Sports in Kansas: What impressed us after week three of the 2021 football season in Kansas?

Girard is 3-0 in 2021. Photo by Carolyn Eddington

By CONOR NICHOLL for Sports in Kansas w/ Chet Kuplen

Looking at the Week 3’s Football Impressions, including a 57-yard field goal, a 42-40 win between ranked eight-man teams, and a matchup of No. 1 Eastern Kansas League powers, plus history made for Atchison County and Yates Center, Ashland ends Cheylin’s 11-game winning streak in six-man. Notes, numbers and statistical standouts from 6A to Six-Man.

Class 6A

No. 1 Derby beat Bishop Carroll, 44-36. BC is ranked third in 5A. Derby is 6-0 in the series that started in ’16, though the games are generally close. Dylan Edwards had a key 59-yard run early to set up a touchdown for a 7-3 lead. Mercer Thatcher rushed for a pair of early touchdowns. Edwards also returned a kickoff 91 yards for a score, and then added a 63-yard touchdown run. Derby led 41-23 at halftime.

Blue Valley kicker Charlie Weinrich and Maize’s Cole Segraves are considered the state’s best two kickers entering this season. Weinrich is in his second year as a starter. He has a KU offer. Weinrich tied the all-Kansas state record for longest field goal with a 57-yard kick. He tied the mark from Blue Valley’s Mike Ross in 1993, and Shawnee Mission West’s Sean Simoneau in 1994. Blue Valley beat Lee’s Summit (Mo.), 67-36. Segraves had a 54-yard field goal last week.

Blue Valley Northwest is 3-0 for the second consecutive year under HC Clint Rider. It marks the first time they are 3-0 in back to back seasons since 1996 and 1997 (1994-1997 BVNW all opened 3-0). The Huskies, led by senior multiple sport star Mikey Pauley, are a major contender in 6A East. They take on defending 4A state champion St. James Academy this upcoming week and have beaten St. Joseph Central, Bishop Miege and Blue Valley to open up the 2021 campaign.

No. 2 Olathe North beat Lawrence Free State, 21-7. ON improved to 3-0. Free State had opened 2-0 after 0-6 last season. North has a backfield of talented lineman and is very solid up front on both sides.

In preseason, Dodge City first-year coach Glenn O’Neil said he wanted DC to have a quick start. The Red Demons had three winnable games to start and have opened 3-0. DC has outscored teams, 111-34. Dodge City was a KPreps Potential Breakout Team in the preseason after a four-win year last fall. Dodge City gets Bishop Carroll this week. Dodge City beat Wichita South, 35-16.

Undefeated teams: Blue Valley Northwest (3-0), Olathe North (3-0), Blue Valley North (3-0) on the East. Dodge City (3-0), Lawrence (3-0), Manhattan (3-0), Washburn Rural (3-0) and Derby (2-0) on the West.

Class 5A

Hays High senior running back Roy Moroni has been a consistent player throughout his career, though was nicked up last season and missed Week 1 because of illness. On Friday, HHS had its third straight dominant victory. Moroni rushed for 206 yards and four scores in the first half, per HHS broadcaster Dustin Armbruster. Hays High rolled over Liberal, 58-14. The Indians have 35-6, 51-0 and 58-14 victories this year. HHS has scored 51 points in the first half in back-to-back weeks. Jaren Kanak accounted for three touchdowns.

Wichita Northwest opened No. 1 in Class 5A, though is now 1-2 after a Week 1 loss to Bishop Carroll and a Week 3 loss to Kapaun. NW had a key fumble inside the 10-yard line versus KMC early.

Northwest led 7-0 and 10-7 at halftime, before the Crusaders came back with a big win. KMC outscored Northwest, 27-7, in the second half with the signature victory. The Crusaders are 3-0 after the 34-17 victory. Since Weston Schartz took over at the start of the 2020 season, KMC is 11-2. Before then, the Crusaders were 2-8 in the last 10 games.

KMC was 2-15 in the last 17 games in the Northwest series and had lost eight in a row to the Grizzlies dating back to a 26-6 win on Sept. 5, 2013. The Crusaders have a pair of highly winnable games the next two weeks before the Holy War rivalry game versus Bishop Carroll in what will likely decide the City League title.

