzlies team that earned big wins against Kapaun Mt. Carmel, Wichita East and Wichita Southeast. The Grizzlies’ only loss was to Dodge City in Week 2.
Still, there’s no doubt who the favorite is. The Eagles have ranked atop 5A all season, and it will take a strong effort to knock them off that perch.
Carroll quarterback Zeke Palmer completed 15 of 21 passes for 162 yards and a touchdown in the win against Wichita West. The Eagles also boast several quality ball carriers with Jalen Hernandez, Denzel Goolsby and Tory Smith, who rushed for 167 yards on 11 carries against Wichita Heights.
While Carroll has more of a balanced offense, Wichita Northwest is more likely to run behind a strong offensive line. Grizzlies running back Deron Thompson ran for 222 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries in a 56-28 win against Wichita Southeast. Thompson also caught a 53-yard TD pass in the win.
The Grizzlies will try to use a ball control offense to keep it close, but Carroll has just too many weapons.
Our Pick: Carroll 35, Northwest 14 (Schremmer)
Topeka High (4-0) at 5A #5 Topeka Seaman (3-1)
Compared to last year, the Topeka High Trojans and the Topeka Seaman Vikings already have had successful seasons. The Trojans, who enter Friday night’s game at Seaman with a 4-0 record, won just four games in 2011. The Vikings boast a 3-1 record after winning only games a year ago.
However, that doesn’t mean either team is satisfied. 6A’s Topeka High and 5A’s Seaman both eye potential postseason runs.
The Trojans have something to prove against the Vikings as their four wins come against teams with a combined record of 4-12.
Still, you can’t debate the fact they have been playing quality football. Topeka High quarterback Raymond Solis is second in the city in total offense with 749 yards – 431 passing and 318 rushing. Running back Eli Weinbrecht leads the city in rushing with 475 yards on 57 carries for 8.3 yards a carry. Up front, the Trojans boast All-State lineman Will Geary (6-1, 295).
Weinbrecht rushed for 161 yards and two touchdowns and caught a 51-yard TD pass to help the Trojans overcome four turnovers in last week’s 19-13 win against Shawnee Heights.
The Vikings also are coming off a close game, but they ended up on the losing side in a 21-19 loss to 5A’s second-ranked Emporia Spartans.
Seaman opened the season with quality wins over Topeka Hayden, Junction City and Manhattan.
Like the Trojans, the Vikings have several weapons. Quarterback Butch Rea is third in the city for total offense with 708 yards – 413 rushing and 295 passing. Fullback Nathan Stanley picks up the tough yards inside, and state track champion Joe Reagan is a threat as a runner, receiver and return man.
In a game of two quality teams, Topeka High may have the advantage up front.
Our Pick: Topeka 21, Seaman 20 (Schremmer)
Atchison County (4-0) at Riverside (4-0)
Unbeatens Atchison County and Riverside will hook up on Friday in a game that may decide the Delaware Valley League North Division title in this the league’s final season.
The two teams have a lot of similarities, including common opponents. The Tigers and Cyclones have each posted wins over Troy, Doniphan West, and Valley Falls to start the season. Atchison County defeated Troy 7-6, Doniphan West 47-20, and Valley Falls 26-22. Riverside beat Troy 6-0, Doniphan West 32-27, and Valley Falls 29-6.
Blake Alexander enters his second season as coach of Atchison County. The Tigers finished 8-2 a season ago before falling in the first round of the 3A playoffs. Nine total starters return from that team including offensive lineman Ben Chalfant (6-0, 240).
Quarterback Kyle Chew has thrown for nearly 250 yards and six touchdowns, but has thrown five interceptions. When Chew looks to the air, it’s typically towards 6-foot-6 wide receiver Jake Hansen who has 185 receiving yards and five scores.
This season, the Tigers are led on the ground by Ramsey Hundley and Scott Birkinsha who have rushed for 386 and 319 yards, respectively.
It was Hundley who posted the big game in last week’s 26-22 win over Valley Falls. The senior rushed for 154 yards and two touchdown, but also intercepted three passes and recovered a fumble.
The Tiger defense is led by linebacker Taylor Schuetz who is averaging more than ten tackles per game.
A year ago, Coach Scot Koranda was faced with bringing together the communities of Wathena and Elwood to form the Riverside Cyclones. In their first season, the Cyclones finished 9-2 and advanced to the Class 2-1A quarterfinals before falling to eventual state champion Centralia.
Gone from that team are 6-foot-7 quarterback Derek Nold, a Shrine Bowl selection in 5-foot-4 running back Timmy Miller, and All-State offensive lineman Ryan Johnson (6-1, 300).
