Football in Kansas: Eastern Kansas League and Mid-Continent League headline Week 9; who else impressed?

Emporia impressed with a wild 83-64 victory against Topeka Highland Park in the Class 5A East bracket.


Big week for the Eastern Kansas League and Mid-Continent League

Unlike most of the regular season, Week 9 has few intra-conference matchups. League strength is often showed during this week.

That occurred when the weekend showcased the depth of two tradition conferences: Eastern Kansas League in 4-6A, and Mid-Continent League in 2A, 1A and Eight-Man, Division I. The conferences were so deep this year that no team in the EKL or MCL went undefeated in league play.

Those two leagues consistently play for state championships. The conferences pulled off several signature wins, including a couple of upsets and historical victories.

The Eastern Kansas League, generally known as the state’s top conference, finished 7-1. All the wins came by at least 28 points. St. Thomas Aquinas, Bishop Miege and St. James Academy are ranked in the top-three in 4A. They cruised, notably SJA in a marquee 35-8 victory against Basehor-Linwood.

As well, Blue Valley West defeated high-powered Shawnee Mission Northwest, 52-28. SMNW featured one of the state’s top statistical players with Malik O’Atis.

One-win Blue Valley North had the lone loss with a 26-23 defeat against Olathe North.

Overall, the higher seed finished 16-0 in 6A, 13-3 in 5A and 12-4 in 4A. Two of the lower-seeded teams that won came from the EKL: 4A No. 10 St. James and 5A No. 11 Blue Valley Southwest. The Eastern Kansas League is 13-6 in non-EKL games this fall.

The Mid-Continent League went 9-3 overall, including five bracket wins in 11-man, and three in 8-Man. (Class 2A TMP also captured a non-bracket Week 9 game).

In 2A, Russell moved to 6-3 with a 58-7 home win against Cimarron. The game had a running clock in the second half. Russell, helped by a large class of seniors including quarterback Wyatt Middelton, running back Jacob Ney, wide receivers Jace Peerman and Jackson Cross, linebacker Cameron Farmer and specialist Charles Krug, won its first playoff game since 1979.

Huge turnaround for coach Christien Ozores. Russell has its first winning season since 2003. (More on Russell at SIK in the coming days). Russell’s starters just played in the first half.

Middleton completed 9 of 12 passes for 228 yards with five passing touchdowns. Peerman finished with four catches for 103 yards and three touchdowns. Roman Hernandez has emerged as a dominant player. He is likely a first team all-state player on defense. Hernandez has been unblockable with five tackles, three sacks, and three tackles for loss.

MCL’s Norton won at Lakin, 28-14, in 2A. Plainville was 3-5 and Trinity Catholic had lost one contest. Plainville won 23-17 in overtime on a touchdown from standout senior running back Kyle Werner in a 1A playoff game. The Cardinals, with its veteran coaching staff of Grant Stephenson, Justin Casey and Ryan Becker, has not allowed more than 27 points since Week 1.

In the eight-man ranks, MCL’s Hoxie won a toss-up game at Ell-Saline, 44-12. Both teams entered 6-2.

WaKeeney-Trego has quietly won five straight contests after a 1-3 start. All-state back/returner James Kriegh left the team after Week 1. Trego has averaged 59 points a game in the last six contests, and beat a solid Sublette squad, 50-26.

Trego senior quarterback Owen Day passed for 144 yards with a score and rushed for three touchdowns. Junior Nolan Kinderknecht finished with 30 touches for 179 yards and a score.

4-6A lowest seeded teams left:

6A No. 8 East Blue Valley West (4-5)

6A No. 8 West Wichita East (6-3)

5A No. 14 East Emporia (2-7) – Bobby Trujillo, Emporia’s great two-way player, rushed for 301 yards and nine touchdowns. EHS defeated much improved Topeka Highland Park in a battle of former Centennial League foes, 83-64. Entering the game, the Spartans had scored 142 points.

