By CONOR NICHOLL
One of the best Fridays in recent memory yielded a bevy of top games across the classes. Several top teams fell, including the No. 5 squad in 6A and No. 1 and No. 2 ranked teams in Class 4A. Plus, a number of milestones and records, including Blue Valley North QB Henry Martin and La Crosse’s Colby Stull.
Perhaps most impressively: the scoring defense numbers for 3A Southeast of Saline (12 points allowed this season, four shutouts), 2A Thomas More Prep-Marian (four straight shutouts), 1A Olpe (12 points allowed all year, five shutouts) and 1A Inman (three points permitted in ’21).
Plus, a number of historical notes for Wichita East, Spring Hill, Axtell, Bucklin, Natoma and Cunningham. And – to top it off – Marmaton Valley beat Oswego for the highest scoring game in 8-Man state history.
No. 1 Derby is the only undefeated team in Class 6A West. The three-time defending state champions are 5-0. The Panthers dominated Campus, 70-21.
No. 2 Blue Valley Northwest is 6-0 with a Week 1 win versus Blue Valley and defeated Blue Valley North last Friday. Northwest also has wins against Bishop Miege and St. James Academy. Northwest is 11-2 since the start of 2020. The Huskies were 2-16 in ’18-19. Northwest earned a 35-21 win versus Blue Valley North.
Blue Valley North quarterback Henry Martin was expected to break several state passing marks this season. Martin did so with 637 completions, two ahead of Will Schneider. In 27 starts, Martin is 637 of 984 (65 percent) for 7,411 yards with 93 scores against just 14 interceptions.
No. 3 Blue Valley has averaged 41 points a game with 275 rushing yards a contest for seven yards a carry. Blue Valley came back to beat Bishop Miege, 31-28. Miege is ranked No. 1 in 4A. Michael Solomon scored on a 10-yard touchdown run with 23 seconds left. Dual threat quarterback Greyson Holbert again cleared 100 rushing and 100 passing yards in a game. BV coach Allen Terrell has always taken the long-range view with his program and not focused on W-L, especially early. Blue Valley lost to Blue Valley Northwest in Week 1 and has not lost since. Miege had a blocked 47-yard field goal on the game’s final play.
Wichita East had encountered some first-half of the season struggles after a breakout 2020. East sophomore quarterback Daeonte Mitchell threw for 275 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for an 85-yard score. East rolled over Garden City, 50-7. GC had been a nice turnaround story this year with a 4-1 start. East was 0-9 all-time versus Garden City before the game, per the Kansas Football History database. East is 3-3 with all three victories by at least 43 points.
On Thursday, Olathe North rolled over Shawnee Mission East, 56-14. In its five victories, Olathe North has permitted just 37 total points.
Olathe Northwest defeated Shawnee Mission Northwest, 35-28, in overtime. Northwest, a KPreps Potential Breakout Team in the preseason, is 4-2 and has played five one-score games. NW was 3-4 last season and has already bettered its win total.
Washburn Rural delivered a strong defensive performance. The Junior Blues delivered a 5-1 record and the best start to a season since 2015. Rural beat No. 4 Manhattan, 21-14. Both teams are 5-1.
Dodge City’s Emmanuel Aguilar, who kicked a winning field goal for Cimarron as a sophomore and is a top-5 kicker for all classes, is now 7 of 8 on field goals this year. He delivered a 50-yard kick in Dodge City’s home loss to Hays High.
Undefeated Teams: Blue Valley Northwest (6-0), Derby (5-0)
In likely the biggest Holy War game ever, No. 1 Bishop Carroll defeated No. 2 Kapaun, 27-21. Matt Holthusen tied the game at 14 with a one-handed sliding touchdown catch, his eighth score this year. The game was moved from Stryker Complex to Cessna Stadium to accommodate a larger crowd. Senior quarterback Chase Smarsh connected with brothers Luke and Matthew Holthusen for touchdown passes and added a rushing score. Carroll has won 25 straight games versus KMC.
