SOUTHEAST (7-2) @ HUMBOLDT (9-0)
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These 2 teams are just 2 weeks removed from their week 8 contest. In that game, which was held at Cherokee, the Cubs went on to win 50-18 over the Lancers.
Humboldt outrushed Southeast 426 to 278. Conor Haviland put up 339 yards rushing along with Kyle Kobold, Isiah Coronado and Cooper Jaro all getting their fair share of carries that night.
Unlike Humboldt’s big win last week, the Cubs didn’t exactly run over the Southeast Lancers. In fact, the Cubs only lead 14-6 at the end of the 1st quarter and 20-6 at halftime. A 22 point 3rd quarter by the Cubs ended up being the difference. The Cubs prolific offense has been well documented here on the site, that’s why I will dig deeper into the Lancer’s season.
Southeast’s rushing leader Zaden Hendricks was held to 110 yards and a touchdown. This offense has put up over 3,000 yards of offense led by Hendricks and his 1,212 yards on the ground, recording over 100+ yards in 7 games this season and 14 touchdowns. Bryce Peterson is second on the team with 707 yards and 9 touchdowns.
Southeast picked up their first playoff win in 9 years last Friday night. This group of players is something special to the Southeast-Cherokee community, posting one of the best starts in the schools’ history by starting 6-0.
The Lancers were averaging 39 points per game in the first 6 games of the season, but have only averaged 12 points per game including the 12-6 overtime win last week over Osage City.
Just about every coach will tell you that it’s tough to beat a team twice in any season. To do it 2 again within 14 days of meeting up, especially in a sense that Southeast has to feel like they let the first meeting get away from them, will be a new sort of difficulty.
RIVERTON (6-3) @ SILVER LAKE (9-0)
The Riverton Rams have been quite the surprise in the SEK-Sports.com coverage area. They were 2-7 last year and ousted by Silver Lake in the week 9 match-up by a score of 66-0.
One year later the Rams find themselves with a 6-3 record, week 9 win, and back at Silver Lake. The road has not been kind to Riverton. The Rams are just 1-3 on the road this season, averaging 27 points on offense, but giving up 37 points. Compared to a 5-0 home record and an offense that averages 42 points per game and holds opponents to 14. The Rams become almost a completely different team on the road versus playing at home.
Riverton squares off with a state powerhouse in Silver Lake. The Eagles offense puts up over 49 points per game and holds opponents to an average of 4 points per game, including 5 shut outs this season. The Rams will have their work cut out for them on Friday night.
CONWAY SPRINGS (7-2) @ EUREKA (6-3)
The Eureka Tornadoes definitely are on everyone’s radar after the VERY unofficial SEK-Sports.com Fan Pre-Season Poll (due to the Tri-Valley League not having a champion) had them picked to finish with the least amount of wins in the league.
The Tornado have put together their first winning record since 2013 when they lost to Wellsville in the 1st round of the playoffs. Eureka lost to Conway Springs in the week 9 match-up last year by a score of 66-6.
Now Eureka finds themselves with not only a winning record but a MUCH healthier team than when the two schools met last year. The Tornadoes are a healthy balance of rush and passing. Led at quarterback by senior Cade Larcom who has over 1,500 yards passing with 16 touchdowns as well as 151 yards rushing. Junior running back Brennan Lowe has been a force in the backfield with 682 yards on the ground and 4 games with over 100+ yards.
Mix that with the receiving threats of senior Zach Hare, who leads the team with 561 yards, junior Hayden Mead with 355 yards caught, as well as senior Justin Zimmers, juniors Brennan Lowe and Brent Escareno, who have over 100 yards receiving each, the Tornadoes can find different ways to keep defenses off balance.
Compared to Conway Springs, who specializes in the run game. Over 300 yards rushing per game, the Cardinals have 4 rushers with over 300 yards of rushing this season, as well as 3 more who are over the century mark. Senior Collin Koester leads the team with 974 yards on the ground and 13 touchdowns and averages 11 yards per carry.
Eureka will have some experience in handling a team that is focused on the ground with multi-threats as they went toe to toe with Humboldt earlier this season. That regular-season loss may very well pay a dividend to them in their playoff matchup in the form of a postseason victory.
(Authors comment: an earlier edition incorrectly listed Uniontown’s head coach as Jason. We apologize for the error)
The Uniontown Eagles have been one of the more youthful teams in the coverage area. After starting the season 1-4, John Stark has his Eagles 3-1 in their last 4 games with last week’s playoff win over Marion. Their offense is putting up 29 points per game in that span while the defense has allowed just 17 points per game. They will travel to 1A powerhouse Olpe, who is undefeated this season. Uniontown will have their work cut out for them on Friday night in trying to pull off arguably one of the biggest upsets in all of Kansas.
HILLSBORO (7-2) @ ST. MARY’S COLGAN (6-3)
After starting the year 1-3, against teams who are now a combined 25-9 and 3 of the 4 still competing in the playoffs, the Colgan Panters find themselves in the middle of a 5 game winning streak. Their offense has completed 3 shut outs in those 5 games and the offense is rolling with an average of 42 points per game. They host Hillsboro from the Central Kansas League. They average 36 points per game on offense with defense holding opponents to 18 points per game. Colgan eliminated the Trojans last year 45-20, a game that was played at Pittsburg State University. The Hillsboro Trojans are seeking their first playoff win since 2012.