By CONOR NICHOLL
Send us stats and updates after game night to both Cnicholl1@gmail.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @sportsinkansas.
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No. 1 Lawrence beat St. Thomas Aquinas, 39-27, and likely cemented itself as the best team in Kansas after six weeks. Aquinas is ranked first in 5A. Lawrence coach Steve Rampy and Aquinas coach Randy Dreiling combined for 11 state titles – four by Rampy and seven from Dreiling at Blue Valley and Hutchinson, their former respective schools. Dreiling has also won one at Aquinas. They have never faced each other, though Rampy was the offensive coordinator at Pittsburg State, when Dreiling’s son, Nate was a multiple-time All-American for PSU and helped the Gorillas to a national title.
Lawrence led 20-0 before the Saints made a comeback and closed to 32-27. Lawrence’s Devin Neal and Aquinas’ Tank Young, arguably the state’s top-two players, had big performances. Neal rushed for 149 yards and three TDs, and Young has rushed for 157 and a score. Neal has committed to KU, and Young has an Iowa State offer.
Derby (3-1) had its return to play after it missed two weeks with COVID-19 issues and beat Haysville Campus, 48-13. Both quarterback Lem Wash and running back Dylan Edwards accounted for three TDs.
Shawnee Mission Northwest quarterback Ty Black, who earned homecoming king, was 28 of 32 passing for 320 yards and three touchdowns. He also delivered 11 rushes for 117 yards and two scores. SMNW, which lost 35-34 to Aquinas two weeks ago, improved to 3-1 with a 49-26 win at Shawnee Mission South. This will be the first of two meetings between the teams. SMNW is ranked fifth in 6A.
In a wild game, Manhattan beat Washburn Rural, 32-31. Manhattan kicker Grant Snowden scored the game-winning two-point conversion out of the swinging gate. WR quarterback Cooper Carlgren and wide receiver Robby Bolin had big games. Carlgren delivered four total touchdowns and more than 300 yards, and Bolin delivered nine catches for 208 yards and two scores.
In 6A East, the only undefeated squads are No. 2 Olathe North (5-0) and unranked Olathe East (4-0). ON will play Lawrence this week. In 6A West, Lawrence is 5-0, and Wichita East stands at 4-0. Junction City is 5-1 with just a one-point loss to Bishop Carroll in Week 1. Derby and Gardner-Edgerton are each 3-1.
Just how deep in 6A? There could be a hand full of teams on the East that we could see playing for a state title while on the west the same could be said. It would be safe to say the classification goes 10 deep with contenders for the title with Derby and Lawrence likely being the favorites on paper, both on the west bracket. Is Olathe North the favorite on the East, could Ty Black and SMNW be a contender? Both have been very solid so far in 2020 and just imagine if Arland Bruce IV stayed in town for Olathe North. Olathe East has also surprised many and we will figure out how real they are this coming week against Mill Valley.
No. 3 Mill Valley wide receiver Jacob Hartman stepped into play running back because of injury. He rushed 22 times for 222 yards and three touchdowns. MV improved to 4-2 with a quality 69-14 road win versus Olathe West.
Hays High moved to 5-0, 4-0 in the Western Athletic Conference and captured the WAC title for the first time since 2014. HHS, well-publicized for its turnaround this year, had another dominant defensive effort. The Indians have permitted just 50 total points. Dylan Dreiling cleared 180 rushing yards, Dalton Dale had a pick-six and Gavin Meyers (FBS offers) picked off a pass. Defensive end Gaven Haselhorst (K-State commit) showed off his great athleticism postgame when he did a standing backflip in full pads in the locker room in the team celebration. The play has received plenty of attention already on social media.
Alec McCuan and Hutchinson, featured in Sports in Kansas this week, moved to 5-1. The Salthawks were 2-7 each of the last two seasons. McCuan had 18 carries for 250 yards and three TDs. He has cleared 100 yards in every game and has went over 1,000 yards with the victory.
Andover continued its big defensive effort behind its standout duo of Ashton Ngo and Isaiah Maikori. Ngo delivered two touchdowns and a sack, and an interception for Maikori. Andover moved to 4-2 and has exceeded its win total from a 3-6 year. The Trojans, with new coach Ken Dusenbury, defeated Valley Center, 35-27, at home. Andover has scored 118 points after just 120 in a 3-7 year last fall.