Spring Hill has already won its most games since the mid-‘90s is the lone undefeated team in Class 5A. SH is 6-0. Spring Hill won, 27-21 in overtime at Tonganoxie.
In the Battle for Maize, Maize beat Maize South, 49-27. Both teams are 5-1. Maize has won five straight in the series, mainly because of its offensive firepower. That occurred again Friday. Avery Johnson threw for 129 yards and a score. Daeshaun Carter finished with 24 carries for 206 yards and three TDs. Maize South’s Evan Cantu, the state’s top 11-man rusher, has 40 carries for 232 yards and two TDs.
Andover, a KPreps Potential Breakout Team in the preseason, had posted top-6 Class 5A scoring defenses the last two seasons. The Trojans brought back veteran running back Max Middleton and veteran coach Ken Dusenbury is known for offense after a successful run at Garden Plain. Andover has won five straight and stands at 5-1. The Trojans have just a three-point loss to Maize (5-1) in Week 1. Middleton has 987 rushing yards and eight scores. Andover has posted three shutouts.
Class 5A West is incredibly close, with many of the teams going to play each other in the next two weeks. Currently Hays High (5-1, plus-59) is in first and gets Maize South (5-1) and Wichita Northwest (4-2) the next two weeks. Hays High, Andover, Kapaun Mt. Carmel, Maize South, Maize and Bishop Carroll are all 5-1. Wichita Northwest, Salina Central and Wichita Heights are 4-2.
With a Clemson coach in attendance, Clemson commit and Hays High quarterback Jaren Kanak rushed for three touchdowns and helped the Indians bounce back from an early 10-7 deficit. Hays High earned a big 39-17 road win versus Dodge City. Senior linebacker Gavin Meyers also enjoyed a big contest defensively, per Indian broadcaster Dustin Armbruster. HHS is 5-1.
Salina Central’s Logan Losey caught a pair of touchdown passes as the Mustangs pulled a 21-14 upset versus Andover Central, ranked No. 2 in 5A. SC has won three in a row and stands at 4-2.
No. 3 Mill Valley beat Olathe West, 47-32. OW is ranked fifth in 6A. Olathe West coach T.J. O’Neill, the only head coach in OW history, was a former longtime assistant at Mill Valley. Hayden Jay passed for four touchdowns.
Eisenhower senior Cade Friend finished with 12 catches for 212 yards and three scores. Eisenhower won, 33-14, at Arkansas City and improved to 3-3.
Undefeated Teams: Spring Hill (6-0)
No. 1 Bishop Miege and No. 2 Andover Central both took losses to bigger schools.
No. 5 Buhler defeated No. 3 McPherson, 42-30. Buhler running back Sam Elliott rushed 30 times for 260 yards and three scores. Elliott is a returning conference offensive player of the year and rushed for nearly 2,000 yards last year.
No. 4 Basehor-Linwood is the lone undefeated squad in Class 4A with a 6-0 record. The Bobcats led 21-0 after the first quarter, 40-0 at halftime and defeated K.C. Washington, 54-0. Brady Garrison completed 10 of 11 passes for 176 yards and three scores. Zack Sisemore rushed 13 times for 172 yards. Brant Wilson finished with five catches for 104 yards.
Wamego’s Chase Cottam finished with seven catches for 135 yards and four TDs. Quarterback Hayden Oviatt finished with 185 passing yards and four scores. Oviatt, who led his league in rushing and passing last season, delivered 656 rushing and seven scores. He has passed for 1,050 yards and 19 TDs. Wamego is 5-1 and has played in three overtime games.
Undefeated Teams: Basehor-Linwood (6-0)
No. 1 Andale delivered 96 points against Wichita Trinity and won its 31st straight game, the longest current run in Indian history and the current best winning streak in Kansas.
No. 2-ranked Wichita Collegiate improved to 6-0 and is two weeks away from its big district and league contest with Andale. Standout dual threat quarterback Wesley Fair completed 10 of 14 passes for 148 yards and two scores. He delivered 56 rushing yards and a touchdown. The offensive line paved the way for four rushing touchdowns from four different backs.
