SIX-MAN FOOTBALL PREVIEW – WEEK TWO
BY: KERRY SHERMAN
The opening weekend of the 2021 season had a number of intriguing match-ups, including the big showdown between Stratton and Cheyenne Wells. Week two has no shortage of contests that bear keeping a close eye on, including a top-three clash between Stratton and Granada.
#1 STRATTON (1-0) AT #3 GRANADA (1-0) FRIDAY 7PM
Stratton got punched right off the start in last week’s game at Cheyenne Wells, as the Tigers struck for a 55-yard TD pass on the opening play. It took the Eagles most of the first quarter to find their footing, but once they did, it was all Stratton the rest of the way. Alex Cruz (141 yards) and Cyler Notter (125 yards) both went over the century mark on the ground, with a pair of touchdowns each in the 53-6 victory. Notter added a receiving TD and also scored on a fumble return. Defensively, the Eagles picked off five passes, three by Brody Webb and two by Charlie Tagtmeyer.
Granada didn’t have any of the early game struggles in its opener at Branson/Kim, as the Bobcats jumped out to a 24-6 first quarter lead, en route to a 68-24 win. Brandon Gonzales had a big game throwing the ball, racking up 292 yards and seven touchdowns, with Maddox Coleman (6/118/3) and John Hainer (5/137/2) combining for 11 catches, 255 yards, and five scores. Coleman also ran for just short of 100 yards, while Jonus Guevara went for 135. Guevara recorded a pair of interceptions, as well.
These two programs had a great rivalry in eight-man, but this is just the fifth meeting between them in six-man. Stratton has won all of the previous four, including 78-26 in the semifinals last year. The Eagles blew open a tight game with a 40-point second quarter.
IDALIA (0-1) AT #2 FLEMING (1-0) FRIDAY 7PM
Rainy conditions all but eliminated the passing game last week for both Idalia and its opponent, Briggsdale. The Wolves still ended up with more yards through the air (91) than on the ground (82), but could not find the end zone after their first series. They would fall by a 13-7 count to the Falcons. It was learned earlier this week that Tarek Glanz, who had led the Wolves with 76 passing yards and 48 rushing yards, had suffered a torn ACL in the loss.
Fleming quickly jumped to the top of the North division with its 45-12 win over North Park last Saturday. The offense clicked on all cylinders, with Nolan Japp running for 117 yards and two scores, and Braylen Feather throwing for 187 and two more touchdowns. Blake Feather led the defense with four of the unit’s five interceptions.
This is the 13th meeting between the two traditional powers dating back to 2005, with each team having won six of the previous 12. Fleming had won six straight in the series before dropping a 32-24 decision late in the regular season last year. They met a few weeks later in the quarterfinals, with Idalia claiming a dominant 64-28 victory.
BRANSON/KIM (0-1) AT #4 CHERAW (1-0) FRIDAY1PM
Branson/Kim got three passing touchdowns from Owen Doherty, two to Cole Hofmeister, in the loss to Granada, but turnovers plagued the Bearcats. They gave the ball up three times in the contest, twice on interceptions. Defensively, Brock Doherty led everyone with a game-high 13 tackles.
The Wolverines got off to a quick start in their 55-36 win over Prairie last Saturday, but the Mustangs made things interesting for a stretch in the second half. The challenge this week will be putting four complete quarters together. Cheraw is seeking its third 2-0 start to a season in the last four years.
Branson/Kim won the last meeting between the two sides, 26-20 back in 2020. Cheraw had won the only meeting before that, in 2017.
CHEYLIN, KS (0-0) AT #5 CHEYENNE WELLS (0-1) FRIDAY 1PM
Under Chris Walden, Cheylin has been one of the top programs in Kansas, winning an unsanctioned title two seasons ago. Over the past three years, the Cougars have posted two nine-win campaigns. This is the first year that the classification has been sanctioned by the KHSAA and the Cougars are led by junior QB Logan McCarty, who threw for more than 1300 yards in eight games last season. He has all but one of his top six receivers back this year.
One of the biggest disappointments in last week’s loss to Stratton for Cheyenne Wells has to be the lack of a running game. The Tigers only managed to gain 55 yards on 27 carries. Blake Gilmore had 43 on 12 attempts, and also threw for 41 yards, but was picked off four times. The defense was also gouged for just under 300 yards on the ground, so improvements will also be needed there to avoid an 0-2 start.
It’s the first meeting between these two programs.
