By Mark Schremmer, Conor Nicholl, & John Baetz for Kpreps.com
Posted: October 29, 2012 - 11:51 PM
4A East: Frontenac (5-4) at Coffeyville (7-2)
The Frontenac Raiders will be playing in their first playoff game at the 4A level when they travel to Coffeyville on Tuesday night.
Frontenac was on a five-game winning streak before falling 7-6 on a missed 2-point conversion pass in the final minutes last week against Girard.
The Raiders have benefitted in recent weeks from the return of running back Bryce Burdette, who had been injured in the team’s Black and White scrimmage before the season. Burdette rushed for just under 100 yards and completed a 28-yard halfback pass for a touchdown in the loss.
The team has appeared to rally around first-year head coach Mark Smith after falling in the first three games of the season. Smith is the son of legendary St. Mary’s Colgan coach Chuck Smith. Mark Smith won four consecutive state championships at Colgan and was an All-American quarterback for Pittsburg State.
Coffeyville brings a lot of speed and big-play capabilities.
Golden Tornado senior running back Wesley Collins has rushed for 1,200 yards and 18 touchdowns on 143 carries. Junior James Newton, the defending state champion in the 4A 100 meters, has caught 20 balls for 573 yards and eight touchdowns. Newton also has rushed for 154 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries. He has five more touchdowns from kick and punt returns.
Coffeyville has four players with rushes of 50 yards or more and four players with receptions of 40 yards or more.
Junior quarterback Nathan Finley has passed for 830 yards and 11 touchdowns with only four interceptions.
Frontenac and Coffeyville have three like opponents in Independence, Parsons and Baxter Springs. Both the Raiders and ‘Nado won all three games by large margins.
Coffeyville 41, Frontenac 26 (Schremmer)
4A East: Chanute (5-4) at Paola (5-4)
When the Chanute Blue Comets are clicking, they can be one of the most explosive teams in 4A. Chanute has scored 40 points or more four times this season, including a 70-point night two weeks ago against Anderson County.
After opening the season with a 30-9 loss to 4A state title contender Mulvane, Chanute has been at least close in every game. The Blue Comets’ losses to Pittsburg, Coffeyville and Fort Scott were each by six points or less.
Chanute had won three straight by a combined score of 150-12 before last week’s 24-18 loss to undefeated Fort Scott.
Senior quarterback Brock Gilmore passed for 134 yards and ran for 53 yards and a touchdown in the loss. Chanute’s Jared Fiscus returned a kickoff for a 76-yard touchdown in the game.
Paola, a traditional 4A contender which has reached the state semifinals the past three seasons, returned only one starter on offense and three on defense from last year’s team.
It showed. The Panthers lost four of their first six games. However, Paola has rebounded to win its district by winning consecutive games over Osawatomie, Prairie View and Louisburg.
Nevin McCracken has been one of the key players for the Panthers as a ball carrier and linebacker.
The winner of this game could have a chance to go far in the playoffs as there are plenty of winnable games ahead in the bracket.
Chanute 24, Paola 20 (Schremmer)
4A West: Hesston (5-4) at No. 1 Holton (9-0)
Holton appears to be on a mission after taking an early exit from the playoffs last year against eventual state champion Rose Hill. That first round loss to the Rockets, marked by uncharacteristic mistakes (three turnovers, 10 penalties and a blocked punt), was the first time since 2001 Holton has not won at least one playoff game.
The Wildcats have dominated all opponents this year scoring at least 42 points in every game but one, averaging 51 points per game, and winning by an average of 42 points. The Wildcats stiffest test came in week eight against rival Topeka Hayden, which resulted in a 27-0 shutout by Holton.
Holton's powerful wishbone offense is rolling up over 425 yards per game, and four different backs have rushed for at least 350 yards this season. Junior Drake Ewing leads the Wildcats and went over 1,000 yards on the season in Holton's week nine win over Royal Valley. Ewing averages almost 10 yards per carry and has tallied more than 15 touchdowns this season.