Despite the hits to graduation, these young Cyclones are unbeaten thanks to a three-headed rushing attack. Sophomore quarterback Andrae McGaughy, and junior backs Dakota Pummell and Drew Hoffman have all rushed for more than 235 yards. Pummell is the team leader with 285 yards and six touchdowns.
Junior Zach Halter leads the Riverside defense and has averaged 11 stops per game.
Our Atchison County 28, Riverside 26 (Gilmore)
2-1A #3 Meade (3-1) at 2-1A #2 Stanton County (4-0)
For the second time in as many weeks, two of the top four Class 2-1A teams out west match up in the regular season.
Last week, top-ranked La Crosse defeated Plainville in a rematch from last season’s Class 2-1A sub-state championship game.
This week, Meade and Stanton County match up in their annual district matchup.
Meade has won the last four matchups between the two squads, including three games in the last two years by scores of 46-6, 44-26 and 34-16 last year.
The teams met in the 2-1A sub-state championship game in 2010, a contest that Meade won en route to the state championship. Last year, the teams lost close second round playoff matchups to La Crosse and Plainville by a combined 14 points.
This year, Stanton County has outscored opponents 172-6 and is tied with Lyndon for best scoring defense in the classification, according to preppowerindex.com.
Meade has outscored teams 196-56, but lost 28-27 to Holcomb in Week 1 this season, the first regular season loss to a Kansas team since 2008. Three Buffaloes have accumulated between 316 and 346 rushing yards. Chris Hardaway has completed 27 of 37 passes for 438 yards with a 6/1 TD/INT ratio.
For Stanton County, quarterback Quinn Kendrick and running back Marques Logan lead the attack. Logan has three touchdowns in the last two weeks, while Kendrick has accounted for six scores.
Our Pick: Stanton County 28, Meade 21 (Nicholl)
Little River (4-0) at Pretty Prairie (3-1)
In one of several key games in what may be the toughest 8-Man I district in the state of Kansas, undefeated Little River will travel to Pretty Prairie to take on the 3-1 Bulldogs.
Little River has started 4-0 thanks to a high-powered offense that has averaged 56.5 points per game, but defense is the question mark as the Redskins have allowed 30 points per contest. The Redskins are led by senior running back/linebacker Chet Cordell, the son of former coach Shane Cordell, who won over 200 games in three decades as head coach. Chet has rushed for 397 yards and seven touchdowns through four games.
Traditional power Pretty Prairie has also opened the season with explosive offensive performances in their three wins averaging 53.3 points per game, but a week three contest with 8-Man II's top-ranked Baileyville left the Bulldogs with questions after a 52-8 loss.
The Bulldogs have been led by a strong passing game that features quarterback Alex Mains and big tight end target Stetson Broce. The Bulldogs must also stiffen up their defense though as they have allowed an average of 30 points through four games.
Every week will be key in this district that features five teams with a combined 17-3 record.
Our Pick: Pretty Prairie 36, Little River 30 (Baetz)
The Pick List:
KC Schlagle (3-1) at KC Wyandotte (3-1) – Schlagle
6A #4 Olathe South (3-1) at Lawrence (3-1) – Lawrence
Andover (3-1) at Andover Central (2-2) – Central
Bishop Miege (2-2) at Blue Valley Southwest (2-2) – Miege
5A #2 Emporia (4-0) at Topeka Hayden (1-3) – Emporia
Mill Valley (3-1) at Bonner Springs (3-1) – Mill Valley
Coffeyville (3-1) at Chanute (2-2) – Chanute
St. Mary’s Colgan (3-1) at Girard (3-1) – Girard
Cimarron (3-1) at Larned (3-1) – Larned
St. James Academy (4-0) at Louisburg (3-1) – Louisburg
Winfield (3-1) at 4A #3 McPherson (3-1) – McPherson
Smoky Valley (3-1) at Hillsboro (4-0) – Hillsboro
Rossville (3-0) at Rock Creek (3-1) – Rossville
Plainville (2-2) at Ell-Saline (3-1) – Plainville
Hoxie (3-1) at WaKeeney-Trego (3-1) – Hoxie
8M-I #4 Marmaton Valley (4-0) at Marais des Cygnes Valley (2-2) – Marmaton Valley
8M-I #1 Ness City (4-0) at Quinter (2-2) – Ness City
8M-I #3 South Haven (4-0) at Oxford (3-1) – South Haven
Beloit St. John’s-Tipton (3-1) at Northern Valley (4-0) – Northern Valley
8M-II #3 Waverly (4-0) at Colony-Crest (2-2) -- Crest