1. Northwest into the finals – A week after an 84-67 victory against Bishop Carroll, Northwest played another game that resembled a basketball score in a 67-60 victory against Maize. Northwest, after multiple years of state record-setting offensive seasons and tough playoff losses, broke through to reach its second state title in school history, first since 1996. NW scored in the final minute on a 28-yard scoring pass from Reagan Jones. Sophomore Todric McGee clinched the win with an interception. Maize quarterback Caleb Grill threw for 521 yards and seven scores, and Jones rushed for 279 yards and three TDs.
2. Derby fourth straight title game berth – In Class 6A, Derby remained undefeated and moved into the title game for the fourth straight season after a 24-6 victory against Manhattan. Derby will have another matchup against Blue Valley North and quarterback Graham Mertz, a Wisconsin commit, after a close loss last fall. Derby has permitted just 87 points, the fewest permitted by a Class 6A team since Olathe East went 9-1 and permitted 86 total points in 2008. In the first half, Derby held Manhattan to 13 total yards and no first downs. Tre Washington scored on a 67-yard run on the game’s first play.
3. Solomon beats Canton-Galva in second meeting; Goddard upsets McPherson – Friday yielded two upsets in the area. In Eight-Man, Division I, Solomon reached the first championship game in school history with a 28-12 victory against Canton-Galva. C-G, with no seniors, had defeated Solomon, 38-20, in district play. In Class 4A, Goddard beat McPherson, 15-14. The Bullpups were undefeated and had set multiple offensive school records. Goddard has lost twice but features one of 4A’s top defenses. With less than 30 seconds remaining, Goddard picked McPherson’s Kyler Hoppes on a diving catch in the end zone. Running back Ben Bannister scored twice for the Lions as Goddard had its second comeback in as many weeks.
4. Phillipsburg pulls away from Hoisington in rematch; Smith Center wins – In district play, Phillipsburg led Hoisington 41-0 at halftime and won 51-21. In the 2A rematch, Hoisington led 7-0 and trailed 17-14 late in the fourth quarter. Undefeated Phillipsburg had big plays from a variety of players. All-state kicker Jonathan Hunnacutt kicked a field goal, blocked a punt, forced a fumble and had a sack on the same play, and delivered seven tackles. Quarterback Trey Sides threw two touchdown passes of more than 20 yards, and Nathan Moon delivered a 68-yard scoring run. Just up the road from Phillipsburg, Smith Center defeated Plainville in the sub-state title game for the second straight year, 49-7, and moved into the Class 1A state game versus Olpe. SC led 7-0 after the first quarter, and then had a flurry of points late in the second and led 35-0 at halftime.
5. Pratt defeats Andale behind Theis – In a matchup of undefeated Class 3A squads, Pratt earned a comeback win, 21-19, behind another huge performance from Travis Theis. He scored three times, including a key 96-yard run 18 seconds into the fourth quarter. Andale scored on a five-yard touchdown pass but the 2-point conversion was unsuccessful with 39 seconds left in the contest.