5A No. 11 East Blue Valley Southwest (4-5)

5A No. 9 West Kapaun Mt. Carmel (5-4)

4A No. 9 West Rose Hill (4-5)

4A No. 10 West Arkansas City (3-6)

4A No. 13 West Winfield (2-7) – upset Wellington, 31-28, in overtime

Also notable:

SIK’s Bethany Bowman was at 5A’s Valley Center’s 34-27 win against Maize South. Senior receiver/defensive back Max Preheim had a receiving score and a huge late interception. Under coach Scott L’Ecuyer, Valley Center is 7-2 and has its first playoff win since 2016. Senior linebacker Cameron Bowyer has collected 90-plus tackles. Dai’Mont Mucker recorded three rushing scores and a receiving touchdown.

Class 2A Council Grove has its well-publicized turnaround after one win in 3A last year. CG won the first playoff game in school history with a 48-8 home win against Fredonia. The Braves are 7-2 and have matched the most wins since 1987, per Kansas Football History.

Eight-Man, Division I Moundridge (6-3) defeated Central Burden,48-44, and has its first winning season since 2008 and first playoff victory since ’09. Moundridge has won four in a row, including by eight, by eight in double overtime against Goessel, by 40 and by four.

The Western Athletic Conference’s top three teams of 6A Garden City (7-2), 5A No. 3 Hays High (8-1) and 5A Great Bend (7-2) continues to be impressive. GB has won seven straight. Hays High lost likely all-state running back Malik Bah to an elbow injury in the first minute, though quarterback Kyreese Groen scored on the next play and accounted for five touchdowns, per HHS broadcaster Dustin Armbruster. Hays High won 44-20 against Wichita West and allowed two late touchdowns with backups in the game.

Eight-Man, Division I, District 2 has been considered the classification’s best district all season. All four teams, No. 4 Burlingame (8-1), No. 5 Chase County (8-1), Lyndon (7-2) and Madison (6-3), advanced.

Lyndon bested previously undefeated West Elk, 42-38, after it held off Burlingame, 60-59, on a last-second two-point conversion in Week 8. Lyndon is 4-1 in one-score games this fall. Lyndon junior lineman Kaedin Massey (6-foot-8, 255) picked up a Nebraska offer and has four Power 5 offers. The District 2 quartet has combined for one non-district loss.

Class 6A

Wichita East quarterback DaeOnte Mitchell delivered four total touchdowns, two passing and two rushing, in a 34-0 win against Lawrence Free. East has reached the Round of 16 for a third straight season. Mitchell has rewritten the East passing record book. As well, the East defense delivered its first shutout against a non-City League team since a 21-0 victory against Dodge City in Week 2 of 2007, according to Kansas Football History.

Wichita Northwest quarterback Jayce Glasper finished with four touchdowns – two passing, two rushing. No. 4 Northwest rolled over Wichita Southeast, 62-0.

In the summer, SIK posed the question: could Washburn Rural be this year’s Blue Valley Northwest? Last season, BVNW enjoyed the biggest one-year turnaround by a 6A state champion in Kansas history. Rural (7-2) earned a quality 36-0 win against Dodge City. Standout quarterback Branton DeWeese finished with four passing scores and a rushing touchdown. Wide receiver Titan Osburn had three catches for 117 yards and three scores. Running back Ma’kenttis Adams has back-to-back 200-yard rushing games with 25 carries for 203 yards.

Garden City defeated Campus, 35-14, and has its most victories since 2017, per Kansas Football History.

East Quarterfinals: Blue Valley West (4-5) at No. 4 Olathe North (8-1); Blue Valley Northwest (6-3) at Gardner-Edgerton (6-3); Blue Valley (5-4) at Olathe West (7-2); Olathe Northwest (6-3) at No. 5 Olathe South (7-2);

West Quarterfinals: Wichita East at No. 1 Manhattan (9-0); Junction City (7-2) at No. 3 Wichita Northwest (7-2); Lawrence (6-3) at No. 2 Derby (7-2); Washburn Rural (7-2) at Garden City (7-2)

Class 5A

No. 1 Maize continued to roll with a 63-0 win against Salina South. Maize scored 42 points in the first quarter. Avery Johnson, helped by Maize’s impressive offensive line, completed five of five passes for 164 yards and three scores. Johnson is Kansas’ top player, and a K-State commit. Jaylen Mason had 10 carries for 100 yards and a score. Wide receiver Bryce Cohoon, a Syracuse commit, had two carries for 80 yards and a TD. Maize’s defense held winless Salina South to minus-4 total yards.