Maize South improved to 3-0 with a 28-14 win versus Hutchinson. The Salthawks are 1-2. Brandon Lee tallied a key defensive touchdown, and Evan Cantu had a running score.

No. 5 Maize beat Newton, 54-10, behind 15 of 28 passing for 288 yards and three touchdowns from Avery Johnson. Daeshaun Carter rushed 16 times for 94 yards and a TD. Bryce Cahoon had two catches for 142 yards, both for scores. Maize is 3-0.

Andover defeated Salina Central, 28-19, for a big road win. Running back Max Middleton finished with 28 carries for 150 yards. In Week 2, Middleton delivered 26 carries for 221 yards and two touchdowns in a win against Arkansas City, the reigning Class 4A runner-up. Middleton cleared 1,000 rushing yards last year.

Nice to see the Kansas City-Kansas schools back in action after they did not play in 2020. K.C. Washington was unable to play in Week 1. Then, Washington beat Sumner, 16-14, in Week 2, and earned a 22-0 win versus KC Schlagle on Friday.

Spring Hill continued its turnaround with a 54-7 win at Ottawa. SH was 9-9 combined in the last two years. SH has its best start since 2001.

Garrett Aills delivered a rushing touchdown, a passing touchdown and picked off a pass. Salina South won 36-14 at Campus.

Mill Valley (3-0), Spring Hill (3-0), KC Washington (2-0) on the East. Hays High (3-0), Maize South (3-0), Kapaun Mt. Carmel (3-0) and Maize (3-0) on the West.

Class 4A

Class 4A No. 1 Bishop Miege defeated rival and Class 5A No. 1 St. Thomas Aquinas, 23-20. Miege had a passing touchdown on a controversial call where it appeared the receiver never had possession of the ball. Aquinas running back Sean Carroll rushed 36 times for 245 yards and two TDs. Aquinas finished with 375 rushing yards. Miege had 219 passing and 121 rushing. For Miege, Mac Armstrong finished 20 of 27 passing for 219 yards and a TD. Jaylen Burch had 16 carries for 63 yards and a TD. Christian Bowen-Webb had eight catches for 103 yards.

No. 2 Andover Central won its first two games by a combined six points. In Week 3, AC won at Eisenhower, 35-13. AC is highly experienced along the lines and helped Ashton Barkdull with a key 68-yard touchdown run that gave AC a 28-13 lead with 9:41 left in the game. Eisenhower led early before Barkdull scored on a 14-yard run. AC also had a pick-six in the game, and Kai Kunz passed for two touchdowns.

Paola’s Caden Rhamy finished with 19 carries for 147 yards, along with a pair of tackles for loss, a sack and a quarterback hurry. However, Tonganoxie earned a 17-13 victory.

Jaydon Sundgren finished with 25 carries for 182 yards and four touchdowns for El Dorado. The Wildcats beat Labette County, 51-7.

Wamego’s Hayden Oviatt delivered 218 passing yards and five touchdowns, along with 158 rushing yards and two TDs. Wamego held off Clay Center, 47-41. Wamego has played in seven overtimes so far this season. Oviatt is one of the states top junior multiple sport athletes.

Towanda-Circle’s Ty Smith delivered 14 catches for 244 yards and four touchdowns. Circle is 2-1 with a 42-35 win versus Augusta. Circle was 0-5 against Augusta since 2013. This marked the first win for Circle versus Augusta in ’12. Luke McGinnis recorded 364 passing yards and five touchdowns against zero interceptions with 66 percent completion.

Buhler won, 18-7, at Winfield after its two-point loss to Andover Central in Week 2.

Undefeated teams: Basehor-Linwood (3-0) is the only undefeated squad in Class 4A East. McPherson (3-0) and Andover Central (3-0) are undefeated in 4A West.

Class 3A

Pratt has been highly featured on SIK this season with its single wing offense, experienced line and backs Enoch Walton and Max Younie. Pratt was 5-13 in the last two years. This season, Pratt is 3-0 after a win versus Hesston. The Greenbacks have outscored opponents Hoisington, Mission Valley and Hesston: 68-18, 59-22, 36-7. Pratt was 1-8 versus Hesston in the last nine meetings.

