Blue Valley (8-3) – Blue Valley has doubled its win total from last year and edged rival Blue Valley North, 21-20. Jake Wolff passed for 194 yards and two scores against one interception, and Chase Jans rushed for 114 yards and a TD. Other than Jans – who returned to the gridiron this year – BV had minus-23 yards in rushing offense. Coach Allen Terrell has been pleased with his defensive line, and they helped the Tigers with 12 tackles for loss. Junior nose guard Clayton Power delivered nine tackles, three for loss. Blue Valley has 13 all-time trips to the state title games.
Olathe North (9-2) – ON is the only Sunflower League team that advanced to the Round of 16. Olathe North held off Blue Valley West, 35-34, in overtime. Junior Arland Bruce IV has 37 carries for 210 yards and three touchdowns.
Derby (11-0) – Derby blew out Manhattan, 56-0, and has captured 24 straight victories. The Panthers are the only perfect team in 6A and has outscored opponents 575-94 and easily lead 6A in scoring offense and defense. Derby is two games away from possibly one of the best seasons in state history. Tre Washington is one of the best backs in the state, while Kevin Washington and Alex Conn are two of Kansas' best lineman. Tyler Dorsey carries that title on the defensive line as one of the best in Kasnas this season.
Topeka High (10-1) – Topeka High has received plenty of buzz since the summer that this could be a special season for the Trojans. Topeka High reversed the result from its loss to Junction City earlier this fall. The Trojans won 35-14 and are into the state semifinals for the first time since 1973 and have tied the furthest advancement in school annals. Ky Thomas, a Minnesota commit, has 7,337 career rushing yards, second all-time in the state of Kansas according to the Topeka-Capital Journal. Da'Vonshai Harden has been oustanding at the QB position as well as Geivonni Williams at WR.
Mill Valley (8-3) – Coach Joel Applebee has been highly pleased with his defense, a unit that contained previously undefeated De Soto in an 18-7 victory. MV and Aquinas, both Eastern Kansas League teams, have again emerged as the final two teams in 5A East. Mill Valley has won six straight games. MV lost, 28-21, to Aquinas in Week 4 this year. Cooper Marsh has had a breakout year at the QB position for MV. Ethan Kremer is one of the top defensive lineman in the state.
St. Thomas Aquinas (10-0) – Aquinas has won 22 straight games. The defending state champion Saints dominated Blue Valley Southwest, 47-20. Tank Young, one of the best backs in the state, had his usual solid night with 95 rushing yards and five touchdowns. However, Blake Anderson had a great game passing for an Aquinas program that is not typically known for passing. He completed seven of eight for 238 yards and two scores.
Wichita Northwest (11-0) – Northwest will face Maize in a rematch of last year's 5A semifinal game, a contest that NW won. Northwest has defeated Carroll in the regular season and playoffs the last two years. Notably, Malcolm Bell had a pick-six in the 35-18 victory. Northwest named Jared Givens the team's overall player of the game, Julius Bolden offensive, Bell defensive and kicker Carson Arndt on special teams. Northwest has preached effort all year with new defensive coordinator Marc Marinelli. Givens delivered seven tackles, four pass breakups and had two big touchdown-saving tackles. Bolden rushed nine times for 146 yards and two scores. Arndt was perfect on extra points and had great kickoff location. Arndt has earned NW's special teams player of the week honor 10 times. Reagan Jones has went for over 1,000 rushing and 1,000 passing for the second year in a row and is one of the best QBs in the state.
Maize (10-1) – Maize has matched last year's showing with a semifinal berth after the Eagles graduated Top 11 all-classes quarterback Caleb Grill. The Eagles defeated rival Maize South, 28-0. Camden Jurgensen continued his fine season with 19 of 26 passing for 179 yards and three scores. Caden Cox rushed 20 times for 123 yards and a TD.
