Monday, September 17, 2012

Week Three Review & Power Rankings

LHS' Kharon Brown chased Olathe East QB
John Blazevic on Friday night.  LHS won, 28-20.
Photo courtesy the Lawrence Journal World.
Three Up

Olathe South
The Falcons have won nine straight football games dating back to last year, their latest being the most impressive since they took down Wichita Heights in the final minutes of the 6A state title game. 

Since 2000, the Pioneers have had four seasons of zero wins, four seasons of one win, three seasons of two wins and one four win season.  Through three games this year they have two wins, a definitive step in the right direction.

The Chesty Lions have a tune-up game this Friday against SM North before they travel back home to the friendly confines of Lawrence High Stadium to take on Olathe South.  In the meantime, their victory over Olathe East was a big one and an encouraging sign.  The schedule makers did LHS a ton of favors with their home and away scheduling for this season.

Three Down

SM Northwest
The Cougars week one victory against Olathe North doesn't hold the water it did three weeks ago, as the Eagles are now 0-3.  SM Northwest may have the easiest schedule in the league, but that doesn't mean anything unless they take advantage of it.

Olathe East
Had the Hawks played as well throughout the game as they did in the fourth quarter there's a good chance they would have come away with the victory at Lawrence.  But one good quarter does not make up for three poor quarters, and as it stands the Hawks are 1-2 with a talented SM West team on the schedule this week.

SM North
The Indians defense has given up 152 points in three games, or just over 50 points per game.  At 0-3, they must play better on the defensive side of the ball if they plan on winning any games.

Week Three Players of the Week

Brad Strauss, Lawrence: Yeah, Strauss was pretty much unstoppable on Friday night, save a fourth quarter interception (which he actually made up for later in the quarter with a defensive interception of his own).  His 15 completions were good for 305 yards passing (20.3 yards per completion) and three touchdowns and he also added 87 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

Brett Sterbach, SM West: The "Sterbanator" as he's being called, rushed for 238 yards and two touchdowns for the Vikings in their 38-7 win over Olathe North.  He ranks second in the league in rushing and has totaled six rushing touchdowns thus far.

Gabe Guild, SM South: The league's leading rusher added to his totals Friday, carrying the ball 16 times for 236 yards and three touchdowns in the Raiders win over SM North.  He's on pace to rush for 1,782 yards in the nine-game regular season.

A beautiful shot of the evening sky by the LJ World's Nick Krug from the LHS vs. Olathe East game.

Week Four Power Rankings

1. Olathe South (3-0): The Falcons will need to shore up their pass coverage going forward, but beating the league's second ranked team on the road is a commendable feat.  Their schedule doesn't do them any favors with road games at SM East and Lawrence in the next two weeks.

2. Lawrence Free State (2-1): Coming within a late interception of beating the defending 6A champs was actually impressive from this relatively unknown Free State group.  They might be favored to win every game from here on out.

3. SM West (2-1): Before the season it looked like the Vikes would do great if they could come away 2-2 in their first four games.  They have to be licking their chops with the possibility of 3-1.  A win against Olathe East would give them a ton of momentum going forward.

4. Lawrence (2-1): The Chesty Lions are only as good as their quarterback Brad Strauss.  When he combines for 392 yards of total offense and four touchdowns (like he did on Friday) they are tough to beat.

5. SM East (3-0): The Lancers have played a relatively easy schedule but they've also taken care of business like we had expected them to in those games.  They have a chance to exercise some demons this Thursday against Olathe South, the program that knocked them out of the playoffs in '05, '10 and '11.  Win and they likely catapult themselves to the top spot on the Power Rankings.

6. Olathe East (1-2): It's weird seeing the Hawks with a losing record and it would be even more strange if they were to lose this Friday and drop to 1-3.  They have more riding on this game (from a morale standpoint) than what appears on the surface.

7. SM South (2-1): The Raiders' played great on offense on Friday.  Granted, their opponent SM North isn't anything to write home about on defense, but it was important that the SM South was able to flex their passing game to some extent.  They'll need it come district time.

8. Leavenworth (2-1): The Pioneers have two very winnable games in the next two weeks.  If they could get to 4-1 before they play SM West and then enter districts they'll have a ton of momentum and may be able to extend their playoff streak to two seasons.

9. SM Northwest (1-2):  The Cougars inexperience is really starting to show.  They've lost their last two games with poor performances in both contests.  They need to find some semblance of an offensive attack.

10. Olathe Northwest (0-3): Usually teams don't move up in the Power Rankings with a loss, but I'll give the benefit of the doubt to the Ravens this week.  Their offensive attack will be good enough to collect several wins in the mild four game stretch they have starting this week.

11. Olathe North (0-3): The Eagles have only mustered four touchdowns in their three losses and rank as the lowest scoring team in the league.  They have to find a way to get Venus Triplett into open field if they're going to be more successful going forward.

12. SM North (0-3): On the positive side the Indians did play well on the offensive side of the ball early on against SM South.  If their defense could make some stops they have a chance at winning some games.


Who's Your Daddy said...

Eli, Way to pick up my terminator nickname on Sterbach. He looks like Reese but plays like Arnold.

Who's Your Daddy said...

Just wanted to comment on the Lawrence OE game. Just like I called it OE was forced to open up a little when they got behind. They had some decent gains on pass plays which opened up the run game more. It's called run pass ratio. In the end during the two minute drill it was apparent that East was unprepared for creative play calling. The conference is to competitive this season for three yards and a cloud of dust. I see more of the same next week. If they can't stop the sterminator they will be in the same sinking boat.

Eli Underwood said...

It's interesting to me that Olathe East has changed into such a run heavy team the past few years.

Back when I played I remember their quarterbacks like Derek Miller, Travis Tannahill and Rick Settle throwing the ball quite a bit. Maybe they just haven't had the signal callers to throw the ball as much as they'd like to?

Either way, they have a big game coming up this Friday at home against SM West. I'm anxious to see how the two sides clash in that one.

team player said...

I believe OE is dependent on the run because it is a lot easier to call from a coaching stand point. The coach never has a head set on and it appears no other coaches provide input to the head coach on offensive plays. What a disappointment OE is becoming.

team player said...

I believe OE is dependent on the run because it is a lot easier to call from a coaching stand point. The coach never has a head set on and it appears no other coaches provide input to the head coach on offensive plays. What a disappointment OE is becoming.