On defense the Wildcats have allowed one touchdown or less in five games and tallied two shutouts. The defense is led by senior linebacker Trent Tanking who coach Brooks Barta calls one of the best in the state. Tanking has posted over 80 tackles for the third straight season.
Hesston is a perennial playoff qualifier and has won at least one playoff game in six of the last eight seasons, but a disappointing 5-4 season under third year head coach Marc Marinelli will have the Swathers a definite underdog against 4A's top-ranked team. The Swathers opened the season 1-3 but have since rebounded winning four of their last five ball games. The second half of the season has featured an easier schedule, except for a blowout loss to Maize South in the second week of district play.
Marinelli, a former Andale offensive coordinator, is not without offensive weapons including 6-6 junior quarterback Wyatt McKinney. McKinney threw for three touchdowns in last week's win over El Dorado which secured the Swathers’ playoff berth. Junior running back Ryan Schadler has rushed for nearly 1,500 yards on the season.
The offense will not be the area of concern for Hesston as much as its defense which has allowed at least 32 points in each of the Swathers four losses this season.
Holton 42, Hesston 14 (Baetz)
4A West: Topeka Hayden (4-5) at Maize South (8-1)
After opening the season as the top-ranked team in 4A, it’s safe to say the Hayden Wildcats have underperformed. However, Hayden is back in the playoffs and is poised to make another run through the bracket.
The Wildcats play in a competitive Centennial League, which consists mostly of 5A and 6A schools. Hayden has won three of its last four games after starting the season 1-4. Still, the Wildcats struggled with 4A’s best, falling 27-0 two weeks ago to top-ranked Holton.
Hayden quarterback Jacob Tetuan has compiled more than 1,200 yards of offense with 930 passing and 276 rushing. Running back Zach Dodd has produced almost five yards a carry, rushing for 335 yards on 71 carries. Receiver Brogan Barry has caught 28 balls for 320 yards.
The Mavericks bring a strong defense, allowing 20 points in a game only once this season. Maize South has pitched three shut outs.
Maize South’s only loss came 17-14 to a ranked Wichita Collegiate team.
Jesse Rogers rushed for more than 100 yards and three touchdowns in last week’s 48-19 win against Towanda Circle.
Hayden 17, Maize South 14 (Schremmer)
The rest of our 4A first-round picks:
Jefferson West (5-4) at KC Piper (7-2)
Baldwin (6-3) at Spring Hill (5-4)
Columbus (4-5) at Girard (8-1)
Atchison (6-3) at Tonganoxie (4-5)
De Soto (4-5) at Eudora (8-1)
Louisburg (5-4) at Fort Scott (9-0)
Winfield (4-5) at No. 4 Wichita Collegiate (8-1)
Hugoton (4-5) at Andale (8-1)
Clay Center (6-3) at No. 2 McPherson (8-1)
Rose Hill (4-5) at No. 3 Mulvane (8-1)
Buhler (6-3) at Ulysses (6-3)
Abilene (2-7) at Concordia (7-2)
3A East: St. Marys (4-5) at No. 1 Silver Lake (9-0)
The top-ranked Silver Lake Eagles appear poised to reach the state finals again after finishing runner-up a year ago. Actually, the Eagles are trying to advance to the state championship for the 10th time in the past 11 seasons.
Silver Lake has beaten every team on its schedule this year by at least 20 points. That includes a 27-6 win at St. Marys in Week 5.
The Eagles have been strong on both sides of the ball, scoring 40 points or more seven times and not allowing more than two touchdowns in a single game.
Quarterback Dailin Kruger and running back Pete Pfannenstiel lead the Silver Lake offense.
St. Marys running back Soujuan Turentine is one of the state’s best-kept secrets and has rushed for more than 1,600 yards this season.
Silver Lake 35, St. Marys 7 (Schremmer)
3A East: Neodesha (7-2) at St. Mary’s Colgan (6-3)
The St. Mary’s-Colgan Panthers will host their first 3A playoff game in school history.
