By CONOR NICHOLL
Bird City-Cheylin coach Chris Walden elected to put in an I formation in midseason this fall. The move came for several reasons. First, Walden believed freshman Logan McCarty was “just as good” at quarterback as his older brother, star senior Colton McCarty.
Plus, Walden wanted a steady running back who could consistently get the Cougars eight to 10 yards a carry.
“My thought is, we need to have our best athlete getting the ball the majority of the carries of the game, so that’s what caused the switch,” Walden said. “And Logan stepped in.”
As well, Walden wanted to lessen the load on Colton, one of the state’s best players for all classes with several NAIA offers. However, Colton has continued to receive plenty of touches. It’s perpetuated a career that statistically ranks among the best in Kansas history for all classes.
As well, McCarty will likely finish with more total offensive yards per game than Tyler Ethridge at Richland Springs (Tex.), according to SIK research and data from multiple sources.
Ethridge, who went 56-1 from ’04-07, is widely considered the best six-man player in Texas history - which has the most storied history of six-man football of any state. He is widely believed to hold several national marks, including total offense.
Team-wise, McCarty looks to lead Cheylin to the first football championship in school annals. Logan has stepped in with 10 of 15 passing for 242 yards and five TDs. Additionally, the Cougars feature seniors Andrew Schields, Tyler Sabatka, Joe Melton and Alex Dart. Logan (team-high 45 tackles, four INTs) and freshmen Pablo Bermudez (Cougar-best five interceptions) have stepped up.
“I didn’t see a single guy on their team that couldn’t start for us,” Natoma coach Brian Patterson said.
Last year, Cheylin took state runner-up to Moscow with a 9-1 record. This season, the Cougars won the Six-Man North title with a 6-0 mark, 5-0 in league. Cheylin opened the six-man playoffs Tuesday at home versus Burrton where they won 67-0. The semifinals are set for Saturday, with the Wild West Bowl championship on Halloween in Dodge City.
Six-man is not KSHSAA sanctioned but continues to grow with 14 teams playing at least four regular season games in 2020. Colton has 76 percent of his team’s rushes after 65 percent last year and 69 percent as a sophomore.
“The whole idea was trying to take some of the wear and tear and some of the beating off of Colton, but we effectively defeated ourselves in doing that by handing the ball to him 15 to 20 times a game in a running back spot,” Walden said. “But that formation, we just kind of feel like makes us more dynamic, and gives the defense a lot to look at and a lot to have to respect.”
McCarty has played in 31 career games. He has completed 223 of 411 passes for 3,363 yards with 68 touchdowns against nine interceptions (not including Tuesday's playoff game)
He has rushed 493 times for 6,054 yards and 105 rushing scores. He has delivered 9,549 yards of total offense, or 318 per game. Overall, he also has three receiving scores, and eight non-offensive TDs (including five kickoff returns) for 116 total touchdowns. Stats do not include Tuesdays playoff game
Ethridge, who played quarterback, had 15,217 total passing and rushing yards, or 267 per game, according to SIK research in conjunction with Texas six-man history sites.
“A very dynamic athlete with Colton,” Walden said.
This season, McCarty has delivered at least three games with at least 20 carries, including a season-high 22 carries versus Natoma on Oct. 9. McCarty rushed for six touchdowns versus Natoma, including several big runs out of the I formation. This season, McCarty has averaged 17.3 yards per carry.
“We wanted to be in a position to get him the ball, so he can make plays in open space and open field, and we get that with him in that tailback spot,” Walden said.
Last year, McCarty had two games with more than 19 carries with 37 and 41 versus Golden Plains. He delivered 12.6 yards per carry as a junior and 11.6 per as a sophomore.
For Kansas, Pawnee Heights’ Kade Scott, the state’s first great player once six-man resumed, delivered massive numbers in three seasons. Currently, the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame does not recognize six-man records.
However, Scott played in 27 career games as a sophomore through senior and delivered 7,205 rushing yards, 118 rushing and 140 total touchdowns. This would be the all-classifications state mark.
Scott had 118 rushing, 10 receiving and 11 non-offensive scores. A senior in ’18, Scott recorded 8,266 yards of total offense, or 306 per game.
McCarty stacks up well with many of the other great Kansans near atop or atop the leaderboards.
In eight-man, Thunder Ridge’s Joel Struckhoff tallied 127 touchdowns from 2008-11 by the KSHOF. He also tallied 856 points. Struckhoff played in 42 career games.
Wichita Collegiate’s DeAngelo Evans scored 822 points and tallied 131 touchdowns from ’92-95, both the 11-man marks. He played in 47 games and ranked third nationally in career touchdowns, according to Nebraska sports information. Evans had a breakout freshman year at Nebraska, though battled injuries in his collegiate career. Evans cleared 100 rushing yards in 38 of 47 career games.
Madison’s Kole Schankie, who went on to an impressive career at Emporia State, tallied 120 career TDs. He also rushed for 4,907 career yards. Schankie last played in 2011 and won the inaugural Dylan Meier Get Busy Livin’ honor, the highest award bestowed by KPreps.
Before Struckhoff and Schankie, Kensington’s Spencer Levin held the eight-man mark with 113 scores from ’91-94.
Hill City’s Reggie Jordan, who holds several single season eight-man marks, delivered 95 touchdowns from ’07-10.
Topeka High’s Ky Thomas, who finished second on the all-time season rushing list last year, delivered 93 career touchdowns before he went to Minnesota.
Woodlin’s Harold Klausner holds the all-time, all-classes record for Colorado with 160 scores from ’02-05. Christian McCaffrey, currently a Carolina Panthers star, played 11-man at Valor Christian and is second on the Colorado high school list with 141. Nebraska has incomplete six-man records.
Warning: include(../includes/module_comments.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/kansass/public_html/ks/news/index.php on line 115
Warning: include(): Failed opening '../includes/module_comments.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/local/lib/php') in /home/kansass/public_html/ks/news/index.php on line 115