Week six is the final week in which games count towards the Centennial League standings, so the league crown is being battled for tonight. Let’s take a look at the four games involving city schools on the schedule…
TOPEKA HIGH (4-1, 4-1 Centennial League) at WASHBURN RURAL (2-3, 2-3) (LIVE on 580 WIBW and FM News 104.9)
TIME CHANGE: KICKOFF TONIGHT IS SET FOR 6:00 PM.
Game In A Sentence: The Trojans hope to snag a share of the league title against a Rural team looking to make it back-to-back wins in the series.
Matchup To Watch: TOPEKA HIGH DEFENSIVE LINE vs WASHBURN RURAL OFFENSIVE LINE. It’s not just about the offense for the Trojans. Their rapidly improving defense has helped them to give their offense more chances to score. Seth Nelson, Xavier Dunbar and Grant Cooney are disruptive up front and will be a challenge for the Rural O-line, which must give quarterback Michael Schurig the chance to make throws and keep Rural’s drives alive.
Did You Know: With a win, Topeka High clinches at least a share of the league championship for the fourth time in six years.
HIGHLAND PARK (0-5, 0-5) at TOPEKA WEST (0-5, 0-5)
Game In A Sentence: Two programs starving for a win meet in what promises to be a competitive affair.
Matchup To Watch: TOPEKA WEST RB BRIAN WRIGHT vs HIGHLAND PARK DEFENSIVE FRONT. The Chargers have struggled to get their ground attack going all year long, short-circuiting their offensive efforts. The Scots have struggled to get stops against some of the league’s best rushing teams. Wright will likely be the focal point as West tries to attack with the run and give their offense some balance.
Did You Know: West is 7-3 in the last ten meetings against Highland Park, and on three of those seven occasions, their win over the Scots was their lone win of the season (’08, ’09, ’16).
Highland Park coach Faron Kraft
Topeka West coach Ryan Kelly
SEAMAN (3-2, 3-2) at EMPORIA (3-2, 3-2)
Game In A Sentence: Suddenly slumping Seaman seeks success against surging Spartans.
Matchup To Watch: SEAMAN RUNNING BACKS vs EMPORIA DEFENSE. For a variety of reasons, the Vikings haven’t been able to find as much success on the ground the past two weeks. Fullback Dalton Temmen and wingbacks Janson Garman, Sam Payne, Jake Spence and Sam Juarez are critical to what Seaman wants to do offensively, and if they get clicking and take care of the ball they’ll test a confident Spartan front.
Did You Know: Seaman has lost five of the last seven against Emporia, and their two wins (’14, ’16) have come by the exact same final score (35-20).
Seaman coach Glenn O’Neil
SHAWNEE HEIGHTS (4-1, 4-1) at HAYDEN (2-3, 2-3)
Game In A Sentence: Much at stake as the Wildcats look to enter district play on a high note while the T-Birds seek a share of the league championship.
Matchup To Watch: SHAWNEE HEIGHTS RB TREY JENKINS vs HAYDEN MLB BRANDON VAN BECELAERE/BRENT PEAVLER. The Thunderbirds will look to get back to their thumping ground attack, led by the tireless efforts of Jenkins as the deep back in their double wing. That will likely mean plenty of collisions between Jenkins and one or both of Hayden’s standout linebackers. Whichever way the pile moves will set the tone.
Did You Know: With a win, Shawnee Heights clinches at least a share of the league championship for the first time since 1994, when they won it outright.
Shawnee Heights coach Jason Swift
Hayden coach Bill Arnold