Colgan should receive a test from a Neodesha Blue Streaks team that has scored more than 30 points in each of its seven wins. Neodesha’s only losses are to Silver Lake and Caney Valley, two of the better teams on the east side of 3A.
Neodesha boasts a strong running game, averaging about 300 yards per outing. The Bulldogs also do a good job of spreading the ball around to running backs Jake Crawford and Dierks Hayden, as well as quarterback Justice Baird.
The Panthers have displayed the ability to be a balanced and explosive offense. Colgan quarterback Dyson Dechant passed for about 250 yards, and running back Conner Dayton rushed for 236 yards in last week’s 40-24 win against Southeast. Dayton has rushed for more than 550 yards in the past three games and is over 1,100 yards on the season.
Colgan struggled early with only one returning starter from last year, losing two games in a row for the first time since the final game of 1998 and the 1999 season-opener. The Panthers have rallied to win three of their past four games.
However, Colgan will be without senior fullback and linebacker V.J. Piccini, who has a broken bone in his foot.
It will be the first meeting between the two schools as Colgan moved up to 3A this season. The Panthers advanced to the 2-1A semifinals a year ago, while Neodesha lost in the first round of the 3A playoffs to Galena.
Colgan 21, Neodesha 20 (Schremmer)
3A West: Norton (7-2) at Sacred Heart (8-1)
This is a matchup of Norton head coaches from past and present. Bruce Graber, the current Sacred Heart coach, served as the head coach at Hutchinson from 1990-94, and then had an 11-season stint at Norton. Graber went 88-23 with the Bluejays and had Lucas Melvin as an assistant.
Then, Graber left for El Dorado and is now in his third season at Sacred Heart. After Graber left Norton, Melvin took over as head coach. Melvin has continued the Bluejays’ tradition. Melvin is 51-22 with the Bluejays and led the program to a winner-take-all 20-7 road victory against Phillipsburg last Thursday. Last year, Norton had its first losing season in 17 years.
Norton senior tailback Jacob Brooks has 167 carries for 964 yards and 10 rushing TDs, all-team-highs, and nine catches for 276 yards and four TDs. He rushed for 204 yards and two scores against Phillipsburg. Norton’s defense recorded 14 tackles for loss against the Panthers.
Sacred Heart is 19-10 under Graber and has plenty of athletes, including junior quarterback Nick Wuthnow, speedy senior running back Drew Diederich and senior wideout Tony Chavez. Wuthnow has completed 60 of 112 passes for 1,282 yards with a 16/2 TD/INT ratio, and rushed 73 times for 552 yards. Diederich has a team-high 701 rushing yards, and Chavez has 19 catches for 502 yards and eight scores, all team-bests.
Outside of the Beloit game in Week 8, Norton has played outstanding defense all season. They slow down Sacred Heart enough to win Tuesday.
Norton 28, Sacred Heart 21 (Nicholl)
3A West: Hoisington (5-4) at Holcomb (8-1)
Hoisington has played a variety of teams from different classifications, including close, low-scoring losses to Class 5A Great Bend and Class 2-1A’s top-ranked La Crosse.
Senior Hagen Hanzlick has rushed 135 times for 1,047 yards and 14 scores. He has also passed for 476 yards with a 6/8 TD/INT ratio.
Last week’s win against Thomas More Prep-Marian clinched a playoff berth and a MCAA title. This marks Hoisington’s first playoff berth in three years. Before then, Hoisington had reached the postseason for seven straight falls.
Holcomb’s lone loss came against Scott City – a team Hoisington lost to in district play. The Longhorns have rarely blown teams out, especially in the last month. Their wins have come by: 1, 23, 28, 28, 10, 34, 17 and 20 points. The first win was a 28-27 victory against Meade, ranked second in Class 2-1A.
Holcomb averages 167 rushing yards and 211 passing yards a contest. Senior Tyler LaSalle has completed 88 of 152 passes for 1,498 yards with a 16/7 TD/INT ratio. He has also rushed for 1,041 yards and 10 scores.
LaSalle has been difficult to stop for any opponent. Holcomb has lost seven straight playoff games and hasn’t won a postseason contest since 2003. That stretch includes two losses to Hoisington. However, the Longhorns end that streak this year.
