Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Week Six Game Previews

Tye Hughes. LJWorld.
Game of the Week
SM East (5-0) at Lawrence Free State (4-1) at Free State Athletic Stadium
Watch the Game Live: SME Harbinger

The sixth game of the week takes us back to Lawrence, this time to Free State High School, where the undefeated Lancers of SM East face off against the Free State Firebirds.  What's there to like about this game?  Well, just about everything.

Let's start off with the Free State offense versus the SM East defense.  Kyle McFarland is the most dynamic quarterback the SM East defense will have faced this season.  And he's not your typically drop back passer--in fact over 75% of his passes are rollouts--and he's really going to put the SM East pass defense to the test.  The matchup I'm looking forward to seeing is how Free State receiver Tye Hughes performs against the cornerback version of SM East's Connor Rellihan.  And you can't talk about SM East's defense without mentioning their linebacking core, which is probably the best in the league.  Free State is going to have a tough time running the football (like everyone has) and it will be interesting to see how McFarland performs when he's forced to rely more on his arm.

When SM East has the ball expect the Lancers to set up the run with the pass.  In recent weeks they've had a ton of success with airing it out early then hitting up defenses with draws from quarterback Jordan Darling and running back Patrick Blackburn.  The pass setting up the run has been a staple of the Chip Sherman era and when it's successful it throws defenses for a loop.  But the question is whether or not Darling will be able to distribute the ball well enough to establish a rhythm in the passing game.  Free State's secondary is led by McFarland and Demarko Bobo and may be the best in the league when it comes to forcing turnovers.  Stay tuned for an excellent matchup this Friday in Lawrence.

SM North (0-5) at Olathe Northwest (1-4) (Thursday Night Game) at CBAC

I think both teams are happy with this draw the week before district play begins.  For Olathe Northwest, if they come away with a victory it will make two straight wins, and while that isn't super impressive it is something positive to build off as they enter the most crucial stretch of the season.  Likewise, for SM North this would be a great opportunity to sneak out a victory and gain some form of playoff hope as they enter districts.  Olathe Northwest has only won one game and the Ravens have proven to be very weak against the run, SM North's forte, as evidenced by the fact that two running backs (Olathe East's Hayden Frazier and Leavenworth's Randall) had career games against them this season.  The Ravens will be favored to win, but it would be great to see a close contest here. 

Lawrence (4-1) at SM South (3-2) at SM South District Stadium

Two players rated in the Top 5 Player Ratings, Lawrence's Brad Strauss and SM South's Gabe Guild will go head-to-head in the Metro Sports Game of the Week which will be broadcast live to the metro.  LHS is coming off a huge victory last week over Olathe South and the Chesty Lions' main nemesis will be the letdown factor.  The last time they received this much hype they let their guard down as SM West came to Lawrence and beat them by six points.  SM South will be doing anything in their power to get Guild into the open field.  Their best chance at victory is wearing down the LHS defense (and the clock) to the point that the game comes down to who makes fewer mistakes.  Will that be enough?  It's hard to say with Strauss in the game.  Even with mistakes, he's proven time and again that he's like a surgeon on the offensive side of the ball and LHS can strike at any time from anywhere on the field. 

SM West (4-1) at Leavenworth (3-2) at Leavenworth Stadium

SM West running back Brett Sterbach performed better than Guild last week, let's see if he can do it again this time against Leavenworth's top dog Jason Randall.  Last season these teams played twice, with SM West winning both games by a combined score of 93-21.  I don't expect this game to be nearly as lopsided in either direction, but it could happen if Leavenworth plays the way they did last week in their 26-point loss to Olathe North.  I think you could argue that from a philosophical standpoint this game will be more essential to the Leavenworth than SM West, in that Leavenworth squares off with LHS and Free State the following two weeks (both district games).  If they play poorly in this game there's little hope they will all of a sudden turn it around with those two forces on schedule.

SM Northwest (1-4) at Olathe South (3-2) at ODAC

There not a whole lot to dissect here:  Loaded defending state champion draws three of the league's best teams in a three week stretch, all on the road, and finishes 1-2 in those games; team returns to the friendly confines of their home stadium to take on a team that's amidst a four-game losing streak.  I'd be shocked if Olathe South doesn't come out with guns blazing in this game.  That being said, if Olathe South doesn't have a dominant performance it might be a microcosm of their forecast for the remainder of the season.