Prairie View is 3-0 with coach Kyle Littrell. PV has averaged 42.7 points a game and permitted just 11 total points. PV has allowed just zero points in the first half. PV has 739 rushing yards and 1,000 total yards after three weeks. The offense is led by Damien Kline and Bodi Isenhower while the defense is anchored by Colton McCammon and Dakota Stogsdill.

No. 3 Cheney defeated rival Garden Plain for the second straight year with a 34-7 victory. The Cardinals have allowed just 21 total points. Cheney is 12-1 since the start of 2020 and 3-0 this year. GP is ranked fifth in 2A. Standout Cheney quarterback Harrison Voth delivered five total touchdowns. Cheney had nearly 500 yards of total offense. Voth is one of the most underrated prospects in Kansas at the position and could see his name heat up soon.

Smoky Valley was a projected turnaround team this fall. SV is 3-0 and has allowed 32 points after three games. The Vikings have three quality wins, including 14-8 against Hillsboro. Smoky Valley won three games all last season.

Hiawatha’s Ashton Rockey scored a touchdown in each facet of the game. He had a kickoff return for a touchdown, a 69-yard run on offense and a pick-six on defense. Hiawatha is 2-1 after wins versus Perry-Lecompton and Riverside the last two weeks. This is the best start after three weeks in five years. P-L was the back-to-back 3A state runner-up. Hiawatha beat Riverside, 55-0. Nice work here by Mike Downard.

Girard delivered another nice win with a 47-26 victory versus Columbus. The Trojans have its best start since 2007. Neal Philpot and the Trojans are really rolling offensively. Luke Niggemann is one of the most underrated QB prospects in the state and could open some eyes with his 6’4″ 190-pound size as a junior this fall.

Concordia, under head coach Jordan Echer, is 3-0 for the first time since 2011 with a 33-14 victory against Beloit. Concordia has continued with big performances from a variety of players, including running back Keyan Miller.

Riley County defeated longtime Mid-East rival Silver Lake, ranked No. 2 in 2A. RC beat Silver Lake, 22-14, with first-year coach Erik Willimon, a former longtime Falcon assistant.

Rock Creek is another under-the-radar 3A squad. RC beat 4A Louisburg, 35-28, after Marysville had cancelled. RC lost to Silver Lake (34-28) and Rossville (56-14), ranked No. 2 and No. 1, respectively. Gives you a pretty good idea of just how good the Mid-East League is. Dalton Whitworth was huge going 19-29 through the air with 286 yards (3 TD) as well as adding a rushing score of 27 yards.

Southeast of Saline continues with another impressive start and is 12-1 since the start of 2020. Luke Gebhardt was eight of nine for 189 yards and three touchdowns in a quarter and a half. SES beat Ellsworth, 72-6.

Chapman running back Eli Riegel enjoyed his third straight big game with 20 rushes for 280 yards. Riegel had more than 600 rushing yards as a sophomore and played in just three games in 2020. Chapman beat Abilene, 56-21, in the longtime rivalry. Chapman is 2-1 with a competitive loss to Holton, No. 5 in Class 3A. Riegel has 71 carries for 612 yards and seven touchdowns.

Holcomb quarterback Kaden Johnson finished 5 of 5 passing for 140 yards and five touchdowns in one half. Holcomb defeated Southwestern Heights.

Topeka Hayden’s Joe Otting, who has multiple Power 5 offers, delivered three sacks in a 39-6 win versus Topeka West.

Frontenac handled Colgan on Thursday night 46-12 which may be the largest margin of victory FHS has ever had over its longtime rival SMC. The Raiders are celebrating 100 years of football this season and have the second most wins in Kansas history behind Lawrence HS.

Undefeated teams: Caney Valley (3-0), Girard (3-0), Prairie View (3-0), Holton (3-0), Concordia (3-0), Riley County (3-0), Smoky Valley (3-0), Southeast of Saline (3-0), Andale (3-0), Wichita Collegiate (2-0), Cheney (3-0), Pratt (3-0)

Class 2A

Atchison County is 3-0 and has allowed just seven points in three weeks. AC has back-to-back shutouts for the Tigers and head coach Alex Thornburgh. AC is 3-0 for the first time since 2012. Kieran Courter delivered four carries for 111 yards and two touchdowns. He delivered a pair of catches for 20 yards with a touchdown. He had a 50-yard punt return touchdown, an 83-yard kick return touchdown and made two PATs. He is the first in school history to rush, receive, return a kick, punt for a touchdown and kick an extra point in school history. Atchison County rolled over McLouth, 58-0.