No. 3 Cheney improved to 6-0 with a 25-14 win versus Holcomb. Cheney is 15-1 since the start of last year. Harrison Voth ran and passed for a score.
Hesston sophomore Hudson Ferralez finished 27 of 41 for 439 yards with six touchdowns against zero interceptions in a 54-0 win versus Halstead. Senior Max Werner delivered seven catches for 144 yards and a score. He rushed four times for 60 yards and two scores. Werner paced Hesston in tackles. Junior Jake Proctor delivered 10 catches for 166 yards and two scores.
Prairie View’s Peyton Doty kicked a 25-yard field goal with seven seconds left for the 23-20 victory against Iola. PV trailed Iola, 20-6.
Girard is 6-0 for the first time since 1999 when it posted an 11-1 record. The Trojans were a combined 8-11 the last two seasons. Girard, Concordia (6-0) and Pratt (5-1) have been 3A’s top turnaround squads.
Chapman’s Eli Riegel continued to be one of Kansas’ best running backs and all-purpose players. Chapman improved to 4-1. He finished with 22 carries for 179 yards and returned a kickoff 90 yards for a score. Chapman is averaging 324 rushing yards a game.
Concordia is 6-0 for the first time since 1998 after a 32-6 win versus Marysville. Concordia had been a combined 10-9 in the last two years after three losing seasons in a row from ’16-18. The Panthers are at Riley County (6-0) next week in a marquee contest. Cav Carlgren scored in four different ways. He returned an interception for a touchdown, threw an 18-yard passing score, rushed for a 69-yard touchdown and delivered three rushing scores. Keyan Miller, among the state’s top rushers, delivered 22 carries for 216 yards and a touchdown.
Bishop Ward’s James Jarrett delivered 115 rushing yards and four touchdowns in the first half. Ward is 3-3 after a 34-6 win at Baldwin. A 4-5 mark or better for Ward is definitely possible. Ward has won its most games since a 6-3 mark in ’09.
Parsons has improved to 4-2 with second-year coach Jeff Schibi. Parsons was 3-6 last season and 2-7 the year before. Parsons won at Caney Valley, 28-20.
Galena improved to 5-1, 5-0 against Kansas teams. Galena beat Columbus, 50-28. Head coach Beau Sarwinski is 117-40 in 15 years. Galena is 5-1, 3-0 in District 1. The Bulldogs received 21 carries for 243 yards with two touchdowns and three two-point conversions from standout quarterback Brett Sarwinski.
Southeast of Saline has been incredibly dominant with a 6-0 start and outscored teams a combined 327-12. SES beat Goodland, 53-0. Junior Luke Gebhardt completed 11 of 12 passes for 186 yards with a touchdown. Senior Matthew Rodriguez rushed eight times for 100 yards and four scores.
Undefeated Teams: Girard (6-0), Holton (6-0), Concordia (6-0), Riley County (6-0), Southeast of Saline (6-0), Andale (6-0), Wichita Collegiate (6-0), Cheney (6-0)
In a high-profile matchup, Wellsville continued to be one of the state’s biggest turnarounds with coach Mike Berg. The Eagles beat Osage City, 35-12, in a matchup of undefeated teams. Wellsville running back Nash Money finished with 196 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Osage City was ranked third in 2A, Wellsville fifth.
Wellsville returned four offensive line starters, including Eddie Lopez, Kaleb Green and Jake Berg, a first-year transfer from Baldwin. Wellsville has not allowed more than two touchdowns in any game this season. Wellsville was 4-5 last year. Wellsville had its first 6-0 start since 2011 when they finished 10-1. Wellsville is in control of District 2.
Atchison County’s Kieran Courter had 14 carries for 156 yards and two scores. Bricen Lee delivered 14 carries for 77 yards and a score. He finished 7 of 13 passing for 120 yards and two TDs. AC has clinched a winning season with a 32-13 road win versus Riverside. The Tigers are 5-1 and have its first winning season since a 5-4 mark in 2012.