Andover Central defeated Salina Central, 27-7, and moved to 4-1. Jack Bell recorded three interceptions, including one returned for a score. However, Jaxon Kolzow picked off four passes for SC.
Maize defeated Maize South, 42-38. Running back Josh Sanders had another huge game after he transferred from Wichita Heights, including the game-winning touchdown with 57 seconds left. The teams traded kickoff returns for scores in the fourth, including a runback from Sanders. He has three kickoff returns for TDs.
Sanders collected 22 carries for 198 yards and three touchdowns. He is up to 114 carries for 932 yards and 15 rushing TDs. Colin Shields, a three-year starter, was 28 of 38 passing for 292 yards and a pair of TDs for Maize South.
Class 5A East has zero undefeated teams, but Topeka Seaman (5-1), De Soto (5-1), St. Thomas Aquinas (4-1) and Mill Valley (4-2) headline.
Class 5A West has Maize (6-0), Hays High (5-0), and Wichita Northwest (4-0). Goddard and Hutchinson are each 5-1, and Kapaun is 4-1 with Andover at 4-2. Last season, Hays High, Goddard, Hutchinson, Kapaun and Andover all had losing records.
Just as we said 6A is deep, 5A may be deeper, specifically on the West Bracket. We feel there could be around eight teams on the West that we could see in a semifinal or title game type scenario. Sure, Wichita Northwest is that favorite but there are multiple contenders including Maize, Hays, Goddard, Hutch, Kapaun, Bishop Carroll, and Maize South. Andover is also 4-2 and beat Hutch. The East it should run through state powers Mill Valley and Aquinas as usual. It doesn’t go quite as deep on the East but De Soto and Seaman are having fine seasons at 5-1 apiece.
Paola and Fort Scott are 6-0 and 4-0, respectively. Fort Scott was 1-8 last season and without a quarantine could likely be 5-1 or 6-0. Tonganoxie and Lansing stand at 4-1, while six-time defending state champion Bishop Miege is 2-2. For 4A West, McPherson is 5-1, Andover Central 4-1. Only three of the 16 4A West squads have a winning record. Rose Hill has quietly climbed back into the mix at 3-3 after three straight wins. RH beat Mulvane, 46-6, and should be favored in its final two contests.
Rose Hill had to play Andale, Clearwater and Collegiate to start the year – three teams that have a combined one loss. RH lost to Collegiate, 34-31, in overtime in Week 3. The Rockets feature lineman Noah Bolticoff, the state’s No. 4 prospect by 247 Sports and a TCU commit. Rose Hill has tallied 163 points. Last year, the Rockets had 183 points in a 3-6 season. The 4A West is as wide open as we’ve ever seen it. Someone with a losing record is going to make a little bit of a playoff run we feel.
Tyler Bowden has played like the best in Kansas this season as he has rushed for 1,575 yards this season with 8.3 yards per carry for Tonganoxie since transferring from Free State where he had 1,800+ yards last season as a junior.
Can Paola or Tongie overtake Miege this year? If there is a year that the Stags get taken out in 4A playoffs, maybe this is the year. Miege is the favorite but Paola and Tongie who played eachother earlier, Paola winning narrowly, are certainly in the conversation to hang with Miege this year. As is St. James Academy who moved down a class this season and narrowly lost to Miege this year and beat them last year. We expect Miege to win their 7th in a row this season but do not count out these other teams mentioned above in Tongie, Paola and St. James as it should be some of the best 4A competition they’ve seen in the last 5-6 years.
Lansing has been one of the biggest surprises in 4A this year so far in 2020. They are 4-1 on the season after going 4-5 last season. Their only loss was 40-35 to a very good De Soto team in 5A. They have Basehor Linwood this week.
In District 1, Columbus and Galena met in a huge CNC rivalry game, and the Titans picked up a 36-20 road win. Columbus improved to 6-0, 3-0 and moved to 14-2 since Blake Burns took over as head coach last season. Galena is 4-1, 2-1.
Columbus has five pick-sixes this season when Cole Minor returned an INT 35 yards for a score. Galena QB Brett Sarwinski had not thrown an interception entering the game. Columbus shut out Galena in the second half. Entering the game, Columbus was first in Kansas and top-25 nationally in interception return yards.