Kapaun’s standout running back Omari Elias, who cleared 2,000 rushing yards last year, delivered 383 rushing yards and four scores. Elias entered Week 9 in the top-10 for all classes in rushing yards. Elias could emerge as a breakout recruit in the classification this off-season as he is just a junior. Nathan Fury and Louis Traglia are very impressive defensive players for KMC and of course all-state TE Will Anciaux (KSU committ) has been of the best ends in Kansas.

Great Bend had back-to-back winless seasons and opened 0-2. Since then, the Panthers have won seven in a row, including by seven in overtime, five, seven, and four in a wild 31-27 win against Goddard-Eisenhower. Cayden Scheuerman finished 10 of 16 for 102 yards, along with 17 carries for 184 yards and three scores. He also delivered three punts with a 35-yard average and a long of 55. Matthew Moeder has been one of the top linebackers in the WAC this year and in 5A. Braylon Council has been huge on offense as a receiver. What an improvement for the Panthers.

Bobby Trujillo of Emporia rushed for 301 yards and nine touchdowns in the 83-64 win over Highland Park on Friday for Emporia High, giving them their second victory of the season. It was their first victory since week one.

The classification seems very top heavy with a heavy favorite on each side: Mill Valley on the East and Maize on the West, making for some fun playoff battles between many times that have a shot to go deep that not a lot of people were talking about in the regular season. Always have to keep a serious eye on Carroll on the West.

East Quarterfinals: Shawnee Heights (5-4) at No. 2 Mill Valley (8-1); Pittsburg (6-3) at KC Sumner Academy (7-2); Spring Hill (5-4) at No. 5 De Soto (8-1); Blue Valley Southwest (4-5) at Emporia (2-7);

West Quarterfinals: Kapaun Mt. Carmel (5-4) at No. 1 Maize (9-0); No. 4 Bishop Carroll (7-2) at Hutchinson (7-2); Valley Center (7-2) at No. 3 Hays High (8-1); Great Bend (7-2) at Salina Central (7-2)

Class 4A

Rose Hill’s Teagan Cobb was among the state’s top kickers entering the contest. He finished three of three on field goals and five of six on touchbacks. Cobb averaged 40 yards on punts and scored 11 total points in a 23-6 win against Abilene.

Towanda-Circle continued its highly impressive turnaround. Quarterback Cooper Chadwell was highly efficient with 250-plus passing yards. Bonner Jeffries finished with three catches for 50 yards and two TDs. Cannon McCormack finished with 11 tackles, three for loss, along with 50-plus rushing yards and a touchdown. Circle improved to 7-2 after a 60-20 win against Independence.

Wamego has figured out they have two outstanding QBs this year with the early injury of Hayden Oviatt as Colin Donahue has turned into one of the best players in the classification this season along with big time targets in Chase Cottam and Hagan Johnson. Defensively Gannon Couture, Grant Larson, Dawson Tajchman and Drew Pettay lead the way for Weston Moody’s 9-0 squad. A lot of talented athletes in this school right now, a state golf title this fall along with a boys state cross country title over the weekend to go along with this football team and a lot of other good sports programs at the school.

Eudora has a ton of talent on this years team including Octavius Lyles, Jaden Hamm and Adrion Seals. Lyles has well over 1,000 yards rushing as one of the top backs in 4A. Hamm is committed to play at Arkansas. Jaiden Bender also has Division I offers. Braylen Hoobler and Kale Hammerschmidt lead the Cardinals in tackles this year. Do they have what it takes to hang around with a highly talented air attack of Bishop Miege and Mac Armstrong?

Chanute has a loaded class of juniors and seniors. Dagen Dean is perhaps the most underrated recruit in the state, if not the most underrated its certainly up there. Kaiden Seamster is a big time playmaker on both sides and Ty Leedy is pound for pound one of the best two-way players in the state. Eric Erbe is a polished senior quarterback that is one of the best in the class. Throw in Augustus Thuston and Bryan Jackett up front. There is a lot of talent to go around this group for maybe the best two years in a row Chanute football has ever had (2021, 2022). Nice work by HC Clete Frazell.

