1. Rematches flipped – The Round of 16 on Friday presented a significant number of rematches, many where the same team won both contests. This included Scott City over Concordia, Sedgwick against Meade, Wichita Northwest against Great Bend, Buhler over Mulvane, Hanover against Frankfort, Hodgeman County over Spearville and Axtell versus Beloit St. John’s-Tipton.
However, a couple of teams flipped the results. Beloit lost 21-20 at Colby in Week 3. This time, the Trojans went to Colby again and earned a 28-14 victory. Beloit is 7-3 and will play host to top-ranked Andale in the quarterfinals. Beloit is in the quarters for the first time since a state runner-up finish in ’13. The Trojans have averaged 31.1 points per game and allowed just 15.3 per contest under third-year coach Brad Gober.
Last year, Beloit finished 6-4, though lost starting quarterback Hudson Gray for the season in Week 3. The Trojans tallied 29.3 points per game, though just 25.3 a contest after Gray’s injury. In the Colby victory, Gray completed nine of 16 passes for 145 yards and three scores. Senior Carson Cox rushed 22 times for 116 yards and three TDs.
2. Arkansas City wins in Cowley Cup rematch – Last year, 5A Olathe West and 4A Arkansas City were the only teams to advance to the quarterfinals with a losing record. OW eventually finished 5-7, while AC was 4-7. In ’18, the Bulldogs defeated Mulvane and Coffeyville in the playoffs. AC had dropped two regular season games by a combined 10 points.
This year has yielded a similar result. AC opened 0-5 and was 2-6 after the regular season, though the Bulldogs were 1-3 in games decided by eight points or fewer. That included a 20-18 road loss to Winfield in Week 1 in the Cowley Cup. This time, AC beat Winfield, 13-3, and stands at 4-6. AC gets undefeated McPherson in the quarterfinals.
3. Dodge City, Cimarron has undefeated seasons end – Dodge City and Cimarron are located just 20 miles apart. Both teams had started 9-0. DC was enjoying its best year since an 11-1 season in 2010. Cimarron had won at least nine games for the first time since before ’04. Each squad lost a Round of 16 home game. Dodge City fell, 54-7, to Junction City in Class 6A, and Cimarron lost, 34-0, to Norton. Junction City tallied 13 points in the first 24 seconds, off an 80-yard kickoff return and 36-yard touchdown pass. After DC scored, JC tallied 41 straight points. Cimarron has lost in Week 10 in eight straight years.
Cimarron made a climb up the win column with 6-4, 7-4, 7-3, 8-2 and 9-1 in the last five falls. However, Norton dual threat quarterback Kade Melvin posed problems and scored via rushing and passing, including a TD pass to Carter Jones. Later in the game, Jones returned a fumble for a score. Norton improved to 7-3. Its three losses have come against Plainville, Smith Center and Hoisington, which have a combined one defeat.
Junction City (8-2) and Norton are traditional powers, and each have bounced back after rare 4-5 season last year. Junction City gets a rematch with Topeka, which it defeated on a touchdown in the final second. Norton will play host to Conway Springs. CS has to make a 271-mile trip north. Additionally, Wichita County defeated Clifton-Clyde, 54-38, in Eight-Man, Division I. C-C also finished 9-1 for the second straight fall, and WC is in the quarters for the first time since a semifinal showing in ’90.
4. Inman with playoff history – Inman was 0-9 two years ago and improved to 6-4 last season, but 1,000-yard running back Matt Ramey transferred to nearby McPherson. The Teutons opened 0-2 and 2-3, though all losses by 14 points or fewer. Since then, Inman is 4-1 after a 43-13 road victory versus Elkhart.
The Teutons made the 259-mile trip to southwest Kansas and ended the Wildcats’ seven-game winning streak. Inman is in the quarters for the first time since ’94. The Teutons are again 6-4 and have permitted just 12.4 points per game after 30.9 points allowed last year. Imman will play host to Plainville (9-1) in the quarters.
5. Favorites roll, Schroeder with record – In Class 1A, Smith Center, Sedgwick and Plainville all had limited resistance and won by at least 22 points. Sedgwick Kale Schroeder is believed to be the first player in state history with 2,000 career rushing and receiving yards, according to Sedgwick sports information. He has 2,254 receiving yards and cleared 2,000 rushing Friday. Sedgwick will get Smith Center next week. SC is on a 20-game winning streak … In Class 5A, City League rivals Bishop Carroll and Wichita Northwest will match up again after each team won by at least 28 points. NW is 3-0 against Carroll since the start of ’18, including a playoff win last season. …. In 5A, Maize South (10-0) and Maize (9-1) will play next Friday after each squad had 31-point victories. Maize defeated Maize South, 35-0, last year.