Holcomb 31, Hoisington 21 (Nicholl)
The rest of our 3A first-round picks:
Nemaha Valley (7-2) at Hiawatha (7-2)
Burlington (4-5) at Wellsville (5-4)
Galena (6-3) at Caney Valley (8-1)
Sabetha (4-5) at Riley County (5-4)
Pleasant Ridge (4-5) at Rossville (8-1)
Central Heights (4-5) at Humboldt (7-2)
Wichita Independent (6-3) at No. 5 Conway Springs (8-1)
Marion (4-5) at No. 3 Garden Plain (9-0)
Cimarron (7-2) at No. 2 Scott City (9-0)
Chaparral (4-5) at Sedgwick (8-1)
Haven (5-4) at Hillsboro (9-0)
Ellsworth (5-4) at No. 4 Beloit (9-0)
Class 8-Man – Division I
8M-I East: Udall (7-2) at No. 4 Marmaton Valley (9-0)
The Marmaton Valley Wildcats are proving they are one of the better teams in 8-Man Division I as they marched through Three Rivers League and district competition.
Marmaton Valley has scored no fewer than 46 points in a game this season.
Kent Houk has helped turn around the Wildcats program in his three years as head coach. Marmaton Valley was 4-6 his first year and 7-3 last season. The Wildcats hope to advance past the second round of the playoffs where they have fallen in their last two appearances. Udall stands in the way first in a rematch of last year’s first-round thriller won by Marmaton Valley 46-45.
Running back Cole Becker is one of the many keys to the Marmaton Valley offense. Becker rushed for six touchdowns in last week’s win over St. Paul as the Wildcats put up more than 350 yards on the ground.
Udall is coming off an improbably 36-30 loss to a Cedar Vale-Dexter team that finished 2-7.
The Eagles offense has been virtually balanced between the run and pass. Heath Satterlee leads the Udall offense, rushing for 762 yards and 11 touchdowns. Michael Propst has led the Eagles passing attack with 923 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Marmaton Valley 48, Udall 20 (Schremmer)
8M-I East: Peabody-Burns (6-3) at No. 5 Mankato-Rock Hills (8-1)
Rock Hills was rolling through the season and appeared headed for a perfect record until a 20-point loss to Clifton-Clyde in the district opener left the Grizzlies with some questions. Since then Rock Hills has scored at least 50 points in five straight wins, and has been especially stout on defense allowing only one touchdown in each of the last four games. The Grizzlies shut down Osborne, typically a high powered offensive team, in Week 9.
For the Grizzlies, size does matter as Wyatt Flinn and Micah Daniels anchor the interior at 6-3, 240 and 6-6, 235 respectively. Flinn, a senior, is a versatile big man that blocks and also catches passes from the tight end spot. The duo helps pave the way for senior running back Clay Cosand who is over 1,000 yards rushing on the season.
Peabody-Burns earned their spot in the playoffs on Thursday with an impressive 62-48 win over traditional power Lebo to win the head-to-head tiebreaker with both teams posting a 4-2 record in district play.
The Warriors are led by dual-threat senior quarterback Hunter Pickens who has thrown for 1,370 yards with 12 touchdowns and seven interceptions and leads the team with 848 yards rushing with 19 more scores. In the win over Lebo, Pickens completed 16 of 24 passes for 231 yards with four touchdowns and rushed for 150 yards on 24 carries with two more scores.
Both teams enter the contest with momentum, but Rock Hills is battle tested from a tough schedule that includes wins over Thunder Ridge, Hanover, and Osborne. The Grizzlies size, physical defense and excellent coaching staff that includes the addition of former Lakeside coach Curt Christians in the offseason will be too much for the Warriors.
Rock Hills 38, Peabody-Burns 18 (Baetz)
8M-I West: Pretty Prairie (7-2) at St. John (8-1)
Pretty Prairie was the runner-up in one of the toughest districts in 8-Man football with Thursday's two-point loss to Solomon. That loss sets up possibly the best first round playoff match-up in Kansas as two of 8-Man I's top contenders collide in St. John Tuesday night.
