6man League Breakdown

SIX-MAN FOOTBALL PREVIEW – WEEK FOUR by Kerry Sherman

Picture by Jennifer Tagtmeyer (Stratton vs Cheraw)

SIX-MAN FOOTBALL PREVIEW – WEEK FOUR

BY: KERRY SHERMAN

For the fourth straight week, the six-man calendar includes a clash of ranked teams. As was the case in the previous three, top-ranked Stratton is involved again, with the Eagles opening divisional play against a highly-ranked Genoa-Hugo squad. Seven of the remaining ranked teams will be in action, producing another strong schedule for the week.

#1 STRATTON (3-0) VS #3 GENOA-HUGO (3-0) SATURDAY 2PM

Stratton clicked on offense and defense against Cheraw last week, with the Eagles building a 36-0 first half advantage. They would get the mercy clock implemented in the third quarter and took a 60-6 lead into the fourth on their way to a 60-14 victory. Alex Cruz powered the ground attack with 144 yards and two scores, while also catching four passes for 89 yards and two more touchdowns from Charlie Tagtmeyer. Cyler Notter added 97 yards and two scores in the ground game. Cruz recorded a fumble recovery and Tagtmeyer came up with his fourth interception of the season. Joe Shean led the defense with 11 tackles.

Genoa-Hugo was also able to get the mercy clock rolling early in the third quarter of its 62-14 win over Flagler last week. The Pirates led 44-6 at the half. Six different Pirates scored a rushing touchdown, and Trey Smith tossed a pair of scoring strikes. But, it was the defense that really stood out. That unit held the Panthers to just 16 yards from scrimmage. Both of their touchdowns were non-offensive.

Whether on their own or as part of the co-op with Liberty, Stratton has won seven straight meetings with the Pirates. The last contest as a standalone program was in 2007.

#4 ARICKAREE (3-0) VS BRIGGSDALE FRIDAY 3:30PM

The last two weeks have not been without their white knuckle moments, but the Bison have been able to remain unbeaten heading into this week. Last week, Arickaree jumped out to a 14-0 first quarter lead over Idalia in the East division opener for both clubs, but it was knotted by the half. The Bison capitalized on a short field in the third and regained a two score lead, 28-14, heading into the fourth. That score would stand as the final. Logan Wright ran for 190 yards and three scores, and threw for 131 yards and another TD in the win. Jake King hauled in that TD pass, covering 57 yards. Seven players had at least nine tackles, led by Zarron Skubal with 20. He also forced a fumble and recovered two.

Briggsdale’s had to fight through all kinds of weather (no snow) in its first three games, and two of the three have gone down to the wire. That includes last week’s 20-12 North division opener against Prairie. Kaeden Gebauer (128) and Johnathon Malovich (110) combined for 238 rushing yards in the absence of Tanner Fiscus. Gebauer scored twice on the ground and once on a six-yard reception.

This will be the first meeting between the two in a decade. They did not meet while Arickaree was part of the co-op with Woodlin.

#5 OTIS (3-0) AT IDALIA (0-3) THURSDAY 7PM

For the third straight week, Otis’s first unit defense held an opponent out of the end zone in a 58-6 win over HI-Plains. The Bulldogs led 38-0 after the first quarter and 52-0 at the half. Tayte Smith and Charlie Kendrick each ran for three scores and combined for 186 yards, while Mitchell Stivers added 93 yards and a TD. Emiliano Varella hauled in a short TD pass from Austin Hornung to round out the scoring for the Bulldogs.

Idalia lost three fumbles in the defeat by Arickaree, but still found itself in the game to the very end thanks to its defense. Arickaree’s first two touchdowns covered 138 total yards. Their other 41 plays gained 181. Kye Smith and Logan Breyer each had a rushing touchdown in the second quarter.

The Wolves have won two straight meetings with Otis, 65-8 last year, but the overall series is just 10-8 in favor of Idalia in recent match-ups. Towns had four touchdowns in last year’s win, three on the ground and one on a pick-six. The Bulldogs were held to 115 yards of offense in that loss.

#6 GRANADA (1-2) AT WALSH (2-1) FRIDAY 7PM

Granada was unable to play its scheduled game with #2 Fleming last week after sustaining a number of injuries the week prior in a loss to Stratton. The Bobcats had to forfeit the contest, dropping them below .500 on the year. They now open South East division play against a Walsh squad that has been scoring points in droves.

