Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Week Three Game Previews

Free State hopes to perform better against Olathe South
this time around than they did in last year's 35-14 week
one loss to the Falcons.  Lawrence Journal World.
Game of the Week
Olathe South (2-0) at Lawrence Free State (2-0) at Free State Athletic Stadium 

Game of the Year Part I.  The season is still green but we couldn't have asked for a more exciting pairing in week three than this matchup.

Let's look at some of the facts: Olathe South, widely regarded as one of the top two or three teams in Kansas City, has won 21 of their last 24 games, including last year's 6A state championship.  They have all of the momentum in the world right now, with a roster buoyed by an elite level of talent and experience that most programs could only dream of having.  Quarterback Frank Seurer carries a 21-5 career record, while the defense is stacked with talented players like Remington Whitley, Braden Smith and Sawyer Hawkins among others.

On the other side of the ball, Free State looks like one of the only teams in the league with the horses to contest all of that.  The Firebirds are led by an array of skill position players including Kyle McFarland, Joe Dineen, TJ Cobbs and Tye Hughes, which rivals the gamebreaking units they put on the field in 2006 and 2008.  This game is full of top-flight talent and it has the makings a great one.  One thing to keep in mind is that Olathe South's last loss came in 2011 against Blue Valley Northwest, a team who runs a spread offense very similar to what Free State operates.  Olathe South has at times struggled to defend that type of offense in the past.  How they perform against it this Friday will be a very strong indication of their development on the defensive side of the ball compared with last year.

 *Olathe South fans attending the game in Lawrence may want to depart earlier than usual.  Westbound K-10 has (as of earlier this week) minor construction projects that at times limit the highway to one lane.  And remember, Free State Athletic Stadium is on the far Northwest corner of Lawrence, the complete opposite side from where K-10 enters the city. Plan accordingly. 

SM Northwest (1-1) at Leavenworth (1-1) at Pioneer Stadium

Who wants to redeem themselves more?  Both teams looked fantastic in week one before playing poorly in week two losses.  Quite frankly the jury is still out on both of these squads.  Players like Leavenworth's Jason Randall and Judson Cole will be going up against SM Northwest's Kelby Quinty and Jake Horner, which should make for a good showing.  More simply, the game isn't absent of exciting players.  It's really just a matter of which unit is more hungry for their second win.

SM West (1-1) at Olathe North (0-2) at ODAC

This game has some interesting nuggets from a coaching perspective.  SM West's head coach, Tim Callaghan, was a member of five state championship teams as an assistant coach under Gene Wier during Wier's previous tenure at Olathe North.  Having watched Olathe North play last week, I can tell you that Wier is running a different offense from the one he ran during his previous tenure at Olathe North, when Callaghan was an assistant.  In fact, the only school running Wier's offense from that time period, today, are SM West and in some respects SM South (SMS head coach Ryan Lonergan served as an assistant at Olathe North in 2002 and with SM West from '03 through '10).  As far as the game goes, SM West has the talent and experience to win, but they cannot afford to overlook the threats posed by Olathe North's young skill position players.  Namely, Venus Triplett.  Olathe North and SM East were neck and neck for a quarter last Thursday while Triplett was having success running the ball.  He has to be SM West's number one focus.

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

If you're looking for an exciting offensive game and can't make it to Lawrence, I would suggest you find your way to CBAC this Friday.  The Lancers and the Ravens are arguably the top two passing offenses in the league and they seem to put up gaudy numbers week in and week out.  SM East has a ton of momentum right now but this is going to be the first true test for their secondary.  In week one SM South hardly threw the ball with the rainy weather and they faced a mostly ground based attack from Olathe North in week two.  We know the Lancers have a top flight front eight, but their secondary is going to be tested on Friday.  How they respond will have a major impact on the outcome of this one.

SM North (0-2) at SM South (1-1) at SM South District Stadium

While no non-district game is necessarily a "must-win" situation, I feel a victory here for SM South is as close to a must as you're going to find for a team in their first six games.  After playing poorly in week one against SM East the Raiders put together a nice all-around victory over Leavenworth last Friday.  They now face SM North, a team being labeled as the worst in the league.  Whether or not that title is fair remains to be seen, but the Raiders can't be overconfident.  I feel their program has some momentum going and they can't afford to trip up now, especially at home against SM North.  For the Indians, all bets are off.  They really have nothing to lose going forward and I expect them to continue to work their rushing attack in the hopes of collecting their first victory.

