|Leavenworth will have to face
Olathe North's Treshawn Root
and his 12.45 yards per carry
average on Thursday night.
SM North (1-3) at Lawrence Free State (3-1)
On paper Free State is a heavy favorite, but then again, the Firebird's three wins have come against teams with a combined record of 1-11. SM North shot themselves in the foot last week against SM West, giving away the ball twice in the first quarter which resulted in two quick SM West touchdowns. Expect an increased focus on ball protection this week from the Indians.
SM West (2-2) at Olathe East (3-1)
SM West has had quite the up-and-down schedule this season. One week they're the favorite, and the next week they're the underdog (Olathe East is an 8.7-point favorite in this game according the the Topeka Capitol-Journal computer spread), and it's been alternating that way throughout the season. Olathe East is playing as well as any team at this juncture in the season and it's going to take a great defensive effort from SM West to have a chance at halting the Hawk's three-game winning streak.
Olathe Northwest (2-2) at Olathe South (4-0)
This sounds like a familiar story. An upstart Olathe Northwest team with solid offensive weapons but little defensive punch takes on a favored Olathe foe... and everytime but once, Olathe Northwest has lost. Maybe this is the week the Ravens turn things around? The upset recipe would have to include a heavy dose of Willie Cauley, as SM East had some success through the air last week against Olathe South, and it's never easy covering a 6-foot-10 guy. For the Falcons, one can assume they'll stick to their usually ground-and-pound tactics in an effort to claim win number five on the season.
SM Northwest (1-3) at SM South (0-4)
These look like two pretty evenly matched teams and this should be a very competitive game. Looking ahead to district play, neither of these teams have an impossible path to the playoffs (SM South will probably have to pull an upset against SM East or SM West to reach the playoffs, while SM Northwest has a cakewalk). In the meantime, a win here would be a great confidence booster at the midway point in the season that would carry to districts.
Game of the Week
SM East (2-2) at Lawrence (2-2)
It's time for these teams to put up or shut up. While both have shown flashes of brilliance, neither has displayed the consistency necessary to do much damage come playoff time. Combined, the two schools have played four of what I would call "big games," and together they've gone 0-4 in those games. So basically both teams are putting up outstanding numbers and results against lesser opponents, but when push has come to shove neither has passed the test. Someone has to pass this test.