Thomas More Prep-Marian delivered its fourth straight shutout with a 41-0 home win versus Southwestern Heights at Lewis Field Stadium. TMP (5-1) is at Cimarron (5-1) in a huge district game next week. The Monarchs received a career-high 219 passing yards with two touchdowns from junior Kade Harris, who was banged up and did not run the ball. Harris did not practice the majority of the week. Harris had just two incompletions and showed impressive touch on deep throws down the sideline.
Harris threw touchdown passes with Jace Wentling and Andrew Schwartz. Bryce Seib rushed for three scores and Wentling went over 100 receiving yards. Schwartz also picked off a pass. TMP’s defensive line continued to clog the middle with sophomore linemen Kendall Walker and Kolton Hagans, who combined for four tackles for loss.
Seib told SIK after the game that Walker and Hagans have “carried” the defense this year. Southwestern Heights running back Memo Flores, who rushed for 186 yards in Week 5, was held in check by the Monarchs, outside of a 57-yard run just before halftime ended.
Beloit, which opened the year ranked in 2A, has quietly worked its way back into the conversation. The Trojans are 4-2 after a 28-6 home win versus Norton. Beloit has losses to Southeast of Saline and Concordia, both 3A teams with a combined 12-0 record. Brennan Walker returned a kickoff 99 yards for a score, had a 17-yard touchdown reception, blocked a punt and recorded two sacks.
No. 4 Chaparral continued its surprise season with its pass-heavy spread offense. The Roadrunners defeated Belle Plaine, 56-21. Senior Wyatt Drouhard, who, as SIK reported last week as not played football since eighth grade, had a massive game. He completed 21 of 39 passes for 375 yards with seven touchdowns against no interceptions. Junior Jackson Swartz had four catches for 177 yards and three TDs. Senior Alec Pfaff had eight catches for 131 yards and three scores.
Undefeated Teams: Wellsville (6-0), Rossville (6-0), Chaparral (6-0)
No. 1 Olpe delivered another shutout in a quality, 35-0, win versus Jackson Heights. Olpe has five shutouts in six games this year and has allowed just 12 total points. Last year, Olpe delivered seven shutouts and allowed just 34 points all year, the fewest by a Kansas 11-man team since Smith Center in 2007. Olpe has won 18 straight games.
No. 2 Inman continues to dominate with a 60-0 win versus Ell-Saline. The Teutons are the only Kansas team that has not allowed a touchdown. Inman has permitted three points all year, just a field goal versus Plainville in Week 5. Inman’s offensive line is paced by experienced returning starters Christian Winsky, Grant Thimmesch and Dawson Mannebach. They have not allowed a sack this year. Inman has rushed for 288 yards a game and 11.3 yards per carry. Plus, Inman has its excellent skill player quartet of QB Jace Doerksen, RB Kendyn Blank and WRs Harrison Brunk and Tanner Heckel.
No. 3 Smith Center’s Jake Kirchhoff rushed for 198 yards and two scores. SC held off Mid-Continent League rival Plainville, 28-25. Smith Center has won eight straight versus Plainville, including the last three in one-score margins. Smith Center and Inman are two weeks away from its big matchup that will shape District 3 and 1A West.
No. 4 Sedgwick had probably its stiffest test before its big Week 8 road game at Conway Springs. The Cardinals won 56-14 at Whitewater-Remington, a 3-2 squad.
Pleasanton’s Karsten McKee delivered 208 rushing yards and four touchdowns, along with a 65-yard kick return for a score. McKee delivered 12 tackles and an interception.
