Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Week Eight Game Previews

SM West defeated SM East 30-25 last year. PVPost.com
Game of the Week
SM East (6-1) at SM West (6-1) at SM South District Stadium

The annual battle for the Nut Cup has produced some sensational games in the past few seasons.  The 2010 game saw the two programs square off with 6-1 records.  SM East pulled ahead in the third quarter and came away with a 21-10 victory, the Lancers' first win in the rivalry in over 15 years.  Last season they both met with 4-3 records, and SM West took back the Nut Cup with a strong 30-25 victory.  This time around, the teams are once again meeting with 6-1 records, but much more in terms of playoff implications could be on the line.

The winner will almost certainly win out and claim either the first or second seed in 6A East.  This is huge, because it ensures a first round matchup against the seventh or eighth seed in the bracket, which should be a fairly manageable Regional Round victory.  The loser will likely enter the playoffs as the fifth or sixth seed.  Based on the way things are playing out, the most likely opponent for the sixth seed will be the red-hot club from Gardner-Edgerton, someone who could run the table in the playoffs.  While there's alot that could happen to change that, it will very likely be the first round matchup of the loser of this game (especially if Free State wins out).

In terms of the game itself, I'm looking foward to seeing how SM West's line is able to do against SM East's linebacking core.  The Stewart Twins, Sam and David, Patrick Blackburn, Kyle Ball and Ryan Carter have made life miserable for opposing running backs all season.  Can they do the same when they face SM West's offensive attack, led by running back Brett Sterbach?  That aspect of the game will likely swing the pendulum in favor of the winning club.  Another, less obvious but perhaps just as important matchup will be seeing how Jordan Darling is able to do passing against the SM West secondary.  The Vikings lost safety Robert Rice to a season-ending tibia injury last week, so they'll have to replace him.  Their bookend corners, Andre Maloney and Kez Demby have played very well this season, but they struggled in week two against Free State and Kyle McFarland.  How they perform against Darling will be a great insight into how much they've developed at the corner position, and also the kind of impact not having Rice will make on the secondary.  Losing Rice certainly won't help the Vikings, but it might be a rallying cry for the remainder of their season.

Olathe East (3-4) at Blue Valley Northwest (4-3) (Thursday Night Game) at BVDAC

This is another one of our "Student vs. Mentor" games this season.  Blue Valley Northwest head coach Mike Zegunis served as an assistant on Jeff Meyers' staff at Olathe East for years before taking the head coaching job with Blue Valley Northwest in 2005.  But in terms of style offensively, these two teams couldn't be any more different.  Olathe East has been relying heavily on their three-back Power-I formation all season, staying away from the pass as much as possible.  Blue Valley Northwest features a high-octane spread offense with plenty of speed at every position.  It should be an interesting clash of styles, to say the least. 

Blue Valley North (1-6) at SM South (3-4) (Thursday Night Game) at SM South District Stadium

This year's Blue Valley North club isn't nearly as bad as the team they put on the field last year.  And for that, SM South better be prepared.  There hasn't been an official report on the status of the Raider's running back Gabe Guild, but it would be surprising if he's anywhere near 100% the way he was limping towards the end of the team's game with Blue Valley Northwest.  That being said, Guild is one of the toughest players in the league and unless it's broken I fully expect him to be suited up and carrying the ball 20+ times.  After all, a loss here, for either team, spells an end to playoff hopes.  That alone should make this a highly intense game throughout.

Lawrence Free State (6-1) at Leavenworth (3-4) at Leavenworth Stadium

The Pioneers are in a tough position.  Not only are they faced with an elimination game (from the playoffs) but they also happen to be facing arguable the league's best team (a week after playing another one of the league's best teams).  Leavenworth has accomplished a ton this year in terms of momentum for their program, but I can assure you they're not satisfied just yet.  Hopefully they let their top skill position players like Isaiah Ross and Jason Randall touch the ball as many times as possible to help neutralize the speed advantage of Free State and potentially make this a competitive game.  For the Firebirds a victory here would likely seal a playoff berth if their crosstown rival Lawrence wins.  Funny how that works.