Olathe East (1-1) at Lawrence (1-1) at Lawrence High Stadium

Two clashing offensive styles will go head to head in this game.  Olathe East will be sticking to their ground and pound game, hoping to limit LHS's offensive possessions while also wearing down the Chesty Lions' defense.  Hayden Frazier could very well have over 30 carries again this week.  LHS on the other hand needs to find offensive success early with the hopes of blowing the game up in the first half.  Historically, LHS has shown a tendency to play tight when the score is close late in a game (see their week one loss to SM West).  The Chesty Lions will be hoping to establish an early lead to feed off of into the second half. 

*Olathe East fans attending the game in Lawrence may want to depart earlier than usual.  Westbound K-10 has (as of earlier this week) minor construction projects that at times limit the highway to one lane.  Plan accordingly.


TheImpaler said...

TheImpaler's Week 3 picks: Last week 5-1, Season 7-5

Back in the swing, only missed the Vikes game last week. Must have been the rain. Big Olathe/Lawrence show downs this week. I love Olathe/Lawrence show downs, someone has to lose.

OE (1-1) @ LAW (1-1) As important as a game can be in week three, neither team wants to go to 1-2 but one is going to. Lions looked very strong last week while the Hawks looked very pedestrian. Strauss v. Blazevic, no contest. I look for Strauss to keep rolling here at home. LAW 30 OE 17

OS (2-0) @ LFS (2-0) The winner here has the inside track on the conference championship for sure. In a year where all the top teams seem to play, the Falcons may have a small advantage in that they don’t play SMW. Free State showed they’re to be taken seriously last week. I think this one comes down to whether the Firebird O line can keep Falcon Brayden Smith in check and open lanes for McFarland and Cobbs. I've gone back and forth on this one. Which usually means I'll get it wrong but I'm going with the 'Birds at home in a shootout. LFS 34 OS 33

SMNW (1-1) @ LV (1-1) Which Coug team show up here? The one that blasted ON or the one that bumbled their way to a blowout loss to LAW? I’m still not a Pioneer believer, they’re too one dimensional. 3 points at home against the Raiders? Got to do better than that. SMNW 23 LV 16

SMW (1-1) @ ON (0-2) Could it actually be? ON starting the season with 3 SM teams and starting 0-3? Yes, I think it can. The West D will have a field day with the young uninspired Eagle offense. This will be a good chance for a Vike QB to step up and show some good play as Sterbach alone should be able to win this one. SMW 28 ON 13

SME (2-0) @ ONW (0-2) Last tune up game for the Lancers. They’ve looked good so far and Darling to Rellihan should be enough on it’s own to overmatch the Ravens. Next week it gets tougher, Lancers. SME 41 ONW 12

SMN (0-2) @ SMS (1-1) Good step forward for the Raiders last week with a road win. Back home this week for what should be a cakewalk over the Indians. SMS 31 SMN 10

Who's Your Daddy said...

My week Three Picks
OE @ Lawrence The only positive for East in this game is that Lawrence will force East to go outside the tackles. If ONW passed for over 300 yards against East look for Strauss to have a field day running and passing. Lawrence 35- East 14.

OS @ LFS Both these teams may be a bit overvalued. Lets see who steps up in a critical matchup. I give Olathe south the edge on defense with a push on offense. Olathe South 27-LFS 24

SMNW@ LEAV Its no embarrassment to be blown out by the Chesty LIons. Even with their mud slopped loss I believe they are the class of the conference. Leavonworth has talent but can't break the losing mentality. SMNW 26- LEAV 17

SMW@ON Would somebody tell Gene Weir that ON is a running School. Stop letting your QB cost you games. 7 INT's in two weeks. Give the ball to Triplett 25 times and this game could be close. Sterbach is having great season but the question is can he hold up physically the entire year at 150lbs. SMW 24 ON 20 if they run.

SME@ ONW The Lancers should have no trouble in this one. ONW can't tackle and their QB misses to many open receivers. Coach Sherman is one the best in the conference SME 35 ONW 14

SMN@ SMS We will see if SMN has really improve their teem speed because they will need it in this one. I say wishful thinking. Look for Gabe to have over 250 yards rushing in a blow out. SMS 42-SMN 13.