Undefeated Teams: Olpe (6-0), Inman (6-0), Smith Center (6-0), Sedgwick (6-0)
Eight-Man, Division I
Marmaton Valley defeated Oswego, 106-98, in the highest scoring eight-man game in state history, per KPreps. That broke the previous record of Onaga’s 114-68 victory versus Valley Falls in 2016. Quincy Adams scored on a 33-yard touchdown run with six seconds left. The Iola Register reported that Quincy Adams rushed for 209 yards and five scores. Senior quarterback Garrett Henderson completed 21 of 28 passes for 249 yards and three TDs. Freshman Jaedon Granere accounted for eight touchdowns. Marmaton Valley, featured on SIK two weeks ago, has enjoyed a nice turnaround to 4-2. MV entered this year on a seven-game losing streak and had to forfeit its last three games because of lack of players. MV is a victory away from its first winning season since 2017.
In a matchup of undefeated teams, No. 2 Madison held off Chase County, 66-50. Standout running back Bryson Turner finished with 26 carries for 319 yards and seven scores. Madison had posted four straight shutouts entering the game.
Medicine Lodge, a two-win last year, is 6-0 for the first time since 2006. Indian quarterback Chance Winter, who started his career as an offensive line, has more than 1,300 yards and 25 scores. ML has two gigantic games with Argonia-Attica and Goessel the next two weeks that are expected to decide the top-three spots in its district.
Argonia-Attica’s Xander Newberry completed 7 of 11 passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns. He finished with 24 carries for 190 yards and five scores. District 5 is highly interesting with Goessel (4-2, 3-0), Medicine Lodge (6-0, 3-0) and Argonia-Attica (5-1, 2-1).
In a marquee matchup of undefeated teams Sedan and Yates Center, Sedan won its 15th straight regular season/Week 9 game. The Blue Devils improved to 6-0 and has significantly the upper hand in District 1. Quarterback Brec Long finished with 10 carries for 170 yards and two scores. He completed 9 of 13 passes for 188 yards and five TDs.
Burlingame’s Colby Middleton finished with 23 carries for 156 yards and five touchdowns. The Bearcats had its season delayed and lost in overtime to Waverly in Week 2. Burlingame beat Valley Falls, 58-12.
WaKeeney-Trego rolled over Oberlin, 50-0, and set up the massive home game versus Mid-Continent League rival Hill City (5-1) for the district title next week. Trego standout junior quarterback Owen Day has been banged up and did not play. Senior Cole Feldt completed 3 of 5 passes for 48 yards with a touchdown against an interception. Junior James Kriegh rushed nine times for 58 yards and three scores. Trego had big plays in special teams. Senior Charlie Russell blocked a punt. Sophomore Quintin Walt returned a fumble for a score, and senior Tanner Sells had a pick-six. Trego is 6-0, which is the program’s best start in more than 25 years. Trego, one of the top stories of 2021, was 1-6 last year.
Meade won its ninth straight game, the second-longest winning streak in eight-man football behind No. 1 Little River’s 14. For LR, this ties second-longest winning streak of legendary coach Kevin Ayers’ career. Ayers, the only eight-man coach to win state titles at three schools, won 18 in a row from ’01-02 with Jetmore. He also won 14 straight with Wallace County in ’07-08.
Meade won at No. 5 Leoti-Wichita County, 49-24, and has averaged 46.2 points a contest. Last year, the Buffs averaged 32.3 points and returned nearly all its skill production. Korben Clawson, Torren Haynes and Brayden Norris were Meade’s players of the game. Haynes completed 8 of 13 passes for 173 yards with no touchdowns against an interception. He rushed 13 times for 159 yards and three scores. Clawson delivered 34 carries for 193 yards and three TDs. Meade ran 64 plays for 514 yards of total offense. Sophomore Brock Keith had five catches for 138 yards. Keith finished with 22 tackles, junior Brayden Norris had 21 stops and junior Grayden Stapleton finished with 19 tackles.
In District 6, La Crosse won its fourth straight game and improved to 4-2, 3-0 in district action. The Leopards won at improved Kinsley, 54-20. Kinsley is 4-2. La Crosse has averaged 47 points a game. The Leopards delivered 46 points a contest last year. Senior Colby Stull continued his great career with 21 carries for 292 yards and six touchdowns, including a 70-yard run. Stull has cleared 1,000 rushing yards for a third straight year. He has 114 carries for 1,027 yards and 14 scores. Stull has 536 carries for 4,400 yards and 65 rushing touchdowns.
