SEK Football League Week 6 Preview

Labette County (4-1) @ Frontenac (3-2)

This exciting week 6 contest will match up two teams eager to prove themselves. On one side, Labette County is coming off of a huge home win over a very talented Fort Scott squad. On the other side, Frontenac  is coming home after defeating a KC Harmon team that has yet to enter the win column this season. Last years meeting between these two squads resulted in a 43-0 romping by a senior heavy Raiders squad that would eventually advance to the second round of the 4A-II State Playoffs before falling to Holton, 32-28 in the final moments of the game. Labette County made the 4A-I  State Playoffs but lost in round one to Ottawa, 45-13.

So far this season, Labette hoists a very solid 4-1 overall record and Frontenac has been holding their own in a very strong CNC League with a 3-2 record. I’m looking forward to seeing the outcome of this one. Both squads boast a strong defense and I expect this to be a Grind It Out kind of game.

Fort Scott (3-2, 3-1) @ Coffeyville (3-2, 1-0)

Last week proved to be a significant one the league as Fort Scott faced off against Labette County (4-1, 2-0) who came into the contest with only one loss, just like the Tigers, and is also pushing towards a goal of becoming champions of the Southeast Kansas league. Labette won the battle, coming out on top by a score of 34-7, and now improve to 2-0 in the league. This leaves Fort Scott with one more league game and then it’s off to the annual post-season qualifying games, which for Fort Scott, means playing non-conference foes from the hardened Frontier League. Their only shot at a league title now comes by a way of winning this week and seeing if one of their league rivals can knock them off in these final games.

On the other hand Coffeyville coming in with a league record of 1-0 and an overall record of 3-2, this teams faces four straight league games to close the season out. They control their destiny for both the playoffs and the league, but they will have to get past a tough team in Chanute in their District, along with the powerhouse in Labette in their final game. This week though, they will first have to face the power that has been a force to be reckoned with in all of recent years in the SEK. This week may be a second round of last weeks and depending of the winner, may lead to a very interesting last three weeks in the SEK.

Coffeyville’s offense is led by Junior quarterback CJ Kelley who is approaching 700 yards passing on the season. Kelley was limited against Galena’s dominate defense last Friday, but still came out with 130 yards passing on 12 completions out of 19 attempts. After missing the game against (Towanda)-Circle, Kelley put up good numbers in the contest before that against Riverton pushing his stats over the 500 mark with six total TDs in the game. Junior Jaylen Logan is a tailback/slotback hybrid player who leads the team in all-purpose yards. Logan was one of two All-SEK All-Purpose Selections last seasons. On defense the ‘Nado are led by Senior Linebacker Cody Smith as well as Junior Defensive Back Tajahn Thomas.

Fort Scott will be led by Senior back Zarek Fewell, who is not only coming off of an SEK-MVP Junior season, but is now leading the league in touchdowns scored with thirteen. He also is leading in overall scoring, as he’s added two two-point conversions making his total tally 82 points scored this season. Fewell was a premier player to watch in the preseason and has proven why, his teammate Senior Offensive and Defensive Tackle Andrew Callahan, received coverage before the season as well. Callahan leads the offensive line corps for this power running offense that ranks second in team scoring in the SEK. Callahan, along with Senior Linebacker Derek Bollinger and Senior Corner Gunnar Brown, will also lead the Tiger defense out. This Fort Scott team will most likely not change for many years to come, as defense and special teams play a large role in the team’s concept and overall strategy of running the ball, keeping the clock rolling, winning the field position battle, and keeping points off the board for the other team. Bollinger, Brown and Callahan all received honors as first team defensive All-SEK selections last season, with Bollinger receiving an honorable mention all-state selection at linebacker. Callahan and Fewell are also coming off of all-state seasons, receiving honorable mention selections for offense.

Independence (2-3) @ El Dorado (2-3)

For the second time in three weeks, the Independence Bulldogs found themselves on the winning side of the scoreboard. And again, the offense kicked things into gear by putting 56 points on the board in a blowout victory over Anderson County.

In that win, Bulldog quarterback Josh Pralle accounted for 257 yards of offense, including 154 yards through the air on 5-of-6 passing. He also led the ground attack with eight carries for 103 yards and another score.

Now 2-3 overall, IHS closes out the pre-district portion of its schedule with a trip to El Dorado on Friday. This will be the Bulldogs’ fourth road game in the first six weeks of the season.

Just like the Bulldogs, the Wildcats head into the contest at 2-3 overall following a 21-14 loss at Rose Hill last week. El Dorado opened the season with back-to-back shutout losses at Mulvane (33-0) and Wellington (21-0) but bounced back for home wins over Clearwater (25-21) and Kansas City-Harmon (55-0).

A year ago, the teams battled through a game that included a total of 14 turnovers, but Independence came out on the winning side of a 34-6 decision at Emmot Field.

Parsons (0-5, 0-4) @ Chanute (2-3, 0-1)

The Chanute Blue Comets play host to the winless Parsons Vikings in only one of two SEK League match-ups. After a tough stretch of quality opponents, Chanute will try to get back in to the win column against a struggling Parsons football team. Chanute lost their quarterback Ty Bowman for at least 4 weeks, if not the rest of the season, with a shoulder issue. They have also had health issues on the front line.

Parsons struggles have been well documented, however they have shown their offense can put points on the board and want to get in to a track meet on the football field. Chanute’s defense has struggled at times this season with tackling. As of this writing, it looks like it could be a wet ballgame on Homecoming night for the Blue Comets. That could be the equalizer the Vikings need to play the role of homecoming spoiler this Friday night.

Matt Hernandez, Corbett Kimberlin, Jack Richard and Gage Leedy will need to provide consistency on offense, and in the defensive back field, for the Blue Comets and set the tone early on the scoreboard if they want to protect home field on Homecoming night.