What impressed us after week one of 2019 fball season?

Quinn Buessing is looking for a huge year in 2019. (photo: Amy Smith)
By: Conor Nicholl for Sports in Kansas w/ Chet Kuplen
Sep 7, 2019

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We highlight some impressive performances across the state class-by-class after week one of the 2019 football season. This update is presented by Kansas Turf, Nex-Tech Wireless, American Implement, Craw-Kan Telephone, Rainbow Commications, Rack Performance, Labette Bank, Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference & Eddy's Toyota of Wichita

Class 6A

Topeka running back Ky Thomas, a Minnesota commit and on pace to become the leading rusher in the city of Topeka’s history, made No. 4 on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top-10 plays. Thomas hurdled a player, bounced off a tackler, avoided another defender and scored a touchdown. Topeka defeated Shawnee Heights, 44-7. Thomas, who was later disqualified from the game, finished with 10 carries for 161 yards and two scores. Da’Vonshai Harden delivered 255 yards of total offense.

Dodge City quarterback Beau Foster helped the Red Demons to a 34-12 win versus Haysville Campus. Sean Boston reported Foster was 8 of 14 passing for 190 yards and three touchdowns, along with 17 carries for 121 yards and two scores. Matt Friess hauled in four catches for 110 yards and two scores, and Alden Knedler picked off three passes. Dodge City recorded 52 plays for 455 yards.

Quarterback Grant Adler returned from his injury in 2018 and led the Panthers to a 48-19 victory versus Garden City. Derby, the No. 1 ranked team and defending champion, received 10 carries for 170 yards from Adler. He also completed 7 of 11 passes for 99 yards. Derby led 41-0 at halftime.

Gardner-Edgerton, ranked third in 6A, enjoyed a strong start with a 49-14 win against Shawnee Mission East in Sunflower League play. Seven different players scored points for the Trailblazers. Reggie Nelson opened the scoring with a 60-yard touchdown on the second play of the game.

Junction City, led by Andrew Khoury, passed for 332 yards in a 48-30 road win against Hays High.

Class 5A

In a wild game at Great Bend’s Memorial Stadium, host GB scored 10 points in the final minute and held off upset-minded Andover, 13-10, in overtime. Andover had a 49-yard field goal from David Kemp, a FBS recruit, just before halftime. GB’s Alex Schremmer, in triple coverage, hauled in a touchdown pass on the final offensive play of regulation, and then the Panthers converted the two-point conversion and kicked a field goal in overtime. Fans have already started to call the game “Miracle on Morton.” Morton is the street that has Great Bend High.

Maize South had lost to Wichita Heights in the ’18 season opener. This time, the Mavericks solidified themselves as a Class 5A West threat with a 40-24 victory versus Wichita Heights. Maize South had exceeded 28 points just once last year. The Mavericks have won seven straight regular season games after a 0-3 start in ’18. Maize South trailed 24-13 before 27 straight points. Trevion Mitchell had a pick six and 10 tackles. Hunter Neimann had 188 rushing yards and three touchdows in the win. 

Wichita Northwest is 5-1 in the last six meetings against Bishop Carroll and 3-0 in the last two years versus its City League rivals. Carroll took an early 3-2 lead and 10-8 at halftime. Reagan Jones threw to Zion Jones for the game-winning score in a 21-17 comeback victory.

Liberal went 1-8 last season with its only victory against Guymon (Okla.). The Redskins opened with a 69-0 win versus Guymon. Syris Dunlap, with more than 4,600 yards of total offense in his career, had six touchdowns in the victory, three passing and three rushing.

Blue Valley West pulled an upset against Mill Valley, 28-21. MV was ranked fourth in 5A. Riley Cummings had over 160 rushing yards in the game. What's even more impressive is the game was on the road in a very tough atmosphere to play in.

Class 4A

Bishop Miege held off Blue Valley North, 27-20, in a key Eastern Kansas League contest. Miege is ranked first in 4A, while BVN stands second in 6A. On the game’s first play, Miege standout defensive back Rishi Rattan picked off Mustang quarterback Henry Martin, though fumbled on the way to the end zone. His teammate, Grant Fussell, collected the ball for a touchdown. Brison Cobbins finished with 15 carries for 75 yards as Miege led 20-0 early.

Spring Hill earned a 27-24 upset victory versus Louisburg. SH had lost two in a row and was 1-3 in the last four meetings in the series. Huge win for Jason Feeback to start off the 2019 season as Louisburg was the defending Frontier League champion. 

No. 3 McPherson held off Salina South, a one-win team last fall, in a 29-17 victory versus the Cougars. Kaleb Hoppes (Fort Hays offer) stepped in at quarterback for the first time. McPherson battled back from a 10-0 deficit. Aaron Powell caught a 99-yard pass for a 19-10 lead. Earlier, Hoppes found Cody Stufflebean, a standout defensive end and Kansas State signing, for a 25-yard score. Stufflebean recorded two sacks, and Hoppes accounted for four scores.

Andover Central’s Xavier Bell had five catches for 140 yards and two scores in a 35-7 win versus Augusta.