Lawrence (6-1) at Wyandotte (5-2) at Wyandotte

If I were LHS the one thing I would be most concerned about with playing at Wyandotte would be the distractions of a completely different playing environment.  First there's the long bus ride, which will probably take over and hour.  They'll be playing at a field and stadium that they've never experienced before and they'll be playing an unfamiliar opponent on top of that.  But based on the way Free State handled Wyandotte last week I don't expect LHS to have any problems coming away with a W in this one.  LHS will probably be working vigorously to build a big first half lead so that they can rest their starters for the second half.  This will help in avoiding as much wear and tear as possible leading up to their week nine showdown with Free State.

Gardner-Edgerton (4-3) at Olathe North (2-5) at ODAC

Something makes me think Gene Wier may have something up his sleeve in this game.  Whatever the outcome, it's not going to be pretty for the Eagles if they can't slow down Traevohn Wrench, who just last week rushed for over 300 yards against Olathe South.  Stopping Wrench will be the Eagles' first, second and probably third priority in this game.  Wrench is key to everything Gardner-Edgerton does, so how well or poorly he performs will almost guarantee the outcome of the game.  This isn't an elimination or playoff clinching battle for either team, but it should be a fun matchup of coaching legends in Wier and Gardner-Edgertons' head man, Marvin Diener

Olathe South (4-3) at Olathe Northwest (2-5) at CBAC

With both teams sitting at 0-1 in district play this more or less becomes a do-or-die kind of matchup.  On one hand the district could play out that one team finishes 3-0 while the three others finish 1-2.  In that case the district runner-up would come down to point differentials.  I don't think either of these teams wants to be in that predicament, especially defending state champ Olathe South.  The Falcons have been pretty disappointing in their past four games, losing three.  A victory here could be what they need to get back on track and potentially make a playoff run (something I think they're more than capable of).  Olathe Northwest is going to come out guns blazing, and I'm anxious to see just how competitive (if at all) this game turns out to be.

SM Northwest (1-6) at SM North (0-7) at SM North District Stadium

The Hula Bowl peaked in the early 2000s when SM North was led by current SM East Athletic Director Sam Brown, and SM Northwest by current SM West assistant coach Scott Diebold.  SM North has really fallen off the map in the last decade and SM Northwest (albeit a successful run in the late 2000s) finds themselves with just one win to date in the 2012 season.  By all means these teams have been disappointing.  But, a rivalry victory can change all of that.  The winner can at least head into the offseason saying they defeated the despicable school they share a border with.  Also, the winner will keep their playoff hopes alive.  Neither team has an easy week nine game (SM Northwest plays SM West and SM North plays SM East) but hope is a good thing, especially late in the season with the Kansas district formats.

13 comments:

TheImpaler said...

TheImp’s week 8 picks. Last week 7-1 Season 33-11. Well, I’ve only missed 12 each of the last two seasons…need a perfect week this week

SME (1-0,6-1) @ SMW(1-0,6-1) Biggest game in SM District history? Probably biggest in last 20 years at least. Defense should rule the roost here, both teams are great on D and offer potentially explosive but one dimensional offenses that play into the strength of the other defense. Normally you might say such a game would come down to kicking game but both schools have great kickers. Turnovers? Neither one turns the ball over much. It might come down to a key holding penalty that kills a drive or a key PI that keeps a drive alive. Points will be at a premium. If Vikes play their best ball, I think they win but there’s no margin for error. SMW 20 SME 17

SMNW (0-1,1-6) @ SMN (0-1,0-7) The Hu (la) Cares Bowl. Cougs have done nothing after a promising start and I think North’s running attack will give them problems. Cougs have nothing to play for, Indians don’t want to go winless. SMN 21 SMNW 16

LAW (1-0,6-1) @ WYAN (0-1,5-2) Last week we saw the ‘Dogs are not a SFL caliber team. No chance against the Lions. LAW 49 WYAN 10

LFS (1-0,6-1) @ LV (0-1,3-4) Pioneers will have no answer for McFarland. LFS 56 LV 20

OS (0-1,4-3) @ ONW(0-1,2-5) The Falcons MUST win this game but even then they do not control their own destiny. An ON win over GE would be very bad news for the Falcons who come into this week at -13 on the tiebreaker. Even if they get back to 0 this week they may still trail both ON and GE heading into week 9. Still, they should get by the Ravens. OS 38 ONW 21

GE (1-0,4-3) @ ON (1-0,2-5) A must win for the Eagles. They’ve been pummeled by every good team they’ve played this year and beaten most of the bad ones easily. Weir needs them to step up their game this week. I’m going out on a limb. ON 28 GE 27

BVN (0-1,1-6) @ SMS (0-1,3-4) The Raiders did not get their signature win they wanted this year over SMW, SME or BVNW. Still, they can salvage the season but they must win the last two games to take a noticeable step forward this year. This week should be easy. SMS 35 BVN 17

BVNW (1-0,4-3) @ OE (1-0,3-4) The winner is in the driver’s seat here. The Huskies were not impressive last week but the Hawks have failed to impress all season. I think the Huskies have the better talent here. BVNW 31 OE 24

Adam said...

