Looking towards week 2, the “Games to Watch” have a “Show Me” theme to them. (Yeah…I know we’re the Sunflower State…)
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The Frontenac Raiders posted an impressive season-opening come from behind victory while the Colgan Panthers were on the losing end of a 21-14 loss to a chippy Columbus Titans team. Sticking with the theme of this week’s “Games to Watch” show me which Frontenac team we should expect to see this year: the one who put together an impressive offensive performance in the 4th quarter or the defense that set up a comeback win? Frontenac’s Jake Beckmann settled in Friday night going 12 of 16 for 181 yards and 2 touchdowns as well as 119 yards rushing on 16 carries and 1 rushing TD. While the loss to Columbus, who was 1-8 previous, might come as a surprise to some Colgan faithful, perhaps more credit should be given to an improved Titans team than an early struggling Colgan team. The Panthers offense after all posted 256 total yardage with Gianni Piccini was 9 of 15 with 97 yards passing and 2 touchdowns. When you look closer at the overall break down of those 2 games, this has the makings of having an exciting finish to a long-time rivalry.
Lyon County League
Show us how good you are. The last 3 games between the Wildcats and Eagles have been interesting. Last year the Eagles shut out Burlington at home. In the year prior, the Olpe narrowly escaped home with a 13-8 win. Burlington picked up the win in 2016 in Burlington, where this year’s game will be played, by a 20-7 decision. “Burlington’s win over over Council Grove was impressive. It will be interesting for each team to gauge how good they really are,” said Lyon County League staff writer Michael Dieker.
While Iola is reeling from a 5 overtime loss to Parsons, a game in which they led going into the 4th quarter, the Mustangs showed me they are MUCH improved in 2019 over their 3-6 campaigns from 2017 & 2018. So Iola High School Football, show me that the performance overall from last Friday wasn’t a one-off. To quote Fox from the X-Files:
Meanwhile, Wellsville with their new head coach posted a win over Anderson County last week. Senior quarterback Luke Richards was 6 of 10 with 131 yards passing, including a 54-yard completion, and 1 touchdown. Senior running back Chase Farley scored 2 of the team’s 4 rushing touchdowns. The Eagles defense did create 5 turnovers, including 4 from Richards. Like the Mustangs, Wellsville struggled to close out their game but did come away with a win. This game could show to those in attendance an offensive showcase or a defensive battle.
South Central Border League
West Elk is fresh off snapping an 8 game losing streak with last week’s 50-0 win over Maramton Valley. Udall had a strong first half, but couldn’t get going for the remainder of their game against Flinthills in their win. This game should shake out a better picture of just how strong West Elk is or steady the Udall Eagles are performing in the early 2019 season.
Coach Clete Frazell picked up his first win as the Blue Comets head coach last week with an impressive offensive performance from senior Ty Bowman and Briley Peavy. Peavy took the opening kick-off of the 2019 season back 80 yards for a touchdown and would later score on a 77-yard touchdown pass from Bowman. The Comets defense only gave up 86 total yards. Pittsburg looked to be in mid-season form with a shutout of their own to start 2019. A strong offensive performance in the first half and a dominating defensive effort in the 2nd half, including 20 points. The Purple Dragons, who are ranked number 5 according to the latest KPreps rankings, is always used as the measuring stick for programs. That will be the case for Chanute this week with their explosive offensive weapons and physical defense.
Three Rivers League 11-Man
Show me the team to beat in the Three Rivers League 11-Man division. Southeast is massively improved and growing into Harrad Hansen’s program. Coach Dustin Johnson’s fast-flying RPO offense will have their hands full in the physical, aggressive Lancers. Not to be too cliche but it is “the unstoppable force (BluJays) meet the immovable object.” Pleasanton freshman quarterback Dale Gillespie had 6 touchdown passes in the season-opening win. Meanwhile, Southeast’s defense held Uniontown to 12 points.
Three Rivers League 8-Man
In a common 8-man theme, the Crest Lancers also ended the winning drought with an impressive win last week. New head coach Nick McAnulty has excitement back in the Colony community for the football program. In the weekly Burlingame Football Coaches Show, the Bearcats Jeff Slater gave credit to McAnulty not only getting numbers up but his players in the weight room. Burlingame, who has been almost a constant the past few years, will be a good barometer for the Lancers and should be one of the more exciting games in not just the eastern region, but the entire state.
Eureka caught the attention of many with an impressive 46-6 offensive and defensive display last Friday night. They racked up a total of 420 yards offensively as a team, including 3 long touchdown runs. The defensive pitched a shout out for 3 quarters, before giving up a pair of late scores. Caney Valley is no stranger to big offensive numbers as Coach Davis’s program in the past is known for their ground game, and when the athleticism presents itself, throwing as well. After a 7-0 start favoring Caney, the Bullpups finished with the games final 35 points in the 42-6 victory. Caney Valley and Cherryvale combined for 22 total penalties, something that one should expect coach Davis to address and correct heading into week 2. It’s been a while since there’s been excitement between Caney Valley and Eureka, but given the talent on both teams this season this could be a hidden gem for a fan trying to find a game to travel too. It is worth noting that this game will be played in Chanute as Eureka’s stadium waits for the completion of their facilities following the June 2018 tornado.