Congrats to Bo Graham (Fort Scott), Clete Frazell (Chanute), Wes Bell (El Dorado) on their first wins as head coaches of their new programs. Although Graham and Frazell arent new to their teams, Bell is brand new to El Dorado after being the UCM and Missouri Western defensive coordinator the last several seasons.

Class 3A

No. 1 Sabetha captured its 21st straight contest with a 13-6 victory against Nemaha Central, the last team to beat the Bluejays.

Burlington’s Cael Johnson delivered 133 rushing yards and four scores. He completed five of six passes for 72 yards with nine solo tackles. The Wildcats opened with a 46-20 road victory against Council Grove.

Parsons got a 5-OT win over Iola on Friday under second year head coach Kurt Friess. The Vikings made history last year by getting their first playoff win (they ended up with two) in 42 years. Dariq Williams, an all-state basketball player, caught the game winner from Ethan Houk. Williams had five touchdowns in the win. Historian Scott Nuzum said no SEK school has ever played a five-overtime game however Parsons is an independent so it still won't count.

Wamego’s Taybor Vetter, a two-time all-state returner, opened with a touchdown on his first punt return of the year. He caught the ball at the 30-yard line, ran horizontal to the left, sprinted down the left sideline and then came back right. The Red Raiders won 41-12 versus Concordia.

Columbus earned a huge win, 21-14, against Colgan in CNC league play. Coach Blake Burns took over for Dan Grundy, which had led the Titans to a state runner-up in ’14. Columbus was 1-8 last year, and Colgan just outside the top-5 in Class 1A. Congrats to Blake Burns on his first career win. 

Jefferson West defeated Holton, 7-0, in Big Seven play, the second straight year JW has beaten the Wildcats. JW, led by the three Saili brothers, had enjoyed a three-win improvement from 2-7 to 5-4 last year and a big defensive improvement. In ’17, JW allowed 25.7 points per game. Last year, the Tigers allowed 17.6 points per game. JW should again be one of the strongest teams – and defenses – in 3A.

Galena sophomore quarterback Brett Sarwinski shined in his first start in the blowout win over Riverton since taking over for J.C. Shelton, last years graduated all-state player. He threw for over 230 yards that also saw a perfect spiral pass to a one handed catch by his older brother Nick. Nick went on to have over 100 yards recieving in the game. It could be quite the year for the family as Beau, their father, is the head coach at Galena and older brother, P.J., has made the 2-deep at Pitt State as a sophomore linebacker. 

Class 2A

Hoisington opened with a 37-13 win against Pratt. Wyatt Pedigo, who did not play in this game last season, returned in Week 2, went over 100 yards every contest and cleared 2,000 rushing yards. He continued the streak with 14 carries for 109 yards and a score. Hunter Morris had 84 yards and three scores, according to Hoisington play-by-play broadcaster Cole Reif. Pratt finished with five turnovers. Hoisington led 37-0 at the end of the third quarter.

Southeast of Saline continued its rise after a four-win improvement in 2018.  SES returned junior quarterback Jackson Gebhardt and rolled over rival Sacred Heart, 54-0, in a matchup of Saline County rivals. SES scored on its last six possessions and turned a 14-0 game into a big rout. Gebhardt and Bryant Banks delivered a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter. SES has captured six straight in the series and back-to-back shutouts.

Atchison County opened with a 56-12 win against Oskaloosa. Trystin Myers had scoring runs of 65, 32 and 38 yards and a 75-yard kickoff return. AC was 2-7 last season.

Class 1A

Sedgwick record-breaking quarterback Hooper Schroeder graduated, and Lance Hofsommer was expected to step in and perform at a high level. He threw for five touchdowns and rushed for one. Qayden Shepherd finished with six catches for 131 yards and three scores.

In one of the more intriguing Week 1 contests, Plainville broke a 22-22 tie and defeated Norton, 29-22. Plainville had half the roster size of the Bluejays, though has its prolific 1-2 combination of quarterback Jordan Finnesy and running back Jared Casey. Finnesy had 16 carries for 157 yards. Casey finished with 16 carries for 213 yards, along with 10 tackles.

No. 1 Smith Center steadily pulled away from TMP and won 34-0. The two-time defending champion Redmen had more than 400 yards of total offense and limited the Monarchs to under 140 yards, according to Hays Post. Colton Shoemaker rushed for 109 yards, and Jaden Atwood delivered 159 yards. Shoemaker scored on a 31-yard touchdown run, Atwood on a 59-yarder.

Eight-Man, Division I

In one of the biggest results of Friday night, Ness City defeated Central Plains for the first time in school history. NC won 36-30 on the road versus CP, 13-0 and the defending Eight-Man, Division I champions last year. The Oilers allowed just 34 points all of ’18, the best eight-man scoring defense in at least 15 years. This marks the second straight season Ness City has defeated a top-five program while being unranked after a late season comeback home win versus Hodgeman County in ’18.

Chase County’s Cael Budke enjoyed 16 carries for 219 yards and three rushing scores. He also had a 35-yard pick-six, and was 5 of 8 passing for a score. Budke recorded 15 tackles on defense. CC defeated Herington, 58-14.

