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Since dropping their opener to Miege in a blowout, the Tigers have done nothing but win. They are now 3-1 on the year and blasted defending 5A champion Mill Valley, 49-9, on Friday. Neither team scored in the second half as the score was 49-9 at the half. As expected it’s another tough week in the EKL as they get undefeated St. James this week. Great start for first year head coach Allen Terrell.
A lot of people may have dropped off Derby after their loss to Goddard but anyone who knows Panther football knows this team isn’t going anywhere. The Panthers put it on previously undefeated Hutch, 61-18, on Friday night. All-State running back Brody Kooser had 185 rushing yards and three touchdowns in the contest. Transfer receiver Tyler Brown, an all-state basketball player at Valley Center last season, was also big with 130 yards receiving and two scores. Huge match-up this week between 5A power Carroll (4-0). The Panthers have scored 60 or more over the last two weeks and seem to be rolling at the right time.
Breece Hall, Wichita Northwest
Junior RB Breece Hall is having a breakout season averaging 200 yards per game rushing in 2017 for 6A Wichita Northwest. He has 803 yards on 75 carries and could be a rising recruit for 2019 in Kansas.
The Indians have won three in a row but got their biggest win of the season in the 21-14 upset of ranked Topeka High on Friday. They held all-state running back Ky Thomas to under 50 yards rushing in the contest. Thomas was averaging over 200 yards per game entering. Their 21-18 loss in week one to Shawnee Heights doesn’t look quite as bad now as it did at the time as the T-birds are 4-0 on the season.
It’s not like South is a team that is penciled in to make any kind of run in 6A at this point but we need to give Brett Oberzan some credit after his 2-2 start in 2017. Why? Well the last two years they only combined to have one win and had zero wins in 2016. South got a 35-7 win over Leavenworth on Thursday after dropping their last two games to Free State and Winnetonka (Mo.). They also knocked off rival SM North, 22-19, in week one.
Only two remain unbeaten
Free State and Garden City remain the only two unbeaten teams of the 32 in 6A football. With tough leagues and match-ups it’s tough to remain unbeaten and it really doesn’t mean anything after four weeks, besides seeding for playoffs and league titles. What really matters starting in week nine when everyone makes the playoffs. But nice undefeated starts for the Firebirds and the Buffaloes so far in 2017, both teams that will be on the 6A West Bracket.
Nick Allen, BV Southwest
Allen, a senior linebacker for the Timberwolves that we featured on Faces in Kansas last week, produced big again this past Friday. He entered the fourth game with 46 tackles after three weeks and added 24 more on Friday night against Gardner Edgerton. He now is near the tops of all of Kansas with 70 tackles after four weeks.
The Crusaders are quietly 4-0 at this point and seem to be a team on the rise so far in 2017. We will figure out if they are the real deal this week as they host Wichita Northwest (3-1). Nick Channel has been the go-to guy this season for Kapaun. The defense has three consecutive shutouts and has only allowed six points all season.
Let’s be honest, nobody had Shawnee Heights being undefeated besides maybe themselves after four weeks of the season. Heights is one of three undefeated teams on the 5A East bracket and beat their rival Seaman, 21-14, on Friday night. Mitchell Lady’s second touchdown of the night with under three minutes to play was the game winner. The defense also stepped up big with a goal line stand late in this one. Trey Jenkins has turned into a nice back this season for Heights as he had over 170 rushing yards on Friday. They get another big test against Topeka this week as the Trojans are coming off an upset loss to Manhattan. SH beat Manhattan, 21-8, in week one. Congrats to Coach Swift and the T-Birds on a great start in 2017. Everyone seems to be beating up on everyone in this years Centennial League, but Heights remain the only unbeaten team in the 10-member conference.
The schedule hasn’t been great but VC is off to a 4-0 start for the second consecutive season after their 21-15 victory over Newton on the road Friday. They have figured out a way to close out and win football under Caleb Smith. Three of their wins this year have been by six points or less. Their toughest test so far this season could come this week against a Hays team that is off to a 2-2 start, losing just 7-3 to undefeated Garden City, Friday. VC has won 13 of their last 15 games after many years of struggling to win games.
Ivan Webb, Schlagle
Ivan Webb, Senior RB of 5A Schlagle, numbers through four games: 1,234 yards with 15 TD. 308.5 yards per game, 10.5 yards per carry. Is it a product of a system or just two back-to-back running backs producing? Don’t know but Cornelius Ruff was the guy last year and this year Webb is seeming to go even beyond that. Congrats to the Schlagle senior for having a big-time season so far.
Basehor Linwood (4-0) has had 15 different ball carriers this season that have combined for 923 rush yds. 12 different players have scored rushing TD. Everyone contributes as their defense, the real MVP of this team, hasn't allowed a point and six different players have combined for 9 INTs. Have they played the quality of some 4A-I teams? No, but it’s a great start for last year’s 4A-I East semifinal runner-up.
Buhler slipped up against McPherson in week one, losing 33-21, and since then they have been dominant with a three-game winning streak, that included their 17-14 win over previously undefeated Maize South on Friday. A big reason is running back Dalton Brown, who had nearly 2,000 yards last season, and had 158 yards rushing in the game. Buhler has very impressive back to back wins over Maize South and Collegiate. They have Winfield this week.
The Eagles are 4-0 for the first time in more than 10 years. The defense has only allowed 26 points after the first four weeks. However, Colby may have one of the toughest stretch of five games left in the state that feature Holcomb, Norton, Scott City, Concordia and Goodland. Shout out to Coach McKinney and the Eagles on the solid start to 2017. A big part of the success is Jordan Schippers who is one of the top playmakers in Western Kansas.