The Bulldog offense is led by speedy strong-armed quarterback Alex Mains who threw for 150 yards in the loss to Solomon. Mains hands off to running back Mark Schnittker, who also has speed to burn, and his favorite target in the passing game is 6-foot-4, 205-pound senior end Stetson Broce, one of 8-Man's best players.
St. John has flown under the radar this year, never entering the Kpreps.com rankings after losing a heartbreaker in week one to 8-Man II power Otis-Bison. Since then the Tigers have reeled off eight straight victories with wins over quality opponents in Victoria, Central Plains, Macksville, and Kiowa County.
St. John running back Schuyler Brown had a big night for the Tigers in their district championship clinching 38-32 win over Kiowa County on Thursday. Brown posted touchdown runs of 37 and 23 yards. Quarterback Spencer Nusser threw three touchdown passes to 6-foot-7 sophomore wideout Dean Wade in the win.
The Wade vs. Broce match-up will be one to watch as these are two of the most consistent pass catching big men in 8-Man football. Wade missed several games near mid-season but appeared to be back to full strength in the win over Kiowa County.
St. John is a quality team, but Pretty Prairie's playoff experience and tough schedule should have the Bulldogs prepared to advance.
Pretty Prairie 32, St. John 22 (Baetz)
8M-I West: Hoxie (7-2) at Hodgeman County (7-2)
Hoxie may be the state’s best eight-man team that hasn’t won a playoff game in the last three years. The Indians went 6-3 in each of the past two seasons with multiple close losses to quality teams in Quinter, Osborne and Sharon Springs.
This season, Hoxie broke through and qualified for the playoffs for the first time since it switched to the eight-man ranks before the 2010 season. Last week, Hoxie won a winner-take-all matchup against Atwood-Rawlins County to advance to the playoffs.
Hoxie has quality losses as well, with a 20-6 road defeat to Sharon Springs-Wallace County and a 38-6 loss to Ness City, squads that are a combined 17-0. Those are the closest games for Wallace County and Ness City this year.
The Indians average 221 rushing yards and have four players that have between 361 and 550 rushing. Junior Chase Kennedy has passed for 709 yards with an 8/3 TD/INT ratio and has rushed for 524 yards.
Hodgeman County has already won two more games than it did all of last year under third-year coach Matt Housman and is back in the playoffs after a one-year absence.
The Longhorns have won five straight games to win the district crown. The lone losses came in Week 1 to Fowler (30-26) and in Week 4 to Ness City (58-12).
Hoxie has been strong all year and its defense and rushing attack should lead to a victory.
Hoxie 24, Hodgeman County 20 (Nicholl)
The rest of our 8 Man-I first-round picks:
Marais des Cygnes Valley (6-3) at No. 3 South Haven (9-0)
Pike Valley (4-5) at No. 2 Madison (8-1)
Kiowa County (6-3) at Solomon (8-1)
Minneola (8-1) at No. 1 Ness City (9-0)
Class 8-Man – Division II
8M-II East: Hanover (7-2) at Chase (7-2)
Hanover, a perennial state contender, is back in the playoffs after finishing only 4-4 a year ago. The Wildcats’ only losses have been to Rock Hills and undefeated Baileyville B&B. Baileyville, the top-ranked team in 8-Man Division II, needed two overtimes to beat Hanover 52-46.
Other than the 26-0 loss to Rock Hills, Hanover has scored at least 40 points in every game led by senior Mark Zarybnicky.
Hanover head coach Matt Heuer boasts a 64-19 record over his seven seasons at the helm.
The Kats are on a five-game winning streak after starting the season 2-2. During that stretch, Chase has scored at least 50 points every game and hasn’t allowed more than 14.
Chase running back Cole Brady rushed for more than 250 yards and five touchdowns, while catching a TD pass in the 60-14 Week 7 win against Goessel.
