Eli Underwood's musings on high school football in the Sunflower League
Yeah, final 21-14. The wildcat with Maloney transformed that game. That kid is a stud, and Sunflower teams are going to have to deal with him all next years....
Substaaaaaaate baby! Bring on the 'Birds! I told you about Maloney, he's D1 all the way. There's talk of him being the tailback next year but I think that's a waste of his many talents tying him down to running the ball 30 times a game. Leave him as the X factor.
He's a beast, but D-1? I mean, James Franklin wasn't even D-1 and he didn't sit behind a 5-7 150 lb kid his junior year (not saying that sterbach isn't a great player). D-1 kids don't sit behind anyone but other D-1 players their junior years.
damn, the computer spread was basically dead on...sucks for LHS, i was hoping for a FS LHS sub state, that would have been cool...i will say next week is going to be a great game but i think FS is the better team...i only saw the 4th quarter of the SMW/LHS game but it sounds like the wildcat worked well for west, if they can do that against fs then it will be an interesting game...west are good winners, i remember when i was a sophomore and we suited up for varsity and went to Olathe East, East won that game and the students were just throwing $hit at us and saying whatever came to mind, ha, looks like west won with class...anyhow, what are everyones thoughts in the west bracket, i don't know much about those teams over there...
Derby vs. Hutch. Should be at Derby. Derby beat Hutch 31-28 this year, that should be a great game too. I'm pulling for a SMW Hutch rematch, would love another crack at the Salthawks but both will be slight underdogs. Should be GREAT f-ing games next week. You'll definitely get your $5 worth for a ticket. Sorry I couldn't make it to LAW tonight will definitely be there (@SMS) next week.
ha, i'm not sure what seth has to say but what i would say is we leaned too much on strauss this year, maybe rightfully so...i hate to talk $hit but strauss buckled under pressure this year, you can't throw a pick 6 in an important game, you can't fumble twice with the clock winding down...maybe i'm coming down too hard but just something i noticed
jesus, where do teams come up with their mascots? The f-ing salt hawks? That's, cool...and whats with all the damn birds, you've got the hawks, eagles, firebirds, salt hawks, etc...
Hats off to SMW. Great game.
Consoling a great kid who played well tonight, my son. Plenty of time for blog talk later.
All the Olathe schools are named after birds. All the SM schools are named after people except Northwest for some reason. I have no freaking idea what a salt hawk is. I only know that in '06 I thought West had one of the best high school teams I'd ever seen and we went down to Emmporia and the punched us right in the mouth. They are some tough dudes down there...nothing to do in Hutch but play football I guess. We lost 21-14....completed a pass to their 2 yard line inside a minute left only two problems...1) we had a penalty and 2) we funbled at the end of the play and they recovered. Tough loss. At least it would be at Yeager this year, a little bigger than Emporia....that stadium was dangerously overfilled in 06. They really need to hold the 5A and 6A championship games in Manhattan and Lawrence.
It should be noted that Andre Maloney is a receiver on offense so he was never competing for the RB position with Sterbach. But he was the difference maker tonight. SM West came out in the Wildcat in the second half and it was basically all SM West from there. Maloney looks like a natural in that formation.His D1 chances? Well, he needs to put some meat on his bones (he's listed at 175) but his height, 6-3, is ideal for a corner at the next level. It's really hard to say. I think a fair comparison, athletically, would be Andre Jones (who coincidentally had the same first name) who played at Olathe East from '02-'04. Similar athletic abilities and skill set. Jones earned an offer from Illinois eventually, but he didn't have the grades to go there. We'll see what happens with Maloney...James Franklin didn't go D1 because he was barely 5-8, and his forty wasn't good enough to make up for his lack of height.
That being said, great game by both LHS and SM West. Both teams played physical, CLEAN football. There was no fighting or pushing after plays. Two teams with a ton or respect for one another as well as the game of football. It was great to see that and both teams should be commended for their efforts tonight.