Olathe North (1-4) at Olathe East (1-4) at CBAC

Typically these teams would be 4-1 apiece (or better) at this juncture in the season.  Regardless, there's been no love lost with these rivals.  Neither team has league title hopes, or playoff chances on the line yet--but there are bragging rights at stake and everyone wants to enter district play coming off a victory.  I'm looking to see how Olathe North running back Venus Triplett performs.  He's naturally been getting better every week and let's not forget, he's only a sophomore.  The whispers are that he's going to be the league's next great back and this would be the perfect time for him to breakout and set the tone for what's to come. 

24 comments:

The Biscuit said...

Got a really long day tomorrow so I better get my picks in...
Pick Em:
Lancers over Firebirds (straight dog fight... But I'm Columbia Blue through and through!)
Ravens over Indians (Indians put up a good fight but ONW pulls away)
Chesty Lions over Raiders (trap game? Nah. Chesty Strauss' win)
Falcons over Cougars (falcs bounce back with some DAC love)
Vikings over Pioneers (although might be a trap game)
Eagles over Hawks (this one is key for both to get rolling into districts, Weir has his team, Meyers doesn't)

SFL Football said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SFL Football said...

SFL's Picks

SME vs Free State - I think East's linebackers will really shut down McFarland. SME wins 35-21

ONW vs SMN - Closest SMN gets to a team just can't stop pass game. ONW wins 42-34

SMS vs LAW - Strauss just dominates a weak defense, and keep Guild in check. LAW wins 41-21

SMW vs LEAV - Finally LEAV is playing some real teams. SMW wins 45-14

SMNW vs OS - Finally OS gets a home game and also to a relatively easy team. South rolls 49-10

ON vs OE - I love the heart of ON playing with many sophomores, but I think OE has too much talent despite their 1-4 record. OE wins 28-17

TheImpaler said...

TheImpaler's Week 6 picks: Last week 5-1, Season 21-9

Well, the big time matchups start winding down now but the ones there are, are huge.

SMW (4-1) @ LV (3-2) The party's over I'm afraid Pioneers. Now you have to play real teams with real defenses. You only managed 3 points against SMS, I think you'll be in the negative numbers against the Vikes. I smell a shutout. The good news is West runs the ball a lot so they're not the kind of team to score 50 on you. Vikes clinch yet another winning season. SMW 35 LV 0

SME (5-0) @ LFS (4-1) Clearly the game of the week. East beat O South by three at home, O South beat the Firebirds by 3 on the road so the Lancers have to be the favorite here, right? I don't care, I'm going with the home team. LFS 28 SME 27

LAW (4-1) @ SMS (3-2) SMS got a real wake up call last week. They gave the Vikes a good run for a half but just didn't have the stamina to finish the game. If they thought chasing the Sterbinator was tough wait til they try to chase Strauss around for 48 minutes. Lawrence should cruise here in a road game where frankly, the number of SMS fans in the stands last week cheering their 3-1 Raiders was a disgrace. LAW 40 SMS 21

ON (1-4) @ OE (1-4) This is a sheer question of want to. I think we all know which team has more of that at this point. Eagles pound Hawks. ON 38 OE 6

SMN (0-5) @ ONW (1-4) A game that the Indians might have thought they could win looking at the schedule two weeks ago. Now I see no way North, who has been bad on defense at best can stay with the Ravens' suddenly blossoming offense. ONW 51 SMN 24

SMNW (1-4) @ OS (3-2) Cougs really let me down last week with a very poor effort against a mediocre Raven squad. South may not have much to motivate them this game but even a so so performance should get the job done here. OS 43 SMNW 16

Slugger said...

Wow. I'm usually first up with the picks. After last weeks picks, I can use all the help I can get.

SME @ LFS. LFSS doesn't have the defense to stop SME. This one goes to SME

ONW @ SMN. I have not seen ONW. I have seen SMN. I'm picking ONW

LAW @ SMS - LAW has the best offense in the league. By far. Strauss & company keep it rolling

SMW @ LVN. The final score may not reflect it, but SMW wii control this game from the start. SMW

SMNW @ OS. Home sweet home for the falcons. Falcons back on track after brutal road trip. OS

ON @ OE. I'm going with ON on this one. Could this be the beginning of the end for Myres?

SMS watcher said...

