Eli Underwood's musings on high school football in the Sunflower League
LV redeemed themselves from last week's performance. Ball was in the hand of their playmakers. Randall had a big game running along with Ross receiving and playing defense. SMN not enough firepower.
I would hope they redeemed themselves, not sure if SMN has enough firepower to shoot a cap gun
Shawnee Mission football is back baby! Raiders, Lancers Vikings...even the Cougs put up a good fight. Vikings looked great up 23-0 until the sophomore defense gave up a last minute TD. AJ, great game, Andre, great game. Hobbs, Wade, Louis and the Line, great game. Total domination. Braden who? Bring on the Lions.
Oh, and ....hmmmm...Simone....Maloney....Simone....Maloney....has a nice ring doesn't it?
I just knew there were some toss ups this week and of course I only got 1 of them correct. None the less still ended up 4-2.Now that SME and SMNW seem to be playing realatively well they just may become spoilers this year.
SMS win. Yeah, baby. Dodged a couple bullets late.Dom Berry played a tremendous game. I'd be surprised if he didn't have at least half a dozen and maybe double digit tackles for loss in the game.SMS had a passing attack this week, too. 2 pics on D.
Ok, just saw that catch and run by Randall...one word,SICK!!!
Imp, Now you need to calm down!! Andre is good and may have had a good game. But its way to early to be mentioning the Simone award for now. Glad to see my Vikes won but they blew my upset special. Its going to be hard to repeat as pick em champ without hitting some upsets. Nice job by Wi not fit and Olathe East fan for picking the SMS vs. ON game.
OE vs. ONW, East won this game with a good balance on offense. Brown rushed for 125 yards. Branson added 85. With TE Alexander scoring on two seam routes and Guthrie scoring through the air on the opening drive. Maybe Meyers is having the awakening that I referenced in my preseason picks. Leach had three Td's passing and one on a sneak. He also threw three int's. If East has a chance to contend Meyers needs to continue his balance and leach must take care of the football. ONW ran the ball fairly well but turned it over way to much. The QB's throw it up for grabs trying to take advantage of Gitlins size. I believe East had 4 int's and two fumble recovery's. I had Randall Byers with two tackles and no sacks. Since Momma brought him into everyones radar I isolated on him alot during the game. Honest assessment, His mobility is limited with poor lateral pursuit. Had minimal penetration to the QB and was really a non factor. Based on Easts 250 yards rushing I'd say the proof is in the pudding.
I think I may have seen the leagues best team last night. Wow hats off to SME. That flexbone was brutal. First half we couldn't do anything right. Second half we kept it 0-0 by forcing some turnovers. That was one hell of a dog fight in the trenches. As the dad of a lineman I've got one sore young man going into watch film this morning. Not the biggest line we've seen but Jesus they were quick. Not rest for the weary. Got to saddle up and get ready in a short week for the Vikings.
Some observations from week two (I was at the Free State vs. SM Northwest game and I watched the Olathe South vs. SM West replay on Metro Sports):- Free State is loaded with speed, probably as much as any team in the league. Joe Dineen is INCREDIBLE in run support from his safety position, and then when you add in Winslow, Torneden, Loneker, etc. they are just so damn fast on defense. SM Northwest's game plan was pretty much roll out the the QB (Horner)and either throw it in the flat or let Horner scramble around the outside. It worked in running clock and keeping things close, but they didn't have the speed to be effective with it, and were held to three points. Offensively, Free State has a ways to go but once again, they have the athletes to do anything they want. Dineen overthrew Khadre Lane on three or four deep passes, missed some easy touch passes, they fumbled several times... basically timing issues. But once they get clicking they will be scary. Fred Wyatt was on the sidelines -- he's massive -- it's a shame he's not out there playing, but it's good to see he's still actively involved in everything.- SM Northwest used the Bill Snyder methodology of conservative playcalling, mistake-free football, and it was good enough for a half. The Cougars look the part -- they have a big physical line, athletic skill positions, and they are much improved from last year, but they still have a ways to go. SM Northwest's secondary is tough, one of the better I've seen, and that's clearly the team's strength. Unfortunately for them the SFL is probably a 75/25 run/pass league, so your secondary can only do so much. Overall, probably the most important thing I saw from SM Northwest is that they made Free State earn every yard (see Bill Snyder). There were no easy first downs, they were sure tacklers, and on offense the had very few 3rd and longs. They basically played about as well as they could have this early in the season against an opponent like Free State. I wouldn't be shocked to see SM Northwest start turning some of these close losses into Ws as the season continues.- Olathe South has a big physical line, good (but not great) speed, and a helluva quarterback. Provided nothing crazy happens they'll finish above .500, and potentially do some work in the playoffs. They are a very young team but that will pay dividends next season, and at the end of this year. They've adjusted much better to losing such a talented senior class than I had anticipated.- SM West has everything, they just need to bring it all together. They've passed the ball more than I've ever seen from a Callaghan team, but that's never been the program's bread and butter. They really need to establish their rushing attack (and I think they will) because they can't afford to have Maloney getting battered at the Wildcat position taking 10-15 carries all season. He's too valuable. If they can develop their rushing attack they will be very difficult to match up with because teams won't know how to defend them with so much speed at the receiver positions.
