Thursday, September 15, 2011

Week Three Preview

SM West's defense must play well for the Vikings
to have a decent shot at upending Olathe North. 
Photo courtesy the Lawrence Journal World.
Olathe North (2-0) at SM West (1-1) (Thursday Night Game) at SM South District Stadium

Tim Callaghan spent years as an assistant at Olathe North before taking the head job at SM West and that always adds a little flavor to this matchup. Callaghan is 2-3 in games against his former school, the most recent of which was a 29-22 loss in week one of last season. While Olathe North looks loaded once again, SM West is off to one of their roughest starts in years. The Vikings' youth is proving to be quite a hurdle thus far, and the only way to really overcome that is by playing more games. This contest will be televised on KC Metro Sports.

Olathe South (2-0) at Leavenworth (0-2) at Leavenworth

Olathe South is on a roll and they will be looking to continue their hot-streak against winless Leavenworth. There’s no official word on the status of Falcon running back Jordan Ward, but his replacement Russell White performed well last week and Ward’s absence shouldn’t be a major cause for concern.  Leavenworth will be looking to feed off the energy of their hometown crowd in attempt to finally collect a victory.

Lawrence Free State (1-1) at SM South (0-2) at SM South District Stadium

This game looks like a pairing of two fairly even teams in terms of talent and experience. Free State captured a win last week against Leavenworth, while SM South lost in two overtimes to Olathe Northwest. Obviously a win is more highly regarded, but you could make a case that both teams performed about equal last week. With Olathe North on the horizon in week four, it would be huge for SM South to snag a win here because an potential 0-4 start would be a poor reflection of how the Raiders have performed this season.

SM Northwest (0-2) at Olathe Northwest (2-0) at CBAC

Which Northwest is best? Thus far the Olathe version has been playing some pretty good football. SM Northwest’s defense will be in for a tough test as they try to slow down Olathe Northwest’s offense which is averaging 448.5 yards per game, good for second overall in the league. The Ravens’ Willie Cauley, at 6-foot-10, will be, literally, the biggest challenge for the Cougar defense. SM Northwest played better overall against SM West but they’ll need to put together a complete game effort this time around if they want to stop the losing.

SM East (1-1) at SM North (1-1) at SM North District Stadium

SM East quarterback Dakota Collins is out with a broken ankle and will likely miss around six weeks of action. His backup, Nick Pirotte, played very well in the second half against Olathe East last week and will be taking the reins while Collins is injured. The question that comes to mind is this: if Pirotte plays well in Collins’ long absence, does Pirotte stay on as the starter when Collins returns from his injury late in the season? That question won’t be answered for weeks, but it’s something to keep in mind. Both teams have strong passing games and it could be a good aerial showcase.

Game of the Week

Lawrence (1-1) at Olathe East (1-1) at ODAC

Neither one of these teams is as bad as a 1-2 record, but one of them will have that distinction following their game on Friday. Lawrence started hot against SM West, but then made some costly mistakes against Olathe South that handed them their first loss of the year. For Olathe East game one against Olathe North wasn’t pretty, but they made a huge jump last week taking out SM East. Last season Lawrence pulled one of the biggest upsets of the year in this matchup, knocking off Olathe East at home by a score of 27-21.


TheImpaler said...

TheImpaler's Week 3 picks:
Last Week (6-0) Season (11-1)

We've now sorted out the ON-OE-SME pecking order at the top of the conference in the first two weeks. The question now is where does O South fit into that scheme? Eli says #2? I think maybe #3 but we'll find out on the field at least as they play all three teams. We'll have to wait until next week to begin to answer that question when they face SME.

ON(2-0) @ SMW(1-1) (Thurs) Well, I guess this is the game of the week. Vikings built a big half time lead last week then let it slip away with sloppy play giving up a 90 yard kick return and a 45 yard fumble return for 14 free points. They then had to rally from behind to force overtime and get the win which, with perennial patsies SMN, LV, SMS and BVN left, should give them their 8th straight winning season. Still, the same sloppy mental errors that killed them last year are persisting. Coach Callaghan's young team SHOULD improve as the season goes on but they are catching the high powered Eagles way too early to have any chance here. ON 38 SMW 17

OS (2-0) @ LV (0-2) The mismatch of the week. although LV put up a good fight against Free State I think that just raises questions about the Firebirds rather than lending credence to the Pioneers. OS' running game is impressive and it will be a long night for the Pioneers. OS 49 LV 13

LAW (1-1) @ OE (1-1) Lions came back down to earth last week, now they step up the competition ladder a little further. However much we might hate the obnoxious Hawk fan base, you have to respect Coach Meyers and his program. Every year they put a solid product on the field and I just don't think the Lions have the horses to compete in this one. OE 31 LAW 10

LFS (1-1) @ SMS (0-2) How bad is Free State? The first week they played okay but a couple of mistakes and poor finishing on drives got them blown out. Last week they were really flirting with losing to LV before getting a late interception in their own end that saved them. The Raiders have shown they can put up some major points and the Firebirds have struggled to score. Upset of the week. SMS 35 LFS 28

SMNW (0-2) @ ONW (2-0) Intriguing test. The Cougs have looked pretty bad so far this year but are still better than either of ONW's first two opponents. Ravens BARELY got by SMS last week on a goofy two point decision by Coach Longeran and I just don't see them beating the Cougs. I suppose looking at the records you could call this an upset but SMNW has played much better teams and should be more prepared for this game. SMNW 27 ONW 24

SME (1-1) @ SMN (1-1) This game has trouble written all over it for the Lancers. An in between game after a tough loss to OE last week and before a big game against O South next week. Plus no Dakota Collins. Can they focus on an improved Indian team? I look for them to struggle early but pull it together in time to get the win. SME 24 SMN 14

Adam Sullivan said...

Olathe N 31 SM West 14
Olathe S 49 Leavenworth 7
Olathe E 34 Lawrence 21
Free State 28 SM South 24
SM Northwest 35 Olathe NW 31
SM East 31 SM North 14

Eaglelover1 said...

At the North - West game now, ON ripping them apart contest as expected. ON is sure head and shoulders above the rest, I didn't know they were this good. Probably no competition til November in Topeka against Heights.

Govannon Grey said...

While I'll give you the 15pt win against Olathe East, which was impressive, I refuse to crown Olathe North the East side champions based on the beatings of 2 sub-par football teams.

I'm not hating on Olathe North, I do think that they might be the best team in the Sunflower; I just remember last year, when I thought that about Olathe East after they shut the Eagles out in the regular season (that was a 17 pt victory, if I remember correctly, if my math is correct that's 2 points better than North's aforementioned 15 point victory). Turned out come November, it wasn't the case.

Long story short, Week 3 wins against sub-average football teams does not equal state title glory.

FiveFour said...

okk well if there sub par teams whos the upper teams of the eastern side of kansas??

Adam Sullivan said...

Olathe North
Olathe South
I would consider Olathe East, and possibly Lawrence.

EagleSenior said...

sry I forgot to post my picks yesterday.

ON 35-14 SMW
OS 56-17 LV
OE 21-14 LAW
LFS 21-20 SMS
SMNW 32-30 ONW
SME 35-14 SMN