By CONOR NICHOLL
Kenneth Massey is a longtime national statistician with well-known rankings. Massey’s formulas incorporate strength of schedule and quality of opponent, among other factors for an in-depth look. He has long ranked professional and college leagues, along with high school football for every state.
Last Friday, Massey noted 25 upsets in Week 3 of the Kansas high school football season. There were three significant upsets: Sterling defeated Sedgwick, 26-20; Valley Center beat Eisenhower, 7-6; and Lakin with a win against Goodland, 45-20.
The biggest upset was arguably the Lakin victory. Massey listed Goodland as a 21-point favorite with an 80 percent chance of winning. Sedgwick was also a 21-point favorite with 77 percent chance of winning, while Eisenhower was favored by 19 points.
Lakin rushed for 523 yards and delivered 588 yards of total offense. It marked the breakout game for sophomore Colter Oldham after a highly decorated freshman season. He had the majority of yards in the first half and finished with 13 carries for 278 yards and three scores.
In the first two weeks, Class 2A Lakin had defeated Stanton County (36-0) and Syracuse (38-8), a pair of long struggling programs. Stanton County has not scored this season. Syracuse has lost 11 in a row.
Class 3A Goodland had played competitive games against a pair of Colorado programs: Wray (36-16) and Burlington (33-16). Wray is a traditional power with an 18-6 mark in its last 24 games. Goodland had several key players missing in the contest.
Lakin, though, has a penchant for upsets with veteran coach Chris Bamberger. The Broncs are currently 42-28 in eight seasons with Bamberger. He stands at 82-42 overall, including an undefeated state title at Ness City. Bamberger was a standout on Jetmore state teams and played at Kansas State.
Lakin improved to 3-0 this season after a 5-4 mark last fall. In 2021, the Broncs defeated Ellis, 20-8, in another game that Massey statistically labeled Lakin the underdog. Two years ago, Lakin was a one-point favorite versus Ellis and won 18-12.
In ’20, Goodland defeated Lakin, 23-17. Last year, Lakin won 22-14. Lakin improved to 2-4 all-time versus Goodland, per Kansas Football History.
After 2021, Lakin graduated its quarterback and 79 percent of its rushing yards. Oldham delivered 43 carries for 178 yards and two scores. He was second with 45 tackles. Lakin graduated four of its top-six tacklers.
Oldham, well-known for his junior high track success, had a well-decorated freshman season. He was all-league at some level in football and basketball and delivered four top-10 showings at the state track meet in the spring. Lakin is at rival Cimarron (0-3) on Friday.
After three games, Oldham has 32 carries for 444 yards and six rushing scores. Sophomore Armando Salcido has 18 carries for 280 yards and five TDs. Junior Maddux Beltran has delivered 31 rushes for 188 yards and four scores.
The top-five tacklers are all non-seniors. Oldham has 28, junior Javion Granado and sophomore Ross Rider with 17, and sophomore Adrik Gomez-Esquibel with 12. Oldham already has an interception, fumble recovery and three forced fumbles.
Two of Lakin’s all-time best players, Hadley Panzer and Kayden Christiansen, continue to perform well in college, too. Panzer, Lakin’s first-ever Shrine Bowler, starts on the Kansas State offensive line.
Christiansen is a key fullback for 3-0 Bethel College. He has 16 carries for 95 yards. Last week, in a game that finished nearly 24 hours after it started because of weather, Bethel won a huge KCAC game, 30-24, at Kansas Wesleyan. Bethel is ranked No. 22 in NAIA, KW No. 9. It marked the highest ranked program Bethel has ever defeated, and the first win over KW in 14 years. Christiansen had a 51-yard run.