Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Sunflower Football Preview: Week-8


SM West vs SM East @ SM South (SM West leads the series 38-14) - Nut Cup #2 - 

As you can see, the record like last week speaks for itself. The Vikings have been dominant against the Lancers since the late 60s.

For four decades the Vikings have owned the SM East Lancers. This covers the Dick Purdy, Harold Wambsgans, and Tim Callaghan Head Coaching era's. Although many of your local outlets declare this a "rivalry" it is far from it. West vs East is most commonly a form of an NBA or MLB way of placing an All-Star tag in front of the notion.

In the most recent of times, from 2010 to now, the Lancers have won four (4) of the last six (6) games played. Since the 2013 season, the Lancers have reeled off an unprecedented four straight wins. This includes two shutouts and a huge 2014 week-11 playoff win en route to the 6A State Title.

For what it is worth, it will take everything the Vikings can throw at the Lancers Offensive line to stop the "Flexbone." Can it be done? Yes it can, is it going to be tough for the Vikings Defense to stop? It will be for sure. This game will be a tough challenge for both from the start of the game to the final whistle. This should be perhaps one of the best regular season games to close out prior to the playoffs beginning next week.

Lawrence vs Free State @ Free State (Free State leads the series 11-7)

In perhaps one of the greatest Sunflower City Football rivalries outside of Olathe North vs Olathe South, this game could also determine a Co/Tri-Sunflower League Championship should the Lancers lose to the Vikings in week-8 to own or share the League Championship outright. That would leave three (3) teams at 6-1 overall.

Both teams will look to get off to a fast start, and reeling is QB Dallas Crittendon who has shown very well in adapting to Sunflower play coming from the Centennial league. His play at QB could cause problems for the Chesty Lions, while they are looking to find themselves better offensively after losing a QB to injury during the SM East game last week.

Since the start of the decade, the Firebirds are 4-2 in their last six versus the Chesty Lions. From 2012 to 14 reeling off three straight wins all in week-9 of District play.

Leavenworth vs Olathe East @ Leavenworth (OE leads the series 13-0)

In another lopsided series of play, the Hawk and Pioneers will meet for the 14th time.

For Coach Jesse Owen, this will be a great test for his players as they continue to play well under his system. Historically, these two schools have played sparsely over the last handful of years. Since 2010, the two have met once in 2013 with OE coming away with the 31-13 win.

Two seasons later after not meeting, Coach Mark Littrell (former OS Falcons Head Coach) had some great matchups against the Hawks. Look for the Pioneers to continue to bring their best play despite struggling this season to find their ground and accomplishments from a couple seasons ago.

Olathe South vs SM North @ SM North (OS leads the series 10-6)

The Falcons and Indians last played during the 2012 season with the Falcons coming away with a resounding 56-13 win in week-2.

Four years later, the landscape of both programs has changed, and outlook very different from both ends of the Johnson County spectrum. For the last few years the Indians have struggled against all four Olathe Football programs, and have a chance to make a huge jump in the 6A-East standings should they be able to come away with a win.

Although that is easier said than done, the Indians did just that in their 2008 upset of the Falcons also winning at home. The Indians are 2-1 at home this year and could make this a struggle to close out the Falcons regular season. It is no secret that all that the SMSD #5 have struggled at ODAC for years. In the end this will be a great test for both programs entering week-9 and ruffling some feathers.

Olathe North vs SM Northwest @ ODAC (ON leads the series 20-2)

In another dominate series of play, the Eagles have been out the winning end of the scoreboard numerous times over.

The Cougars, under Bo Black, who have recently stepped up their play agains the Raiders, and playing a great game against the Indians in the last two weeks have found great confidence in their play.

2012 was the last time that these two met, in Gene Weir's return game to the Sunflower League sidelines after being away for years in Texas with the Richland Rebels. That evening in week-1, the Cougars and former Head Coach Linn Hibbs won his first game in Johnson County after coming from Wellington High. After this three year break of play, both programs are wanting to add more to their win column and improve heading in to the playoffs.

With the Eagles struggling, this is an ideal time for the Cougars to take advantage of their work from the previous couple weeks.

SM South vs Olathe Northwest @ CBAC (ONW leads the series 5-0)

While the Ravens Football program has been around well over 10 seasons, the meetings between these two have been few and far between. Five seasons later and a full cycle of student-athletes who have come and gone will reunite on the gridiron.

The last time the Raiders and Ravens met on the gridiron, SM South Principal Todd Dain was roaming the sidelines during their 2011 matchup. This game the two played at SM South was perhaps one of the most exiting games ever played in school history on the road. The Raves won 48-47 in a true "barn burner." This game again could be a good one and for the Raiders moving towards a win to get out of the cellar.

For those of you who recall this game, now NBA favorite Willie Cauley-Stein (who was the teams WR) had one of the best individual performances of any Sunflower Football athlete on that night against the Raiders.


  1. ON's advantage is actually 22-4 all time.

  2. Yes, that includes four EKL games prior to the 1989 season when ON and OS entered the SFL.