Brady Dinkel, the quarterback/defensive back for No. 2 St. Francis, had 94 rushing yards with three rushing touchdowns. A four-year starter in the secondary, Dinkel picked off two passes and returned one for a score. He also returned a punt return TD in one half. SF won at Wallace County, 46-0.

No.  1 Canton-Galva avenged its loss against Little River last fall and is 11-1 in its last 12 contests. The Eagles won 70-23 after a 52-20 loss last season. Tyson Struber delivered four total touchdowns, all in the first half.

Osborne opened up with a resounding 58-20 road victory against Hill City in a key litmus test for both teams. The Bulldogs have coach Steve Tiernan back in his second stint with the school. Tiernan, with three state titles and long known for his great offenses, led Osborne to a 16-6 lead after the first quarter and pulled away with 20 unanswered in the fourth quarter. Senior Darrien Holloway, with more than 3,000 career rushing yards, delivered 22 carries for 161 yards and five scores.

Sophomore Mason Schurr finished with 16 carries for 159 yards and a touchdown. For HC, junior Jayce Hamel had 28 carries for 187 yards and two scores. Schurr also had a 63-yard kick return. He completed six of 11 passes for 71 yards, though had a pair of interceptions.

Lebo’s Devan McEwen completed eight of 16 passes for 107 yards and delivered 122 rushing yards. Six different receivers caught a pass. The Wolves permitted just 181 total yards and had 14 players contribute a tackle. Andrew Bailey finished with nine tackles. Lebo defeated Waverly, 46-14.

On his birthday, Brock West – a finalist for the national association of private schools’ eight-man player of the year in ’18 – had seven catches for 232 yards and five scores for Maranatha Academy. MA received nine of 11 passing for 268 yards and six scores from Nate Burdette. MA rolled over KC East Christian (Mo.), 52-0.

Spearville opened with a victory against Satanta, 68-18. Carson Rich recorded seven rushes for 198 yards and a touchdown, along with 10 tackles. The Lancers will play host to Coldwater-South Central in a key Week 2 contest. Junior Trace Tasset finished with three carries for 91 yards and six total scores, two recieving, two rushing and two returns. 

Oswego won its rivalry game against Chetopa, 64-16, with 48 points in the first quarter. Oswego had 31 carries for 319 yards and four scores. Jace Wilson had three carries for 33 yards and two scores, and threw a 20-yard touchdown pass on his only passing attempt. Freshman Harley Smith led with 12 carries for 88 yards.

In what is generally a close matchup, Victoria scored the game’s first 42 points and defeated Otis-Bison, 42-14, on the road. Jayvon Pruitt scored two touchdowns (one passing, one rushing), had 101 yards of total offense, and delivered a strip sack that led to a scoop-and-score from Trenton Engel. Coach Doug Oberle continues to do a great job of putting players in the right positions.

The Knights have just two seniors, both linemen, with Kirk Huser and Josh Schulte. Huser, the team’s most experienced player, had a sack, a tackle for loss and a great pancake block to spring a long run. Schulte and Engel both changed positions midway through fall camp. Sophomore quarterback Grant Schoenrock accounted for three scores.

Eight-Man, Division II

Hanover, with Jonah Weber as its only returning starter, won its 39th straight game, two within the all-time eight-man record in the KSHSAA era with a victory against Pike Valley. The Wildcats pulled away to win 58-14.

Thunder Ridge running back Reece Struckhoff had to miss last season because of transfer rules when he came over from Stockton. He rushed eight times for 204 yards and four rushing scores, along with a passing touchdown in a 50-0 victory versus Lakeside. Struckhoff is one of the state’s strongest pound-for-pound players.

Colony Crest broke an 11-game losing streak with a 52-42 win against Hartford. C-C trailed 14-0 in the game.

St. Paul’s Adam Albertini, who delivered 60 touchdowns last year, opened with 14 rushes for 229 yards and six touchdowns. He also passed for 47 yards and another touchdown. SP lost to Sedan in Week 1 last year, and won 52-14. The game is likely the Indians’ toughest competition of the regular season.

Axtell’s Quinn Buessing, a four-sport all-state pick last year, finished 17 of 25 passing for 207 yards with three touchdowns and rushed for four touchdowns. The Eagles defeated Beloit/St. John’s, 58-12. A four-year starter, he has 97 career passing touchdowns and is on pace to set several career eight-man passing marks this year. Axtell, ranked second in Eight-Man, Division II, is 11-0 since the start of 2018 against non-Hanover teams.

Rock HIlls, led by first year head coach Colby Hamel, rushed for 600 yards on 25 carries last night all coming in the first half as they won 78-28 over BV Randolph.

Six-man

Bird-City Cheylin’s Colton McCarty, the only six-man player at the Sharp Combine in Salina this summer, had 11 carries for 348 yards and four scores, along with a 79-yard kick return touchdown. Andrew Schields finished with six sacks, three tackles for loss, three interceptions, two pick-sixes and a forced fumble.