Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Sunflower League Week Two Game Previews

Austin Chambers and SM West will look to
extend their winning streak to 13 games
against Olathe South on Friday.  Photo
David Compton.
Game of the Week
Olathe South (1-0) at 
SM West (1-0)
at SM South District Stadium
TVKC Metro Sports Hy-Vee High School Game of the Week 

Oddly enough, this is the only week two matchup pitting teams who both won in the opening week of the season. Coincidentally, it's also a matchup of the past two Class 6A state champions. Since 2011, Olathe South and SM West have gone 18-5, and 20-5, respectively, which accounts for the two highest win totals among league teams in that span.

Last fall the Falcons learned first-hand how difficult it was having a target on their backs in each game, and SM West is coming to terms with a similar reality this year. There's no telling how this game will go (based on week one), but if Olathe South puts together as solid of a performance as they did last week in their 33-20 win against Lawrence, they have a very good chance of winning and snapping SM West's winning-streak. For the Vikings, they have the talent to beat any team in the state -- it's just a matter of execution and attention to detail, which didn't come so easily last week.

Finally, keep an eye on the battle in the trenches. The league's top two lineman will square off when Olathe South's Braden Smith (6-7, 290) and SM West's Austin Chambers (6-5, 300) battle on both offense and defense. We've been waiting to see those two go up against each other for a year now, and it should be fun to watch.

SM North (0-1) at Leavenworth (0-1) at Pioneer Stadium (Thursday Night Game)
TV: KC Metro Sports Thursday Game

Good news for the Pioneers -- the best medicine for a bad loss is usually playing the team ranked #12 in the Power Rankings the following week. Not to mention this game is also being played at Leavenworth's home stadium. If Leavenworth takes care of business (the way they're expected to) they can develop some positive momentum going forward. But a loss would be devastating. For SM North there are no expectations, and nothing to lose. And a team with nothing to lose has everything to gain.

SM East (1-0) at Lawrence (0-1) at Lawrence High Stadium

The general consensus heading into the season was that SM East was going to take some time to develop in their new flexbone offense. Wrong. At least based on their week one victory. The Lancers now travel to Lawrence with the hopes of another stellar all-around performance, but the Chesty Lions won't roll over on their home turf. Last week Lawrence was tied at 13 at halftime, only to run out of gas down the stretch (injuries didn't help) and lose by 13. Lawrence High Stadium is not an easy place to play, and the Lancers better be prepared for a dogfight if they want to push their record to 2-0.

Lawrence Free State (1-0) at SM Northwest (0-1) at SM North District Stadium

If SM Northwest's offense takes another week off then Free State will run them out of town. Last week the Firebirds blasted SM North by 40 points. SM Northwest, ranked #11 in the Power Rankings, is better than SM North, but they still don't appear to have the horses to take down Free State. If they do it would be a monumental turnaround from the way the Cougars played against Olathe Northwest last week.

Olathe Northwest (1-0) at Olathe East (0-1) at CBAC

The Battle for CBAC has ended in Olathe East's favor every time these teams have played. Does that change this year? While the Ravens did show some excellent grit down the stretch against SM Northwest, they're going to have to take their game to another level to knock off Olathe East (who mind you is still steaming from letting a late lead slip away in last week's loss to Olathe North). This one could be all Olathe East, but if Olathe Northwest can make things interesting, or even win the game, watch out for the Ravens going forward.

SM South (0-1) at Olathe North (1-0) at ODAC

Olathe North is favored in this game, but the Eagles must tread with caution. Last week SM South put the clamps down on an explosive SM West team, and came close to tying the game late. If that Raider defense shows up on Friday there won't be a ton of running lanes for Venus Triplett or Cole Murphy to exploit. Really, this could be a statement game for either team. If Olathe North wins comfortably they can say "look at how much better we performed against SM South than SM West." If SM South picks up the win there will be no doubt the Raiders are a legitimate contender for the league crown and beyond.


Who's Your Daddy said...

Austin Chambers Mr. Showtime II . Spatted, triple layer Nike socks, under armour arm sleeves, matching gloves. And the traditional triple tape stripe on the end of the belt. By the way, Mixing Nike and Under Armour is considered a fashion Faux pa. I hope you play as good as you look. I'm just saying! LOL

Mr.Gridiron said...

Like I said I will continue to boast about Randal Byers Jr.People talk what they don't know. I encourage his fam.and anybody else to do the same as much as possible. The offers are there since a year ago ha. Dang should have used all caps.

Seth Nation said...

I definitly agree, if you have a ride already locked up like Chambers does, the least you could do is stick with one brand name and just rock that look.....way to much going on in that picture

MahValley said...

Post a side-by-side of Chambers and Smith.

Free State Fan said...

FS will roll again and the blog will talk about needing to beat someone above the bottom of the league. Hey, you can only play whoever's on the schedule, Jack. :o) Go 'Birds!

Eli Underwood said...

SM West's apparel policies have come a long way. Wearing any sort of wrist band was frowned upon in my early years at West (2004ish), but I'm glad the kids can be decked out head to toe in whatever they want now -- although the ban on visors still seems to be in play for the Vikes. Lawrence was even worse 7-8 years ago, not even allowing gloves. But they've loosened up their policies as well. You only play high school football once, might as well go all out.

Seth Nation said...

Free State Fan, I've lived in Lawrence 16 years, know tons of kids on the Free State team, they are bitter rivals which is good. You guys have a very good program over there.....however year after year you guys benefit from having one of the easiest schedules in the league

Unknown said...

He plays better then he looks just saying.

Free State Fan said...

Pub, been here 14 years and I don't think the kids are as bitter as you do, just difference of opinion I guess. Great rivals for sure, but you know as well as I do the vast majority of guys on both teams have known each other (and played on the same teams in many cases) their whole lives and consider each other at the very least friends (i.e. Strauss and McFarland last year and the multiple brothers in recent years.) I have no clue who sets the schedules. All I know is it has some form of rotation. I could care less about learning how it works... probably the same people who decide the looney playoff structure. Go 'Birds!

Seth Nation said...

I hear you son has played with most of thoise guys his whole life.....but damn would have loved to get North and Northwest to open the year.....The rotation and playoff is crazy

Free State Fan said...

Now that I really think about it, I'll bet Eli and TheImpaler get together to set the schedules. They know the most about everybody and can stack the deck in favor, or against, some school. Both of them have SMW ties, so how else could SMW have won it all last year? Couldn't have been that they had a great team or anything. Must have been Eli and Imp setting them up. HA!!!!

TheImpaler said...

Don't forget SMW had possibly the toughest schedule the last two years. Eli and I had to kidnap the schedule makers and keep them tied up in a closet while we made this year's schedule to make up for it. Eli screwed up though and made Free State our only road game...I had it as Leavenworth...

Free State Fan said...

Now that's funny! I don't care who you are, that's funny right there! (At home against SMW, thanks for that gift! We had to play SMW at SMS twice last year, so we were due a home game against them). Go 'Birds!