ROUND THREE OF STATE PLAYOFFS FOR 4 COUNTY TEAMS!!
By William for www.mcpherson-county-ks.com
Four McPherson County high school football teams remain alive in the Kansas state playoffs as they enter the sectional or quarterfinal stage on Friday evening.
Both Canton/Galva and Little River will be playing in the 8-Man Division I playoffs with the undefeated Eagles hosting Coldwater/South Central who is also unbeaten, while the 9-1 Redskins travel to Leoti to battle Wichita County.
Inman continues to prove everyone wrong as they try to stay alive in the Class 1A playoffs with their 6-4 mark by hosting Plainville.
Unbeaten McPherson will also be at home on Friday as they host 4-6 Arkansas City.
A brief preview of all four games:
SOUTH CENTRAL at CANTON/GALVA:
CANTON – While the Canton/Galva football team has pretty much manhandled all ten opponents to this point of the season, the game on Friday evening with South Central could prove to be a big test for the Eagles and they hopeful march to the state championship game of 8-Man Division I.
Considering the Eagles have yet to play a full four quarter game due to point rules while averaging 5 points per game themselves, South Central will come into the game scoring 46 points per game, making them a scoring challenge for the Eagle defense.
Entering the game on Friday, the Timberwolves are also unbeaten at 10-0 for the season with the closest game being a 34-point win over Hodgeman County while scoring shutouts in six of the other nine games.
South Central will be have an experienced team that last season took the Eagles to overtime before Canton/Galva prevailed 54-52.
Leading the Timberwolves will be Chayde Snyder who starts at both quarterback and linebacker and Jonny Robles who Eagle Head Coach Shelby Hoppes says is a threat every time he touches the ball.
As he has all season, the Eagles will be led by Landon Everett at quarterback and defensive back, where he continues to be not only the team leader but a big playmaker as well. Brayden Collins and Kinser Colgin will help keep the Timberwolve defense from concentrating on just Everett.
On defense, Coach Hoppes has been noting that the Eagles may have a size advantage with players like Nick Pearson and Brandon Huff.
If the Eagles manage to hold off the powerful South Central offense and win the sectional championship, they would then be set to battle in the state semi-finals against the winner of the game between Madison (10-0) and Caldwell (7-3).
LITTLE RIVER at WICHITA COUNTY (Leoti):
LITTLE RIVR – After scoring impressive wins for eight straight games, the Little River football team proved they can win a close battle as well last week when they slipped past Ness City 44-42 to advance to this weeks 8-Man Division I sectional/quarterfinal matchup with Wichita County on the road at Leoti on Friday.
The game a week ago was even more impressive when you consider the Redskins played without one-half of their two-man wrecking crew as Graham Stephens was out with an injury.
In this week’s battle, Little River will not only have to play once again without Stephens as he nurses a knee issue, but they also must overcome a lengthy 186-mile road trip to Leoti for the 6:00 p.m. battle.
A week ago, the Redskins survived due to an all-star performance from Jayden Garrison, the other half of the two-man wrecking crew, as he ran and passed for 346 yards in total offense. Braxton Lafferty pitched in with 40 yards rushing and another 75 yards covered on five pass receptions.
The Little River defense will be tested by Kayde Rietzke who averages 302 yards in total offense per game throwing and running the ball behind a very physical offensive line.
When you look at what the Indians have done this season you will understand what the Redskins face as they have gone over the 60-point mark five times including an 88-point outburst against Victoria where they also gave up 66. Being 9-1 on the season like Little River, Wichita County’s only loss game against St. Francis which point-ruled them.
If Little River scores their tenth win in a row and earns the sectional championship, they will then be paired to play in the semi-finals with the loser of the battle between 9-1 Jetmore/Hodgeman County or unbeaten at 10-0 St. Francis.
PLAINVILLE at INMAN:
INMAN – Maybe one of the biggest surprises of the state playoffs, the Inman football team continues to work on their end of the season push by playing in the Class 1A sectional finals on Friday when they play host to powerhouse Plainville who will come into the game at 9-1 for the season.
After beginning the season with two straight losses, the Teutons (6-4) have won six of eight including a huge 43-13 dismantling of Elkhart on the road a week ago.
Now the question is whether the surprise story of the playoffs continue to prove others wrong or will they dream bubble burst as Plainville comes to town with their lone loss being to annual power Smith Center.
Plainville will bring one of the best running attacks to town on Friday as Jared Casey and Jordan Finnesy are both capable of breaking down the defense and making mad dashes toward the end zone when they find open space.
The Teutons will have to count on their defense and special teams to score an opportunity to make the playoff semi-finals. A week ago, against Elkhart, the Teuton special teams forced them to begin an offensive series inside their own 20-yard line several times including Derick Johnson punts that dropped inside the 10-yard line twice. It will be the play of Jace Doerksen, Carter Brown, Justin Schroeder, Nate Shober and Sam Kleinherenbrink that may determine the game for Inman.
On offense, the question will be whether Plainville can stop Kolby Blank who has been on a roll the past two weeks by rushing for 390 yards, with games of 263 and 127 yards on the ground.
If the Teutons can keep the end of the season dream going with a victory, they would then have to tangle with either Smith Center or Sedgwick in the state Class 1A semi-finals. Both Smith Center and Sedgwick come into Friday’s battle unbeaten at 10-0, with Sedgwick already holding a 42-7 win over Inman on the season.
ARKANSAS CITY at MCPHERSON:
MCPHERSON – On paper it may look like a mismatch with the unbeaten (10-0) McPherson High football team going into battle on Friday at home with Arkansas City, a team coming in with a record of just 4-6, in the Class 4A playoff sectional finals.
Arkansas City has split a pair of games with Winfield, losing in September 20-18 before beating the Vikings in the playoffs 13-3, while the Bullpups hammered Winfield 47-0 early in the season. The other common opponent was Goddard who hammered Arkansas City early in the season 48-0 while McPherson held on to beat Goddard a week ago 14-8.
Don’t let the record deceive you though as The Bulldogs began the season with five straight losses before bouncing back and winning four of the last five. Their only loss in that stretch was to powerful Andover Central and they only lost 21-13.
A year ago, the Bullpups dominated Arkansas City 62-28 in the playoffs and the home fans will hoping for some of the same this season.
The Bulldogs will have a freshman quarterback, Gabe Welch, and a tailback, Brigam Mattocks, who carried the ball 36 times a week ago to lead the offense, while Taviahn Mack is their defensive leader and he can raise havoc for any offensive line.
As for the Bullpups, the offense continues to click along with Kaleb Hoppes averaging 212 yards in total offense running at quarterback, Jacob Feil at running back and Aaron Powell plus Cody Stufflebean lead the receiving corp.
Mason Thrash is the ultimate playmaker leader at linebacker as he is running along at about eight tackles per game, while the Bullpup defensive line is manned by now healthy Cody Stufflebean. Brycen Labertew, Hoppes and Jayden Dukes led the defensive backfield.
With a win in the sectional finals, the Bullpups would then set themselves up for a state semi-final battle with either Andover Central, who is currently 9-1, or Buhler, who is 8-2, next Friday. The Bullpups defeated Buhler 21-14 six weeks ago.
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(Post is SPONSORED by CrossDove Writers)