I have a feeling that if Sterbach wasn't there Maloney would be the tailback, not a WR, as I'm sure will be the case next year. Maloney's speed is comparable to Franklins. When D-1 Speed breaks into the open down the sideline, D-1 speed doesn't get caught at the HS level (Sproles, Jake Sharp, Wrench)A Salt Hawk has to do with the fact that Hutch was build around Salt mines, you can actually take tours of them down there, I'm pretty sure Hutch beat Derby 31-28 this year, that's Derb's only lost.
Free State looked pretty tough tonight. Play of the game was a controversial fumble return by Blake Winslow. Looked like East quarterback was down then fumbled and Winslow returned it 25 yards for a TD. Refs talked it over twice and eventually called it a TD. Just saw the replay on tv and I think his knee was down, either way it was a game changer. Put Free State ahead 21-10 at the half.
Central Kansas is known for its salt mining production. Both in the Hutch and Kenopolis area.
Agree, Adam. Watching the replay on Metro Sports it looked like Blazevic was clearly down. Terrible call to end the half by the officials.That being said, as TheImpaler can back me up on, it seems fitting that this happened to Olathe East. In 2005 in Sectionals they benefited from a similarly poor call (probably a worse call) that nullified a SM West touchdown and basically turned the tide in the game. The call was probably the worst call I've ever seen in any Sunflower League game, and that's not hyperbole.Olathe East fought hard though, they showed a ton of improvement as the season went along. It wasn't an easy out for Free State by any means. Sets up a great game (with awesome storylines) against SM West next week.
good thing maloney didnt have to cover all four of them.. letting demby getting some INT's. 3 INT's bet you regret that comment. but... all respect to lawrence that's a great team with great guys. i still hate seth though.
Eli you of all people should recognize this bracket. Starting to look like 2006 all over again. SMW over LAW and LFS over OLE in Sectionals. Can SMW beat LFS again in Sub-State and will Hutch be waiting again at state? This wont be as hyped of a game as 2006 but will it be a closer one? I think so.
Although I am thrilled with a Free State victory, I do feel for the Olathe East guys. Very classy team for the most part and they played a clean game again, for the most part. Tough loss for a team playing for so much (State for Nate). Sounds like the SMW defense has come a long way and did a good job tonight. FS vs. SMW will be a colossal battle between two very good offenses and two very good defenses. Oh by the way, Al Smith is the hardest hitter I have ever witnessed in high school football. Darn near split Tye Hughes in half in the 2nd half tonight.
Wii- Smith's hit was huge. I dont remember seeing Hughes come back in? They showed the replay of it on Metro. I'd have to agree with you, hardest hit i've seen.
Safe assumption that Al Smith was the hardest hitting player in the SL this season. Joe Dineen might be second.
I second that notion Eli. In a previous article Slugger suggested an article about the offensive lines around the Sunflower League. If you have the time, I would also personally love it if you could give the buffet busters a little love.
Viking Student what's your deal? Have some class enjoy your victory. Every fan base makes predictions some play out some don't. Try hating a little less and show some class like your team did. Hats off again to SMW. Still very proud of my Lions a great season ended on a tough loss but class young men all the way. Loved watching you guys practice and play these last few years.
Do we know the names of the referees of the OE/LFS game? Worst call I've seen. Reminded me of the NFL replacement refs, one ref signaled that he was down & after the FS player slowly walked into the end zone (as if he knew the play was over and he was walking in for fun) another ref signaled a TD, but was very confused. Changed the game for the worse.