After scoring 62 points in a season-opening loss to La Veta, the Eagles came back with 54 in a win over Mountain Valley in week two and backed that up with a 61-14 victory at Primero last week. Leyton Jones ran for 88 yards and three touchdowns on just five carries, and Ethan Barwick went for 150 yards and two TD on only four carries. The Eagles scored three non-offensive touchdowns, two by Jones. He had a pick-six and a kick return for a score, and Wyatt Beecham added a kick return TD.

Walsh has lost all three meetings between the two teams in six-man, including a forfeit last year. They did not play in 2020.

#7 CHEYENNE WELLS (1-2) VS CHERAW (1-2) FRIDAY 7PM

Despite dropping their first two contests of the season, the Tigers were being talked about as a team that was much better than their 0-2 mark. They proved that last week in a 62-8 win over Peetz. Blake Gilmore ran for 183 yards and five scores, while also tossing a TD to Carson Noe. Jonathon Reyna added 91 yards and a TD on the ground, and Jesse Harlow converted seven of eight PAT kicks.

Cheraw’s defense was gouged for more than nine yards a play by Stratton, who ran for 277 on 32 snaps and added 89 on seven passing attempts. This was one week after that same unit nearly won the game against Branson/Kim by holding the Bearcats to 138 total yards.

Cheyenne Wells has won five straight meetings with the Wolverines, and six of several in the series. Gilmore threw for 122 yards and three scores in last year’s 45-6 win.

#8 BRANSON/KIM (2-1) VS SANGRE DE CRISTO (0-3) SATURDAY 1PM

After getting walloped by Granada in the season-opener, Branson/Kim ran its winning streak to two by rely on its defense. The Bearcats held Sierra Grande to 22 points, and held on for a 28-22 win last week. That gave the Bearcats a share of the early lead in the South West division. During their wining streak, they’ve allowed a total of 42 points.

The adjustment to six-man has not been easy for Sangre de Cristo, as the Thunderbirds have yet to taste victory. They are 0-2 inside the South West after last week’s 66-13 loss to Cotopaxi. The Pirates scored seven touchdowns on 14 offensive snaps, and also added a pair of defensive scores.

#9 EADS (2-1) AT KIT CARSON (1-2) FRIDAY 7PM

Eads pushed its winning streak to two games with a lopsided 52-21 win over Greeley County (KS) last week. The Eagles used a power running game to get the running clock in the third quarter, with Porter Spady (151 yards, 2 TD) and Stockton Mitchek (133 yards, 3 TD) combining for 284 yards and five scores. Keenan Smith added a receiving TD from Bo Arnold, who had a team-leading 15 tackles. The Eagles got eight takeaways on defense, including seven fumble recoveries.

After opening with lopsided losses to two of the top five teams in this week’s rankings, Kit Carson broke into the victory column with a 63-6 win over Kiowa last week. Tanner Conaway threw for two touchdowns, and the Wildcats got a combined 236 yards and five touchdowns on the ground from Bryson States and Paul Mitchek. Mitchek also scored twice on kick returns.

Kit Carson has won six straight with the Eagles and eight of 13 overall in the series. However, they have not played since 2019.

#10 DEER TRAIL (3-0) VS MANZANOLA (0-3) FRIDAY 3PM

Points have come with regularity for Deer Trail, who went over the 60-point mark for the second consecutive week, beating Bethune 61-14 in week three. They are averaging more than 60 a game. Raul Mannriquez and Dominik Mingee connected six times for 163 yards and three scores, and Mingee added another score on the ground. Elvin Castro reached paydirt three times in the rushing attack. Ivan Paredes recorded a scoop-and-score on defense, and was also credited with a safety.

While the scoring has been plentiful for the Eagles, the opposite has been the case for Manzanola. In their return after not fielding a team last year, the Bobcats have only been able to score 24 points in their first three games. Half of those came in last week’s 38-12 loss to Miami-Yoder.

Friday will also see an important clash in the South West, where La Veta (3-0) hosts Primero (1-2). The winner will keep a share of the league lead. The Redhawks have been getting big efforts each week from Joe Autry, who has rushed for 406 yards and nine scores on 22 carries, and also caught 18 passes for 347 yards and six more scores. Marcus Hahn leads the Bulldogs with 426 yards and six scores on the ground.

Cotopaxi (3-0) visits Mountain Valley (0-3) on Saturday, needing a win to retain its share of the South West lead. The Pirates got six TD passes and two pick-sixes from Ty Coleman in last week’s win over Sangre.