|SM South's Gabe Guild. LJWorld.|
1. Brad Strauss, Quarterback, Lawrence
Week Eight Stats: 5-of-9 passing, 100 yards, 2 TDs; 5 carries, 92 yards, 3 TDs
Strauss put up 192 yards of total offense and five touchdowns in the first half and his workload for the night was over. That was probably a good thing given the amount of effort he's going to have to expend this coming Friday when he leads LHS against Free State. Free State's defense will be the biggest test Strauss has faced since week one against SM West.
2. Kyle McFarland, QB, Free State
Week Eight Stats: 7-of-13 passing, 134 yards, 2 TDs; 4 carries, 38 yards
McFarland, like Strauss, was kept from getting beat up too much last Friday against Leavenworth, as Free State jumped to a big early lead. His impact against LHS on offense this week will be huge, but it's his defensive efforts at safety that may be paramount in the outcome of the game.
3. Brett Sterbach, Running Back, SM West
Week Eight Stats: 28 carries, 91 yards, 1 TD
Last Friday against SM East Sterbach didn't have any "wow" type plays the way he usually does, but he ran tough against a stout front eight--and in the end that made all the difference. His ability to pick up solid chunks of yardage on each carry kept the Lancers defense honest and opened up the passing game for SM West.
4. Gabe Guild, Running Back, SM South
Week Eight Stats: 3 carries, 15 yards
Guild carried the ball three times on SM South's opening drive then came out of the game for good. His ankle injury from the Raiders' week seven game with Blue Valley Northwest was the culprit. The jury's still out on the type of impact he'll be able to make this Friday against Olathe East if he's not close to full strength.
5. Hayden Frazier, Running Back, Olathe East
Week Eight Stats: 24 carries, 160 yards, 3 TDs
Stop Frazier, stop Olathe East. The formula is simple but so far only three of the Hawks' opponents have been able to do it (Frazier was held out of Olathe East's loss to SM East). Frazier has run very well in recent weeks and ranks third in the league in rushing yards. His confidence is booming--earlier this week he guaranteed an Olathe East victory against SM South on a local radio station--and we'll see if he can keep it up.
Honorable Mention: Jason Randall, Leavenworth; Russell White, Olathe South; AJ Verdini, SM West; Tye Hughes, Free State; Erick Mayo, Lawrence; Matt Elliott, Olathe South; Andre Maloney, SM West.
Holdyn Halperin, Olathe Northwest: 1,839, 9 TDs
Brad Strauss, Lawrence: 1,588, 18 TDs
Jordan Darling, SM East: 1,454, 10 TDs
Kyle McFarland, Free State: 1,080, 13 TDs
AJ Verdini, SM West: 813, 8 TDs
Judson Cole, Leavenworth: 725, 6 TDs
Frank Seurer, Olathe South: 654, 7 TDs
Karlin Lucas, SM Northwest: 634, 2 TDs
Dontez Sanchez, Olathe North: 463, 5 TDs
Jon Prueter, SM South: 455, 4 TDs
Landry Hodges, Leavenworth: 226, 2 TDs
John Blazevic, Olathe East: 221, 1 TD
Nick Finazzo, SM North: 220
Gabe Guild, SM South: 1,449, 12 TDs
Brett Sterbach, SM West: 1,337, 16 TDs
Hayden Frazier, Olathe East: 1,168, 12 TDs
Russell White, Olathe South: 970, 12 TDs
Jason Randall, Leavenworth: 895, 7 TDs
Venus Triplett, Olathe North: 795, 9 TDs
Alex Pruss, Olathe Northwest: 772, 6 TDs
Kelby Quint, SM Northwest: 707, 8 TDs
Brad Strauss, Lawrence: 644, 13 TDs
Kyle McFarland, Free State: 562, 5 TDs
Henry Bell, SM North: 525, 6 TDs
Patrick Blackburn, SM East: 525, 9 TDs
TJ Cobbs, Free State: 503, 12 TDs
Connor Rellihan, SM East: 733, 4 TDs
Nathan Power, Olathe Northwest: 618, 3 TDs
Will Thompson, Lawrence: 509, 3 TDs
Tye Hughes, Free State: 483, 6 TDs
Chase Gitlin, Olathe Northwest: 476, 2 TDs
