|Lawrence Free State's Kyle|
McFarland. Photo courtesy
the Lawrnce Journal World.
The Falcons are off to their first 4-0 start since the 2005, and they've found a way to win in all of their games mostly thanks to the help of a smothering defense and a dominant rushing attack. Olathe South's five forced turnovers proved to be the game-changing statistic in their win Saturday.
Lawrence Free State
The Firebirds have finally settled on a quarterback in Kyle McFarland and that could be a scary sign for Free State's upcoming opponents. McFarland ran the zone-read option with ease on Friday, and with Shawn Knighton as the running back the Free State offensive attack is going to be tough to stop.
The Hawks have now won three games in a row and they flexed their muscles in a 44-20 route of Olathe Northwest this past Friday. Olathe East is generally about as good as their rushing attack, and the three headed combo of John Kelsh, Hayden Frazier and Kendall Kelly is getting better by the week.
The preseason hype has come crashing down, and the reality is that SM East has not perfomed well in either of their two biggest games against Olathe East and Olathe South. Through four weeks the Lancers have already matched their loss total from last season.
The Ravens have a better team with more offensive threats this season that they've had in past years, but the entire Olathe School District is playing better football as a whole, and it doesn't look like Olathe Northwest is going to leave the district cellar anytime soon.
Had the Indians not fumbled twice in the first quarter or had they been able to take advantage of SM West's array of turnovers, the Indians might be sitting at 2-2 right now. Instead, they weren't able to claim the upset and they have just one win which came against SM South.
Week Four Players of the Week
Orange Mooney & Treshawn Root, Olathe North: Since these two backs seem to feed off the success of the other the two will be grouped together as Players of the Week for this week. Mooney ran the ball 17 times for 202 yards and scored touchdowns on runs of three, 38, and 71 yards. Root added 209 yards on 11 carries, and scored one touchdown. Combined statistics: 28 carries for 411 yards and four touchdowns.
Kyle McFarland, Lawrence Free State: In leading Free State to a 42-7 victory, McFarland ran the ball 18 times for 202 yards and three touchdowns. He also completed six of 11 passes for 71 yards.
Matt Elliott, Olathe South: Elliot's two touchdowns were the difference between a Falcon win or loss on Saturday. In the first quarter he took a carry 75 yards for a touchdown which tied the game at 7. Elliot then intercepted a pass and took it back 79 yards for a score with a few minutes remaining before halftime. That touchdown gave Olathe South a 20-14 halftime lead. Olathe South won 29-20.
Week Five Power Rankings
1. Olathe North (4-0): The Eagles are 4-0 for the sixth time since 2000. On all five of their previous 4-0 starts Olathe North made it to a state championship game.
2. Olathe South (4-0): The Falcons are a scrappy bunch of players who are finding a way to win regardless of the circumstances--this is usually a good sign come playoff time.
3. Olathe East (3-1): Olathe East has developed a formidable rushing attack and the Hawks will be heavy favorites in their next four games.
4. SM East (2-2): The Lancers maintain a one-spot advantage over Lawrence for now... the winner of Friday's contest will take the pie.
5. Lawrence (2-2): The Chesty Lions were hoping they could avoid the injury bug this season, but running back Charles Jackson's leg injury could be season ending.
6. Lawrence Free State (3-1): The Firebirds quietly rank among the top four teams in the league in wins, but we'll have to see a big game victory before jumping them in the rankings.
7. SM West (2-2): The Vikings played poor overall on Friday and they were lucky to escape with a victory. The team is still on pace for the program's eighth-straight winning season, however.
8. Olathe Northwest (2-2): This is the proverbial "rubber meets the road" week in the season for the Ravens. Four of the teams remaining on their schedule include Olathe South, Free State, Lawrence and Olathe North.
9. SM Northwest (1-3): The Cougars are just not up to par with what we've seen from the program in recent years. Fortunately for the SM Northwest faithful, four of the next five games look winnable.
10. SM North (1-3): The Indians are in the same district as the aforementioned Cougars, so a poor start to the season will mean little once they hit week seven.
11. SM South (0-4): Does Ryan Lonergan collect his first career win with the Raiders in a week five game against SM Northwest? It's certainly a possibility with both teams looking close to equal on paper.
12. Leavenworth (0-4): It's that time of the season again--Leavenworth vs. Olathe North. Olathe North has won the last four meetings by a combined score of 248-13 (average score of roughly 62-3).