|OE's Braxton Love goes in for a tackle. KC Star.|
Lawrence Free State
Three points separate Free State from a perfect record. And their one loss to Olathe South came down to throwing an interception in Olathe South's endzone in the final minute of the game. The Firebirds might have more talent at the skill positions than anyone in the league and they're on fire.
The Hawks haven't had a whole lot to celebrate this year but their win against rival Olathe North is something they can be proud of. We'll see if they can run their way to the playoffs in the next three weeks.
The Ravens have steadily improved since their week one 37-0 loss to Free State. In that time they've developed more comfort with their passing game and added a solid rushing attack. Like always though, their defense is horrible. If they want to beat Olathe North this Friday they're going to have to step it up.
The Lancers learned how hard it is having the target on your back. They've got two options now: forget the loss and move on to obtain what should be a very manageable playoff berth or sulk about the beatdown. My guess is that they'll take the former and do quite well from here on out.
Two weeks of solid play kind of went to waste with the Eagles poor performance against Olathe East. That loss was bad, but a loss to Olathe Northwest this Friday would be really bad, because it would be the second year in a row the Ravens took the win in the game.
The Cougars have lost five straight games since their week one victory against the now 1-5 Olathe North Eagles. They're basically SM North, with one second half comeback on the resume.
Week Six Players of the Week
Joe Dineen, Lawrence Free State: Dineen almost single handily took SM East out in the first half. He intercepted two passes, then recovered a fumble and took it back for a touchdown. He's one of the centerpieces of the league's best secondary, and he's easily one of the top players in the league.
Chaz Union, SM South: Union kept SM South competitive against LHS, recovering three fumbles and forcing two. He leads the Sunflower League in fumble recoveries with four, not to mention taking one back for a touchdown in one of SM South's victories earlier in the year.
Brad Strauss, Lawrence: Strauss completed 19 of his 22 of his passes for 235 yards and three touchdowns, while also rushing for 48 yards. For some players that's a career night. For Strauss, it's just another game.
Week Seven Power Rankings
1. Lawrence Free State (5-1): The Firebirds spring to the top of the Power Rankings after their 28-0 shutout of SM East. They might be clicking as well as any team in the league at this point in time, and if I was a quarterback I wouldn't want anything to do with passing the ball against their secondary.
2. Lawrence (5-1): The fighting Brad Strausses continue to roll having now won five straight games. They can win at least a share of the Sunflower League, claim the top overall seed in Class 6A East and set themselves up for nice playoff run if they win out. I have their October 26th game with Free State circled on my calendar.
3. SM East (5-1): They shutout loss to Free State was not the way the Lancers wanted to enter district play. Fortunately for SM East, two of the teams in their district are a combined 1-11 and making the playoffs seems like a foregone conclusion.
4. Olathe South (4-2): A couple things to keep in mind. The Falcons have more playoff experience than any team in the league and it's going to be tough for SM East and LHS to beat Olathe South again, should they meet up in the post season. Olathe South is in a good position when you combine all of that with their relatively easy district.
5. SM West (5-1): The Vikings just keep chugging along, collecting win after win. Their rushing attack with Brett Sterbach has been excellent--but the true test of how well the Vikings finish out the regular season and presumably perform in the playoffs will depend on quarterback AJ Verdini keeping defenses honest with the passing game.
6. SM South (3-3): The Raiders have shown flashes of being a good team, but it's their continual miscues (dropped snaps, interceptions, defensive gaffes) that has hurt them this entire year. Blue Valley Northwest will not be a major challenge this week, but a win would put SM South in great position to make the playoffs.
7. Olathe East (2-4): Olathe East is starting to show a little life. Their 14-3 win over Olathe North wasn't pretty but it was a step in the right direction. They should be able to add victory number three this week when they host Blue Valley North.
8. Olathe North (1-5): After playing well in back-to-back weeks Olathe North really stumbled against Olathe East, scoring a mere three points in the loss. If they don't win this Friday against Olathe Northwest there's a good chance their playoff hopes will be shot.
9. Leavenworth (3-3): Things don't get any easier for the Pioneers as they take on the 5-1 LHS Chesty Lions in their first district game this week. After that they get to feud with Free State, who is also sitting at 5-1. That being said, if they can manage to finish the season at 4-5 it would be a marked improvement from last year.
10. Olathe Northwest (2-4): Last season Olathe Northwest beat Olathe North in districts and advanced to the playoffs. Can they do it again? It remains to be seen how their other two games go, but this Friday will be paramount in terms of momentum.
11. SM Northwest (1-5): The Cougs can toss their 1-5 record out the window because it means nothing in district play. They've been sporadically competitive this season and if they can string together three solid weeks of play they could surprise us all and make the playoffs.
12. SM North (0-6): Much like SM Northwest, the Indians poor record to date means nothing with the arrival of district play. They had some success against Olathe Northwest with their running game early last week, and they need that type of effort for four quarters from here on out.
Social Media Standings
Follow me @eliunderwood. I will follow you back. Teams that have the most interaction during the week (follows, Retweets, Tweets @eliunderwood, Favorites, comments, etc.) earn the most cred on the social media standings. I also factor in how solid each team's student section is at the games.
The most interactive Tweeters from each school get their username's listed below their school. I would strongly encourage you to follow these users because of their high volume of interactivity.
1. Olathe South Falcons
The Falcons weren't as interactive as normal, but it was their homecoming game so I'll give 'em a break--this week. Olathe South continues to be plagued by a ridiculous traveling scheduling as this week they head south to Gardner to see their team start district play against Gardner-Edgerton. The distance shouldn't make a difference with this crowd.
2. Lawrence Chesty Lions
Just as their football team has picked up momentum, so have the Chesty Lions support in game attendance as well as on Twitter. Both the Lawrence schools have been doing well for that matter, and I expect the Tweeting to peak two weeks from now when they play one another. In the meantime, keep up the good work LHS.
3. SM West Vikings
SM West slides their way back into the top three. Granted, it was a poor week overall for interaction (I think most people were ready for meaningful games to get here several weeks ago) but the Vikes did just enough to sneak in at the three spot. We'll see how they do from here on out.
Others: @Pcart2, @810varsity, @SMEFootball2012, @jimthejam, @A_Kiss18, @WShort53, @KeithLonekerSr, @CSestrich21, @jstarrrr15