Posted: October 27, 2012 - 12:49 PM
The Kansas state football playoffs are now set. The 2012 regular season wrapped up on Friday night as Class 6A, 5A, and 2-1A finished up district action.
On Thursday night, Class 4A, 3A, and both 8-man divisions played their final game. Check the playoff brackets on the home page at Kpreps.com
The fans choice for Kpreps Game of the Week was a battle of 6A ranked teams in Lawrence Free State and Lawrence.
Third-ranked Free State scored 14 points in the fourth quarter to break a 14-14 tie and defeat their cross-town rivals.
Lawrence led for much of the first half after quarterback Brad Strauss connected with Erick Mayo on a 9-yard touchdown pass. Mayo’s two-point conversion run failed, but the Lions would hold that 6-0 lead until late in the first half.
With just 37 seconds remaining before halftime, the Firebirds scored on a 1-yard touchdown run by Joe Dineed to take a 7-6 lead into halftime.
Free State quarterback Kyle McFarland quickly gave the Firebirds the lead in the third quarter on a 15-yard touchdown pass to Tye Hughes.
Strauss would answer connecting with Will Thompson on a 19-yard score. Strauss would add the two-point conversion to tie the game at 14 with 2:43 remaining in the third quarter.
McFarland threw his second touchdown pass of the night, this time to Zach Bickling, and Free State regained a 7-point lead.
The Firebirds appeared driving again to put the game away mid-way through the fourth quarter. Lion defensive back Drake Hofer picked off McFarland in the end zone to end the threat and give Lawrence the ball. But on the next play, Strauss had his pass tipped and intercepted by Cody Stanclift who returned it 7 yards for the decisive score.
The Free State defense was the story, holding Lawrence to under 50 yards rushing on the night and holding the Lions on downs deep inside Firebird territory twice. The Firebirds clinched the District 1 title and the overall #1 seed on the eastern half of Class 6A.
Junction City jumped all over rival Manhattan 21-6 in the game’s first 13 minutes before the Indians woke up.
Manhattan scored with less than 40 seconds remaining in the first half to cut the Blue Jays lead to 21-12, then came out on fire in the second half.
Joe Holloway’s touchdown run pulled Manhattan to within 21-19 to open the third quarter. A few minutes later, the Indians scored again and took their first lead at 27-21. Holloway added another touchdown run late in the third quarter to cap 27 consecutive points and give the Indians a 33-21 lead.
Jovan Toles turned an interception into points as he scored from 10 yards out to pull the Blue Jays within 33-27 after the extra point failed.
Another Manhattan turnover, this time a fumble with 2:34 on the clock, opened the door for Junction City. The Blue Jays would convert that turnover into points to tie the game at 33. The point after touchdown was good and Junction City regained a 34-33 lead with just 20 seconds remaining, and held on for the one-point win.
The Junction City win coupled with Topeka High’s win results in a three-way tie between those schools and Manhattan atop the district standings. Manhattan became the district runner-up by the number of district points, and Topeka High had the second highest total making the Trojans the district runner-up.
Junction City will have to take the momentum gained from this dramatic comeback win into the off season.
A Class 6A district showdown took place on Friday as Derby and Wichita Heights met for the fourth consecutive season to decide a district title.
Derby took an early 6-0 lead and was threatening again before Heights stopped the Panthers on fourth-and-goal. Heights was unable to move the ball as well, and punted from their own end zone. Derby blocked the attempt out of the end zone for a safety and an 8-0 lead.
That 8-0 score would hold up until the fourth quarter when Chandler Shantz threw a short touchdown pass to extend the Panther lead to 15-0.
Heights would then strike quickly. Forlanda Parker ran for a touchdown to pull the game to 15-7. A few minutes later, Parker hit Chris Reed on a 75-yard touchdown pass to pull within 15-13. Prentice Byrd would add the two-point conversion to tie the game at 15.
The two teams would enter overtime tied at 15. Heights got the ball first and on third-and-seven fumbled it away to the Panthers. All Derby had to do was score to end the game, and the panthers did that on a 1-yard Shantz touchdown run.
Derby claims the district championship and the top seed on the western half of 6A.
Despite coming into Week 9 0-2 in district play, Dodge City advanced to the playoffs with a 24-20 win over rival Garden City in the annual Hatchet Game.
The Red Demons trailed 14-10 in the third quarter before returning a Garden City fumble 80 yards for a score and their first lead.
Dodge City, Garden City, and Maize all tie for second in District 8, and Dodge and Garden actually finish with the same number of district tie-breaker points, but the head-to-head advantage allows Dodge City to advance.
Finally, St. Thomas Aquinas won the Eastern Kansas League with a 27-24 win over Bishop Miege. The Saints also won the District 4 title in the process.
Aquinas led 14-0 early, before the Stags would score twice to tie the game at 14 at the intermission.
Miege held leads of 17-14 and 24-20, but Aquinas scored to take a 27-24 in the fourth quarter.
Miege tried to answer, but turned the ball over on downs at the Aquinas 20-yard line. Aquians, however, could not run out the clock and had to punt the ball back to Miege with 1:12 remaining and 65 yards to go without any timeouts.
Miege began to drive the length of the field, and the Stags reached the Aquinas 3-yard line before the clock exprired.
Salina South rolled over Great Bend 56-21, but the story was South running back Mike Jones. Jones rushed for 411 yards and five touchdown on 24 carries in the Cougars win. Jones scored on three touchdown runs more than 75 yards. He also added a 57-yard touchdown run, and a 5-yard score in the first quarter.
On Thursday night, two 11-man districts came in with all four teams tied at 1-1.
In 4A District 2, Jefferson West and Tonganoxie advanced to the playoffs thanks to narrow victories over Perry-Lecompton and Basehor-Linwood.
Elsewhere in Class 3A, District 8, St. Mary’s Colgan claimed the district title after 226 yards and two scores from Connor Dayton. The Panther defeated Southest-Cherokee 40-24 and won the district title thanks to Galena’s 42-12 win over Rivertion.
Elsewhere on Thursday, Jacob Brooks rushed for 208 yards and two touchdowns as Norton eliminated Phillipsburg 20-7. With the win, the Blue Jays claim the Class 3A, District 14 runner-up playoff spot and will travel to District 13 champion Sacred Heart on Tuesday.
Norton led 14-0 at halftime thanks to a Brooks’ 89-yard touchdown run, and his third quarter score put the game on ice. Norton continually pressured Phillipsburg Sean Newlan in shutting down the Panther offense.
Phillipsburg entered district play unbeaten and is still the only team to challenge Beloit all season, but the Panthers do not qualify for the playoffs in this competitive district.