By CONOR NICHOLL
1. Weather plays significant role
For the first time this season, thunderstorms wreaked havoc throughout Kansas high school football. Many games started at 5 and 6 p.m., or in some cases, well after 7 p.m. Bennington (5-0) drove more than 90 miles to Victoria (4-1) in a key Eight-Man, Division I, District 4 contest and waited for a few hours until the contest was rescheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday.
Eight-man’s Burlingame led Clifton-Clyde, 20-0, late in the first half in a key Division I, District 3 contest only to have a three and half hour delay. The Bearcats won 48-0. TMP, which shares a stadium with Fort Hays, lost a home game and now has to play Oakley on the road Saturday morning. Ell-Saline, undefeated and ranked in 2-1A, had its key game halted in the second quarter against Sterling.
A win gives E-S the Heart of America crown. Plainville led 21-0 at Sacred Heart before a significant delay. However, several teams, specifically Wichita Heights, Osborne, Hoisington and Andale, earned big victories. The final statements of Week 6 likely won’t be made until Saturday night.
2. Wichita Heights earns big win against Kapaun
After a 0-2 start, Wichita Heights is now 4-0 since electrifying quarterback K’Vonte Baker returned. Heights defeated a solid Kapaun squad, 34-24. Entering the game, the Crusaders (4-2) had permitted just 32 points all season, easily the best in Class 5A.
That included 26 in a loss to high-powered Wichita Northwest last Friday. Kapaun took a 17-14 halftime lead on a 55-yard field goal by Preston Williams just before intermission, a kick that was two yards off the state record, according to the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame. Heights led 20-17 midway through the third quarter. Kapaun took a 24-20 lead in the final seconds of the third quarter.
However, Heights had a pick-six and then blocked a punt to set up a Baker touchdown. With 5A depth-laden on the east, Goddard and Wichita Heights have moved to the top of 5A on the west side.
3. Osborne wins in the rain
Eight-Man, Division I’s Osborne, the defending state titlist, took control in District 4, with a big 44-10 road win at Logan-Palco that effectively eliminated the Trojans from postseason contention. Osborne junior quarterback Darnell Holloway and his brother, sophomore running back Darrien, bounced back with huge games after missing the previous contest.
Darnell rushed for a 60-yard score on the Bulldogs’ first offensive play and eventually completed 7 of 8 passes. L-P closed to 16-10 late in the first quarter after a safety in the rain. But Osborne tallied 28 straight points, including a scoring run by Darrien to open the second half. Osborne outgained L-P, 416-156, and had several big stops inside the red zone. The Bulldogs remain among the elite in Division I.
4. Hoisington achieves huge road victory
Last week, the Cardinals (4-2) lost, 35-28, at home versus Pratt, ranked in Class 4A-II. This Friday, Hoisington delivered a 32-14 road win versus Nickerson, also a ranked squad in 4A-II and another Central Kansas League foe. Hoisington forced six turnovers and picked off five passes, including a huge end-zone pick-six just before halftime when it had just a 16-14 lead.
As well, Jake Curtis intercepted an attempt that bounced off of the umpire’s back. Hoisington’s only other loss came in Week 2, 35-20, at Wichita Collegiate, also then ranked in 4A-II. The Cardinals are flying under the radar some in 2017 but has proven it can make another deep run in Class 3A. Andale, an underrated 4A-I team, moved to 6-0 with a 35-7 road win versus Wichita Collegiate.
5. Atwood knocks off No. 1 St. Francis in the Yoke Bowl; No. 1 Columbus goes down
In Eight-Man, Division I, District 8, Atwood beat St. Francis, 40-32. The Indians had been ranked No. 1 in the classification and hadn’t lost in the regular season under third-year coach Rodney Yates.
Atwood, St. Francis and Hoxie, easily the top three teams, split its three contests in District 8. There’s still several weeks left, but Hoxie and St. Francis still hold the upper hand for the two playoff berths because of the points tiebreaker. If the trio beats the lesser district teams by a maximum plus-21 each week, Hoxie would win the district and St. Francis would earn runner-up.
The district runner-up would likely travel to Spearville in the first round of the playoffs. The District 8 team who could most change scenarios is Hill City (3-2, 2-1 district entering Friday). The Ringnecks gets Hoxie and Atwood in the last two weeks. HC lost, 50-4, to St. Francis in Week 3. On the eastern side, 3A Galena defeated Columbus, ranked first in 4A-II, 33-29.
CatchitKansas Top 5 Takeaways from Week 6
By CONOR NICHOLL