Louisburg is flying a little under the radar so far this season and will have their biggest test, by far, this week against Aquinas coming up. The Wildcats have been paced by Riley Van Eaton and Declan Battle out of the backfield for over 1,600 yards combined from the two. Ashton Moore, who has had a breakout year as a sophomore defensively, has also added some valuable carries. Mason Dobbins has great size and has 22 receptions for 351 yards.

Aquinas is led by standout all-state football player and wrestler Sean Carroll who continues to be one of the best players in the state. It is a little odd seeing Aquinas in the 4A level this season but the 4A East is likely a stronger bracket than the 5A East with St. James, Aquinas, Miege, Chanute, and Eudora all very talented squads. Serious talent in 4A football.

Coffeyville has shown a ton of improvement upfront this year under HC Deonta Wade. Kainen White is proving to be one of the better lineman in the classification this season.

Circle continues to impress and have one of the best 4A players in the state in Ty Smith. Cannon McCormack is one of the best linebackers in 4A this season and has been a tackle-machine as a junior. Cooper Chadwell has played well at quarterback this season but will need to limit turnovers in the postseason, but has shown the ability to throw for around 2,000 yards this season through nine weeks.

East Quarterfinals: KC Piper (6-3) at No. 5 Chanute (9-0); No. 2 Bishop Miege (7-2) at Eudora (8-1); No. 3 St. James (5-4) at Atchison (9-0); No. 1 St. Thomas Aquinas (7-2) at Louisburg (8-1)

West Quarterfinals: Rose Hill (4-5) at No. 4 Wamego (9-0); Andover Central (6-3) at Winfield (2-7); Arkansas City (3-6) at McPherson (8-1); Coffeyville (6-3) at Circle (7-2)

Class 3A

No. 3 Rock Creek continued the state’s most prolific offense. Dalton Whitworth finished 41 of 50 for 550 yards and seven touchdowns. Ethan Burgess delivered 16 catches for 158 yards and four scores. This season, Whitworth has 3,060 yards with 37 touchdowns and two interceptions. Should see some great quarterback play this week with Burgess of Rock Creek and Hesston junior gunslinger Hudson Ferralez.

The CNC finished 5-2 in Week 9 with victories by 3A No. 5 Girard, Galena, Pittsburg Colgan, Frontenac and Columbus. All five were favored to win. Girard completed its second straight perfect season after a 35-0 win against Parsons.

Frontenac’s Mario Menghini was a first team all-state player on the Raiders’ state runner-up squad in ’21. Menghini delivered 80 rushing yards and two touchdowns, along with eight catches for 212 yards and three TDs in a 35-15 win against Iola. All touchdowns came in the third quarter. He finished with six plays over 25 yards. Kal Terlip has stepped up as the first-year starting quarterback for the 6-3 Raiders. Terlip is 15 of 21 for 305 yards and three TDs.

Galena delivered another key win with a 38-13 versus Anderson County. The Bulldogs improved to 7-2 and has won six in a row. Tyler Little is a top-15 all-classes recruit, per recruiting industry leader 247. Little started on the offensive line as a freshman. Little is 6-foot-4.5, 245 and has played tight end, wide receiver, fullback, running back, offensive line, defensive end, and linebacker. He rushed for 210 yards. Dawson Mooney added 148 rushing yards and two scores.

Columbus has stepped up big over the last couple of weeks. Landin Midgett (100+ tackles) leads a defensive unit that has improved and is much better than their 4-5 record shows.

Wellsville has been very impressive this year with Willie Dorsey at quarterback and Nash Money at running back but their biggest test of the season will come against Topeka Hayden. Hayden is led by a very solid offensive and defensive line with their only loss coming to traditional 3A/4A power Holton.

Girard is 9-0 for the second consecutive year under HC Neal Philpot. The Trojans had a 35-0 shutout over Parsons on Friday night and have allowed just 8.9 points per game this football season. Only allowed 36 points over last six weeks.

