|JD Woods' four touchdowns earned him Player|
of the Week honors. Photo LJWorld.
The Chesty Lions' offensive production has been so-so this season, good for a couple weeks then awful for a few others. So it's quite an ironic twist that they may have set the all-time record for points scored by a Sunflower League team, with 81, on Friday.
If you look at their collective piece of work for the season, SM East has probably been the league's most consistently dominant team. They've had a few close wins (Olathe Northwest and SM South), but emphasis on the term wins.
Two great things happened for the Raiders on Friday. First, they won by more than 21 points, and second Olathe East lost. Had Olathe East won or the Raiders not scored 21 points, they would have virtually been eliminated from the playoffs.
We thought Olathe Northwest might come out with an inspired effort against Olathe South, but in the end they fell by 21 points. They've officially been eliminated from the playoffs, and this week's game against Gardner-Edgerton won't make for an easy end to the season.
The Hawks would have likely sealed their 12th consecutive playoff berth had they taken care of Blue Valley Northwest this past week, but the loss left the door open for SM South to make the playoffs if the Hawks don't take care of them on Thursday.
Prior to 2010, SM West hadn't lost to SM East in over 15 years, but they've now lost two of the last four. The more pressing issue is that the Vikings face a do-or-die district game this week, something nobody anticipated two months ago.
Week Eight Players of the Week
JD Woods, Lawrence: Woods, one of Lawrence's promising sophomores, carried the ball nine times for 148 yards and three touchdowns against Wyandotte, while also returning a fumble for a touchdown.
Ra'Keim Abdul, SM South: Abdul carried the ball 17 times for 220 yards and two touchdowns, in addition to completing two of his four passes for 44 yards and another touchdown.
Week Nine Power Rankings
1. Lawrence Free State (7-1): The good news for the Firebirds is that they managed to pull out a win despite losing Joe Dineen to a rib injury in the second quarter. The bad news is that they could still miss the playoffs if they lose to Lawrence by six points or more.
2. SM East (7-1): What a cush week nine scenario for the Lancers. They have a league title under their belt, they've won their district and qualified for the playoffs, and they're playing the league's worst team. Don't be surprised if the Lancers' starters don't stay in much past the second quarter.
3. Olathe North (5-3): Despite losing in heartbreaking fashion, the Eagles' confidence meter should only be rising. Not only did they limit Traevohn Wrench (something only one other team has been able to do this fall) but they also know they can compete with anybody in 6A East.
4. Olathe East (5-3): I don't think many of us saw the Hawks losing on Friday, especially the way they'd been rolling in recent weeks. They beat SM South in week nine in this same week last fall, but it also wasn't a do-or-die type of game. We'll see how they respond under conditions unfamiliar to the program.
5. Olathe South (5-3): The Falcons have life, for now. They did everything they could possibly do to bounce back from the horrendous week seven loss to Gardner-Edgerton, and now they face a win or go home scenario against rival Olathe North. With revenge in mind, watch out for the Falcons.
6. SM West (4-4): In a nutshell, this just hasn't been the Vikings' year. Losing 24-0 to their most heated rival was just the latest blow in a inconsistent season. That being said, with all the bad luck they've had to deal with, they're still just one victory against a 2-6 team away from winning five games and making the playoffs.
7. SM South (4-4): The Raiders have proven they can be a competitive program in the Sunflower League by winning four games in back-to-back seasons for the first time since Moses wore short pants. A win Thursday against Olathe East would give the (recent) program unprecedented momentum going forward.
8. Leavenworth (3-5): It really looked like the Pioneers would be left for dead after three or four weeks of play, but they've been a different animal since the midpoint of the season. If they can handle Wyandotte the way they're capable of on Friday, they'll make the playoffs where they could always make a run.
9. Lawrence (3-5): The good news for the Chesties is that Free State only won by three points, meaning a six point victory for LHS in the league's biggest rivalry this week would put them into the playoffs. Coming off a 12-touchdown performance, I don't know how they could have any more confidence for the game.
10. Olathe Northwest (3-5): The Ravens won't be enjoying the postseason this November, which hopefully means they go hog wild with the playcalling in week nine against Gardner-Edgerton. I mean, what have they got to lose? The program made strides this year, but they're still a season or so away from really competing for things.
11. SM Northwest (2-6): The Cougars have lost more close games than any team in the league this year, but that's all a wash as they take on SM West this Friday. On paper the game is as close as they come, and it will really come down to who wants it more.
12. SM North (0-8): The Indians were officially eliminated from playoff contention with their loss to SM Northwest. Their losing streak currently stands at 18 games, but you can't overlook that fact they'll have a gunslinger at quarterback for the next three seasons.