By Mark Schremmer, Conor Nichol, Matt Gilmore for Kpreps.com
Posted: October 18, 2012 - 9:36 AM
The second week of district play in most 11-man classes brings some marquee match-ups.
In Class 6A, Shawnee Mission East and Shawnee Mission West will square off in a battle of 6-1 teams.
Class 5A’s feature game is a ranked showdown between No. 2 Salina South and No. 4 Hays. The winner will get the upper hand in a touch District 7.
Finally, the 8-Man level takes center stage this week with several great games featuring the state’s top teams. We preview a pair of those contests in this Pick List as undefeated Weskan takes on Sharon Springs-Wallace County, and rivals Baileyville B&B and Hanover hook up in their annual Twin Valley League showdown.
Feature Games of the Week:
6A #5 Shawnee Mission East (6-1) at Shawnee Mission West (6-1)
Shawnee Mission East visits Shawnee Mission West in a Sunflower League rivalry game with major implications in both the league standings and the eastern half of Class 6A.
Both teams have just one loss this season, but have different strengths.
SM East uses the arm of big-time quarterback Jordan Darling.
Darling has thrown for 1,328 yards and eight touchdowns this season, but was pressured constantly in the Lancers lone loss at Lawrence Free State and threw three first-half interceptions. He rebounded last week against SM Northwest by completing 18 of 27 passes for 248 yards and two scores.
Connor Rellihan remains Darling’s top receiving target. The 2011 Kpreps 6A All-State receiver is putting up strong numbers again this season having hauled in 652 receiving yards and four touchdowns.
The Lancer defense is often overlooked, but is allowing just over 12 points per game.
On the other sideline, Tim Callaghan’s Vikings may be a bit of a surprise to many. SM West opened the season with a 20-14 win over Lawrence before dropping a 28-14 decision to Free State in Week 2.
Since that Week 2 loss, the Vikings have won five straight by an average score of 36-10.
West is led by running back Bret Sterbach who is making a run at the 2012 Sunflower League rushing title. Sterbach has tallied 1,235 yards rushing and a league-leading 15 touchdowns. He trails only Shawnee Mission South’s Gabe Guild who has rushed for 1,434 yards and 12 scores this season.
The Vikings have began to diversify the offense in the past few weeks as quarterback A.J. Verdini has began to put the ball in the air. Verdini has thrown for 626 yards and six scores this season and typically looks for Andre Maloney when he throws.
The Vikings have won five of the last six meetings in this rivalry, including a 30-25 decision last season. Shawnee Mission East last prevailed 21-10 in 2010.
Our Pick: SM East 23, SM West 17 (Gilmore)
5A #2 Salina South (6-1) at 5A #4 Hays (6-1)
Hays High continues to put up big numbers and won at rival Great Bend 31-13 to clinch the Western Athletic Conference championship.
It marked the third time in four years HHS has won or shared a conference championship under coach Ryan Cornelsen.
Last year, Hays High won the district with a 3-0 record and advanced to the playoffs for the first time since 1995.
The Indians have won six straight district contests, including two close wins against Salina South.
Hays High ranks third in Class 5A in scoring offense at 319 points.
Last week, sophomore quarterback Alex Delton completed 3 of 6 passes for 132 yards, three touchdowns and an interception and rushed for 73 yards.
Senior running back David Cardinal had 33 carries for 169 yards and a score, and caught two passes for 95 yards and a pair of TDs.
South defeated rival Salina Central 23-20 in overtime last week, another close matchup in one of Kansas' best rivalries.
Cameron Wieshaar kicked a 20-yard field goal as time expired to put the game into overtime.
After a Central field goal, South's Mike Jones scored the game-winning touchdown.
It marked the tenth time in 12 years the teams had played within a touchdown; the last four have been decided by exactly three points.
Cody Busby, South's leading rusher with more than 800 yards, missed the second half because of an injury.
Last year, Hays High won 28-24. Two seasons ago, the Indians collected a 23-20 victory.
This year's game will be close again, but no defense has found a way to slow down HHS. Hays High earns the victory and clinches Class 5A, District 7 for the second straight year.
Our Pick: Hays 28, Salina South 21 (Nicholl)
Topeka Hayden (3-4) at 4A #1 Holton (7-0)
If you only look at the records, this would appear to be another easy win for Class 4A’s top-ranked Holton Wildcats. After all, the Wildcats are averaging nearly 54 points per game, and have won their seven games by an average margin of more than 43 points per game.
But their opponent isn’t your average 3-4 team.
Hayden has what is arguably the most difficult schedule for a 4A team in the state. Hayden lost close games to 6A’s Topeka High and Junction City and lost by one point to 5A’s Emporia.
Meanwhile, just two of Holton’s first six opponents have a winning record entering Week 8.
It’s evident that Hayden has progressed throughout the season. After losing 23-6 to Topeka Seaman in the opening week and Topeka High 30-15 in Week 2, the Wildcats beat 6A’s Washburn Rural, then lost by one point each to Junction City and Emporia.
Hayden has won its last two games over Topeka Highland Park and Royal Valley by a combined score of 88-20.
Quarterback Jacob Tetuan leads the Hayden offense with more than 1,000 yards – 796 passing and 237 rushing – this season. Brogan Barry is his top receiver with 22 catches for 273 yards and four touchdowns.
Holton is more of a power team, rushing for 436.4 yards a game. Junior running back Drake Ewing leads the way with 819 yards and 12 touchdowns on only 76 carries.
The game will likely decide the 4A District 9 winner.