Andale players won’t have impressive stats this season because they dont have to as they’ve been dominating competition in very, very limited playing time. The Indians averaged 13.4 yards per play on Friday on just 20 plays to win 63-0 as they’ve won 47 games in a row. The Indians feature Riley Marx, Noah Bruce, Cody Parthemer, Jack Kraus, Brayden Weber, Tegan Orth, Kelby Eck and Jonah Meyer, plus many more who have been some of the best players in 3A this season.

East Quarterfinals: Columbus (4-5) at Galena (7-2); No. 4 Topeka Hayden (8-1) at Wellsville (9-0); Frontenac (6-3) at No. 5 Girard (9-0); Bishop Ward (7-2) at No. 2 Holton (8-1)

West Quarterfinals: Hesston (7-2) at No. 3 Rock Creek (8-1); Pratt (7-2) at No. 1 Andale (9-0); Clay Center (6-3) at Wichita Collegiate (8-1); Cheney (7-2) at Scott City (8-1)

Class 2A

No. 3 Kingman remained undefeated and kept pace with No. 1 Southeast of Saline and No. 2 Nemaha Central. Those three have separated themselves in the classification. Carter Helm had two interceptions and four touchdowns. Kingman defeated Hillsboro, 49-7. The Eagles have allowed zero, six or seven points in the last eight contests. Kingman has wins against five teams – Cheney, Conway Springs, Hesston and Chaparral – that are still playing.

Council Grove’s win etched more records after the Week 9 win. Ace Monihen had 81 passing yards and 129 rushing yards. He accounted for five total touchdowns, three rush and two pass. He has 14 touchdowns and broke the school record for single season touchdown. Monihen also tied CG’s mark for single season TDs responsible for (total TDs and passing TDs) with 25. In Week 8, Loup Charlier broke the school mark for kickoff yards in a season that had stood since 1987. Holden Ziegler moved to first in single season tackles for loss (since 2013).

In a non-playoff game, Maur Hill’s Mark Harris finished 21 of 30 for 418 yards and four scores, along with 92 rushing yards and a touchdown. Harris had an interception and sack in a win against Norton. MH finished 3-6 with two on-field wins.

Riley County pulled one of Week 9’s biggest upsets with a 23-21 road win at No. 5 Silver Lake, its longtime Mid-East League rival. RC lost, 28-21, to Silver Lake in Week 1 and posted a 2-6 regular season.

Landon Boss of Osage City, Cooper Hajek of Nemaha Central and Grady Seyfert of Beloit are making a serious case for Top 11 (first, second or third 11) caliber players this year in Kansas depending on how well their postseason continues to go. The three have proved to be three of the best two-way players in the state this season. Also left in the playoffs highlighting the classification are Luke Gebhardt of SE of Saline, Holden Bass of Nemaha Central, Connor Deters of Nemaha Central, Trey Sommer of Humboldt, Logan Arasmith of Beloit and Nolan Freund of Kingman.

Quarterfinals: Council Grove (7-2) at Caney Valley (7-2); Riley County (3-6) at Sabetha (7-2); Humboldt (7-2) at Osage City (8-1); Rossville (5-4) at No. 2 Nemaha Central (9-0)

West Quarterfinals: Chaparral (7-1) at No. 1 Southeast of Saline (9-0); Russell (6-3) at Hoisington (7-2); Ellsworth (8-1) at No. 3 Kingman (9-0); Norton (6-3) at Beloit (7-2)

Class 1A

No. 5 Troy defeated Mission Valley, 59-14. Preston Christenson had four sacks in just two quarters. The Trojans improved to 8-1. Reagan Hartman threw six touchdowns to five different receivers. Troy has big-time receivers with Jerrit Norris (multiple-sport all-state) and Boden Benitz. Norris has tremendous upsize at the collegiate level with his 6’4″ size.

Smith Center’s Benjy Carr has taken a leadership role in the secondary. He has returned three punts for scores and stepped up as a receiving tight end. SC is 7-2 after a 64-12 win against Whitewater-Remington. SC has started to roll with five straight wins, all by at least 28 points.