Couldn't agree more on ELI's observations about SMNW. Their defense is stout. They hit hard, force turnovers and smash you in the mouth. They should be in every game. Just need to find a way to score some points.
I thought Mario Louis won the battle for starting tailback, had a nice 40+ yard TD run called back for a phantom motion penalty. Forgot to mention Rashaun Owens with some BIG catches out of the backfield. Would like to see Louis get 15 carries and run some quick hitting fullback runs with Owens to establish a running game. Stallings is not the guy, no play making and too many turnovers.And yes, it's early but Maloney has to be at the top of the Simone discussion at this point, he's a human highlight reel, an endless parade of big plays. I disagree with Eli, I think the wildcat is a great change up which makes it virtually impossible to defend the myriad of things West can do on offense. Andre's tough, he can take it. Big question: Why was Osbey on the sideline the entire second half? Is he okay? And what about Steele? He seemed to come off the field okay after he got hurt but they kept tending to him on the sidelines.
I've watched SMW these first two weeks, and my impression is a little different, but I come at it from a different perspective I guess. I think SMW could easily be 0-2 without Maloney most likely 1-1. He is the MVP of this league based on that alone. Their run game is weak, and while #84 has stud potential at TE, he's not as 'uncoverable' as Maloney and could probably be taken out of the game with game planning. West,as of right now, is a one trick pony on offense - Throw a deep post to Maloney. Good thing Maloney is a damn good pony. On Defense, they are still pretty good, their Pass D is extremely talented, their run D is just OK right now. in my opinion- SMS had good success until Morris started cramping and even OS seemed to have 2-3 good drives on the ground before West tightened down.Then again I always tend to look more at whats wrong with something before I see what's right.
Sorry brain fart, not Osbey, it was Spight on the sideline the 2nd half.
East looked good.. But if they dont fix the o line Free State will have a field day. I knew SMS was for real ... Good for SMS... Nice job.. its goes to show fella .. with all this good play and teams...I strongly believe the State trophy will be back in the Sunflower.....
i love how SMW starting Runningback walks his happy ass to the other side after playing defense dont worry Stallings will break some runs no need to worry
The only conclusion I've reached is that there's no clear-cut favorite and every team has their share of things to work on, naturally. Normally a few of the big dogs establish themselves early with multiple blowouts, but we haven't seen that yet. SM East has probably been most impressive, but then again we don't know how good or bad Lawrence and Leavenworth are yet. Should be fun down the stretch.
Not knocking Stallings defense, he's done a good job on that side of the ball. In fact on several OS running plays that got stuffed, Braden Smith wound up 15 yards from the play on the sideline blocking Stallings. Just saying I don't think he's the best or even the second best tailback on the team from what I've seen so far. I give Louis some serious carries next week and see what he can do.
Excellent notes, Eli, from the FS vs. SMNW game. I was very impressed with the SMNW defensive speed. FS has several lightning fast kids and SMNW was able to contain the edge pretty well most of the night. FS coaches have to pick that up earlier and adjust accordingly. Adjustments came way too late, IMO, and the game stayed close because of FS play calls. The play calling changed in the second half and FS pulled away. SMNW defense will be able keep them in games with teams this year until the offense comes around. They are not the push-over people make them out to be. I loved how FS was backed into a corner and came out fighting. That will benefit them as the year goes on. They were tested and had to overcome adversity - 2 fumbles and a running into the punter penalty that led to the only SMNW points that kept the game in SMNW territory most of the first quarter. The FS defense won the game in the first quarter. When SMNW had 3 possession deep in FS territory and only came away with a 44 yd FG, it set the tone for the night. It could easily have been 21-zip at half if not for great defensive efforts. Lastly, extremely impressed with the SMNW punter/kicker. Field position played a large factor in the game staying close. Overall, okay game for FS. As they say, a win is a win. Go 'Birds!
Eli, I agree with W needing to get a running game, but I can't see any team in the SFL getting past that defense. Chambers and Pembridge are tough enough to get by, and even if you do, you're going to need to get past the linebackers and Maloney deep. It's just not going to happen. OS wouldn't have scored at all if Callaghan never put his second string out there. West needs a running game badly, but I just don't see any school getting much past the defense. With a running game I hate to say this but they would be untouchable. Thankfully it's just not there yet. I have watched the game a few times now and those kids made big Smith and OS look bad. Can't wait to see SMW play Free State, I doubt anyone else will have an answer. I'm an old SMN man, hope my Indians can improve with new direction. PubHouseNation- haven't seen SME play yet but looking forward to it. Hope they can score some points on W.
Lee spight is the best of the west d lineman just wait til he's back and fully healthy. 10 sacks last year I believe he's too good not to mention with chambers and pembridge
Viking Fan: I apologize, this past game was the first game I've seen of W this year and didn't see Spite, for some reason I thought he graduated. Wow, they have another stellar d lineman. It's funny, the Chiefs are 2-0 but I have been more interested in SFL football for the past few years. Looking forward to an exciting fall. -Victor
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