Halstead running back Lakin Farmer rushed 30 times for 534 yards and six touchdowns in a 48-34 victory against Hesston, according to Brad Hallier. It is believed Farmer’s total is the second-best in state history behind Conway Springs’ Tanner Wood’s 659 yards in 2012. Farmer, moved from quarterback to running back this season, has 1,508 rushing yards and 16 rushing TDs.
Halstead, with its playoff future likely on the line, needed to win to move to 3-3, 1-2 in district play. Collegiate and Andale are 3-0 and 2-0 in district, while Clearwater is 2-1 and Halstead is 1-2. Wichita Trinity is 1-4 and Hesston stands at 3-3. Farmer’s TD runs were 16, 82, 48, 25, 95 and 86 yards. Farmer also blocked a field goal.
Holton’s Canon Karn enjoyed three carries for 113 yards and a pair of touchdowns, along with eight tackles in a big win versus Hiawatha. Holton, just outside the top-5 in 3A, improved to 5-1, 3-0 in District 4. Holton will play host to Rock Creek (4-1, 3-0) this week in likely the district title.
Cheney held off Holcomb, 31-28. Holcomb quarterback Kaden Johnson finished 21 of 31 passing for 317 yards and three touchdowns, hes thrown for 1029 this season completing 72 of 112 passes. Cheney is in very strong position for the district title at 6-0, 3-0. Holcomb is 5-1, 2-1. The game was tied at seven at halftime. Cheney QB Harrison Voth has been one of the most impressive players in 3A along with receiver Logan Bartlett, who also kicked a 51-yard field goal this year.
In a battle of undefeated teams in District 7, Collegiate won at Clearwater, 31-19. Collegiate quarterback Wesley Fair had another big contest with 84 passing yards, along with 29 carries for 177 yards and two scores.
Undefeated teams are Columbus (6-0), Perry-Lecompton (6-0), Southeast of Saline (5-0), Wichita Collegiate (6-0), Andale (5-0) and Cheney (6-0). All but Collegiate are ranked.
How deep is 3A? The favorite is Andale to repeat but there are multiple contenders as always in the 48-team class. The East favorite on paper to us so far looks like Topeka Hayden or Perry Lecompton which meet up this coming week at Hayden. Last season Perry beat them twice on the way to a state runner up finish to Andale. So we feel these three are solid but who else? There are several. Columbus is a team that has been very impressive and very physical. Their defense and takeaway game has been huge this year. Frontenac is better than many think because of 5 starters out early in season (loss to Columbus) due to quarantine and losses to out of state competition that would be 5A. Raiders are a factor on East as is traditional power Holton. Rock Creek? Their passing game is outstanding and we will figure out how they stack up against Holton this week. The West features Riley County, Southeast of Saline, Scott City, Collegiate, Cheney, Holcomb, that all could be teams to make deep playoff runs and try to dethrone Andale.
No. 1 Rossville improved to 6-0 and continued to lead the classification in scoring by a healthy margin after a 69-6 victory versus Pleasant Ridge. Junior Torrey Horak completed four of six passes for 77 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed four times for 111 yards and two scores. Senior Kaiden Brown, junior Kaden Brown and senior Woodrow Rezac all tallied two rushing TDs.
No. 3 Hoisington had another solid win with a 37-7 victory against Ellsworth. The Cardinals showcased its impressive depth and moved to 6-0 this year, 17-1 since the start of last season. Cole Steinert had a career-high eight carries for 106 yards, according to Hoisington broadcaster Cole Reif. Hoisington is 3-0 and leads District 8.
TMP captured its fifth straight victory with a 48-6 road win versus Kismet-Southwestern Heights and improved to 5-1. The Monarchs have clinched their first winning record since 2011, and second in 17 seasons. TMP will play host to Cimarron (4-2, 3-0) next week at Lewis Field Stadium in likely for the district title.
The Monarchs scored 20 points in the first quarter. Lucas Lang rushed for 83 yards and two touchdowns, and Kade Harris delivered seven of 10 passing for 104 yards and three scores, according to Hays Post. It marks TMP’s longest winning streak since six in a row in ’02, a run that also included multiple playoff wins. It’s the first time TMP has won five in a row in the regular season since 1988, according to the Kansas Football History database.