Eureka is 3-0 with first-year coach Bruce Munden. The Tornadoes have allowed just 18 points all year, including two shutouts. Eureka beat Bluestem, 44-0.

Thomas More Prep-Marian bounced back from its slight upset three-overtime road loss to Russell last week. TMP beat Plainville, 21-0, in Homecoming at Lewis Field Stadium. Bryce Seib rushed for two scores for the Monarchs. Plainville was ranked No. 5 in Class 1A. TMP is 11-3 in its last 14 games with three shutout victories. The Monarchs were 10-44 in their previous 54 contests before the turnaround, per the KFH database.

Undefeated teams: Eureka (3-0), Osage City (3-0), Wellsville (3-0), Rossville (3-0), Atchison County (3-0), Chaparral (3-0),

Class 1A

No. 3 Inman continues to roll and put up highly impressive numbers. Kendyn Blank has five carries for 122 yards and four touchdowns, along with a punt return score. For the season, Blank delivered 15 rushes for 356 yards and 10 scores. Inman’s Jace Doerksen finished eight of nine for 150 yards and four touchdowns. All year, Doerksen is 14 of 16 for 356 yards with seven touchdowns against zero interceptions. Doerksen is a four-year starter and the school record holder for single season passing yards. Inman led 72-0 at halftime and beat Sacred Heart, 86-0. Inman has now allowed a point all season while outscoring opponents 206-0 after three weeks. They are 3-0 for the first time in eight years (2013).

No. 4 Sedgwick continues to roll through its relatively soft schedule. The Cardinals beat Southeast-Cherokee, 65-6. Lance Hoffsommer, one of Kansas’ best quarterbacks, completed 17 of 24 passes for 360 yards and three touchdowns. He rushed nine times for 122 yards and three scores. Sedgwick is 3-0. Can the Cardinals be a major factor in the 1A playoffs this year? Still looking for their first ever semifinal appearance.

Undefeated teams: Olpe (3-0), Inman (3-0), Smith Center (3-0), Sedgwick (3-0)

Eight-Man, Division I

No. 5 WaKeeney-Trego won a thriller, 42-40, at Victoria, ranked second in Eight-Man, Division II. Both of these teams could end up in Newton for state championships. Significant experience on both sides.

WaKeeney is arguably the biggest surprise in Kansas this season. Huge credit to an experienced offensive line and its skill players: quarterback Owen Day, end Charlie Russell, running back James Kriegh, all-purpose threat Cole Feldt, and receiver Gunner Wilson. WaKeeney led the majority of the game, though Victoria scored just before halftime. Day was hurt in the Victoria contest last year and didn’t play the rest of the year. Russell, a first team all-state basketball player, came out for football again after he didn’t play last year. Day found Russell on a 4th-and-2 pass from its own 29-yard line that effectively sealed the victory.

 The Golden Eagles are 3-0 for the first time since 2016. Kriegh rushed for 147 yards and two scores. Russell also had a key interception on defense. Day finished with 263 yards of total offense with two passing and one rushing score. Victoria showcased its impressive depth when backup quarterback Thaddeus Wohler led two scoring drives when QB Grant Schoenrock and FB Nate Windholz went out with cramps.

Leoti-Wichita County, which lost to Trego in Week 2, bounced back with a 62-28 win versus Hill City. HC had come off a nice Week 2 road win versus Ness City and had jumped to No. 4 in Division I. Wichita County was ranked No. 4 in Division I after its big Week 1 victory versus Hoxie. Eight-Man, Division I, especially West, was expected to be parity-driven this fall and that has definitely been the case through three weeks.

In the East, No. 2 Madison rolled over Southern Coffey County, 68-0. The Bulldogs have won all three games by at least 46 points. Madison held SCC to nine total yards.

Spearville won 48-0 at Ingalls. Kolten Bennett delivered 14 carries for 201 yards and five touchdowns.

