The Road to the State Title begins tonight for 6A, 5A & 2-1A football teams. Win and the dream is alive. Lose, and it's time to start training for winter sports.
On paper, the 6A bracket has some great battles tonight, with Wichita Heights traveling to Hutchinson as two of the most successful programs of this young decade square off. The Falcons have been in the past three state title games, while Hutchinson is still in the midst of a dominate run that includes state titles in seven of the last eight seasons. Four of those came in 6A, from 2004-2007, while the Salthawks won titles in 5A in 2008, 2009 & 2011. Hutch has moved back up to 6A this season, and hope to steal the dominance of the western bracket from Heights.
Wichita Northwest (6-3) won its district, giving the Grizzlies a home playoff game. Their reward is 8-1 Topeka, who rolled through the season with only one hiccup against Manhattan. The Trojans averaged 36 points per game this season while only giving up 16.
The flip side of these great matchups, at least on paper, is Derby (8-1) hosting Wichita North, who won its final game of the season to qualify for the playoffs. That win was not only a playoff clinching win, it was also the Redskins only win. North finished in a three-way tie for second in its distict with Campus & Wichita South. Because of the way the tiebreakers fell, Wichita North qualified based on point differential. Derby has steamrolled opponents all season, with only a last-minute loss on it's record against Hutchinson. Even though the Panthers may be the heavy favorite in this game, its hard to underestimate the confidence gained by North last week with its win.
U Pick 'Em will once again be the game to play this season. Everyone is invited to sign up and compete against the Eyewitness Sports team. Anyone who beats KWCH Sports Director Bruce Haertl in a given week will be eligible to win a prize, plus you can compete against your friends to see who is the king or queen of Kansas high school football. The competition will go all the way through the state championship games, so keep making your picks each week.
CatchItKansas.com and KWCH 12 Eyewitness Sports will be across the state on Friday, bringing the most complete coverage of high school football in the state of Kansas. Below are all the game you can expect coverage from on KWCH 12 Eyewitness Sports, and the Catch It Kansas Show on KSCW 33, Cable 5 at 11:00 pm on Friday night.
Look for coverage from these other games:Wichita North @ Derby