Erick Mayo, Lawrence: 438, 8 TDs
Drake Hofer, Lawrence: 409, 5 TDs
Andre Maloney, SM West: 358, 8 TDs
Jeff George, Leavenworth: 353, 4 TDs
Eli Keppler, Leavenworth: 333, 2 TDs
Jake Horner, SM Northwest: 290
Manny Psihountas, Olathe Northwest: 280, 1 TD
Matt Elliott, Olathe South: 276, 4 TDs
Joel Spiller, SM West: 251
Josh Ammel, Leavenworth: 90
Jeramie Fischer, SM South: 86
Remington Whitley, Olathe South: 86
Corban Schmidt, Free State: 84
Jordan Donnelson, Leavenworth: 76
Alex Durr, Olathe Northwest: 73
Sawyer Hawkins, Olathe South: 73
David Stewart, SM East: 72
Max Bullard, SM West: 68
Marquan Osbey, SM West: 67
Keith Loneker, Free State: 65
Ra'Keim Abdul, SM South: 64
Jarred Donnelson, Leavenworth: 64
Rashaun Owens, SM West: 64
Hunter Harrelson, Lawrence: 63
Isaiah Ross, Leavenworth: 60
Max Bullard, SM West: 5
Lee Spight, SM West: 5
Jared Donnelson, Leavenworth: 4.5
Kieran Severa, Lawrence: 4.5
Blake Winslow, Free State: 4.5
Keith Loneker, Free State: 4
Josh Seybert, Lawrence: 4
Cody Stanclift, Free State: 4
Kyle Ball, SM East: 3
Kharon Brown, Lawrence: 3
Jeramie Fischer, SM South: 3
Connor Holsinger, Olathe Northwest: 3
Braden Smith, Olathe South: 3
Chaz Union, SM South: 3
Ryan Ahlgren, Olathe East: 3
Dominique Atkinson, SM East: 3
Corban Schmidt, Free State: 3
Chaz Union, SM South: 4
Rasheed Brady, SM South: 3
Sawyer Hawkins, Olathe South: 3
Kyle McFarland, Free State: 4
Demarko Bobo, Free State: 3
Joe Dineen, Free State: 3
Matt Elliott, Olathe South: 3
Jake Hoskins, SM Northwest: 3
Andre Maloney, SM West: 3
Erick Mayo, Lawrence: 3
Ryan Carter, SM East: 2
Chase Hanson, Olathe South: 2
Connor Rellihan, SM East: 2
Robert Rice, SM West: 2
Frank Seurer, Olathe South: 2
Brad Strauss, Lawrence: 2
Dainan Swoope, SM South: 2
Ryan Woodson, Olathe East: 2
Demarko Bobo, Free State: 2 (2 ints)
Cooper Arner, SM West: 1 (int)
Carson Bowen, Free State: 1 (int)
Jordan Brown, Lawrence: 1 (fum)
Joe Dineen, Free State: 1 (int)
Khalil Hattley, SM Northwest: 1 (int)
Thomas McCue, Olathe South: 1 (int)
Frank Seurer, Olathe South: 1 (int)
Joel Spiller, SM West: 1 (fum)
Chaz Union, SM South: 1 (fum)
Kick Return/Punt Return Touchdowns
Tye Hughes, Free State: 2 PR TDs
Ra'Keim Abdul, SM South: 1 KR TD
Thomas McCue, Olathe South: 1 PR TD
Jason Randall, Leavenworth: 2 KR TD
Joey Reed, SM West: (6/8)
Riley Adam, Olathe Northwest: (4/4)
Judson Cole, Leavenworth: (4/6)
Jorge Rivera, Olathe North: (3/3)
Will Humphrey, SM East: (3/4)
Alex Allen, SM Northwest: (2/2)
Jonathan Killeen, SM Northwest: (2/3)
Dainan Swoope, SM South: (2/3)
Antonio Shoenich, Free State: (1/1)
Logan Swartz, Olathe South: (1/1)
Ryan Ahlgren, Olathe East: (1/3)
News and Notes
****SM West, much like Nebraska in the collegiate ranks, seems to have a great kicker/punter year in and year out, probably more so than any team in the league. From Matt Frankel ('01-'02) to Jared Witter ('03-'06) to Nick Sylvester ('07-'09) to Mark Whitrock ('10-'11) to their current starter, Joey Reed, the Vikings continually have excellent kickers. Also toss in three First Team All-Sunflower League players who just punted, as in didn't man the kicking duties--Ben Boswell in '01, Andrew Kinsman in '02 and Justin Scott in '08--and it's safe to say their special teams have been among the best, if not the best the past decade. While you may scoff off kicking and punting as mere minutia in the bigger picture of winning football games, special teams play can often be the difference in big playoff games (see Olathe East vs. Olathe North in 2002, and Blue Valley vs. Olathe North in 2009) and it certainly hasn't hurt SM West's success over the past decade.
