League play is over with, with Topeka High and Shawnee Heights sharing in a three-way tie for the Centennial League title. Now it’s full steam ahead towards the playoffs, with seeding on the minds of all teams who take the field tonight. Here’s a look at this week’s action…
SANTA FE TRAIL (5-1, 0-0 District) vs HAYDEN (2-4, 0-0) (LIVE ON 580 WIBW and FM NEWS 104.9)
Game In A Sentence: District play opens for the Wildcats, who will hope to duplicate their red-hot run to the 4A-II title game from last year.
Matchup To Watch: HAYDEN FRONT SEVEN vs SANTA FE TRAIL FB WILL HERREN. The Wildcats have seen their share of punishing runners this season, and Herren is exactly that. He’s led the Chargers on their 5-1 start by rushing for 840 yards and 16 touchdowns. Hayden must win at the line of scrimmage and limit Herren’s impact.
Did You Know: Hayden beat SFT 27-6 last season in their first meeting in just under a decade. The Wildcats beat the Chargers in 2006 and 2007 in district play.
SHAWNEE HEIGHTS (5-1) at HIGHLAND PARK (0-6)
Game In A Sentence: The co-league champs hope to keep their momentum rolling against the winless Scots.
Matchup To Watch: SHAWNEE HEIGHTS QB MITCHELL LADY vs HIGHLAND PARK DEFENSE. The T-Birds can appear methodical on offense, but Lady is capable of breaking big runs out of the option game. The Scots will need to limit those big plays in order to stay in the game.
Did You Know: Highland Park QB Will White’s 298 rushing yards last week against Topeka West is the highest single-game rushing total for any city player this season.
TOPEKA HIGH (5-1) at TOPEKA WEST (1-5)
Game In A Sentence: The USD 501 rivalry continues as the Chargers hope to build on last week’s win against the powerful Trojans.
Matchup To Watch: TOPEKA HIGH OFFENSIVE LINE vs TOPEKA WEST DEFENSIVE LINE. For the Chargers to have any chance to slow down High’s outstanding rushing attack, they’ll need to win some battles up front. But that’s been hard to to for any Trojan opponent, particularly against standout interior linemen Matt Garza, Tanner Matthias, and Tucker Richey.
Did You Know: Topeka High has won 11 straight against Topeka West and has scored 60+ points in each of the last five meetings.
WASHBURN RURAL (2-4) at SEAMAN (4-2)
Game In A Sentence: The Junior Blues go on the road in search of a vital win against a Vikings team that’s back on the winning track.
Matchup To Watch: WASHBURN RURAL QB MICHAEL SCHURIG vs SEAMAN SECONDARY. Schurig is the city’s passing leader and is capable of putting up big numbers, but he’s going up against a defensive backfield capable of making big plays. Luke Konrade picked off two passes and Bryce Cowan intercepted another in last week’s Viking win over Emporia.
Did You Know: Seaman has won two of the last three meetings against Rural after the Junior Blues won six straight from 2008-2013.