By CONOR NICHOLL
1. Spearville beats Central Plains on last-second play
In a back-and-forth classic, Spearville defeated Central Plains, 32-28, in an Eight-Man, Division I quarterfinal contest. CP scored with 62 seconds left before the Lancers drove the length of the field. With seven seconds left, Spearville lined up with four players on the left side at the Oiler seven-yard line.
Junior quarterback Kolby Stein threw a quick out to Waylon Strecker who followed a convoy of blockers into the end zone with one second to go. Spearville senior Bailey Sites had a huge game with more than 320 all-purpose yards, including a 78-yard kickoff return and four rushing scores. Spearville (11-0) is 3-1 against Central Plains (9-2) in the quarterfinals in the last four years. Two of the four games have been decided by a combined six points.
2. Derby wins at Free State, 55-49, in overtime
For the second straight week, Derby won a close game at an eastern school. Last week, the Panthers earned a 21-14 road victory against Manhattan. This time, in a matchup against undefeated and top-seeded Free State, Derby earned a 55-49 victory. It marked the third straight year Derby had beaten the Firebirds in the playoffs.
In overtime, FS started with the ball and moved to the three-yard line. However, a fourth down pass fell incomplete. On the next play, Derby’s Brody Kooser rushed 10 yards for the game-winning score. FS star running back Jax Dineen suffered an injury in the first quarter, though freshman Tyler Bowden stepped in. FS had a chance to set up a potentially game-winning field goal at the end of regulation but fumbled. Derby had 538 total yards. Derby will face Wichita Northwest in the semifinals in a highly anticipated matchup.
3. Northwest rolls over Garden City in rematch
Earlier this season, Wichita Northwest held off Garden City in a competitive contest. Northwest won 36-23 after trailing 23-6. This time, Northwest defeated GC, 49-6, to set up a home game with Derby. Northwest led 14-0 after the first quarter and 35-0 at halftime. Northwest outgained GC, 653-163, including 504 rushing yards. Breece Hall had 17 rushes for 222 yards and accounted for three scores.
4. Plainville wins in double overtime
Plainville earned its eighth straight victory with a 27-20 double-overtime road win versus Ell-Saline. Neither team scored in the first overtime, but Plainville had a 10-yard quarterback sweep from Jordan Finnesy. E-S came back from a 10-point deficit, the third straight game E-S battled back from a double-digit margin.
Finnesy rushed for 125 yards, while E-S quarterback Nick Davenport accounted for 289 yards in total offense. The Cardinals will face Smith Center for the second time this year and the fourth occasion in the last two falls. Plainville lost to SC in a close Week 1 contest after a pair of ’16 wins, including the sub-state title game.
5. Other Key Results
In Class 5A, Goddard played without Blake Sullivan for most of the game due to a shoulder injury but had enough to beat Eisenhower, 28-13, for the time this year. Also in 5A, Carroll built a 17-0 lead in the second quarter and held onto beat Maize, 26-14. McPherson avenged a 9-0 Week 2 loss to Maize South with a 28-7 victory and will play Andale (40-10 winners against Andover Central) in the semifinals.
Other results set up some highly-anticipated matchups including semifinal rematches in 4A-II between rivals Scott City and Holcomb, 8-man II’s Otis-Bison and Hodgeman County and on the east, Pike Valley and Hanover. PV/Hanover faced off in the semifinals last year.
Top 5 Reflections from Week 11
By CONOR NICHOLL