Football Week 5 Preview - Hi-Plains
In a league featuring three different football classifications and some of the better teams in the state of Kansas, the Hi-Plains League will have another week where teams will either solidify playoff chances or begin their charges to second-half improvement this season.
Southwestern Heights (2-2) at Lakin (4-0) “Battle for the Golden Saddle”
The game that usually settles a playoff berth could be one that determines playoff positioning in the Class 2A District 7 race. This will be just the second year in the series since 2008 (as far back as we can get records) that the game will not come on the final week of the regular season. Lakin has won 10 of the last 11 meetings, including the past three. The Golden Saddle was first awarded in 2009.
The Broncs scored 46 points in the first quarter on their way to a 60-21 rout of Ellinwood last week. Kayden Christensen – who just committed this week to play collegiately at Bethel College, scored three times to pace the Lakin attack. The Broncs have outscored their opponents, 190-42, in four games this season.
The Mustangs were kept in check last week against Cimarron, held to 184 total yards, including only four passing yards. Demetrio Flores rushed 27 times for 131 yards and scored the lone touchdown for SWH in the loss and is among the leaders in rushing in Class 2A with 451 yards in the first four games. Demetrio Flores also had a team-high nine tackles against the Bluejays.
Sterling (2-2) at Cimarron (4-0)
The Bluejays look to continue their splendid season when they host the Black Bears on Friday. Cimarron has outscored their opponents, 150-45, in the first four weeks of the season.
Sterling leans on senior quarterback Brady Myers, who has amassed 476 yards rushing and seven touchdowns for the Black Bears. Sterling has generated 232.3 yards rushing per game as a team. Myers also has hit on 5-of-12 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown, along with one interception. Myers also has a team-high 51 total tackles.
Meade (1-3) at Elkhart (3-1)
The Buffaloes will have their hands full this week with the ground game of the Wildcats. Meade won last week, blasting Stanton County to get into the win column for the first time this season. Elkhart did not have all of their regular starters last week, but still managed to roll past Clayton, New Mexico.
Elkhart possesses the top rusher in Class 1A in Chance O’Hair, who leads the classification, and is 6th in the state among all ground-gainers with 773 rushing yards. O’Hair also leads the Wildcats in tackles per game, and accounts for 20.5 points scored per game.
Meade relies on three players for the bulk of their ground game, with Greyson Haynes (210 yards), Korben Clawson (178) and Caden Martin (169) who have six of the Buffaloes’ seven rushing scores. Martin accounts for more than half of the receiving yards for the Buffaloes. Clawson also averages 13.8 tackles per game and has an amazing 10 tackles for loss in the first four games, as well as an interception. Martin has two of Meade’s five interceptions.
Syracuse (0-4) at Ellis (1-3)
The Bulldogs take to the road and try to snap their losing skid at Ellis, who lost at home to LaCrosse a week ago.
Syracuse is led by junior back Kolbey Brummett, who has 225 yards rushing and two TDs on the ground, and will look to jump-start their offense, which has just 652 total yards through four games.
The Railroaders have had success moving the football this season, led by Konnor Pfeifer, who has gained 345 yards on the ground and scored three rushing touchdowns. Junior quarterback Tegan Cain has passed for 866 yards and six TDs, while scoring five more TDs on the ground. Ellis averages 371.8 yards of offense per game.
Stanton County (0-4) at Sublette (1-3)
The Trojans will look for their first win of the season at Sublette, who just broke a 35-game losing streak last week with a come-from-behind win at Syracuse.
Stanton County has scored just 24 points this season, while allowing 161 points. The Trojans lost last week at Meade, 45-0.
The Larks, who have been outscored 136-53 so far this season, have managed to get going offensively thanks to a freshman – quarterback Miguel Hernandez, who has hit on 29-of-63 passes for 457 yards and four touchdowns. Hernandez has also rushed for 147 yards and a rushing touchdown. In the win at Syracuse, Hernandez rushed for a score, passed for another, and scored the two-point conversion that ultimately was the difference in the win.
Trego (3-1) at Wichita County (4-0)
It’s another big collision for the Indians in 8-man Division I District 8, as the Leoti squad hosts Trego, and it features two of the best passers in the state.
Trego’s offense is triggered by junior signalcaller Kobi Shubert, who has completed 62 percent of his passes for 657 yards and nine touchdowns, with one interception. Shubert – who has scored two rushing TDs as well – leans also on senior running back Gavin Garza, who has rushed for 649 yards and eight scores. The Golden Eagles average 385 yards of offense per game.
Kayde Rietzke paces the Indians offense, passing for 655 yards and 13 touchdowns (and completing a blistering 80.7 percent of his passes) while rushing for 421 yards and seven touchdowns. Wichita County averages 386 yards of offense per game.