|SM East's Jake Libeer and the rest of the |
Lancers will look to get back on track
this week against Free State. Photo
courtesy the Lawrence Journal World.
These two teams are on the opposite end of the momentum spectrum at this point in the season. Free State, who came into 2011 with little experience and hardly any expectations, has been one of the pleasant surprises of the league, having won their last four games. SM East has been just the opposite. A preseason of hype has been followed up by a season of injuries to key players among other team issues. The Lancers are hoping their 31-point shutout against Lawrence last week will be the low-point on the season.
Olathe Northwest (2-3) at SM North (1-4) (Thursday Night Game) at SM North District Stadium
Neither of these teams have won a game in the past three weeks. While two of Olathe Northwest's losses during that time came by a combined six points, SM North hasn't really performed well at all. Olathe Northwest looks like the stronger team on paper, but we'll see how things turn out.
Leavenworth (0-5) at SM West (2-3) at SM South District Stadium
SM West's season has been quite average compared to what the program is used to. Maybe this game against Leavenworth will give the team some rhythm as they approach district play. The Vikings are at home and should claim the victory, however, they cannot afford to sleep on Leavenworth. While the Pioneers haven't been good, they do have a speedy backfield and they are capable of putting together an upset if they get some lucky bounces.
SM South (1-4) at Lawrence (3-2) at Lawrence High School
Two of the league's premier offensive players, Brad Strauss from Lawrence and Gabe Guild from SM South, will be squaring off in this game and if it's offense you want to see, this may be the game for it. Both teams played well in week five and it could be a fun one to watch in Lawrence.
Olathe East (4-1) at SM Northwest (1-4) at SM North District Stadium
SM Northwest is licking their chops at the sight of their district which lies ahead--however they'll have to put up with Olathe East in this pre-district tune up, and it might not be too fun. The Cougars have only won one game this season and it came on a last-second field goal conversion. Olathe East on the other hand has been on a roll ever since they stumbled week one against Olathe North.
Game of the Week
Olathe South (5-0) at Olathe North (5-0) at ODAC
One of the best midseason games we've seen in years? You betcha. Olathe North has gone 22-1 in regular season games since 2009 and they'd love to push that to 23 wins. The Eagles have looked close to flawless in their five games this season, but you could also make the case that they haven't been tested since week one. Olathe South hasn't been flawless, but they continue to find a way to win week in and week out. Olathe South is also playing inspired football after losing teammate Zach Sheffield to a complications related to a kidney he injured against SM East. This game doesn't have playoff implications but the winner will have bragging rights and plenty of confidence heading into district play next week.