#6 SIERRA GRANDE (1-0) AT EADS (0-1) FRIDAY 6PM
Sierra Grande had the honor of being the highest scoring team in week one, as the Panthers rolled Manzanola 78-6. Angelo Lucero raced for 175 yards and five touchdowns on just 13 carries, and his 10 tackles led the defense. He added an interception and a forced fumble, while Damian Ferran pounced on four fumbles. The Panthers scored three non-offensive touchdowns in the contest, including two kick returns by Brian Ontiveros, one covering 79 yards and the other going 70.
Eads found itself in a good old fashioned track meet last week at Genoa-Hugo. The Eagles ran for 399 yards and six scores, led by Porter Spady’s 263 and five, but they could not keep up with the Pirates, who scored three non-offensive touchdowns and took a 70-50 win.
This will be the first meeting between the Panthers and Eagles.
#7 GENOA-HUGO (1-0) AT KIT CARSON (0-1) FRIDAY 7PM
Konner Rowden-Stum nearly set up camp in the end zone in the win for Genoa-Hugo last week, reaching paydirt a total of eight times. The junior ran for 158 yards and four touchdowns, added one through the air, another on a fumble return, and two on kick-off returns. He had 422 all purpose yards in the contest. Trey Smith led the defense with 19 tackles, and Jack Kissel added 16.
Kit Carson did not win a game last year and entered 2022 on a nine-game skid dating back to 2020. That streak is now at 10 after the Wildcats fell to Otis 53-0 last week. Bryson States got his high school career started with a team-best 85 rushing yards, and his 13 tackles led everyone in the contest.
Kit Carson leads the series 3-0, but those meetings all took place between 2013 and 2015.
#8 ARICKAREE (1-0) AT NORTH PARK (0-1) FRIDAY 1PM
In their first game as the Bison, Arickaree went on a rampage against Bethune, who was playing its first varsity contest in six seasons. The Bison jumped out to a 28-0 first quarter lead and had the mercy clock rolling by the half with a 48-0 advantage. Young players closed out the 54-0 victory. Logan Wright ran for 227 yards and five scores, while his younger brother, Austin, went for 41 yards and two touchdowns in his reserve appearance. Zarron Skubal led the defensive effort with 13 tackles and a fumble recovery, while Clay Axtell added an interception.
North Park will be looking for a better performance on both sides of the ball after struggling in the opener at Fleming. The offense failed to rush for 100 yards for one of the few times under coach Chad Carlstrom, with Mak Crum leading the effort with 42 yards and a touchdown. Hunter Sessions threw for 117 yards and a TD, but was picked off four times.
Technically, this is the first meeting between these two foes, as the three previous meetings were while Arickaree was part of the co-op with Woodlin. North Park dropped the first two of those match-ups, before breaking through in 2019, 36-8.
OTIS (1-0) AT #9 BRIGGSDALE (1-0) FRIDAY 7PM
Tayte Smith threw for 67 yards and three touchdowns on just three attempts, and ran for 85 yards with two more scores in last week’s win over Kit Carson. Mitchell Stivers (80) and Erick Thorn (76) combined for 156 yards in Otis’ balanced running attack, that accumulated 287 yards. Four players had at least 49. Jack Willeke hauled in four passes for 95 yards with two touchdowns.
Tanner Fiscus helped the Falcons overcome the early 7-0 deficit at Idalia last week, rushing for 137 yards and two scores to get Briggsdale the 13-7 victory. His nine tackles also led the defense. Johnathan Malovich registered an interception and a forced fumble, while Wyatt Benson had a fumble recovery.
It’s been an interesting and at times very fun series between these two familiar foes. Briggsdale is currently on a four-game winning streak against the Bulldogs, giving the Falcons a 5-4 edge overall. Last year, Briggsdale eked out a 30-28 win, with Fiscus scoring three times in total. Smith threw for 108 yards and two scores, and added 107 yards on the ground for Otis.
Of the remaining games on the schedule, Peetz (1-0) visits Prairie (0-1) on Thursday, with an early share of the North division on the line. Peetz lost its starting QB Chance Segelke about four minutes into the 49-0 win over Kiowa last week. He had completed his only pass attempt for a 49-yard TD. Prairie is looking to avoid an 0-2 start. The Mustangs fell four spots in the coaches poll after last week’s loss to Cheraw. They’re tenth this week.
Friday has a clash between unbeaten teams when La Veta (1-0) hosts Hanover (1-0). The Redhawks turned the ball over eight times against Walsh, but overcame an 11-point fourth quarter to claim a 64-62 win. Joe Autry ran for 141 yards and four scores, and also caught eight passes for 152 yards and two more touchdowns. Hanover struggled to get its running game going in a 32-18 win over Mountain Valley, with the Hornets averaging under three yards per carry. Tyler Decker stepped up to throw for 183 yards and two touchdowns, with Tyler Hoffman snagging seven passes for 176 yards and both scores.