Who's Your Daddy said...

I'm was a little rushed this morning so please excuse my grammatical errors.

Sunflower football news said...

Great overview for week 3. Should be a great match between the Lancers and Ravens. Even with the numbers ONW has tossed offensively, seeing how they overcome the losses of McCauley, Rook, and MIddleton seem to be an added pressure to this current team. Best of luck to both, and should be a very good game!

Slugger said...

Slugger picks for week 3.
OS @ LFS. Close and not as high scoring as some might think. OS edges FS 14-13

SMNW @ LVW. LVW takes it 28-14

SMW @ ON. 42-6 SMW rolls

SME @ ONW. Could SME have 3 easier games to open the season with? SME takes it 35-14

SMN @ SMS. SMN is bad. Real bad. SMS runs away 34-6
OE @ LAW. 21-28. Law wins a tough game

footballer21 said...

OS over FS
LV over SMNW
SMS over SMN
Law over OE
SMW over ON
SME over ONW

Soccerlover1080 said...

SMN @ SMS= 28-3 Shawnee Mission South

SME @ ONW= 35-7 Shawnee Mission East

SMW @ ON= 21-14 Shawnee Mission West

SMNW @ LV= 17-3 Leavenworth

OS @ LFS= 35-28 Freestate

OE @ Law= 35-21 Lawrence

The Biscuit said...

Uhm yeah easily... Could've had SMN. Lol North is horrible. What happened? Nothing but down hill since Sam Brown left.

The Biscuit said...

Pretty simple in my picks this week:
All SM schools (except SMN)
Both Larrytown schools
Got it? Good!

What Do I Know? said...

Sterbach may only be 150 lbs. but he is a straight up beast. every kid at the school is afraid of him. he doesnt feel pain. hes actually insane

TheImpaler said...

So he's playing VS?

TheImpaler said...

And VS you should get in on the pick 'em contest. Mah Valley picks this week? Unanimous so far on SMW, SME, SMS and LAW. 3-3 split on the other two games.

Free State Fan said...

Wish I could join the prediction party, but I just can't bring myself to do it. Parity... anything can happen in this league. I've read with great interest the bloggers comments on the FS/OS game. Of course, I am for FS as "Free State Fan" gives away, but even I can see that as soon as you find one advantage for one team, you can find a different advantage for the other team too. No matter how you look at it, it's gonna be a great game and if I can predict one thing, I predict this will be the first of two terrific games these teams play - with the second game being deep in the playoffs. With this being FS's first home game, I'm riding home field advantage as the key to a Firebird victory. Go Mean Green!

Free State Fan said...

For OS fans coming to FS, the best route is to stay on K-10/23rd St/Clinton Pkwy all the way to Wakarusa Dr and head north. You avoid a lot of the town traffic. (No this is not a trick to get you lost, it really is the best route.) :o)

Govannon Grey said...

I live in West Lawrence and can vouch for Free State Fan's travel advice. Also, I kind of see this GOTW going more the defensive side. OS and LFS both tout some of the best defenses, and In HS still in a young season, good defense still has the upper hand over good offense. Who'll win? I'm not big on predictions, I'll let the kids on the field figure that one out.

Who's Your Daddy said...

Wow Brett Sterbach is secretly the terminator.

Who's Your Daddy said...

Hey Biscuit Sam Brown was the recipient of a incredibly well coached bunch of players from Coach Faddis's youth program. Anyone could have won with that group.

The Biscuit said...

He was winning for a long time before Brooks and that class came through. Unless Coach Faddis was coaching the whole FCCJC North system. Just saying... I mean my team on lost 4 games in 5 years including an undefeated season and also had amazing coaches. We also went undefeated frosh year lost 2 soph year but it all didn't translate to varsity when everyone quit.

Who's Your Daddy said...

That's a big part of the problem with unsuccessful programs. The Coaches don't embrace the youth programs like they should. Teams like Mill Valley, Gardner, Blue Valley, etc will be perineal powerhouses because their Coaches have small town mentality and have a synergy with the youth Coaches. Youth Coaches don't get enough credit for preparing these kids for High School. Your Coach was probably Randy Martin who came from the same tree as myself and the Faddis boys. Good Coaches don't fall far from the tree.