Hanover 46, Chase 12 (Schremmer)
8M-II East: Colony-Crest (6-3) at South Barber (7-2)
It will be a matchup of two extremely talented quarterbacks when the Colony Crest Lancers and South Barber Chieftains butt heads.
Lancer quarterback Kyle Hammond has ran for 1,680 yards and 32 touchdowns and has passed for over 800 with nine touchdowns and two picks. His career numbers are amazing. Hammond has passed for 2,376 yards and 36 touchdowns, and rushed for 5,435 yards and 96 touchdowns.
As a linebacker, Hammond is the team’s leading tackler with 96.
South Barber sophomore quarterback Payton Yandel has completed better than 60 percent of his passes for 1,072 yards with 19 touchdowns and no interceptions. He also has rushed for 935 yards and 20 touchdowns. Yandel also has 57 tackles, an interception and two fumble recoveries as a defensive back.
The Lancers have bounced back after finishing 3-6 last year. South Barber is back in the playoffs after making the second round in 2011.
Crest 42, South Barber 36 (Schremmer)
8M-II West: Weskan (8-1) at No. 5 Thunder Ridge (8-1)
Thunder Ridge, the defending Eight-Man, Division II champions, has bounced back after a mercy rule loss to Mankato-Rock Hills in Week 1.
The Longhorns, led by bruising tailback Trevor Lowe, has won eight straight contests, seven by the mercy rule. Thunder Ridge is 29-2 since Week 3 of the 2010 season.
This year, Thunder Ridge has outscored opponents 468-116 and ranks third in Eight-Man, Division II in scoring defense.
Weskan won just seven games in the last four years, but has surpassed that this fall behind veteran coach Marc Cowles.
The Coyotes’ lone loss came in Week 8, 50-0, to Sharon Springs-Wallace County, ranked No. 2 in the classification. Weskan has defeated opponents 390-122.
Senior quarterback Sam McKinney has played well all season. The Coyotes are in the playoffs for the first time since 2005. McKinney has now thrown for 1,232 yards with a 26/2 TD/INT ratio.
This is a matchup of two different styles. Thunder Ridge is known for its physicality and its ground-and-pound attack. McKinney is arguably eight-man’s best passing quarterback and has a running style that is similar to Kansas State’s Collin Klein.
If Weskan can throw effectively, they’ll have a chance. But the Longhorns have plenty of size and an experienced pedigree.
Thunder Ridge 52, Weskan 26 (Nicholl)
8M-II West: Victoria (6-3) at Fowler (8-1)
Victoria is the postseason for the 11th straight season, the longest current streak in northwest Kansas, regardless of classification, and the longest among Kansas eight-man football teams.
Sam Ottley, in first year as starting quarterback, has rushed 112 times for 733 yards with 16 scores. He has completed 49 of 103 passes for 900 yards and 13 scores. Wideout Noah Dreiling has 28 catches for 534 yards and nine TDs. Senior running back Dalton Dreiling returned three weeks ago.
Fowler is back in the postseason after a one-year absence. The Goldbugs have outscored opponents 394-160 under first-year coach Matt Bell.
Fowler has improved its defense significantly from last season where it allowed 410 points. Fowler has already seen a five-win improvement from last year. Junior Taylin Bird has thrown for 894 yards with a 15/3 TD/INT ratio. Junior Tem Shetley has rushed for 901 yards and 20 scores.
Victoria has played the hardest schedule in Eight-Man, Division II, according to preppowerindex.com. However, with Dalton Dreiling back, the Knights are a better team. Veteran coach Doug Oberle knows how to prepare his team for the postseason. Only once have the Knights ever lost in the first round. They get by – barely – here.
Victoria 40, Fowler 36 (Nicholl)
The rest of our 8 Man-II first-round picks:
Goessel (6-3) at No. 1 Baileyville B&B (9-0)
Caldwell (5-4) at No. 3 Waverly (9-0)
Rolla (7-2) at No. 4 Otis-Bison (8-1)
Beloit St. John’s-Tipton (8-1) at No.2 Sharon Springs-Wallace County (8-0)