Oakley defeated Medicine Lodge, 34-8, and moved to 6-3. It marked Oakley’s first game in three weeks after back-to-back teams forfeited.

Juniors Cooper Simmons and Tucker Harrell have been two of the best in the classification this year for St. Mary’s Colgan, a team nobody seems to be talking about in this classification. They’ve allowed just 13 points over the last six weeks combined and have three shut outs in a row.

Keller Hurla, Abe Huaracha and Kason Gomez have the Bears of St. Mary’s as a serious contender in the class as well. Much like Colgan’s (the other St. Mary’s school in the playoffs) schedule above, St. Mary’s is a serious contender in the class with their battle tested schedule.

East Quarterfinals: Jayhawk-Linn (8-1) at No. 4 Colgan (8-1); No. 5 Troy (8-1) at No. 3 St. Marys (7-2); Pleasanton (7-2) at No. 2 Olpe (7-2); Jefferson County North (6-3) at No. 1 Centralia (9-0)

West Quarterfinals: Marion (6-3) at Wabaunsee (8-1); Plainville (4-5) at Conway Springs (6-3); Smith Center (7-2) at Sedgwick (5-4)

Eight-Man, Division I

Chase County’s Mitch Budke continued his huge season and career with 269 rushing yards and five scores, along with 4 of 5 passing for 59 yard and a touchdown. Chase County rolled over Sedan, 54-6.

Macksville remains unranked at 9-0 after a 54-6 win against South Gray. Senior Ryan Kuckelman has 10 carries for 120 yards and four scores and had a passing TD. Senior Lance Lickiss had a 35-yard receiving score. Junior Ervey Traina paced with nine tackles, one for loss.

East Quarterfinals: Lyndon (7-2) at Moundridge (6-3); Wichita Independent (8-1) at No. 4 Burlingame (8-1); No. 5 Chase County (8-1) at No. 3 South Sumner (9-0); Madison (6-3) at No. 2 Little River (8-1)

West Quarterfinals: Quinter (4-5) at Meade (8-1); WaKeeney-Trego (6-3) at Hill City (8-1); Atwood-Rawlins County (7-2) at Macksville (9-0); Hoxie (7-2) at No. 1 Leoti-Wichita County (9-0)

Eight-Man, Division II

As SIK noted Friday, No. 5 Dighton (9-0) has defeated five teams that are in the Round of 16: Atwood, Quinter, Hodgeman County, Bucklin and Minneola.

Osborne opened with a 58-12 loss to Hill City and has since rolled with eight straight wins, including 56-6.

Minneola held off Kinsley, 68-50, in a wild game. Junior Eli Lang finished five of 10 for 95 yards with two scores against an interception. He rushed nine times for 119 yards and five scores. Junior James Littlewood rushed 15 times for 119 yards and a TD.

East Quarterfinals: Frankfort (4-5) at Lebo (7-2); Hanover (5-4) at No. 2 Canton-Galva (9-0); Hutchinson Central Christian (4-5) at No. 1 Axtell (9-0); Colony-Crest (7-2) at Osborne (8-1);

West Quarterfinals: Minneola (8-1) at No. 3 Victoria (9-0); Hodgeman County (6-3) at No. 4 Thunder Ridge (8-1); Bucklin (6-3) at Wallace County (6-3); Sylvan-Lucas (7-2) at No. 5 Dighton (9-0)


Deerfield defeated Western Plains-Healy, 52-7, and won its first playoff game since a quarterfinal run in 2008.

East Quarterfinals: Pawnee Heights (4-5) at Waverly (9-0); Peabody-Burns (6-3) at No. 4 Tescott (8-1); Natoma (5-4) at No. 1 Cunningham (9-0); Burrton (6-3) at Wetmore (7-2)

West Quarterfinals: Golden Plains (3-6) at No. 2 Ashland (7-1); Deerfield (5-3) at No. 5 Northern Valley (7-2); Moscow (4-3) at No. 3 Bird City-Cheylin (8-1); Tribune-Greeley County (5-4) at Ingalls (6-2)

This entry was posted in Football, High School. Bookmark the permalink.