No. 3 Canton-Galva continued to dominate with a 50-0 win versus Washington County. C-G has won games 56-8, 60-6 and 50-0. On Friday, C-G led 44-0 at halftime in a game that was called in the third quarter. Jayden Ediger played quarterback for the Eagles instead of two-year starter Garrett Maltbie. He completed 5 of 10 passes for 163 yards and three TDs. Kansas State commit Tyson Struber delivered three catches for 73 yards and a score.

Chase County junior Mitch Budke rushed for 271 yards and five touchdowns. He had three two-point conversions, a passing touchdown and nine tackles. Chase County beat Valley Falls, 52-6.

Yates Center is 3-0 for the first time since 1969 with its 52-6 win versus St. Paul.

West Elk coach Chris Haag picked up career win No. 100 as the Patriots defeated Flinthills, 34-14. Former player & WE standout Isaiahh Loudermilk played at Wisconsin and made the Pittsburg Steelers squad earlier this year. Haag has coached at West Elk for 21 years and has set the school single season win total on multiple occasions.

Undefeated teams: Sedan (3-0), West Elk (3-0), Yates Center (3-0), Chase County (3-0), Madison (3-0), Canton-Galva (3-0), Bennington (3-0), Little River (3-0), Lincoln (2-0), Argonia-Attica (3-0), Medicine Lodge (3-0), Meade (3-0), WaKeeney-Trego (3-0)

Eight-Man, Division II

Osborne and Downs-Lakeside are just 13 miles apart. Both returned its top skill players. Osborne beat Lakeside, 58-8. Osborne senior Mason Schurr delivered nine carries for 201 yards and three TDs. Sophomore Doak Guttery completed six of nine passes for 92 yards with two touchdowns. Schurr also returned a punt 55 yards for a score.

No. 4 Axtell continues a big season from junior quarterback Isaac Detweiler. Axtell is 3-0 and Detweiler has 460 passing with eight touchdowns and 238 rushing with nine TDs. Axtell faces longtime district and league rival Hanover (3-0). The Wildcats are ranked No. 1 and the defending state champion. Axtell beat Rock Hills, 62-14, and Hanover rolled over Blue Valley Randolph, 68-0.

In a huge District 6 game, Caldwell improved to 3-0 and came back to beat Norwich, 36-34. Norwich led after each of the first three quarters. Norwich led 14-0 after the first quarter, 22-6 at halftime. Caldwell outscored Norwich, 22-12, in the third quarter, and the Bluejays tacked on a fourth quarter score and two-point conversion. Norwich won the yardage battle (plus-11) and was plus-1 in turnover margin. For the final touchdown, Caldwell junior Keiondre Smith had a 32-yard run, and then Jackson Risley ran in the two-point conversion.

This marks Caldwell’s second 36-34 win in its last four games after a playoff victory versus Central Plains in the postseason last year. Smith, featured on SIK last week, had another massive performance. He completed 5 of 12 passes for 120 yards with two touchdowns against one interception. Smith rushed 36 times for 200 yards and three TDs. Dawson Bristor recorded two catches for 89 yards, both for scores. Norwich quarterback Tray Schroeder accounted for three touchdowns.

Bucklin stayed undefeated with a 50-48 victory against Hodgeman County. The Red Aces have already ended three losing skids this year: winning the season opener, beating Spearville and beating Hodgeman County. Bucklin was 0-3 versus HC since ’04.

Undefeated teams: Hanover (3-0), Frankfort (3-0), Axtell (3-0), Thunder Ridge (3-0), Caldwell (3-0), Bucklin (3-0), Quinter (3-0)


No. 2 Ashland ended No. 1 Bird City-Cheylin’s 11-game winning streak with a 42-32 neutral site win in Deerfield. Ashland and Cheylin are loaded with sophomores. Cheylin has three sophomores in huge roles. Sophomore quarterback Logan McCarty went 18 of 30 for 395 yards and five touchdowns with an interception. McCarty had nine carries for 67 yards, along with 23 tackles and an interception. Pablo Bermudez delivered six catches for 102 yards with a touchdown and an interception on defense. Brady Ketzner delivered five catches for 108 yards and picked off a pass.

Undefeated teams: Natoma (3-0), Moscow (3-0), Cunningham (3-0), Ashland (2-0)

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