Bishop Miege (9-2) – Miege, the five-time defending state champions, left no doubt that the Stags are again the heavy favorite in 4A. Tonganoxie had the first 10-0 start in school history, and featured 2,000-yard rusher Cooper Cunningham. However, Miege made the trip from Roeland Park to Tonganoxie and won 54-10. Phillippe Wesley returned a punt for a score, and Tim Dorsey, one of the best EKL QB's, threw for six touchdown passes in the game in his first year as a starter. Miege also features the highly talented Daniel Jackson, one of the best WR's in Kansas.
Paola (11-0) – Paola has battled recent injuries to quarterback Garrett Williams and running back Connor Hasz. However, the Panthers earned a 42-34 win versus Chanute and is back in the semifinals. Paola is 2-2 all-time in title games, the last one coming as a runner-up in '06. Paola has also made seven semifinal berths, the last one in '13. Flether AUde had over 200 yards rushing with three touchdowns in the game.
McPherson (11-0) – Kicker Drew Schrader made four field goals for the Bullpups in its 26-6 victory versus Arkansas City. McPherson is in the semifinals for the third straight year. The Bullpups have never made a championship game in school history. This marked the second consecutive year that the Bullpups beat AC in the quarterfinals. Kaleb Hoppes has had quite the year at QB for Mac in his first year as the starter while Mason Thrash has led the defense.
Andover Central (10-1) – Andover Central has doubled its win total from last year and earned a big win against Buhler. Shomari Parnell passed for 180 yards and rushed for 100. Xavier Bell had 122 receiving yards. Andover Central was 5-5 last season. It has been quite the season for the Jaguars.
Topeka Hayden (10-1) – Hayden beat Frontenac, 14-6, despite an early game injury to quarterback Johnny Holloway. Hayden is 3-4 all-time in state finals, and has eight other semifinal trips. Desmond Purnell had a huge night for the Wildcats, that included a 42 yard toucheown to give them their second score of the night.
Perry-Lecompton (8-3) – The Kaws graduated all-state dual threat quarterback Dalton Kellum, though have improved this season and are in the state semifinals after a 30-6 victory versus Prairie View. P-L is the only team to defeat Hayden with a 21-20 overtime victory in district play. This is the second-best showing in school history after a runner-up finish in '08.
Cheney (9-2) – Cheney is in the state semifinals for the first time and has a seven-win improvement from last year. In a deep Class 3A, Cheney's run has been one of the state's top surprises. The Cardinals won 38-7 at Scott City. Cheney scored on the game's opening kickoff on a 91-yard run by Seth Teague. Riley Petz is one of the best players in 3A this season as he had 161 offensive yards and a score for the Cardinals, according to Western Kansas News.
Andale (11-0) – No. 1-ranked Andale is back in the semifinals for the third straight year with a 42-0 victory versus Beloit. The Indians continue to lead 3A in scoring offense and scoring defense. Andale scored 28 points in the second half. The Indians will match up against Cheney, which was easily the closest game of the year for Andale. The Indians defeated Cheney, 29-22, in district play. Andale has back-to-back shutouts and four shutouts this year. Indians may be the heavy favorite at this point in 3A.
Nemaha Central (9-2) – Nemaha Central, known by their balance, earned a 44-28 win against Humboldt and joined 2016 as the only semifinal appearances since Nemaha Valley and Baileyville B&B joined together. NC has a four-win improvement over last year. NC led 6-0 after the first quarter and had the same score at halftime. Gavin Duryea rushed for 165 yards and four scores.
Riley County (9-2) – For the second straight year, Riley County lost to Mid-East League rival Silver Lake in the regular season, and then beat SL in the quarterfinals. Riley County's Avery Brokenicky, named a Pivot Player to watch last week, had two touchdowns in the 14-7 victory. He had 26 receiving and 31 rushing yards. Deon Barnes rushed for 92 yards.