Last week 7-1 season 36-8

SME
SMNW
LAW
LFS
OLS
GE
SMS
BVNW

SMS watcher said...

We'll see if sms has enough depth to beat bvn tonight. A lot of injuries for sms

Slugger said...

I need to pick up the pace here. Some tough picks this week

SME
SMN gets their first win of season
LAW
LFS
OS
GE
SMS
OE

RIP. Pitt80

Slugger said...

I need to pick up the pace here. Some tough picks this week

SME
SMN gets their first win of season
LAW
LFS
OS
GE
SMS
OE

RIP. Pitt80

footballer21 said...

SME
SMNW
LAW
FS
OS
GE
SMS
BVNW

Who's Your Daddy said...

SM West vs SM East Great game here for supremacy in the Johnson County zone of the Sunflower League. I was going with East but after being outside today the wind will be a huge factor. That hurts the Lancers. Sterbenator will control this one. SM West 24 SM East 14

OS vs ONW Olathe South is down from their early season high. ONW was looking up until last weeks beat down. Olathe cant lose this one. OS 21 ONW 14

SMNW vs SMN Who cares!!!!!! SMNW 3 SMN 2

GE vs ON Two great running backs and two legend coaches go head to head in this one. Wrench is a little better than Triplett at this stage. GE 34 ON 21

Lawrence vs Wyandotte The Chesty lions are my boys. Law 42 Wyandotte 20

BVN Vs SMS The raiders have to get out of this game healthy for a huge matchup with OE next week to see who goes to the playoffs. SMS 28 BVN 21

OE vs BVNW This may be student vs mentor. Unfortunately for OE the student has evolved with the 21st century and the mentor hasn't. Bvnw's run game makes the difference. BVNW 27 OE 17

Lawrence Free State vs Leavonworth Sometimes I have ESP. I'm telling you I have a funny upset special feeling about this game. Not enough to pick the pioneers. LFS 21 Leavonworth 20 Something weird could happen.

Free State Fan said...

Important week, can't suffer a letdown after 7 solid weeks of play. LV has their back against the wall here, but only 3 wins against the bottom of the league (combined 3-18) may be more telling than anything. It's in their house and that gives them a puncher's chance. LV will come out pumped up, but in the end, FS is rested from last week and ready to rumble. Prediction: Close first half and FS pulls away in the second half.

SMS watcher said...

A Viking win would pretty much guarantee at least a share of sunflower league title. Go SMW.

SMS watcher said...

Also, hope SMN wins. Nothing against SMNW, but, I hope SMN doesn't go winless

The Biscuit said...

SME
SMNW
LAW
LFS
OS
GE
SMS
BVNW

EagleJunior said...

SME 28-14 SMW Lancers will win out in districts if they can handle the Viking defense.

SMNW 21-14 SMN This one could really go either way just like the SME v. SMW game. I don't see this REALLY having any real playoff implications though.

LAW 49-7 WYAN I can't really argue with Impaler here, Wyandotte may be able to compete in the EKL but that just won't cut it here.

LFS 38-14 LV I honestly think the Pioneers can keep this game within reach for a while but Free State is one tall order to beat.

OS 24-21 ONW Impaler and I must share a brain because I agree with almost every decision! But I think ONW will be able to put up a little more of a fight against a Falcon offense that kind of disappointed a week ago.

ON 21-14 GE The Trailblazers have an amazing running back but their play calling is rather predictable on offense and all the Eagles need to do is stop him.

SMS 28-14 BVN I just don't see the Raiders having an easy game this season. While they are 3-4 some of their losses have been caused by mistakes that haven't been fully fixed.

OE 17-14 BVNW While the Hawks may come away with a W it won't be like what many were expecting starting the season.

MahValley said...

Missed out on thursday pics because of work but at least I am here for friday

SMW
LFS
Lawrence
Gardner-Edgerton
Olathe South
SM Northwest