Our Pick: Holton 22, Hayden 21 (Schremmer)
Caney Valley (6-1) at Neodesha (6-1)
The Tri-Valley League title is on the line as Caney Valley visits Neodesha.
Both teams enter with a 6-1 record thanks to Week 2 losses to state-ranked powers.
Neodesha fell 56-12 at home to top-ranked Silver Lake, while Caney Valley put up a good battle before falling to defending champions Conway Springs, 33-8.
Caney Valley has averaged 49 points per game over their last five wins after scoring only eight points in each of the first two weeks. Those first two game have battle tested the Bullpups. Caney defeated a good Girard team 8-0 in a muddy Week 1 contest, before trailing Conway Springs only 14-8 at halftime before three third-quarter turnovers led to Conway scores.
The Bullpups bring a physical ground game to the table let by senior backs Anthony Camper and Brian Dixon. Dixon rushed for 154 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s win over Cherryvale, while Camper also added a pair of touchdown runs.
Perhaps more impressive last week was the Bullpup defense, which limited the Chargers to just 23 yards of total offense and forced two turnovers. Caney is surrendering just 11 points per game.
Neodesha, on the other hand, has also put up a lot of points this season, but has also been pronged to give up some points as well.
The Blue Streaks have averaged 37 points per game, while giving up 21 per contest.
Neodesha is led on offense by quarterback Justice Baird. The senior has put up 1,082 yards of total offense this season and combined for 15 touchdowns. Baird’s offensive production is nearly a 50/50 balance between the run and pass.
Also in the Blue Streak backfield is senior Jake Crawford and junior Dierks Hayden. Crawford leads Neodesha with 733 rushing yards, while Hayden has rushed for 653 yards.
Baird, Cawford, and Hayden have each rushed for ten touchdowns.
Our Pick: Caney Valley 43, Neodesha 22 (Gilmore)
8M-II #1 Baileyville B&B (7-0) at Hanover (6-1)
The 8-Man Division II District 1 title is likely on the line when the Baileyville B&B Falcons clash with the Hanover Wildcats on Friday.
Baileyville has been atop the classification’s rankings all year after beating defending 8-Man Division I champion Madison 34-22 in Week 1.
Since then, the Falcons rolled in their next six games, winning by a combined score of 279-22. The Falcons have pitched four shutouts in that time.
B&B brings a balanced attack with junior Dustin Rottinghaus at quarterback. Senior Dustin Deters serves as a strong fullback and middle linebacker.
Hanover was shut out 26-0 by a good Mankato-Rock Hills team in Week 2, but the Wildcats have scored at least 40 points in every other game.
Mark Zarybnicky rushed for 134 yards and four touchdowns in Hanover’s 58-8 win this past week against Blue Valley Randolph.
The two rivals have met eight times in the past seven seasons, with Baileyville B&B winning five of those meetings. The Falcons won 51-6 last year.
Our Pick: B&B 36, Hanover 18 (Schremmer)
Weskan (7-0) at 8M-II #2 Sharon Springs-Wallace Co. (6-0)
Sharon Springs is 58-14 under coach Kevin Ayers, including the 2007 state title.
However, in the last three seasons, Sharon Springs hasn't won a district title or a playoff game.
Friday's contest with Weskan will decide the winner of Eight-Man, Division II, District 6.
The Wildcats have outscored opponents 266-52 and rank second in the classification in scoring defense.
Senior quarterback Gavin Mote has completed 29 of 45 passes for 453 yards with an 8/2 TD/INT ratio and leads the team with 74 carries for 562 yards and 13 TDs.
Juniors Callahan Grund and Clay Schemm have played well at defensive end. Grund has 25 tackles and three sacks, while Schemm has 22 tackles and a team-high four sacks. Grund also leads the team with 10 catches for 218 yards and five scores.
Weskan has already matched its win total from the last four seasons.
The Coyotes have arguably the state's biggest turnaround under coach Marc Cowles and have improved its win total for a third consecutive year.
Senior quarterback Sam McKinney has completed 58 of 97 passes for 1,140 yards with a 25/2 TD/INT ratio.
Junior Hayden Walker has caught 30 passes for 733 yards and 16 scores for a team that has outscored opponents 338-60.
Both squads have outstanding quarterbacks, but the difference will be up front.
Our Pick: Sharon Springs 42, Weskan 28 (Nicholl)
The Pick List:
Garden City (5-2) at Hutchinson (5-2) -- Hutchinson
Topeka High (6-1) at Junction City (5-2) – Topeka High
Andover (6-1) at Emporia (6-1) -- Emporia
Pittsburg (5-1) at Blue Valley (4-3) – Blue Valley
Blue Valley Southwest (4-3) at Blue Valley West (5-2) – Blue Valley West
Andale (6-1) at Nickerson (6-1) -- Andale
Rose Hill (3-4) at Wichita Collegiate (6-1) -- Collegiate
Atchison County (5-2) at Silver Lake (7-0) – Silver Lake
Beloit (7-0) at Norton (6-1) -- Beloit
Southeast-Cherokee (6-1) at Galena (4-3) -- Southeast
Hutch Trinity (5-2) at Garden Plain (7-0) – Garden Plain
McLouth (6-1) at Valley Falls (4-3) -- McLouth
Central Burden (7-0) at Udall (6-1) -- Udall
Fairfield (5-2) at St. John (6-1) – St. John
Peabody-Burns (5-2) at Madison (6-1) -- Madison
Fowler (6-1) at Moscow (5-2) -- Fowler
Northern Valley (6-1) at Thunder Ridge (6-1) – Thunder Ridge