|SM West's Andre Maloney (left)
defends a pass intended for SM East's
Connor Rellihan. KC Star.
The Vikings kept possession of the Nut Cup and defeated their biggest rival on Friday night. In doing so, they also put themselves in favorable position to land one of the top two playoff seeds in 6A East and potentially win the Sunflower League title outright with a win this week.
The Hawks' 30-point domination of Blue Valley Northwest was an impressive all-around victory over a solid team from the EKL. They can claim a district championship and sneak in as the number four seed in 6A East if they beat SM South this week.
Not only did they throttle their rival, but SM Northwest ended a six-game losing streak and kept their playoff hopes alive with their victory against SM North.
The most disheartening thing about the Ravens' loss was that they actually led by 11 points heading into the fourth quarter. Their offense was impressive, but once again it was their ineffective defense which came back to bite them.
It's been a long season for the Indians and the loss to rival SM Northwest by 28 points didn't help the cause. They have officially been eliminated from playoff contention.
After a promising 3-1 start the Pioneers have lost four straight games. The latest defeats to Lawrence and Free State have been blowouts and they've been eliminated from playoff contention.
Week Eight Players of the Week
Kelby Quint, SM Northwest: Quint has been a productive back all season but his best game of the year came on Friday against SM North when he carried the ball 30 times for 194 yards and four touchdowns.
Russell White, Olathe South: Emerging in the latter part of the season, much the way Jordan Ward did last year, White rushed for 201 yards and three touchdowns against Olathe Northwest.
Week Nine Power Rankings
1. Lawrence Free State (7-1): Free State had three interceptions on defense against Leavenworth, flexing their season total to a league-leading 14. Their defensive coverage is going to have to be lights out again this Friday when they take on LHS in the biggest Sunflower League game of the year thus far.
2. SM West (7-1): The Vikings might be the league's most improved team since week one. By far their most improved player has been quarterback AJ Verdini who helped to sink SM East last Friday by completing eight of 13 passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns.
3. Lawrence (7-1): Quarterback Brad Strauss added some love for his Simone campaign by combining for five touchdowns and 192 yards in barely a half of work against Wyandotte. He and the rest of the Chesty Lions have a chance to make a huge statement this Friday when they take on crosstown rival Free State.
4. SM East (6-2): The Lancers performed well for three quarters against SM West but in the end they couldn't keep the momentum going. Not having injured safety David Sosna in the game didn't do the Lancers any favors, as they gave up two touchdowns on long pass plays.
5. Olathe South (5-3): The Falcons could have lost on Friday and still been in position to make the playoffs with a win, but that's neither here nor there. The real quandary is why Olathe South--with so much talent and a roster budding with experience--has played so average the past four weeks.
6. Olathe East (4-4): The Hawks have qualified for the playoffs, officially, so this week's game will be all about trying to build some more momentum. From a pride standpoint, Olathe East needs to win two more games to extend their streak of winning seasons to 13 years.
7. SM South (4-4): I guarantee you the Raiders didn't want to see their playoff hopes coming down to this week nine tussle with Olathe East. That being said, they're lucky to still be in playoff contention after playing such an error-prone game late last Thursday, on top of missing so many starters due to injuries. Hopefully Gabe Guild will be close to 100% this week so both teams can put their best foot forward.
8. Olathe North (2-6): Olathe North's playoff prospects are pretty simple. Beat Olathe South and you're in, lose and you're out. It's been a long and trying season for this young group of Eagles but they can put a silver lining on things by having a big game this Friday.
9. Leavenworth (3-5): The Pioneers have been eliminated from playoff contention but in terms of pride they have a big game on the line against Wyandotte. With a victory Leavenworth can record their first four-win season since 2004. Missing the playoffs is no fun, but a four win season would be something for the program to build on.
10. Olathe Northwest (2-6): The Ravens have been eliminated from playoff contention. I hope, by all means, that they throw out every passing formation, gadget and trick play they have left in the playbook this week against Gardner-Edgerton.
11. SM Northwest (2-6): The Cougars can still make the playoffs if they beat SM West on Friday and some things go their way in the points category with SM East. While that seems unlikely, they do have something to build off of following their victory against SM North.
12. SM North (0-8): The Indians look relegated the the cellar but they could still go out with a splash if they played out of their minds and managed to give SM East a competitive game this week.
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 are still holding onto the number one spot, but Lawrence is making a strong push, as is SM West and in some respects Free State and SM East. The Falcons continue to bring it strong in the stands though, probably more so than any other school in the league. Their Twitter efforts have fluctuated with the team's efforts of late, but they're still tops in the league.
2. Lawrence Chesty Lions
Lawrence isn't a notorious title town for nothing. The Chesty Lions fans have increased interaction every week to the point that they're close to jumping into the number one spot. What's more, they host Free State this week in the biggest regular season game of the year in the league. I'll be there to see how much noise they can produce.
3. SM West Vikings
The Nordic Nasties are still hanging around at the three spot. Their in-game volume could use a little work as a whole, but they consistently get after it on Twitter, which is important. They have a quasi-rivalry coming up this Friday with SM Northwest and I'm anxious to see how that all plays out.
Others: @A_Kiss18, @big_ChiefD, @810Varsity, @asheridan7, @hovpen, @SMS_Football, @K1Suellentrop8, @pblackburn46, @baykun, @reidbuckingham, @kcnickmccabe, @todpalmer, @SME_Harbinger, @KeithLonekerSr, @sshellackk, @MackH0ar, @kellydinkc, @wooddog7, @MaxNelsonn