Maybe the same refs LHS had versus GE last week, tons of garbage calls in that one as well....I think all refs need to take a class on holding, all through the year many many blatant holds by all teams that got uncalled, and then bogus ones as well
Tried to come on last night but just coudn't. Six years watching Brad Strauss, the first three playing against the Mayo's, Hofer's, Seiberts's, Jenkin's, Brown's (Kharon and Jordan) of Lawrence and the last 3 with them. Some epic moments, some unbelievable memories and at times greatness that was simply mind boggling. It came to an abrubt end last night, something we all knew was coming, at most it was only going to last two more weeks and at worst end like it did last night. After waiting close to an hour for all the guys to exit the locker room, just wasn't in the mood to talk football, no one in our camp really was. At the end of the night Lawrence squandered four trips inside the red zone, something that they had not done all year except in the rain against West earlier and a frigidly cold game against Free State and turned the ball over I think 5 times. Lawrence had a huge field position advantage in the first have and could have easily posted 2 more TD's and really put the game away in the first half. The Mayo fumble call right before half was a back breaker. I also have to wonder "what if" we had a good place kicker. 2-3 FG's in the first half would have been better than turning the ball over on downs. Strategically in the second half West passed on 1-2 FG opportunities, the first led to the Sterbach touchdown on fourth down; doing the math, the I believe the West coaches knew for LH it was TD or bust so from an X and O perspective it made it fairly easy for them to go for conversions on fourth down. Props to West and their coaching staff though who did a great job staying focused after a tough first half. The switch to the Wildcat in the second half was ultimately the difference in the game. Maloney played a great half of football. He more than made up for the dropped pass deep over the middle for an obvious TD at the end of the first quarter.Hats off to the little guys: Sterbach for West, who by our notes had 26 carries for 151 yards and Harrelson for Lawrence who had a great game defensively. Two young men with huge hearts showing it is possible to compete and be successful regardless of size in 6A football of course you have to be willing to do the work which they obviously have. I imagine both of these young men will be highly successful in life!Next weeks games should be great, West V Free State and Derby V Hutch. Both rematches of earlier games this year and all four teams confident they will win. Not sure I will make the trip to SMS this week but as always will be in Topeka for the finals. I love the 6A game at Washburn, a perfect venue for the championship exactly the right size and a great facility. Good luck to all the teams that remain. Two of them will feel our pain next week, ultimately there is only one winner, sad it can't be Chesty!#ChestySwag2012
Just to further the discussion on Andre Maloney a little bit. This IS only my opinion so do not get upset. From a recruiting service he is listed as 72.5 167.8 as a JR.He has what is considered D-1 speed and agility, however, his strenght and size are limiting factors at D-1 level. He might also be limited at D-1aa unless he would be red-shirted. IMO, he would be a contributor at the D-2 level starting his soph. year as a WR.Just my opinion.
Eli is dead on on the 2005 call. Worst and most game changing call I think I've ever seen at any level of football. West back clearly scored a TD and set the ball down in the end zone, East kid picked it up and started running the other way..the refs in the end zone just stood around looking at each other like "Did you see what happened? No, Did you? NO"...meanwhile the East kid streaks down the field with the back judge in tow who signals touchdown East after he crosses the goal. West crowd was too shocked to even boo...sitting there thinking well, surely the refs in the end zone are going to revers this call...West kids standing around like "What, we just scored a TD why is that East kid stannding at the other end of the field with the ball?" 14 points stolen on one play. Then there was another phantom PI call on a ball thrown 10 feet over the receiver's head and no West defender within 10 yard that gave East another field goal. 17 free points provided by the refs and we were down 24-7 in a game that should have been 14-14. You just can't recover from that sort of a screwing phychologically. So maybe some Karma for OE but it still hasn't come full circle untel WE get a game changing call IN THE PLAYOFFS against them.
This is a completely different team...you can't just simply say that they deserve "bad karma" because of what happened 7 years ago. Anyone could tell you that was a terrible call. No team deserves that type of call.
You just never showed west respect. Like they never earned anything. And I do have respect for the Lawrence football team they're really good.