Norton (8-3) – Norton has doubled its win total from last year and is in the semifinals for the first time since '09. The Bluejays held off Conway Springs, 34-32, in a home game. Conway Springs led 20-14 after the first quarter and 26-21 at halftime. The Bluejays were minus-3 in turnover margin, though outgained Conway Springs, 428-367. Norton quarterback Kade Melvin had 23 carries for 155 yards with three scores. Luke Wahlmeier finished with 19 rushes for 129 yards and a TD. Collin Koester has 16 carries for 183 yards and a score, Peyton Winter rushed for 102 yards and a TD. Now, Norton will get Hoisington at Travis Field. Norton lost, 38-7, to Hoisington for the district title.
Hoisington (11-0) – Hoisington has tied the best finish in school history with semifinal berths in '16 and '18. Quarterback Mason Haxton, noted a Pivot Player by Sports in Kansas last week, had 196 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Wyatt Pedigo set the Hoisington career rushing record and had 245 yards and five scores, according to Cardinal broadcaster Cole Reif.
Jackson Heights (9-2) – Jackson Heights had lost in the quarterfinals in '15 and '18, including a loss to Colgan last year. This time, JH is into the semifinals for the fourth time in school history. JH was runner-up in '71 and '83 and semifinals showing in '80. Coach Caleb Wick had a top-5 team throughout the season, and the Cobras proved it with the big wins against Valley Heights and Colgan the last two weeks. Cooper Williams is one of top running backs in 1A football season.
Centralia (10-1) – Centralia has won 10 in a row and owns a win against Riley County, a 2A semifinalist. The Panthers lost to Olpe in the quarterfinals last year, but flipped the result this fall. The senior class was part of a rare 1-8 season when they were freshmen. Since then, Centralia is 8-3, 8-3 and 10-1. The Panthers won titles in '09, '11 and '13 and second in '12. By Prep Power Index's statistical rankings, Centralia was actually slightly ahead of Smith Center for the top-spot in 1A. Kamble Haverkamp is one of the top players in 1A football for the Panthers.
Smith Center (11-0) – Smith Center beat Sedgwick, 21-10, in a well-played contest. Sedgwick showed it had improved and competed well with the two-time defending state champion Redmen, on a 21-game winning streak. Smith Center trailed 3-0 early but did not allow a touchdown until the final minutes of the game. SC has allowed just 69 points this year, another hallmark showing under longtime defensive coordinator Brock Hutchinson. Jayden Atwood has had a breakout season at running back with well over 1,000 yards this season.
Plainville (10-1) – Plainville and Smith Center will be in the state semifinals for the fourth straight year. The Cardinals won in '16, while SC captured the wins in '17 and '18. The Cardinals pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 53-26 victory at Inman. Plainville's only loss came against Smith Center, though Cardinal standout Jared Casey missed the contest with injury.
Eight-Man, Division I
Madison (11-0) – Madison moved to 11-0 behind its great depth with a 60-14 win versus Caldwell. Ryan Wolgram completed 9 of 9 for 119 yards and two scores, and Nasun Wasson rushed for 78 yards. Madison ran 36 plays for 337 yards and finished 3 of 3 on fourth down. Brome Rayburn opened the scoring with a19-yard touchdown run, and then Wasson caught a 25-yard scoring reception. Wasson delivered a 49-yard TD run, and Colton Fife had a 24-yard scoring run.
Canton-Galva (11-0) – C-G improved to 11-0, beat South Central in the quarterfinals for the second straight year with a 42-16 victory. The Eagles are well-known with QB Landon Everett and WR Tyson Struber. However, C-G had big games from its supporting cast, including Kinser Colgin and Brayden Collins. C-G is the heavy favorite to win it all headed into the semifinals. Their offense and defense, both, may be the best in each category of 8M-I football.
Leoti-Wichita County (10-1) – Wichita County defeated Little River, 74-38, and is into the state semifinals for the first time since 1990. Brant Douglas has continued to do a remarkable job in his first two years with the Indians. WC is 16-4 in his two seasons, including 10-1 this fall. In the five previous seasons, WC won just 12 games. Jesse Gardner accounted for six touchdowns in the victory. LR went 9-2 in the first season under coach Kevin Ayers.