Ellis has went through a lot of adversity this season, including key injuries to Daniel Eck and Tyson Jimenez, and a pair of one-score losses to Lakin and rival TMP in the past two weeks. As well, Ellis was affected by COVID-19 quarantine just before it made the road trip Friday to Syracuse. Ellis, though, kept its playoff hopes alive with a big 60-14 win.
Mason Gottschalk rushed for 212 yards and two scores. Konnor Pfeifer recorded 203 total yards, a touchdown and 12 tackles. Tegan Cain finished with five total scores – three rushing and two passing. Ellis is 2-4, 1-2 and is strong position to get a top-four seed and playoff berth if it can beat Southwestern Heights next week. Syracuse opened 3-0, its best start since ’99, and is 0-3 since.
Undefeated teams are No. 1 Rossville (6-0), No. 2 Silver Lake (4-0), No. 5 Maur Hill (5-0), No. 4 Hutchinson Trinity (6-0) and No. 3 Hoisington (6-0). Trinity has allowed just 45 points this year after a 40-7 home win versus Sterling. Trinity beat Inman, 26-20, in Week 1 – Inman is now 5-1 and will play host to Smith Center for a 1A district title in two weeks.
We say 4A west is wide open and 2A west might not be a whole lot different? Garden Plain and Hoisington to us seem like the favorite on paper after six weeks. Hutch Trinity is also quietly 6-0 but hasn’t had quite the schedule of GP or Hoisington. Thomas More Prep has been a huge surprise at 5-1 this season. Cimarron also has the lead in that district and have played a very solid schedule, they should be the favorite to win their district. Hoisington gets Norton this week who has been up and down this season, however never count out Norton who upset Hoisington last year in the semis when the Cardinals were the favorite to win it all in 2A. On the East, we feel like it runs through Rossville or Silver Lake, who play this coming week at home, we could see a lot of points scored here. We didn’t get the game we wanted last week to see how defending champ Nemaha Central and Maur Hill would stack up. Can Colgan or Osage City surprise some people with a run?
Inman won its fifth straight contest and moved to 5-1, 5-0 in District 3 play. The Teutons won at Ell-Saline, 48-7. Quarterback Jace Doerksen finished 8 of 10 for 232 yards and three scores.
Undefeated teams are No. 1 Olpe (6-0) and Sedgwick (6-0). Lyndon, Centralia, Valley Heights, Inman, Smith Center and Conway Springs are all 5-1.
Centralia beat 3A Beloit, 36-6, at home in a game scheduled very late last week. Beloit had its road contest versus Norton get cancelled. Major credit to teams on both sides for putting the game together and allowing the kids a chance to play. Centralia has won four in a row, all by at least 18 points, after a 42-6 season-opening loss to Rossville. The Panthers, defending 1A champions, have won 17 straight non-Week 1 contests.
1A is very top heavy in the 28-team classification that has shrunken in size over the years when it was formerly known as 2-1A. While the rankings may show Centralia, Olpe, Smith Center, Conway Springs, Lyndon, and Sedgwick in different order, we feel any are major contenders to win it. Conway Springs moving down is certainly going to be a factor. Can Sedgwick get over that hump to getting to a first ever semifinal? Can Centralia repeat? Lyndon narrowly lost to Olpe, are they in the convo? Can Olpe get their first state title since 2014? Can Smith Center get back to its title ways since taking runner up last season? Is there someone else besides those six? Valley Heights is a nice program but maybe some rankers have dropped off after big loss to Centralia. While the class isn’t deep, there are certainly some very good programs at the top.
Eight-Man, Division I
No. 1 Canton-Galva won its 19th straight contest and now stands alone as the longest current winning streak in the state after 3A Andale’s game was cancelled because of COVID-19 issues. C-G is 6-0, 3-0 in District 4 after a 50-0 win at Herington. The game was called at halftime. C-G scored 22 points in the first quarter and 28 in the second. Garrett Maltbie completed 8 of 10 passes for 136 yards and a score, and Brayden Collins rushed eight times for 135 yards and four TDs. Tyson Struber caught a receiving touchdown.
La Crosse beat Kinsley, 72-26, for its third straight win – and third straight time with at least 70 points.
Kiowa County earned a shocking, 53-34 victory versus Skyline, a 5-0 team entering the game. KC quarterback Luke Ballard passed for five touchdowns. He added an interception and kicked an extra point.