Undefeated Teams: Sedan (6-0), Madison (6-0), Little River (6-0), Medicine Lodge (6-0), Meade (6-0), WaKeeney-Trego (6-0)
Eight-Man, Division II
Quinter, under coach Jeff Savage and longtime assistant Brian Roesch, improved to 5-1 with a 60-6 road victory versus St. Francis. The Bulldogs have clinched their first winning season since a 6-4 mark in 2011. Quinter has a strong chance at a 7-1 regular season, which is the most victories since 2009, when the Bulldogs went 12-1 and won the Eight-Man, Division I state championship.
Caldwell stayed perfect with a 42-20 win at Peabody-Burns. Last year, the Bluejays lost, 38-18, to Peabody-Burns. Caldwell is 6-0, 5-0 in District 6, and faces South Barber (5-1, 3-1) this week in a game that is likely for the district title. Caldwell junior quarterback Keiondre Smith continued his remarkable last two years. He completed six of 12 passes for 109 yards and a score. Smith rushed 34 times for 280 yards and five scores. Caldwell forced four turnovers.
No. 1 Axtell rolled over Linn, 58-8. Isaac Detweiler completed four of four passes for 69 yards and three TDs. Brandon Schmelzle delivered eight carries for 123 yards and two scores. Axtell is two wins away from its first perfect regular season since a 10-1 mark in 1995, per the Kansas Football History database. Axtell has already beaten Frankfort and Hanover for the first time in the same season since 1991.
No. 2 Thunder Ridge continued its improved explosive offense with a 44-34 home win versus rival Osborne, ranked No. 4 in Division II. Thunder Ridge had lost by one score to Osborne each of the last two years. TR has averaged 57 points a game and opened 6-0. The Longhorns started 2020 with a 4-2 mark and delivered 37.3 points a contest. Thunder Ridge had three players – Olin Brown, Dalton Bice and Dylan Bice – who all finished with at least 90 rushing yards. The Longhorns rushed for 346 yards. Osborne senior running back Mason Schurr enjoyed another big game.
Frankfort, which travels to Thunder Ridge in a non-district contest this week, defeated No. 5 Hanover, 48-8. The Wildcats are 5-1. Frankfort ended an 11-game losing streak versus Hanover that stretched back to 2011.
In District 7, Bucklin improved to 6-0, 3-0 after a 68-22 home win versus Minneola. Bucklin matched last year’s 6-4 record and is a win away from its best season since 1996. Bucklin has allowed just 100 points. In the first six games last year, the Red Aces allowed 224 points. Bucklin limited sophomore Eli Lang, who entered as Kansas’ leading rusher in yards per game for 8/11-Man players with 250 per game.
Lang delivered 23 carries for 154 yards and a score. Bucklin enjoyed a balanced effort with four passing scores (by three different players). The Red Aces had three players tally a rushing score. Senior quarterback Nathan Bowman accounted for two passing and three rushing TDs. Three players also caught a receiving score. Senior Scott Price rushed for 98 yards and delivered 14 tackles. In Week 8, Bucklin will play host to surprising Dighton in a game that should decide the district title.
Undefeated Teams: Axtell (6-0), Thunder Ridge (6-0), Caldwell (6-0), Bucklin (6-0)
Natoma won at Cheylin, 40-32, and Cunningham won at Moscow, 46-0. Those two squads and No. 3 Northern Valley have separated themselves from the six-man pack. Natoma is 5-0 and Cunningham is 6-0. Both teams are a win away from the best season in a long time.
Natoma has not won more than five games since a 6-3 mark in 2008.
Cunningham has not won more than six contests since an 8-2 record in 2008.
Undefeated Teams: Natoma (5-0), Cunningham (6-0)