By CONOR NICHOLL
Meade currently has the second-longest current streak in eight-man football at seven games. The Buffaloes switched to eight-man last year and had some midseason struggles with COVID-19 cancellations, injuries and a challenging schedule.
Then, the Buffs finished the year with a 36-32 home win versus Hodgeman County, though didn’t earn a top-four district slot. In Week 9, Meade defeated Stafford, 60-0, in a non-playoff game. Meade finished 4-3.
This year, Meade, with new coach Bryan Luetters, were a preseason KPreps Potential Breakout Team. Multiple coaches told SIK in the summer they expected the Buffs to be a strong team. Meade returned more than 95 percent of its offensive production.
Meade, just outside the Division I top-5 rankings, is 5-0 with a dominant start. Meade opened with home wins versus Coldwater-South Central (40-20) and Ingalls (52-0). Then, Meade won at Satanta (46-0) and at Spearville, 46-14. Last week, Meade defeated South Gray, 44-6.
South Gray was 3-0 entering the contest. Spearville is 3-1 when not playing Meade this year. Meade’s game was cancelled against Spearville last season and lost, 30-12, to South Gray.
This week, Meade (5-0, 2-0) is at Leoti-Wichita County (4-1, 2-0) in a big Eight-Man, Division I, District 7 contest. The winner will have a significant advantage for the district title. District 7 went a combined 12-5 in non-district games. Last year, District 7, with the same teams both seasons, was historically great with one regular season non-district loss.
Meade and Wichita County is one of many big eight-man games this week.
Several undefeated Division I teams face other. In District 1, Sedan and Yates Center are both 5-0 and play Friday. In District 2, Chase County and Madison are each 5-0 and face off.
In District 4, Little River is 5-0 with a pair of one-score victories. LR has won 13 straight games, the longest current run in eight-man football. In District 5, Medicine Lodge is 5-0. Surprise WaKeeney-Trego is 5-0 in District 8.
In Division II, Minneola (3-1, 2-0) is at Bucklin (5-0, 2-0) is a top game in the southwest Kansas area.
In the South Gray win, back/middle linebacker Korben Clawson and lineman Cullen Lumry were the team players of the game. Clawson and Brayden Norris were the players of the game versus Spearville. Wide receiver/cornerback Grayden Stapleton, all-purpose threat/cornerback Brock Keith and quarterback/free safety Torren Haynes were players of the game Sept. 10 versus Ingalls. Haynes, Clawson and Norris picked up the honors in Week 1.
Clawson has 115 carries for 799 yards with nine touchdowns. Haynes has completed 15 of 34 passes for 227 yards with three scores against four interceptions. Haynes has been explosive with 9.3 yards per carry – 57 carries for 529 yards and five scores.
Stapleton paces with seven catches for 120 yards and two scores. Clawson leads with 52 tackles. Junior Brayden Norris has 47 stops with three fumble recoveries. Junior Kasch Jackson has two interceptions. Senior Cullen Lumry has three sacks.
Meade has 7.6 yards per carry and 7.5 yards per play. The Buffs have already rushed for yards than it did all last year (1,135). Clawson ran for 763 yards and 12 TDs last year.