Looking at who's left: 2-1A

Troy is looking for their first state semi-final appearance in school history (photo:Janel Anderson)
By: Sports in Kansas - Chet Kuplen
Nov 13, 2014

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Troy (9-1)

The Trojans, led by head coach Derek Jasper, have been dominating opponents on the year besides their week two loss against Centralia, who is now up to 3A. Troy is led by senior quarterback, Tristan Speer, who has thrown for 2,152 yards on the season. Speer has thrown 34 touchdowns to just one interception on the season. Speer, who is a rare state wrestling champion that plays basketball, also starts at defensive tackle for the Trojans. As far as schedules go for both Lyndon and Troy they are pretty even on strength of schedule. This should be a coin flip time of match-up that may result in a shootout with neither team being able to stop the other. It is a new year, but in last years match-up Lyndon got Troy 37-8. Troy is 9-24 all-time in the state playoffs and with a win they would make the semifinals for the first time in school history. 

Lyndon (9-1)

Lyndon lost a lot of key talent from a year ago and were a question mark team coming into the 2014 season. They have proved any doubters wrong and are right back in the playoffs as a contender. Lyndon is led by senior quarterback, Dawson Swinehart, who has rushed for 1,825 yards (30 TD) in 2014. Swinehart also has over 700 yards passing on just 90 attempts, completing 45 of those. Lyndon also features running back, Daniel Burgess, with 1,000 plus yards and 16 touchdowns. The Tigers only loss on the season came to Olpe in week seven of the season (36-28). Lyndon is 10-15 all-time in the state playoffs with 15 appearances. Should be a good one with a lot of offense on Friday night.

Onaga (7-3)

Onaga started the season at 1-3 and since then have won six straight. Michael Bliss leads the rushing attack for the Buffaloes with over 1,000 yards on the season. Quarterback Wyatt Cordell also has over 1,000 yards of total offense with 15 touchdowns. Cordell is also a weapon at kicker as he has kicked a 36 yard field goal earlier in the year. Onaga will need to score more than their season average of 23 to have a shot in this one. The Buffaloes are in their 16th appearance in the state playoffs with an all-time playoff record of 11-15. With a win this week it would put them back in the 2-1A semifinals for the first time since 1992 when they lost to Frontenac.  

Olpe (9-1)

The Eagles have won nine in a row since dropping their opening game against 2-1A west contender, LaCrosse, in a neutral site (Newton) game in week one of the season. The Eagles are led by their senior quarterback Bo Krueger and return man/receiver Brady Scheidegger. Scheidegger had both a kick return and punt return last week against Mission Valley in addition to his 90 yards (TD) receiving. Olpe is 25-22 all-time in the state playoffs and has never captured a state football title, going 0-2 in title games.  2-1A is as wide open as its been in a long time. Could this be the year for the Eagles?


Ell-Saline (7-3)

The Cardinals got a huge win this past week over Sedgwick (28-20), a team they lost to by 32 in week three of the football season. Ell-Saline's Cody Walters led the way with 112 yards rushing on 15 carries and a TD. Ell-Saline controlled the game on the ground with 235 rushing yards in the contest. The Cardinals are back in the round of eight for the first time since 2010. They have an all-time playoff record of 13-15. A win would put them in their third all-time semifinal appearance with the last one coming in 1989. 

La Crosse (9-1)

The Leopards were the most hyped team coming into the 2-1A preseason of 2014. They have played like the best team in 2-1A at times on the year and then struggles at different times, but seem to be putting it all together at the right time. La Crosse is a run first team but can get it done through the air if they need to. Senior dual-threat quarterback, Jack Garcia, leads the Leopard offense with over 1,700 total yards. Seniors Andrew Jay and Sheldon Schmidt have combined for 1,500 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns on the ground. Jay, who played a game at quarterback this year due to a Garcia injury, can do it all. He is the teams leading receiver at 369 yards (5 TD) and return man with over 1,444 all-purpose yards to go along with his five interceptions. Schmidt, a physical specimen who stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 230 pounds, has 70 tackles and 11 sacks from his defensive end position. La Crosse has never won a state title in football, going 0-2 in title games (2011, 2013). 

Phillipsburg (9-1)

The Panthers have been perfect on the year with the exception of their week two loss against 3A Norton (34-7). Since then Phillipsburg has won eight in a row. The Panthers are a run first team as they have only thrown the football 47 times in 10 games. Speedster, Stuart Lenneman, leads the Panther rushing attack that averages 323 yards per game with 1,209 yards and 16 touchdowns on the season. The defense only allows 13 points per contest and is led by senior Isaac Coomes with 76 stops on the year. This is a rematch game of week four in which Phillipsburg beat Oakley 49-21. With a win, Phillipsburg would make their first ever semi-final appearance in football. 

Oakley (6-4)

After starting out 1-3, the Plainsmen, under first year head coach Ty Pfannenstiel, have won five out of their last six. Oakley has improved on the year so expect a closer match-up than their 49-21 loss to Phillipsburg in week four. Oakley's Ryan Kuhn (6-2 231 Sr.) is one of the top lineman in Kansas. The overtime loss (27-21) to La Crosse in week nine shows that Oakley can hang with anyone in the state. Oakley is 18-18 all-time in the state playoffs and still looking for their first football title in the playoff era.