I personally think the hit put on LFS Hughes was helmit to helmit that was excessive and also cheap! College and NFL would have surely thrown a flag on that for sure! Putting a big hit on someone is what football is all about, but, to line someone up and put your helmit in the facemask of an opposing player is not right... Those officials were bad!
There is a video recap of last nights game on KCMetrosports' Facebook page. It shows the hit. If you stop the play you can see that Al's helmet is clearly off on Hughes' shoulder. The hit was clean and legal. Al lays one of these hits on someone about every game. Hopefully, the LFS coach prepared his receivers for it. I did notice that after Al's interception of McFarland and the hit on Hughes that LFS stopped going to receivers over the middle, which was probably wise.
Here's the link to the game on Metro Sports' Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151137647597503
I will agree to disagree with you. I have watched the hit also, several times. His helmet may have been off center a bit, but, it was still helmet to helmet. He hit him way to high when the reciever was in a helpless position. I'm just saying those kind of hits are avoidable and not needed. That is exactly why the rules have been steadily changing to protect the athletes.
I agree that Smith's cheap shot would have been flagged at all other levels of football...and the lil flex over the downed player...no class.
I will defend that hit all day. If you stop the film at the moment of impact, Al's head is squarely on the receiver's shoulder so there is no lining up the facemask for a "head shot" going on. His feet on firmly on the ground and he is even crouched a bit to bring the hit to chest level. So, he did not make an effort to hit the receiver high by the head but he brought it down. This hit was not flagged because there was nothing illegal about it. Trying to label Al Smith as a cheap player is wrong and the video does not back up the accusation.As far as the flex, celebration is common in this game. On the Lawrence Journal World recap it shows two Firebird players dancing and/or flexing after a touchdown. Let me watch the film and I'll find more of this from LFS as well. It just so happened that Al's occurred at the moment the play happened. McFarland and others was spouting off their share of smack talk, too. So don't be too quick to call the kettle black.You are free to discuss all the rule changes you'd like since that is a different topic from the hit itself. But if Hughes is looking at playing college football, the hits become harder, not softer.
Alec (AL) Smith is and never has been a kid that would take a cheap shot. I've been watching him play for seven years and he's a great kid who plays hard!
Lest we forget Mike Rivera's time laying hits on the Sunflower League from 2001-2003.http://rivals.yahoo.com/video/recruiting-football/Mike-Rivera-Shawnee-KS-2738;_ylt=AkC.WM51VNYddai46NuBcKwyBJV4Note: The video took a little longer to load than the typical free Rivals clip so be patient. It's worth it.
Alec Smith's hit was as legal as they come. It was a textbook, open field hit. Leveled that kid. And he picked the qb. Prototypical safety. 6'1" 180. Has great hands, speed and he can destroy a WR.
Stinks to be an official... half of the people will hate you, the other half think you are doing just fine. There were many questionable calls in the LFS/OE game. Two examples were where the line judge looked to the back judge for a catch/non catch on his own sideline? Strange, that is his call. The other was a tussle between two players, where the official actually reached for his flag and put it back in his pocket. In that case, go ahead and flag both player just to show you see what is going on. As for "The Hit", I can see it both ways. Great hard hit that was very close to the head. If you are an official without the benefit of stop action video so that you can try to convince bloggers of your opinion, what do you call? In my many years of officiating, I ALWAYS had the montra of "keep the players safe." I would have called the hit illegal seeing it in live action. Problem is, the hitter is 6'1 and the hittee is 5'9 or so and it is hard for a guy to go low running at full speed. That said, he was the one who had full view of where he was hitting and the receiver was defenseless. That, too, has to come into play when making a judgement call. Could the defender have adjusted in time. I believe in this case he could have.In other news, I was so impressed with OE after the loss as they passed the students with high fives after the game. It was beautifully obvious to any bystander that this team and student body have bonded in life changing ways. It was wonderful to see and I have a new and very deep appreciation for the OE community. I hope you are able to heal as you continue to remember your friend and teammate.
Post a Comment