|SM East's Sam Huffman fought for yardage against|
Leavenworth's Sean Young in Friday's game. SM East
came away victorious, 36-14. Photo by Marisa Walton,
**With their win against Leavenworth on Friday, SM East notched their ninth win of the season, which is the most wins the school has ever had in any one single season in their 58-year history.
**Olathe North and Olathe East, two of the Sunflower League's better defenses, put the clamps down on EKL foes Gardner-Edgerton and BV Northwest, respectively, holding the two to a combined 10 points. Given the EKL is known for their high powered offenses, the efforts were impressive.
**The two top seeded teams remaining, Free State and SM East, will have to travel on the road to ODAC and CBAC, respectively, for Sectionals. This antiquated KSHSAA rule of of not granting the top seeds home field advantage throughout the playoffs needs to be addressed, as it's a problem that seems to reoccur annually.
**Friday was the last game for Leavenworth's Jason Randall, a player who impacted the Pioneer program perhaps more than any one player did for any program over the last decade. All told, he rushed for 35 touchdowns and just over 3,600 rushing yards in three and half years of varsity football.
**Both Leavenworth and SM Northwest held first half leads, however the two combined to be outscored 39-0 in the second halves of their games.
**The trend of the "haves" and "have nots" continues in the Sunflower League, as there really aren't any new teams making a splash this deep in the season. Each of the four teams in Sectionals have made it this far within the past two seasons -- meanwhile, Leavenworth, Olathe Northwest, SM North and SM South have yet to make it this far in the past decade.
Regional Round Players of the Week
Joe Dineen, Lawrence Free State: Dineen completed seven of his 15 passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns, and carried the ball 14 times for 72 yards and two touchdowns. Simply put, when Dineen starts making plays, Free State is hard to beat.
Nathan Guthrie, Olathe East: Guthrie's stat line wasn't the most impressive we've seen all year -- he recorded eight tackles, recovered a fumble and had one tackle for loss -- but Jeff Meyers cited Guthrie as the primary reason the Hawks were able to keep Traevohn Wrench's yards per carry down, and most importantly, out of the end zone.
Down and Out
Leavenworth: The Pioneers capped the season at 3-7, but the improvement from their week one 34-0 disaster loss against SM East was evident. The program has gained the respect of their Sunflower League peers, and that's something they didn't have just three years ago.
SM Northwest: The Cougars season ended in underwhelming fashion (especially considering they jumped out to a 14-0 lead), but they have much to be optimistic about going forward. Primarily the fact they played quite a few non-seniors which should make the transition to next fall easier.