St. Francis (11-0) – St. Francis dominated Hodgeman County, 50-0, in a game that was called early in the third quarter by the 45-point margin. SF has been highly fueled by its 42-0 semifinal loss to Central Plains in '18, an historically great defense. CP permitted just 34 points last year. SF has allowed just 42 points in an 11-0 start. CP had the best eight-man scoring defense in the last 15 years – as of now, SF has the second-best scoring defense in the last 15 years. Brady Dinkel and Shadyron Blanka combined for seven rushing touchdowns. SF's line has been considered the best in Division I through the year, and the unit played like it against the tradition-laden Longhorns. SF's Colton Neitzel and Jesse Baxter have paced the unit under head coach Nick Fawcett and longtime assistant coach/o-line Scott “Hoagie” Carmichael. He has served in many roles with SF, including formerly as principal, since 1982. St. Francis defeated Wichita County, 46-0, in district play.
Eight-Man, Division II
Hanover (10-1) – Hanover beat St. Paul for the second straight year with a 62-30 victory. The Wildcats will face Axtell in the state semifinals. Huge credit to coach Matt Heuer and his staff, which returned just one starter in Jonah Weber. Hanover, the three-time defending state champions, has made five straight state title games. The Wildcats are in the semifinals for the eighth straight year. This marks the second time in the last five falls Hanover has returned one or fewer starters on one side of the ball and still advanced to the semifinals, an incredibly difficult feat with the up-and-down nature of eight-man football. It also ended the oustanding career of Adam Albertini. Albertini shined in the game on both offense and defense, but Hanover was just too much.
Axtell (10-1) – Quinn Buessing passed for 257 yards and four touchdowns, and rushed for one score in the Eagles' 76-26 win versus Centre-Lost Springs. Axtell last made a title game in '93, which is the school's only state title. The Eagles have recently made the semifinals in '14, '15 and last year that yielded a loss to Hanover.
Osborne (11-0) – Osborne held off South Barber, 28-20. Similar to Hanover, credit the coaching staff and the players for another big win. This week, Osborne four-year standout running back/linebacker Darrien Holloway announced he was done for the year with injury. Sophomore Mason Schurr stepped with 12 carries for 142 yards and three scores. As as freshman, Schurr rushed 108 times for 855 yards and 11 scores. This year, Schurr is now up to 78 carries for 648 yards and 11 TDs. Schurr had its most rushes and yards since a season-opening 58-20 win versus Hill City. Senior Evan Garman, who did not play football last year, has delivered a breakout season with a team-high 122 tackles and paced the Bulldogs with 12 stops. Osborne is the defending state runner-up to Hanover. Osborne has also recently won state titles in '13 and '16. The Bulldogs have permitted just 122 points in an 11-0 start and is the only undefeated team left in Division II. Osborne allowed 268 points in an 11-2 season last fall.
Hutchinson Central Christian (10-1) – In the summer, a prevailing thought was that Central Christian might have the pieces in place for school history. CC was briefly ranked in the top-5 in early season and then took a loss to South Barber, just like 2018. After a run of 45-point margin victories against softer competition, Central Christian was impressive in a Week 10 win versus Minneola. On Friday, Central Christian beat Thunder Ridge, 64-60, and accomplished school history. CC (10-1) is into the semifinals for the first time ever. CC had reached the quarterfinals in '16 and '17 and the Round of 16 last year. Central Christian took a 58-20 lead before TR scored just before halftime on a Hail Mary. Thunder Ridge made a big second half comeback before Adam Hall sealed the win on an interception. Garrett Burns had 23 carries for 216 yards for the Cougars, and Caleb Lambert threw for 184 yards. TR reported that senior Reece Struckhoff threw for 106 yards with two scores against one interception. He also rushed 37 times for 305 yards and five scores. Struckhoff completed a remarkable season with 2,167 rushing yards and more than 140 tackles. He had 24 stops versus Central Christian.
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