A pair of top-five clashes highlights the week four schedule in six-man. So far this season, such match-ups have failed to live up to the billing, including one last week. In fact, only two ranked vs. ranked contests this season have been decided by fewer than 20 points.
For the third time in as many games, #4 Peetz finds itself facing a ranked foe. The Bulldogs opened the season by losing to Otis and then put together 34 unanswered points to beat Fleming 67-22 last week. Peetz visits #1 Stratton/Liberty on Saturday and the Bulldogs will bring an offense that relies heavily on the legs of Bryson Long, who has rushed for 375 yards and eight touchdowns in the first two games.
The Knighted Eagles are averaging 69 points a game while only allowing a total of 29 points in two games. Their defense has been led by seniors Levi Shean, Owen Clapper, and Tyson Lichty, and junior Trevor Frank. Stratton/Liberty will be looking to avenge a loss to the Bulldogs in their last meeting, the 2017 state title game. Peetz outscored the Knighted Eagles 24-8 in the fourth quarter to lay claim to the 38-28 victory.
The other marquee match-up this weekend has #2 Otis hitting the road for an East Central Division game at #5 Flagler/Hi-Plains. The Bulldogs pulled away from an 18-all tie at the end of the first quarter last week with Genoa-Hugo to defeat the Pirates 69-18. Otis scored 32 points in the second quarter to seize control. Bryce Miracle led the way with 230 yards and five touchdowns.
Flagler/Hi-Plains has not played a ranked opponent yet, but the Thunder has taken care of business in its first two games. Zayd Banks has thrown for 237 yards and four touchdowns, providing balance to a running attack that features Kyle Klann and his 238 yards and five touchdowns. Klann did not play in last season’s 65-22 loss to the Bulldogs. The Thunder led that contest early, but saw Otis exploded for 57 points during the second and third quarters. Miracle was limited to 161 yards in the win, but he reached the end zone four times.
Third-ranked Kit Carson held steady in the polls after another impressive win last week. The Wildcats were stopped on their initial drive of the game, but a roughing the punter call breathed new life into the possession. They would go on to open the scoring and rolled to a 43-8 halftime lead over then #5 Arickaree/Woodlin. The Wildcats scored the only points of the second half to secure the 50-8 victory. This week, Kit Carson opens South East Division play at Eads. It will be the second league game for the Eagles, who were blanked by Granada last week, 54-0.
After the season-opening loss to Stratton/Liberty, #6 Prairie bounced back last week to earn its first win. It didn’t come easily, as the Mustangs were pushed by rival Briggsdale. In the end, Prairie held on for a 56-40 victory over the Falcons. Walter Jordan rushed for one score, caught another, and was perfect on all seven of his PAT kicks. Friday night, the Mustangs will try to move to 2-0 in the North Division as they host North Park. The Wildcats have been off since a week two loss to Cotopaxi.
Despite the loss, Briggsdale moved up two spots this week, checking in at #8. Ty Blickem had a career night passing the ball in the loss last week. The junior threw for 408 yards and six touchdowns, both career highs. Vincent Bauer hauled in nine passes for 163 yards and also snagged a pair of interceptions. The Falcons will load up the bus on Friday and travel to Idalia. The Wolves are 1-1 on the season, defeating Granada 44-40 and then falling to Cheyenne Wells last week, 26-14 in a game that featured less than 400 yards of offense between the two teams.
That win kept Cheyenne Wells ranked seventh this week. The Tigers were limited to 183 yards of offense by the Wolves, including 100 yards on 30 rushing attempts. Defense rose to the occasion, recording two sacks and three interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown by Preston Hernandez. Walsh will roll into town on Friday, fresh off a 49-0 shutout of Cheraw. The Eagles led 41-0 at the half.
Cotopaxi was the lone newcomer to the poll this week and the Pirates enter at #9. It was a 48-8 victory over La Veta that pushed the Pirates into the top-10. Peter Belt tossed four touchdowns in the win, three to Frank Ogden, who registered his first career 100-yard receiving effort. Cotopaxi will try to open South West Division league play with a win on Friday afternoon, when it pays a visit to Mountain Valley. The Indians have had two weeks to prepare following a 58-0 victory over Primero in week two.
Clinging to a spot in the top-10 following the lopsided loss to Kit Carson is Arickaree/Woodlin. The Indian-Mustangs hurt themselves with costly penalties throughout the first half, including the roughing call on the first drive. They will have a long bus trip to sort things out as they visit Granada on Friday evening. The Bobcats have adapted to the six-man game, averaging 47 points a contest. The winner will most likely be in the top-10 next week, as the Bobcats lead the field of teams just outside of the rankings this week.