Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Sub-State - Friday Nov. 20, 2015

43 Blue Valley vs Olathe North 19 (@ Blue Valley)
14 Free State vs Derby 35 (@ Derby)

Game Previews

Friday, Nov. 20

Blue Valley (9-2) vs Olathe North (10-1) @ Blue Valley

Entering Week-12, these two storied programs meet again. Between the two Football teams, 14 6A & 5A State Titles are held. In 2014, these two met at ODAC with the Eagles coming away with the Sectional championship after beating the Tigers 27-14, only to lose to the eventual 2014 State Champions, the SM East Lancers.

The tides have turned in 2015. The Lancers and Chesty Lions are eliminated and the road has been paved for the Tigers and Eagles to move on to the East 6A Sub-State Final. With both programs in full throttle mode going into Friday night, motivation will be high from both squads.

Keep one thing in mind. Much like ODAC is impossible for any Sunflower League school to win at on the road, playing at Blue Valley High Stadium is no easy task for a local EKL opponent, much less that of a rare Sunflower team to make a trip in to the Tiger Den.

These two programs are no stranger to each other. In their EKL days before joining the Sunflower, the Eagles finished 8-2 overall vs the Tigers. 

Since 2004, the Tigers and Eagles have met six times: 04-05-08-09-14 and now 15. The Eagles lead the playoff series 3 games to 2, with Wins coming in 2009 and 2014. Once again, these two will meet, and Olathe North has changed Head Coaches four different times (also facing Blue Valley) while Steve Rampy retired to Pitt State, and alumnae Eric Driskell took over the reigns at Blue Valley.

State Titles: 
Blue Valley (6) 1991 - 1998 - 2003 - 2006 - 2010 - 2013
Olathe North (8) 1996 - 1997 - 1998 - 2000 - 2001 - 2002 - 2003 - 2009

Free State (8-3) vs Derby (10-1) @ Derby

There is a first for everything. This Sub-State game marks a return for Free State from 2014, minus the SaltHawks who stopped a hot Firebirds team in its tracks last season.

While Derby is no stranger to Sunflower opponents of the past after facing Olathe North and SM East in State Final games, the Firebirds will need to play a near flawless game against the talented Derby Panthers who are led by Jr. QB Brady Rust.  Rust has run for 423 yards and 6 TD's while throwing for 351 yards and 4 TD's in the playoffs alone.

This will be the first time these two teams meet. The Derby Panthers travel well everywhere they go, so it would be great to see Free State do the same in a hostile environment and pressure a talented Derby team. Playing away from home will be a tough task to take on. One of the biggest wins on the season was a win at home vs Hutch that ended in a 49-14 finish.

For our Mill Valley readers, it should also be noted that Derby Head Coach Brandon Clark is the cousin of Mill Valley Jaguars Football Coach Joel Applebee.  

State Titles:
Derby (2) 1994 - 2013
Free State - N/A

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