Anderson County (1-3) @ Independence (1-3)

After three straight games on the road, the Independence Bulldogs finally return to the friendly confines of Emmot Field Friday for a matchup against 1-3 Anderson County.

IHS is coming off a 50-0 road loss at Basehor-Linwood, which advanced all the way to the semifinal round of the Class 4A-Division I playoffs a year ago. In that contest, the Bulldogs managed just 22 total yards of offense, which was a stark contrast from one week earlier when they recorded 583 yards in a 56-50 victory at Parsons.

With district play right around the corner, coach Carl Boldra sees this a great opportunity for his Bulldog squad to get back on track and pick up some much-needed confidence. Independence takes on an Anderson County squad that is coming off a 42-29 loss to Osawatomie last week. ACHS’ only win this season was similar to Independence’s victory as it won a 50-45 shootout against West Franklin.

Independence will be celebrating homecoming this week and hopes to have similar success against Anderson County as it did last season. A year ago, IHS rolled to a 39-8 victory in Garnett.

Augusta (3-1) @ Chanute (2-2)

The Blue Comets are coming home off a thrilling win in Ottawa. They are 2-2 for the first time under Coach Chris Shields. The offense found some spark, the defense made a game winning stop, and Chanute seems to have rode the storm out of back-to-back tough weeks against regional power houses Pittsburg and Fort Scott.

The Blue Comets will need that momentum, less penalties and loud home crowd if they want to get the Homecoming week. In addition to the off field distractions that every team faces during homecoming week, Chanute hosts Augusta, who lost to McPherson 40-0. It’s the most points the Orioles have given up all season. Augusta blanked Chanute 56-0 in last years meeting at Augusta.

The Orioles main strength on paper is their physical offensive and defensive line. They also boast 19 seniors on their roster. The Blue Comets must eliminate costly penalties and will need their offensive weapons of Bowman, Hernandez, Richard, and Kimberlin to click and the defense to create chaos to get the Homecoming win.

Oh, and another great showing from the Chanute HS Student Section making the atmosphere loud will go a long ways to helping out their team on Homecoming night.

Fort Scott (3-1, 3-0) @ Labette County (3-1, 1-0)

This is the game that we have been waiting for all season as these two squads were ranked as the #1 and #2 teams in the SEK Preseason Coaches Poll. Both teams come into this match up hoisting a solid 3-1 record with both losses coming to very respectable competition. The Grizzlies lost in week 2 play to a current 4-0 Andale team that is gaining respect all throughout the state as they are on the edge of cracking the top 5 class 4A-1 rankings. Fort Scott’s loss came just one week ago as they dropped a home game against rival Pittsburg, despite having an effective running attack.

Labette County’s defense has been strong up to this point only allowing 45 points over the first 4 games, including two shutouts. (39 of those points were in the loss to Andale). The offense hasn’t been slumping either as they have put up an average of just over 47 points per game as they have leaned on the balanced spread attack between a talented running back in T.J Mayhue, a deep group of pass catchers, and an absolute gunslinger in their signal caller, Easton Dean.  I look for Coach Price to look for holes in a strong Fort Scott defense that rarely makes mistakes and try to hit the receivers quick and often outside of the hash marks.

As for the Tigers, it’s a fairly simple game plan. Feed the rock to their all-district tailback Zarek Fewell who is currently averaging just short of 170 yards and 2 touchdowns per game on the ground. Fewell may be the most talented back in the entire region and his combination on speed and lateral quickness, put together with his low center of gravity makes him incredibly hard to bring down at first contact. Call me pre-mature, but this contest is going to decide who wins the overall SEK League title and I can’t wait to see the outcome!

Galena (4-0) @ Coffeyville-Field Kindley (3-1)

In what may be one of the more intriguing games in southeast Kansas on Friday, Coffeyville-Field Kindley will be entertaining unbeaten Galena in an SEK-CNC battle at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

The Golden Tornado have won three straight games since a season-opening loss to Class 5A playoff qualifier Great Bend. Since then, Field Kindley has been on a roll in rolling to three straight wins, including last week’s 35-7 decision over Towanda-Circle. Although the ‘Nado are on a winning streak, they have done so against three teams still winless on the season (Parsons, Riverton and Circle). That means they will have to step up their level of play in this week’s matchup against Galena.

In the win over Circle, Field Kindley needed a 21-point fourth quarter to blow things wide open after leading just 14-7 after three periods. The Golden Tornado did a solid job on both sides of the football, racking up 316 yards of offense while limiting the Thunderbirds to 176.

Galena has definitely proven to be one of the top teams in the CNC this season as it has posted four straight league wins to open the season. That includes a 41-7 road victory at Girard last Friday.

This could be another exciting game after the teams played a wild one in Galena a year ago. In that contest, Field Kindley  jumped ahead by 21 points early, but the Bulldogs scored the game’s last 16 points over the final 5:23 to pull out a 38-33 victory.

Iola (0-4) @ Parsons (0-4)

Who wants it more? That’s the theme of this game. Half way though the season the Iola Mustangs and the Parsons Vikings find themselves parallel to each other. Iola’s defense has surrendered 135 points so far this season while Parsons has given up 241 points on defense. Outside of the 50 points scored in the offensive match up again Independence, Parsons defense has struggled to find the endzone just as much as Iola’s.

Expect for this to be an offensive match up running up and down the field all night. This may be the final score reported in the Southeast Kansas region from the offensive production of these 2 teams. The good news? Someone is going to pick up a their first win of the season.