1. Playoff brackets set – On Saturday morning, KSHSAA announced the official playoff brackets for all classes. Week 9 starts bracket play this Thursday and Friday. Derby and Dodge City earned the No. 1 and 2 seeds in Class 6A West and are the lone undefeated squads in the classification. Derby, on a 21-game winning streak, will host Wichita North. Dodge City has a rematch with Haysville Campus, who the Red Demons defeated, 34-12, in the season opener. Derby is ranked first, Dodge City eighth in 6A. Derby leads 6A in scoring offense and defense with a 401-74 margin. DC is second in defense with just 111 points allowed.
In 5A, Wichita Northwest and Maize South stayed perfect. Northwest gets a rematch versus Kapaun, and Maize South will play Salina South. Northwest is ranked second, Maize South fourth. Maize South completed the first undefeated regular season in school history. Northwest (41) and Maize South (95) are first and third, respectively, in 5A scoring defense.
In 5A, Wichita Heights (3-5) at Great Bend (4-4) is one of the more intriguing Week 9 games. No. 2 McPherson the only undefeated squad on the 4A West side and will face Abilene. The Bullpups have permitted just 71 points, second-best in 4A.
2. Derby rolls over Maize – Derby clinched the No. 1 seed with another empathic victory in a 55-7 win versus Maize. The Eagles were 7-0 and ranked No. 3 in 5A. Derby outgained Maize, 549-106. The Panther defense limited Maize all-state running back Caden Cox to 12 rushing yards. Derby led 42-0 at halftime. Lem Wash has capably replaced injured Grant Adler at quarterback and accounted for six touchdowns.
3. Sedgwick keeps district winning streak going – Sedgwick is 8-0 after a 42-7 road win versus Inman. The Cardinals, like Dodge City, Wichita Northwest and Maize South, have also made a big defensive improvement. Sedgwick paces 1A in scoring defense with just 47 points allowed. Lance Hoffsommer passed for 332 yards. He is the state’s leading passer with more than 2,300 yards this year.
The Cardinals are ranked sixth in 1A and has won nine straight district titles. Kale Schroeder rushed for 142 yards and became Sedgwick’s first 1,000-yard rusher in five years. Sedgwick has captured 29 district wins in a row. Sedgwick has never lost to Inman in the 14-year coaching history with Jeff Werner/Doug Mabry. Because of 31 Class 1A teams, Sedgwick will get a first-round bye in the playoffs for the second straight year.
4. Osborne holds off Thunder Ridge – In what could be the first of two meetings, Osborne defeated Thunder Ridge, 40-34, for the Eight-Man, Division II, District 5. Osborne (8-0) is ranked first in Division II, and Thunder Ridge (7-1) is fifth. Osborne had issues with fumbling, including a lost fumble on a kickoff return. However, Steele Wolters and Darrien Holloway combined for 37 carries for 242 yards. Wolters rushed for four touchdowns, including the game-winner from 11 yards out with 39 seconds left. TR standout running back Reece Struckhoff ran for 180 yards and four touchdowns and did not play in the second half due to injury precautions. Struckhoff is expected to return for Week 9. TR took a 34-32 lead on a safety midway through the fourth quarter. Osborne, Thunder Ridge and South Barber are the main contenders in Division II West.
5. Other key results – In 3A, No. 1 Andale had easily its closest game of the season, but defeated No. 6 Cheney, 29-22. The Indians have not lost a regular season game in the three-year Dylan Schmidt era…In 2A, No. 3 Garden Plain beat No. 4 Conway Springs, 32-21, despite CS holding the total yardage edge..Also in 2A, No. 1 Hoisington pulled away from Norton, 38-7, in the second half. Norton had won five in a row. Wyatt Pedigo rushed for 293 yards and four scores in the victory. … In six-man, Cheylin and Moscow both completed perfect regular seasons with 8-0 marks.