Thursday, October 29, 2015

Sunflower Football Preview: Week 9

Districts Week #3 

56 SM East vs SM North 34
47 Lawrence vs Olathe East 8
21 Free State vs Topeka 0
19 Leavenworth vs Lansing 48
21 SM West vs BV North 49
  9 Olathe South vs Gardner-Edgerton 12
  6 SM Northwest vs SM South 14
13 Olathe Northwest vs Olathe North 19

Thursday Oct. 29
SM East vs SM North (@ SM North)
Coming in to tonights week-9 game, the outcomes of point differential have pre-determinted a trip the 6A Playoffs for the Lancers and Indians. Although they will not meet again in week-10, seeding will soon determine where each falls by Saturday for the East side of the brackets.

Since 2008, the Lancers have won seven (7) straight games and are 9-1 in their last 10 vs the Indians. With North QB Will Schneider coming off a huge game against Harmon, the Lancers will be another tough test to face.

SM North leads the series 30-20-1 in 51 games played

Friday Oct. 30

Lawrence vs Olathe East (@ CBAC)
In a came that will most likely be completed by half, the Chesty Lions could find themselves at 9-0 and undefeated for the first time in the regular season since the 1993 season under legend Dick Purdy.

That 1993 season, which also brought the Lions another State Title finishing 12-0, led to the birth of the Olathe East Hawks only a year earlier. Lawrence's JD Woods ground game alone could be unstoppable for the Hawks defense, but if they plan to go to the air game, Hawks Deon Union could be a thorn in the Lions side that could keep this a close game.

Lawrence leads the series 10-8 in 18 games played

Free State vs Topeka (@ Free State)
Since the Firebirds inception to the Sunflower League in 1997, they are the only team that has faced the Trojans more than any other SMSD #5 or Wyandotte Football team since they left for the Centennail League years ago.

Bob Lisher's game plans have been a great in the last five weeks, and similar to the 2014 season, have picked a great time to be on a hot streak. Despite the run of five straight, the Topeka Trojans still managed an impressive 37 point performance in last years loss. Free State went on to defeat Wichita Northwest, and Junction City prior to losing to the Hutchinson SaltHawks in the SubState Final.

Free State leads the series 9-3 in 12 games played

Leavenworth vs Lansing (@ Lansing)
For most of us Sunflower alumni of the early 2000's this match up reminds us of the days of McCall's (Olathe North) vs Littrell's (Olathe South) during the 2003 and 2004 seasons. John McCall's talented Eagles went on dominating run's after Gene Weir's first retirement, leaving the Falcons under Mark Littrell 0-2 vs his opponent.

Years later, and after a run with the both part of the Richland Rebels TX under Gene Weir, these two great Coaches, and very talented teams take each other on again. The Pioneers won last seasons District game with a 63-0 shutout and Littrell now 1-2 vs McCall. Will the tide turn on this District? The Lions are playing very well and have sported some great wins over a down Piper Pirates, and struggling Washington and Turner programs. Both teams are led by former Eagles (Maurice Mack Jr and Jeremy Milne.)

Leavenworth leads the series 1-0 in all game(s) played

SM West vs BV North (@ SM South)
The Vikings and Mustangs are already in the drivers seat as this is perhaps one of the biggest games of the season for the Vikings coming off a tough loss to the Lancers earlier in the season.

Look for the Mustangs offense, led by Joey Dolan, to be very creative in his offensive play calls. The Raiders struggled immensely against this upstart team that was in the same boat in this fairly recent era. Last year the Vikings escaped with a 24-21 win.

*** Continue to stay posted on the SM West Vikings Football program as Tim Callaghan reaches a feat that no other SMSD #5 Football coach has come close too for over 37 years!
*** The SM West Sports Department out of The Saga, will feature some great work as that time nears

SM West leads the series 7-5

Olathe South vs Gardner-Edgerton (@ G-E)
In a fairly new series, the Falcons and Trailblazers will meet for only the third time.

With both teams struggling at (1-7) getting that second win will be a move towards improvement. The Falcons are looking to continue to play strong as the season closes out, and a win against a talented EKL team would build some confidence for the 2016 season. The Trailblazers led by Marvin Diener are continuing to play well against the Sunflower League as well.

Don't take the down seasons for granted, because at any time they can change after a great off-season of 7v7 summer season. Although it is impossible to gauge much from those games as a fan some times, the comaraderie will be a great asset for 2016.

Gardner-Edgerton leads the series 2-1 at 3 games played

SM Northwest vs SM South (@ SM North)
As the SMSD #5 Football teams close out the year, two struggling teams, both with new Head Coaches are looking to find their niche within the Sunflower League.

Although things do not happen over night, look for both teams to come out strong and play hard to close out the season. The Cougars, looking for their second win have improved greatly from the prior seasons despite their current record of play. The Raiders, though, looking for their first win, also have something to play for well, representing the Football program's 50th season.

Coming off a 3-7 2014, and taking on a new Head Coach to start the year is hard for most any team, especially within the Sunflower League. This game alone, will be the teams 46th meeting all time.

Series is tied at 23-23 at 46 games played

Olathe Northwest vs Olathe North (@ ODAC)
In what could be a game similar to the SM West vs BV North match, the Ravens and Eagles will be fighting for the final playoff spot to join the Chesty Lions.

Since 2010, the Raven's have managed two wins against the Eagles, with both being upsets of sorts against some very talented teams. With a new regime under Chris McCartney, the Eagles defense could have their hands full with the Ravens offensive power. From start to finish, and all three aspects of the game, these teams are evenly matched across the board for perhaps the first time ever in this series.

Although the Eagles vs Falcons is the top rivalry within the District, this could soon become a great game years to come as these two fight it out. Only in the very near future, will we be able to tell what could happen as the Eagles will lose student-athletes to the future Olathe West while the Ravens will lose a smaller percentage of student's... Something to ponder as the end of this decade creeps closer

Olathe North leads the series 9-2 in 11 games played


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