****With this week's Lawrence vs. Free State game the hot topic, it's interesting to stop for a moment and ponder where we'd be at now had The Split not taken place. If you're not familiar with The Split, in the mid-1990s the city of Lawrence and the Lawrence School Board voted to add a second high school, essentially splitting the town into south (LHS) and north (Free State). LHS had grown too large and the board didn't feel the facility was fit to hold so many students. The Split took effect at the beginning of the 1997 school year.
Prior to The Split, LHS had won 6A state titles in 10 of the previous 18 seasons, including five titles in the 1990s. They were the juggernaut in Kansas high school football, and the Midwest for that matter. The Split was a severe jolt to Lawrence. Talent was split down the middle, as was success. In 15 complete seasons since The Split only one team from either program has appeared in a football state championship game (Free State in 2008). Many old school citizens in Lawrence still see The Split as an evil and unnecessary transgression which robbed the city of much of its football prowess.
Would Olathe North have gone on their run in the late 1990s and early 2000s had The Split not taken place? Would Hutch have appeared in six straight 6A title games from 2003 to 2008, winning the last five had Free State not been built? Even more thought-provoking is the teams the city of Lawrence would have produced in that time span. One previous season that comes to mind is 2005. Could you imagine an LHS roster that consisted of the Murphy Twins, Ryan and Brian, Christian Ballard, Nolan Kellerman, Brandon Lassiter, Chucky Hunter, Nathan Hickey, Kyle Weinmaster, Mike Ruder and Craig Rosenstangle, among others? Or look no further than the combination of this year's teams to see what could have been similar super-power.
All of these questions remain, even now, as LHS (7-1) entertains Free State (7-1) this Friday in what is likely the biggest game between the two schools, since The Split.
**** If you haven't been keeping tabs on what's happening in West 6A don't worry--three teams look to be the prime candidates to represent that side of the state in the title game. The big three are Derby (7-1), Wichita Heights (7-1) and our old pals from Hutchinson (6-2). Wichita Heights has the most playoff experience of those three having appeared in three consecutive 6A title games dating back to 2009. Derby has the second highest-scoring offense of any team in the state at any classification level. Hutchinson is attempting to make it nine state championship appearances in the last 10 years, and eight state titles in those nine appearances. The one team who was able to beat Hutchinson in a title game during that stretch: Olathe North in 2003.
Had The Split not happened, Lawrence would be a state power that has never been seen. Anything less than a state championship would be considered a down year.
Cooper Arner had a pick six this week for SM West. It was missed in the defensive scoring stats.
You could say that about any school district. What if you combined all the Olathe Schools? The SM Schools? The BV Schools? All of them started as one school districts too. Point is, that "What if they never split" thing is overblown and quite frankly ridiculous. Lawrence High Before the split had almost twice the enrollment of the other 6A Schools if I remember correctly, if not it was some obscene number over the next biggest school.
Thanks Keith, I updated it.
I think the compelling argument as it pertains to Lawrence has to do with the fact that they had ONE functioning high school for so long, and they were able to make it work.
Yes, if we could just put 7,000 kids into Shawnee Mission High School (now North) we'd kick everyone's butt. But then we'd be a NCAA d2 school...The past is gone, let's play football Friday night!
On the stats, I have to point out that Sterbach had about a 35 yard beautiful reverse field run stolen from him by a phantom block in the back call. I saw it live, I watched the replay on KSMO from two different angles and I defy anyone to point out the alleged block in the back on that play. Some great layout pancake blocks by QB AJ Verdini, Austin Chambers and others but all were square up chest to chest blocks. I'd love for some official from the game to tell me who that was supposed to be on. Also didn't see anything on the fake punt. I will admit the PI call on East's second TD was a good call and the receiver did come down in bounds, they got that one right in spite of what the West fans thought at the game. The two block in the back calls though, no so much.
Looks like Blogger had another glitch and erased the previous voting totals for the Free State vs. LHS poll.
That's the second glitch in the last two weeks. FWIW, I think Lawrence had around 110 votes and Free State 95 last time I checked.
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