By Matt Gilmore, Kpreps.com & John Baetz, Kansas Pregame Magazine
Posted: October 10, 2012 - 11:32 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 eight, and how the players performed that we picked this week.
Thomas Kirk, RB/LB, Chase County
Kirk (5-11, 190) has been a key player for the Bulldogs for the past three seasons, but he is having a break out senior season. He has already registered 110 tackles on the season – an average of 18.3 stops per game. He registered 30 tackles (21 solo) in last week’s 26-14 loss to Northern Heights. Kirk now has 265 career tackles. Thomas has been equally effective on the offensive side of the ball this season, having rushed for 353 yards and tallied 370 more yards receiving.
Samual McKinney, QB, Weskan
Weskan is the feel good story of western Kansas improving to 6-0 with last week's 50-0 drubbing of Cheylin. The Coyotes are only three seasons removed from back-to-back winless records. The Coyotes improved to 3-6 in 2010, and 4-5 last year, and now have won their first six games, thanks in large part to their 6-foot-2, 170-pound quarterback. McKinney has thrown the ball at a blistering pace, tallying 961 yards passing, completing nearly 61 percent of his throws, and tossing 21 touchdown passes with only one interception. McKinney has also accounted for 264 rushing yards and seven more scores while posting 30 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and two interceptions on defense. The Coyotes have a huge game looming with Sharon Springs-Wallace County next Friday, but a solid Wheatland-Grinnell team should hold Weskan, and McKinney's, attention Friday night.
Ethan Miller, RB, Wabaunsee
Miller (5-9, 160) had a monster night to open district play last Friday. The junior carried 44 times for 439 yards and three touchdowns as the Chargers beat Herington 42-14 to earn their first win of the season. Miller has been a work horse for Wabaunsee this season, averaging 166 yards per game on nearly 29 carries. Wabaunsee will try and take a step towards a second consecutive playoff berth as they take on Northern Heights this week.
Lane Miller, QB, Moscow
Moscow lost three of their top offensive weapons from a year ago, including state-champion sprinter Osvaldo Granillo who accounted for nearly 1,800 yards of total offense. So this fall, Moscow knew it would be necessary to rely on senior Lane Miller if they are to reproduce last year's success. Miller has answered the call accounting for 80.5 yards passing per game with eight touchdowns and only three interceptions while also rushing for 111.3 yards per game with eight more scores. Miller has also been a leader for the Moscow defense tallying 44 tackles and an impressive eight interceptions from his DB spot. The Wildcats are 4-2 behind the play of Miller and with a struggling Ashland team up next, he should add to his numbers this week.
Trevor Turner, QB, Hutchinson
Turner is a three-year starter at quarterback in leading the Salthawk flexbone. The Senior has rushed for 341 and three touchdowns this season, and passed for 372 more yards and five scores. His biggest game came in last week’s 31-28 win over Derby when he rushed for 124 yards and a touchdown, and threw for 65 yards and another score. For his career, Turner has rushed for 1,789 yards and 22 touchdowns, and passed for 1,822 yards and 25 scores.
Gage Younger, RB, Ellis
Younger could muster only 18 yards rushing in the Railers’ season opening losses to La Crosse and Plainville, but since then he has been the definition of consistency, rushing for at least 93 yards in each of the last four contests. He scored at least one touchdown in three of those games, all Railer wins. Ellis has been a consistent performer in district play under coach Butch Hayes and opened with a strong 48-0 win over Leoti-Wichita County last week. In that game, Younger rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns. St. Francis won't go down without a fight this week, but Younger and the Railers should perform well with yet another trip to the playoffs on the line in October.
Last week’s Picks to Click (Week 6):
Wichita Heights defense – The Falcon defense held Northwest star running back Deron Thompson to under 100 yards and did not allow the Grizzlies to complete a pass. Heights intercepted Northwest three times in the 28-7 win.
Tommy Hill, RB, Cheney – Hill rushed for 138 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries in the Cardinals’ 43-15 win. He also caught an 80-yard touchdown pass.
Skyler Windmiller, QB, Mill Valley – Windmiller completed 13 of 23 passes for 226 yards and four touchdowns in the win over KC Piper. He also rushed for 63 yards and a score on 12 carries.
Tyler Proffitt, QB, Hillsboro – Proffitt completed 8 of 11 passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns in the Trojans’ win over Remington.
Colton Shirack, QB, Solomon – Shirack rushed for 88 yards and a touchdown and threw a 40-yard touchdown pass in the 61-14 win over Canton-Galva.
Trevin Wiens, RB, Meade -- All three of Wiens carries went for touchdowns as the senior running back rushed for 92 yards in a blowout win over Syracuse.