South Gray continued to be arguably the state’s biggest surprise with a 48-12 victory versus Spearville and improved to 6-0. Aaron Skidmore continued his big season with 23 carries for 180 yards and four scores, and completed four of six passing for 75 yards and two TDs. Kimble Martin had a scoop and score touchdown and a 30-yard touchdown catch. Martin has scores in four ways this season: fumble recovery, kickoff, punt and receiving.
Lincoln continued its best season since 2015. The Leopards had won six total games in the last four years and are now 4-2. Tyler Good continued his big season with 29 carries for 274 yards and five touchdowns. He also collected 17 tackles, three TFLs and an interception. Brady Zsuzsics and Landon O’Hare each delivered three tackles for loss and a sack. O’Hare had returned from injury. Lincoln improved to 4-2, 2-1 in District 4. Solomon dropped to 4-2, 1-2.
Undefeated teams are Sedan (6-0), Madison (6-0), Canton-Galva (6-0), Argonia-Attica (6-0), Wichita County (6-0), and South Gray (6-0).
Eight-Man, Division II
Hanover and Clifton-Clyde, a pair of Twin Valley League rivals, elected to play in late week after its first games were cancelled. Great credit to both squads for getting the contest. Hanover, ranked No. 2 in Division II, beat C-C, 40-20. The Eagles are ranked fourth in Division II. Jacob Jueneman and Keegan Dimler each scored multiple touchdowns for the Wildcats. C-C lost for the first time in the regular season since Week 6 of the 2017 season, according to the Kansas Football History database.
Wetmore’s Kael McQueen finished with 253 rushing yards, 12 receiving yards, eight rushing touchdowns, a two-point conversion and 19 total tackles in a 68-32 victory at Blue Valley Randolph. Wetmore, which hadn’t played since Week 2, moved to 1-2.
No. 3 Victoria played without standout senior running back Jayvon Pruitt, who has a Bethel College offer. The Knights required a second half comeback to beat Wilson, 50-34. Wilson led 12-0 after the first quarter and 26-24 at halftime.
However, junior Grant Schoenrock returned a fumble 67 yards for a touchdown to give the Knights a 38-34 lead. In the fourth, he scored on an 18-yard run, and Drayden Karlin returned a fumble 18 yards for a TD. Schoenrock also accounted for a passing touchdown and two rushing scores.
In wild District 4, Lakeside is 4-1, while Beloit St. John’s/Tipton and Osborne are 3-1. Osborne scored late and held Thunder Ridge in the red zone on the game’s final play to win 18-12. Lakeside beat Pike Valley, 82-50, and will play at BSJT for a game with huge district title ramifications this week.
Undefeated teams are Colony-Crest (6-0), Lebo (6-0), Hanover (5-0), Victoria (6-0) and St. Francis (5-0). Crest is the only non-ranked team of the group.
South Barber junior quarterback Gatlin Jewell has had a nice season so far with four games over 200 yards rushing in 2020 with over 1,000 yards rushing on the season. Emilio Perez has also added over 800 yards this season.
Cooper Weinhold has had a breakout season for Wilson this year with 1,053 yards and 26 touchdowns in 2020. Wilson has had a nice turnaround season at 4-2 despite losing 50-34 to Victoria on Friday.
No. 1 Cheylin led 20-12 late in the first half and pulled away in the second half to win 52-12 on the road at Natoma. The Cougars moved to 5-0 and 14-1 since the start of last year. Senior quarterback Colton McCarty, the reigning six-man offensive player of the year with several collegiate offers, enjoyed another typically big game. He rushed for 298 yards and six touchdowns, along with 35 passing yards, a 29-punt return, had a key fourth down tackle for loss, and recovered a fumble.
However, impressions went beyond McCarty. Natoma, which lost by mercy rule to Cheylin last season, was 5-3 in ’19, the school’s first winning record since a 5-4 mark in ’13. The Tigers have new coach Brian Patterson, who retired in Missouri and took over at Natoma this year.
Patterson has preached tackling and physicality, and 220-pound junior running back Kayden Martinez rushed 25 times for 160 yards and two scores. Cheylin also had strong play from its two freshmen, Logan McCarty and Pablo Bermudez. Logan, Colton’s brother, threw for 75-plus yards. Bermudez had a rushing touchdown, a key 26-yard reception to set up a score just before the first half ended, and three passes defended.
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