By CONOR NICHOLL for Sports in Kansas
Coach Kyle Littrell, a Persian Gulf veteran, has preached a strong running game and physicality with Prairie View football. Those mantras have helped the program to its best seasons since the 1970s. PV has started at least 3-0 for the third straight year and continues to rank on the cusp of the top-five in Class 3A.
Paced by senior back Bodi Isenhower, the Buffs have defeated Santa Fe Trail (42-7), Osawatomie (48-12) and Parsons (38-14). Last season, PV beat those teams by a combined score of 101-14, including a 41-14 victory versus Parsons. In 2018, PV lost in the playoffs, 38-23, to Parsons, the only other meeting in school history between the schools, per the Kansas Football History database.
Littrell is a Louisburg graduate who first served as an assistant for 11 years with his alma mater. Then, he led Louisburg for six seasons. Littrell has always had his players in pads from day one to maintain focus.
He has consistently churned out great running backs and lineman. Hunter Boone rushed for 1,386 yards in 2019. Boone graduated as Prairie View’s second all-time leading rusher in carries (420) and rushing yards (3,073), per the official Prairie View record book. Boone tied the school record for rushing yards with 36.
Last year, Otis Jacobs and Isenhower took over in the backfield. Jacobs rushed for 686 yards as a junior and had a big senior season before he signed with Coffeyville football. Jacobs sadly passed away last week and was honored at the game this past Friday. He was fourth in PV history with career yards per carry at 7.37. He finished his career with more than 1,500 rushing yards.
Isenhower rushed for 229 yards as a sophomore, and then moved into a bigger role last year with 832 rushing yards and 10 TDs. Last season, Littrell noted to SIK regarding Isenhower’s quickness, shiftiness and improved vision and physical play. PV averaged around 250 rushing yards a game in ’20. Prairie View returned Isenhower and key linemen Colton McCammon and Andrew Reynolds.
Littrell took over in ’17 and paced Prairie View to a 4-6 mark, a two-win improvement. The program had a four-win bump to 8-2 the following year. In ’19, PV finished 10-1, the most wins since an 11-0 state title team in 1970. Last year, Prairie View delivered an 8-2 record and lost to Perry-Lecompton in the playoffs in both years. P-L is the back-to-back 3A state runner-up.
Last week, Prairie View picked off a pass on the opening drive, and Isenhower delivered a rushing touchdown. Then, Zach Thies had a 60-yard touchdown reception from Damien Kline for a 15-0 lead with 38 seconds left in the first quarter. Isenhower tallied a nine-yard TD run for a 21-0 lead with 9:59 left in the first half. Isenhower had TD run for a 29-0 halftime lead.
Overall, Isenhower finished with 15 carries for 150 yards and four touchdowns. He also broke up four passes and is a physical lead blocker at 160 pounds. Kline went over 100 passing and rushing yards. The 5-foot-7, 160-pound Isenhower is one of the stronger pound-for-pound players in Kansas with a 260 bench, 325 squat and 215 clean.
In Week 1, Isenhower delivered 131 yards and two TDs. Colton McCammon has been the standout on defense with 19 tackles after three weeks along with 17 from Dakota Stogsdill. Garrett Cullor and Zach Theis have each added ten. Stogsdill has two interceptions.