Sam Hardin, Wichita Trinity
Hardin had over 300 yards passing with four touchdowns, including the game winner with 15 seconds to go. He also added 111 yards rushing on the ground. It was a huge win over previously undefeated Chaparral, 29-28. They get undefeated Conway Springs next week.
Tanner Schrag, Nickerson
Schrag who has been injured was back from injury and picked off three passes playing on defense on Friday over Hesston. Schrag will return to play quarterback for the Panthers next week against Larned.
The Celtics are 4-0 for the first time since 2014 and knocked off Sedgwick, 32-19, on Friday. They get a chance to really prove themselves this week as they travel to take on undefeated 2-1A Ell Saline (4-0) in a Heart of American matchup. Three teams remain unbeaten in the HOA, Ell-Saline, Hutch Trinity, and Marion.
Perry Lecompton and Lakin each have 11 interceptions from their defenses. This is the most we have seen reported for a team this season. The takeaway game has been huge in both of these teams 4-0 starts in 2017.
Coy Moran, Bluestem
Quarterback Coy Moran had huge night in Bluestem win over Eureka: 328 Passing, 158 rushing, 5 total TDs, 15 tackles, & two forced Fumbles. Bluestem hasn’t been known for football but they have kids who know how to win, we saw that from them winning the 3A baseball title last spring.
The Kaws are 4-0 and nobody seems to be talking about them. Maybe because their opponents have added up to a 2-14 record. However, that isn’t to take away the outstanding start for PL as they have put up 63 points per game in 2017. Their defense also is tied for first in the state with 11 interceptions after four weeks. The offense gets it done with their rushing attack that has put up 1,381 rushing yards and 26 touchdowns. They will get their first real test of the season this week against 4-0 Sabetha. Sabetha has got it done in 2017 with an outstanding defense only allowing 19 points in games that included Centralia and Holton.
There’s a reason the Redmen remain the favorite in 2-1A despite a loss 3A power Phillipsburg. They blasted Norton, a 3A member with a lot of talent and a Division I QB commit, on Friday, 43-0. This game was close last season and took an overtime effort for the Redmen to win. It wasn’t close in this one as Smith Center led 29-0 at the half. Can anyone in 2-1A hang around with the Redmen?
J.J. Allen, Bennington
J.J. Allen of 8M-I Bennington (4-0) has scored 18 TD's (17 rush, 1 PR) over four weeks of the season. He is also averaging 199 rushing per game.
Ian Bergstrom, Clifton-Clyde
On Friday, Clifton-Clyde beat Rural Vista, 59-6. Senior Homecoming King Ian Bergstrom also got his first career carry for a touchdown. Bergstrom, who has down-syndrome, was the star of Friday night as he saw his touchdown go viral all over Kansas. Very cool moment that will be remembered forever by everyone involved.
This six-team district only has three combined losses. Madison, Sedan, St. Paul and West Elk remain unbeaten, while Marmaton Valley has one loss and Southern Coffey Co. has two losses. Only two teams go on to the playoffs.
When out in Western Kansas this summer, a guy in Quinter told me to look out for Hoxie this year in 8-man and that they would be the team to beat. Well it has seemed to be true so far this season as the Indians are 4-0 on the year and just beat district opponent Rawlins County, 22-6, on Friday. The six points were the first allowed all year for the Indians. A huge match-up is on the line this week with fellow undefeated 8M-I member St. Francis, who took second last season. Hoxie lines also feature a lot of size that include Taye Washington, who is 6-foot-5, 335-pounds. Chris Cox, a fullback and defensive lineman, is also having a big year and is 233-pounds. Running back Latham Scwharz is averaging over 100 yards per contest and has 11 rushing touchdowns. Troyal Burris and Taylor Burris have combined for seven interceptions on defense.
Sainty is 4-0 this season and has only allowed 12 points. This isn’t surprising they are number one in polls across the state, but they have still been very impressive. They get undefeated Hoxie this week which could be an 8M-I showdown in Western Kansas this week and is at home for the Indians. A key playmaker for the Indians is senior multi-sport all state athlete Tate Busse. He has the ability to be all-state in three sports this season and is a huge target in the receiving game and a huge threat on defense. Jordan Raby is also an outstanding back that had 185 yards rushing with two touchdowns last week. He also added 58 yards receiving with two touchdowns. St. Francis has speed and we know that from track and field. Raby and Busse were both a part of the 1A state champion 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams in 2017.
Otis-Bison was coming off a 36-12 loss to rival Central Plains last week and CP had already lost to Victoria in week one, 34-8. You can’t compare scores but everyone does. Definitely not a game that anyone saw Otis-Bison beating the favorite but the Cougars shocked the Knights on Friday with a 22-20 victory. The Knights are still a heavy contender in 8M-I East while the Cougars are a contender in 8M-II west. They will host Sharon Springs this week but don’t let the 1-3 record fool you as they lost the first three to quality programs in St. Francis, Rawlins County, and Hoxie.
The Panthers beat last year’s 8M-I state champ Osborne, 30-28, on Friday night, to remain unbeaten on the year. A lot of hype has came into the year on Pike Valley and all that they returned. Even with a target on their back, the Panthers are still producing week in and week out. Friday’s game was sealed by an INT by Anton Reeves in the endzone to knock off Osborne. The win ended Osborne’s 16-game winning streak which was the longest in Kansas.