BV North (0-1, 0-1 EKL) at Blue Valley (0-1, 0-1 EKL)
7 p.m. Friday at Blue Valley High School
Outlook: The records are the same, but the similarities stop there. BV North has lost 11 straight football games. Blue Valley won 11 games last season en route to a runner-up finish in Kansas 5A. The host Tigers, who won the state title in 2010, are heavy favorites, led by running back/defensive back Ryan McNerlin.
About BV North: The Mustangs stayed within five points into the second quarter against a solid Bishop Miege squad last week, junior quarterback Cory Taubin seemed to adjust well enough changing from running back, and the defense played well for the most part, despite giving up 35 points.
About Blue Valley: Making his first varsity start, the conditions were tough on Tigers’ junior Logan Brettell, who completed only one of 12 passes. On the bright side, it’s going to get better – much better – for Brettell and the offense. Playing in a driving rain and a Gardner Edgerton bunch eager to make an early-season statement was a tough opening-week assignment, but the defense was spectacular – limiting Traevohn Wrench to 32 yards on 23 carries – and running back Ryan McNerlin (as well as linebacker/running quarterback Henry McGrew) proved to be playmakers on both sides of the ball.
Prediction: Blue Valley 41, BV North 7
BV Southwest (1-0, 0-0 EKL) at St. Thomas Aquinas (1-0, 1-0 EKL)
7 p.m. Friday at St. Thomas Aquinas High School
Outlook: With a tightly packed East Kansas League, there are bound to be a lot of these games – battles to separate the contenders from the pretenders. The Saints survived such a test against BV Northwest last week, while the visiting Timberwolves roughed up Washington from the Kansas City Kansas/Atchison League. It won’t be nearly as easy this week for BV Southwest.
About BV Southwest: In one half, quarterback Aaron Ramsey accounted for five touchdowns. He completed all three passes he attempted for 101 yards and two touchdowns, adding 38 yards and three rushing touchdowns on only six carries. A third-year starter, Ramsey probably won’t be able to whip St. Thomas Aquinas quite so single-handedly, but his confidence is bound to be soaring after the season-opening performance. Fortunately for coach Bill Lowe, Ramsey isn’t the squad’s only weapon as receivers Ryan Peroo, Sam Randall and Anthony Miller and running backs Luke Wilmes, Ben Lewis and Sal Vanasse proved against the Wildcats.
About St. Thomas Aquinas: Quarterback Danten Cosentino played reasonably well in his varsity debut, completing half his passes and keeping the chains moving enough to rally the Saints from a first-quarter hole against BV Northwest. The run game – led by Nick Williams and Joel Edwards, who had 14 carries for 76 yards in the opener – must get more explosive to be effective. Meanwhile, defensive lineman Michael Stukel and converted quarterback Austin Scherzer led a stout defensive charge.
Prediction: BV Southwest 28, St. Thomas Aquinas 14
BV West (1-0, 0-0 EKL) at BV Northwest (0-1, 0-1 EKL)
7 p.m. at BV District Activity Complex
Outlook: It’s another matchup to separate the men from the boys in the East Kansas League. Rest assured, BV West’s confidence is surging after manhandling Washburn Rural on the road. BV Northwest is eager to get back in the saddle and erase the sour taste left by St. Thomas Aquinas’ fourth-quarter rally. There isn’t any love lost on the field when the Jaguars and Huskies meet.
About BV West: Quarterback Ryan Ralston plowed into the end zone three times, finishing with 12 carries for 66 yards, while tailback Conley Wilkins had 19 carries for 145 yards in the Jaguars’ dominating performance at Washburn Rural. Of course, the trick for BV West’s offensive line, which paved the way to 274 yards on the ground, is to do it again. The Junior Blues managed barely two yards per rush and mustered little offensively,aside from a 72-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter.
About BV Northwest: Grabbing the first-quarter lead on a 4-yard touchdown run by Reed Coda, the Huskies seemed poises to spoil the party as St. Thomas Aquinas played its first game on a new turf field. Instead, the offense went mostly dormant the rest of the way. Of course, breaking in a new quarterback, Alec Winsor, in a passing offense during a tropical depression might have had something to do with that. Coda finished with 13 carries for 40 yards, but the rushing attack must improve to help take the pressure off Winsor. Led by senior Blake Mann and junior Kyle Harrison, the defense was terrific.
Prediction: BV West 21, BV Northwest 20
Gardner Edgerton (1-0, 1-0 EKL) at Bishop Miege (1-0, 1-0 EKL)
7 p.m. at Bishop Miege High School
About Gardner Edgerton: It took Blue Valley three possessions and 11 plays to gain yardage on a snap from scrimmage against the Trailblazers’ defense, which finished with 14 tackles for a loss and recovered four fumbles. The defense – led by six players with at least seven tackles, Dalton Kirk (nine), Denton Lawrence (nine), Matt Plank (nine), Max Knorr (eight), Emilio Fowler (eight) and Boston Scott (seven) – stuffed seven other runs for no gain. Look for running back Traevohn Wrench to perform considerably better than last week when he had 23 carries for 32 yards.
About Bishop Miege: Dante Hutton ripped off touchdown runs of 7 and 80 yards in the first quarter for the Stags, who buried Blue Valley North during the final three quarters in Jon Holmes’ first game as head coach. Quarterback Montell Cozart, who tossed a 32-yard touchdown pass to Blake Schneiders in the third quarter, wasn’t asked to make a lot of plays, but that will change against Gardner Edgerton. Linebacker Brad Ivey and the defense will have their hands full trying to bottle up Wrench, but the Stags did it last season and are confident it’s possible again.
Prediction: Gardner Edgerton 34, Bishop Miege 28
| Tod Palmer, email@example.com