Imp, I'll agree that the turnout was quite disappointing for SMS. There were some other factors impacting the turnout. It was a SMW home game so you didn't get the SMS band and their parents there. The soccer team and the volleyball team also were playing games away that night, too.

I couldn't believe how few SMS fans were there. I didn't go to the Leavenworth game, but, other than that, that had to be the lowest turnout of the season. I believe there were more fans at the monsoon game vs sme at North

SMS watcher said...

Btw, just to clarify, I only missed the Leavenworth game because I was out of the country. Tried to watch webcast but internet in Central America wasn't up to the task.

SMEaster1214 said...

@sms watcher, or it could be that every game in every sport is the "Super Bowl" when SMS plays SME-hence the large turnout at the season opener despite the hard, steady rain.

SMEaster1214 said...

On with the picks:
SME over LFS in a close one,
SMN gets its first win this year,
LAW big over SMS,
LVN at home over SMW,
OS gets back on track over SMNW,
ON over OE.

Good luck all!

SMEaster1214 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Adam said...

SME
ONW
LAW
OLS
SMW
OLN

George Sallas said...

Ha-a-a-y, Ho-o-o, George Sallas has got to go

jocosnob said...

It's shaping up to be another interesting Friday night in the SL.

Some entertaining games on the docket...SME v LFS and ON v OE, in particular.

MahValley said...

No time to type in scores or thoughts this week so here goes; drum roll please _-_-_-_-_-_-
And the winners are;

SME
ONW
SMS
SMW
OS
and
ON

good luck to all this week;)

Bird Hunter said...

The SMN vs ONW game can be seen live tonight at 7:00 www.onwravens.net

Free State Fan said...

As is my custom, I only predict the FS game - and always a FS win. Great game in store, can't wait ... Highest scoring offense thru 5 games (FS, 189) vs. stingiest defense (SME, 52) is the lead story, but the game very well may be won or lost with the SME offense vs. the FS defense. In other words, will it be a defensive struggle or an offensive show? Go 'Birds!

Who's Your Daddy said...

Thursday Night pick

ONW Is starting to improve their offense as the season goes along. Look for them to score over forty. SMN lost arguably their best offense threat last week. No surprise here. ONW 42 SMN 21

Who's Your Daddy said...

Friday night Picks

OE VS ON The Hawks get their three seniors back this week. I believe they will be motivated to play their hearts out. Olathe North has won with smoke & mirrors the last two weeks. Olathe East wins despite the poor Coaching. OE 21 ON 20

SME VS LFS This is such an even matchup on paper. I believe LFS has the superior offense and East the superior Defense. When in doubt go with the home field. LFS 27 SME 21

Law VS SMS Lawrence is still the cream of the crop. Their offense is clicking on all cylinders. SMS welcome to reality. Law 38 SMS 14

OS VS SMNW Olathe South has the easiest part of the schedule ahead of them and could win out if Gurley opens up the offense. SMNW new leadership needs more time. OS 31 SMNW 7

LEAV VS SMW I'm afraid to even pick this game at Jekyl & Hyde High School. The Strebinator is the toughest pound for pound running back in the State. West is growing every game and Leav has lost the small amount of swag they once had. SMW 28 leav 17

footballer21 said...

Smw
OS
OE
LFS
LAW

EagleJunior said...

SME 35-21 Free State (Probably closer than this)
LAW 28-14 SMS (I have high doubts SMS can overcome the monster of LAW this time.)
OS 45-17 SMNW (Cougars are in for a long night)
SMW 35-8 LEAV (Leavenworth is far better than their norm but I dont think this is the year for them to tackle real defenses yet,)
No prediction on ON vs. OE

Soccerlover1080 said...

SoccerLover's Week6 Picks.

SME @ LFS= 35-28 Freestate

SMN @ ONW= VOID

LAW @ SMS= 49-14 Lawrence

SMW @ LV= 28-17 SMW

SMNW @ OS= 56-7 OS

ON @ OE= 17-10 OE

Northforlife said...

Who agrees with me that this ON and OE is going to be one hard mouth hit u in the face game! And who ever is tougher and wants it more will win!

TheImpaler said...

Read my picks NFL....I said it comes down to 'want to' and the Hawks seem to be a little short on that this year.

Who's Your Daddy said...

Hey Thelm, I say we start giving losses to these Guy's that don't make picks on the difficult to call games. Go ahead guys take a chance!