|Olathe East's Kendall Kelly scored four touchdowns|
on Friday, helping Olathe East to their seventh straight
victory. Photo courtesy the Kansas City Star.
The Vikings are finally showing some semblance of a being a good football team. Their victory over SM East was their third straight, and in doing so SM West clinched a playoff berth and a district championship.
Lawrence Free State
As we've grown accustomed to with Bob Lisher's teams, the Firebirds have continued to develop as a team at an incredible rate. Let's be honest, after Free State struggled to beat Leavenworth 23-12 in week two, did anyone think they would be capable of beating Olathe North 19-14 just six weeks later?
The Hawks used a smashmouth attack to claim their seventh straight victory, this one coming over BV Northwest. They face Olathe South on Friday and a win will earn the Hawks a share of the Sunflower League Championship, and guarantee a district championship.
No one is really sure what's wrong with Olathe North right now, but they don't look good. By way of a miracle, the Eagles still haven't been eliminated from the playoffs and they have a chance to sneak in with a big win Friday against Olathe Northwest.
Quarterback Brad Strauss went down with an injury and the Chesty Lions proceeded to put up a mere three total points in the game. Simply put, without Strauss Lawrence is a completely different team. There is no official word on the severity of his injury.
The Lancers didn't help their chances when they decided to go on a turnover spree against SM West. With the loss, the Lancers are now 4-4 and in a must-win situation against SM South if they want to make the playoffs.
Week Eight Players of the Week
Mason Perez, SM North: Perez played one his best games of the season on Friday, making sure his Indian's would stay in contention for a playoff berth. Perez caught six passes for 113 yards and four touchdowns, in addition to returning a punt 28 yards for a score. He scored the first five touchdowns of the game for SM North.
Elliot Faerber, SM East: Faerber has had some tough breaks on the season. A few injuries, combined with rotating starting quarterbacks hasn't helped the cause, but Friday night he finally looked to be back in his normal form. His team lost, but Faerber wasn't to blame as he caught 16 passes for 241 yards. A healthy Faerber, with a healthy Dakota Collins to throw to him could make for a dangerous late-season combo if the Lancers can make the playoffs.
Week Nine Power Rankings
1. Olathe East (7-1): Stop the Hawks three-headed rushing attack and you have a chance at a win; the problem is, only one team (Olathe North) has been able to do that, and that was in early September.
2. Olathe South (7-1): The Falcons can make everyone forget about their loss to BV Northwest, win the Sunflower League title outright, and roll into the playoffs with good momentum with a win Friday against Olathe East.
3. Lawrence Free State (6-2): Who would have thought the Firebirds would already have more regular season wins that they had in all of 2010? Due to a uber-quick maturity of some new starters that's where Free State is at, and they're looking good.
4. Lawrence (5-3): Lawrence was decimated by injuries in 2010, and if Strauss' injury is as bad as it looked, 2011 could be a repeat. Losing running back Charles Jackson was tough, but they were able to overcome it. Not having Strauss against Free State could be a killer.
5. Olathe North (5-3): The Eagles have slipped fast, but their playoff hopes are still alive if Free State beats Lawrence, and they take care of business against Olathe Northwest, and have the point totals work in their favor.
6. SM West (5-3): After a nice victory against SM East, the Vikings have a very solid chance at finishing the season with a better-than-expected record of 6-3. Perhaps, if the prognostications turn out as expected, the Vikes would be able to return some much needed revenge to an EKL foe come playoff time.
7. SM East (4-4): SM East has certainly painted themselves as being a better team than SM South, but as we arrive at week nine that disparity doesn't look too great. The Lancers are still the favorite, but another off week and they're out of the playoffs with a 4-5 record.
8. Olathe Northwest (4-4): Sure the Ravens benefited from not facing a Strauss-led Lawrence team for an entire game, but you could also point out that they very well could have beat Free State with a healthy Dalton Rook the previous week. A win against Olathe North would be colossal for the program.
9. SM Northwest (3-5): SM Northwest can be very thankful for their district. After barely beating SM North and Leavenworth the past two weeks, they take on a pitiful Wyandotte team, and we can all but book a 4-5 regular season for the Cougars.
10. SM North (2-6): The 63-point victory was nice, and now it's time for the Indians to play well in a meaningful game. They were in this same position last season... we'll see if it translates to this year.
11. SM South (2-6): The Raiders control their own destiny at this point in time which is always good heading into the final week of district play. There's been some bad blood between SM South and SM East in recent years and this game, which will determine who gets the district's final playoff berth, will be a good one.
12. Leavenworth (1-7): The Pioneers surely remember how painful it was losing to SM North and not qualifying for the playoffs last season. This time around they can reverse that feeling. We'll see if they have the horses to do it.