After a brief chill has taken over the metro area on Friday nights, the ending of regular season play is very near.
In a game of Basketball magnitude, the Olathe North Eagles defeated the SM East Lancers 77-49 at SM North. At the half it was 42-42, with 84 total points scored, which stands as a team high for both programs at halftime going in to the third quarter. Giving credit to both offenses, the Lancers in the previous week did not have too many good offensive drives against the Raiders, and with Mother Nature taking charge most of the game. However, Arland Bruce IV was on fire from the start with 6 touchdowns on the night against the Lancer defense.
The Lancers will take to the road against a talented Free State Firebirds led by first year Head Coach Kevin Stewart. Free State has won four straight after starting 1-1 against the Owls, and losing a tough week-2 game to the Olathe East Hawks.
For what has seemed like a quiet and off the record 4-2 start, the Olathe East Hawks are doing the dirty work both offensively and defensively off the radar. While struggling in losses to the Eagles, and Gardner-Edgerton, the team has played well knocking off both SM North and SM West in back-to-back weeks. With a non-conference game ahead against the Pittsburg Purple Dragons (0-2) against Johnson County foes Mill Valley and Blue Valley North only scoring three total points, this will give the Hawks a chance to play a very good 4-2 team. Pittsburg has been unaffiliated with a league since the 2016 season when they exited the Southeast Kansas League.
This week the Chesty Lions will take on the Olathe North Eagles for an opportunity to take the Sunflower League outright prior to week-8. The Chesty Lions will look to do some magic in a tough environment which has belonged to Olathe North for nearly four decades at the ODAC Football field. It has been very rare, and hard for most any road teams historically to get a win on the Olathe field.
Other action for the highly talented offense of the SM Northwest Cougars again firing on all cylinders at the Olathe Northwest Ravens. Although allowing 20 points, the scoring machine has been fierce and positive for the Bo Black offensive line, and his defense, which has improved a lot as time has progressed these last two seasons. For the first time in the new playoff format, the Cougars will be fighting for and to remain a top four seed in the 6A-East.
At the bottom of the league standings the SM North Indians and Olathe Northwest Ravens will continue to look for a way to get a win to help them from playing a possible 1 or 2 seeded 6A game.
On the other side of the local coin, the annual Catholic Showdown will proceed on the grounds of Bishop Miege where the Saints will look to play tough on the road. Both teams are coming up off of big wins. The Stags defeated Blue Valley, while Saints only defeated the Thunder by a touchdown in one of their closest games of the season. To date, the Saints lead the series 17-16 and will have to start with some fire to take on Jon Holmes Stags. The following week, the Saints will take a bye in to week-9 with potentially a second 12 game season should the Saints advance to the 5A State Final to close out this decade of play.