Class 3A First Round Football Preview

It’s playoff time and that means a closer look at our area teams competing on Thursday and Friday night. We will have live score updates on our score posts to be released later Wednesday and Thursday. Week 9 live scores will be provided by Lyons Lawn Care.

THURSDAY GAMES

Anderson Co @ Galena

Every challenge put in front of them this season Galena has manhandled. J.C. Shelton has received a lot of attention as a multi-threat on offense and special teams, but the Bulldogs also have Kooper Lawson and Nick Sarwinski at their disposal along with wide receiver Blake Booth. Anderson County is giving up 31 points per game this season while Galena is averaging over 47 points per game offensively. Galena’s multi-attack offense and stingy defense will most likely be too much for the Anderson County Bulldogs.

Frontenac @ Burlington

Do the Frontenac Raiders have one more magical run in them? Last year after starting the season 1-2, the Raiders finished the regular season 6-3 and went to state on a 6 game winning streak before losing to Holcomb 40-20 in the title game. The Raiders enter week nine 5-3, winners of 3 of their last 4. Burlington has struggled with the loss of one of their key components in the offensive side of the ball. Burlington does have multiple options in the backfield and will need to rely on them if they wish to continue in the playoffs. Despite their recently struggles, this should be a close game down the wire between these two teams. Frontenac is averaging 18 points per game offensively and giving up 14 points per game. Burlington on the other hand is averaging 24 points per game and giving up 20 points per game, both teams well within the margin of error. Momentum would favor Frontenac, however, just get to the playoffs and anything can happen from there.

Girard @ Parsons

Parsons has captured headline after headline this year thanks to first year head coach Kurt Friess’s ability to get four quarters of consistent effort week in and week out of this talented squad. Quarterback Gage Friess is 75 of 107 in passsing this season with 19 touchdowns, 2 interceptions and 1236 yards passing and 477 yards rushing on the year. Mix in the talent of Patch Loadholtz, Daquan Johnson, Davonte Yates, and the defensive side of the ball that’s recorded 11 sacks and 7 interceptions and you have a well-rounded team. The Girard Trojans have been a back-and-forth team who won their first back-to-back games of the season over 2-6 Iola and 0-8 Osawatomie. Consistency has been one of the biggest issues with the Girard Trojans this season and they will need a solid 4 quarters if they want to keep it close with the Vikings. They cannot let this game become an offensive shoot out. We’ve seen what happens when teams try to get into a track meet with the Vikings football team.

FRIDAY GAMES

Caney Valley @ Prairie View

There’s not too many road teams that are the clear road favorite in the 1st round of the playoffs. Then there’s Caney Valley. The Bullpups have had arguably one of the toughest districts with Galena and Parsons, their only 2 losses of the year, and Frontenac, who they won a tough battle by holding on to a 1 advantage. Caney Valley’s district opponents were a combined 21-18 while Prairie View’s was a combined 14-25. Prairie View had to play who they were assigned in the districts and they went 5-0 and with their lone loss of the year to common opponent Galena. On top of that the Bullpups are riding a bit of extra emotion still from a few weeks removed from an accident that involved one of their teammates. I’m always impressed with coach Davis and the Bullpups and their ability to perform no matter the challenge in front of them. In this match-up the only thing that doesn’t favor Caney Valley, in my opinion, is that they have to go on the road to Prairie View.