Friday, September 4, 2015

Sunflower Countdown to Kickoff - Game Day!

Finals - SFL 
Lawrence       35-14     BV West - Final 
Leavenworth  17-19    Great Bend - Final  
Free State       26-34   SM West - Final
Olathe North  33-35   Roger's Heritage - Final
Olathe South  14-48   Hutchinson - Final
Olathe East     14-28    Garden City - Final 
Olathe NW     23-9    Hays - Final 
SM East         45-0     Gardner-Edgerton - Final 
SM North       22-8    SM South - Final 
SM NW          27-62    Blue Valley - Final

Thursday 9/3

No games scheduled


Lawrence vs. Blue Valley West (@ Lawrence) 
With the first meeting in the books between both teams in 2014, the Jaguars look to go 2-0 against the Chesty Lions. Although these two do not have much history together, the Chesty Lions found themselves in a week-10 playoff game at 5-4, while the Jaguars stayed home due to point differential. This could be a break out season for heavily recruited Lions Amani Bledsoe who could easily find themselves in the back of the end zone, should the Jags lose a step or two on defense at the cost of graduation. This game could set the tempo for both entering league play going in to week-2.
* Lawrence 0-1, Blue Valley West 1-0

Free State vs. SM West (@ Free State)
.500 is a suitable way to begin the start of the season for these two foes. Both Bob Lisher, and Tim Callaghan are no strangers to each other when it comes to calling great games early in the season against each other or late come playoff time. In all games played, the series is tied at 10-10, with three of these meetings in the 6A State playoffs. As the hours wind down and classes end for the day, this is a toss up for hearing the sound of the final gun, or possibly the first OT game of the season!
* Series tied 10-10

Leavenworth @ Great Bend (@ Great Bend)  
The Pioneers find themselves making their first ever trip to Great Bend, KS. Located in Barton County, KS the Panthers will be playing their second game in this series. Former Panthers Coach Bo Black is now the head man at SM Northwest where the first of three Sunflower Coaching changes took place over the 14-15 school year. In quick fashion, the Pioneers took control of the game at their home field with a 19-0 win under now second year Head Coach Tony Crough. Look to see Mark Littrell's Pioneers continue to make strides under QB Drew Sachen and make some noise as the season progresses.
* Leavenworth 1-0, Great Bend 0-1

Olathe East @ Garden City (@ Garden City)
Game two of this series could become quite the boost both of these teams to get started on the right foot. The OE Hawks bring in new Head Coach Jesse Owen in as only their second Coach in team history to take on long time Head Coach Brian Hill of the Garden City Buffaloes. While the Hawks struggled to a 3-6 finish and a loss of James McGinnis to injury, the Buffaloes at 4-5 in 2014 struggled just to maintain their consistency with the ball. With a District filled with Hutchinson and Head Coach Ryan Cornelson, anything could happen this year with Districts officially being ended by the KSHSAA. At this time, they could both benefit looking to get in to the playoff picture later down the road.
* Olathe East 1-0, Garden City 0-1

Olathe North vs. Rogers Heritage AR (@ ODAC)
Last Fall, the Eagles and their traveling party took a trip to the Rogers Heritage AR campus to take on the War Eagles. Although the game was rather close, Olathe North came away with the W, and took away a great learning experience from a school outside of the KC-metro Football community. These opportunities do not come along often, but you have to hand it to a strong, and driven team to accomplish a goal in uncharted High School Football waters. This time, War Eagles Head Coach Perry Escalante will now face first year Head Coach Chris McCartney.
* Olathe North 1-0, Rogers Heritage 0-1

Olathe South vs. Hutchinson SaltHawks (@ CBAC)
It's safe to say, what goes around comes around, and for the fourth time in SaltHawk History, they will be playing a Sunflower League power in the Falcons led by Jeff Gourley. Just four years ago the Falcons won the 6A State Title, so facing tough competition from the western side of the state is nothing new. During the 2014 meeting at Hutch, the Falcons came away victorious while the SaltHawks began with multiple injuries to many of their starters. The SaltHawks were defeated by the SM East Lancers in the 6A State Final game 33-14 in Emporia.
* Hutchinson 2-1, Olathe South 1-2

The SaltHawks lead the series 2 games to 1, with two prior Wins coming in the State Final games in 2004, and 2007 led by current Pioneers Coach Mark Littrell. This is any one's game. Although this game will be played at CBAC, this could prove to be a huge advantage for the Falcons despite not playing where they are comfortable the most on ODAC grounds closer to home.

SM East vs. Gardner-Edgerton (@ SM South) 
The Kansas 6A State Football Champions led by Dustin Delaney take on the Gardner-Edgerton Trailblazers in their second meeting all-time. Their first meeting at the G-E field proved to be a whitewashing as the Lancers controlled the game from the start. SR QB Gunnar Englund (now graduated) led the charge convincingly along with JR Fullback Wyatt Edmisten who holds the school record for Touchdown's in a single season, and career with 32. With a tough task ahead, the Trailblazers will need to find a way to keep the Flex-bone offense to a minimum and score against a Lancer defense with the loss of Kyle Ball to graduation.
* SM East 1-0, Gardner-Edgerton 0-1
* Don't forget Lancers, #LancerDayParade hosted by the Prairie Village Shops to begin the Football season!

SM North vs. SM South (@ SM North) 
Since 1966, the Indians, and Raiders are nothing short of familiar with each other. North Head Coach Ben Bartlett, will take on first year Coach and long time Firebirds AC Brett Oberzan. The Raiders lead the series 24W-23L-1T in 48 games played. In their last 10 games, the Raiders are 6-4. This will be a great intra-District match up while the others will fall in to place within the first four weeks of the season. One thing to look for is JR Quarterback Will Schneider of the Indians as he is able to embrace his leadership role with teammates around that respect his presence and game knowledge. This will be Will Schneider's 20th game as a starter, which will be more experience than most of the other 21 student-athletes will have on the field.
* SM South 24-23-1, SM North 23-24-1

SM Northwest @ Blue Valley (@ Blue Valley) 
This could truly be a "Cats game." With a new Head Coach in Bo Black (0-0) leading the Cougars in the 2015 season via Great Bend, and Hays, he has a tough task against him taking on an experienced Blue Valley Tigers by alumni Eric Driskell (48-13). Although the Tigers started off 2-1 after three games, the reeled off a seven game winning streak while the Cougars struggled to find any kind of offense, and maintain a defense during the 2014 season. While Blue Valley ended their season in the playoffs to a great Olathe North Eagles team, Lin Hibbs (7-21) submitted his resignation from the program later on in the year. More notably Eagles legend Gene Weir (153-31, 1989-2002, 2012-2014) submitted his resignation also to the Olathe School District for a second time to take a position with the Kansas Jayhawks Football team under new Head Coach David Beatty.
* SM Northwest 0-1, Blue Valley 1-0
* Gene Weir's totals, do not include his record as Head Coach from 1981-1988 due to the Eagles participating with Olathe South in the EKL. Sunflower only.

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