While the schedule for week two in six-man is highlighted by the clash between #2 Cheyenne Wells and #4 Stratton on Saturday, that’s far from the only important game on the slate. There are multiple games with both teams having 1-0 marks, and a couple others that have teams trying to avoid 0-2 starts.
PHOTO PROVIDED BY JESSICA TOWNS
Stratton got the Jesse McConnell era started with a bang, as the Eagles took down previously fifth-ranked Prairie 60-29. The Eagles led 23-0 at the half, forcing Prairie to all but abandon the running game in the second half. Meanwhile Stratton continued to churn out yardage on the ground. Alex Cruz led the way with 162 yards and three scores, and Charlie Clapper added 157 yards and two more touchdowns. Cyler Notter chipped in 61 yards and three touchdowns. Braden Wedel connected on five of his six PAT kicks, hours after taking the top honors at a golf tournament in Holyoke.
Cheyenne Wells also got off to an early lead in its contest with Hi-Plains last Saturday and cruised to a 64-14 victory. Cade Mitchek went for 118 yards and two touchdowns on just seven carries, while Evan Worley added 78 yards and two scores on five attempts. The Tiger defense came up with four takeaways including a pick-six, and three sacks, and the special teams pitched in two return scores.
The Tigers went 3-5 against Stratton when it was part of the coop with Liberty, including playoff losses in three of the last four years. While both were playing eight-man, Stratton owned a 5-1 edge. The Eagles will have home field advantage when they meet on Saturday.
Top-ranked Granada had to wait until this week to get its first official game after their week one opponent was a no-go. The Bobcats did get the chance to run against someone in different uniforms, as they scrimmaged Wiley. Friday, they will host Eads in a South East division clash. Dominic Coleman and John Hainer are back to lead the offense. Both went over 100 yards on the ground in last season’s 44-35 playoff victory over Eads.
After falling 50-39 to Genoa-Hugo in their season-opener, the Eagles fell from their preseason #10 ranking. Porter Spady, who ran for more than 200 yards against Granada last season did not play last week after having his appendix removed. Ty Wilson stepped in and ran for 137 yards and a score in the loss to Genoa-Hugo. Bo Arnold completed 10 of 15 passes for 171 yards and three touchdowns, with Donte Sierra snagging four balls for 91 yards and two scores.
Eads has not beaten Granada in three cracks with both playing six-man. However, the last two have each been decided by single digits.
Third-ranked Fleming pitched a shutout in its opener against Arickaree/Woodlin and now the Wildcats open North division play against rival Peetz on Friday. Ten different Wildcats ran the ball in last week’s win, with Blake Feather leading the team (9 carries, 70 yards). As a unit, the Wildcats ran for 271 yards. Braylen Feather completed four passes for 68 yards and three scores, two to Joel Muller. Defensively, Fleming recorded five takeaways.
Peetz had a romp in its opener, blasting Miami-Yoder 62-6. The Bulldogs led 50-0 at the half. Brayden Weinbender recorded two sacks and an interception, while Mike Kissell had a pick and a fumble recovery. Joseph Fehringer tied for the team lead with four tackles, including a sack, and Ryan Schilz recorded a safety.
This rivalry has been fiercely contested over the years. While many of the outcomes have been lopsided, overall, Fleming only owns a 10-9 edge since 2004. The Wildcats had to win the last two meetings to regain the lead in the recent series. Peetz had won three straight to take the lead prior to that.
Idalia climbed three spots in the rankings after going on the road and handling previously sixth-ranked Cheraw 66-12 last Saturday. The fifth-ranked Wolves only held a 12-6 lead after one quarter, but a 28-6 second quarter put them comfortably in control. In the second half, coach Toby Kechter turned things over to his younger kids, who responded by scoring the final three touchdowns of the game. Yahir Enriquez shined on offense, gaining 139 yards on seven carries, and scoring five touchdowns. Kye Towns added 79 yards and a TD. Tarek Glanz caught a touchdown pass from Eduardo Estrada, and also picked off two passes. Estrada got one himself. The Idalia defense also recorded five fumble recoveries.
Otis also takes a 1-0 record into Friday’s league clash after thumping Weldon Valley 67-18 last week. The Bulldogs raced out to a 40-12 halftime advantage, and added to it with a 21-0 third period. Carter Wells completed all three of his passes, two of them for touchdowns, one to his older brother Peyton and the other to Jack Willeke. Freshman Tayte Smith ran for 177 yards and four scores in his first high school contest. Smith also had a pick-six, and Bohden Klinzmann recovered three fumbles.
Idalia won last year’s match-up 62-0, snapping a four-game Otis winning streak in the series. That gave the Wolves a 9-8 edge over the Bulldogs since 2004.
Sixth-ranked Briggsdale opened the season with a 56-8 win over Kiowa on a hot Friday afternoon last week, and the Falcons will have a few extra days before they renew an old rivalry with Pawnee. That contest has been pushed back to Monday, as the Coyotes have had COVID issues at school that also caused the postponement of last week’s game with Deer Trail.
When those two get together next week, it will be the first meeting since 2016, as Pawnee was not been able to field its own program since. The Coyotes had won three straight before the suspension of their program, and overall, own an 8-4 record in the series since 2004. They will be fielding a very young squad this season, and may be on the back end of some lopsided results.
Genoa-Hugo’s win over Eads moved the Pirates up two spots in this week’s rankings, settling in at #7 ahead of Friday’s home contest with Kit Carson. Wyatt Miller and Colby Simmons were all over the field last week, both offensively and defensively. Miller amassed 228 yards of offense, including 105 on the ground, and Simmons added 186 total yards. On defense, Miller had a team-high 16 tackles, and Simmons was next with 13. Miller added two interceptions and a scoop and score, while Kyler Rowden-Stum recorded a fumble recovery.
Kit Carson was unable to keep up with Sierra Grande, the new #10 team in the class, in last week’s 63-20 loss. The Wildcats allowed 524 yards of offense, including 303 on the ground. They will have to make adjustments to handle the speed of the Pirates to avoid an 0-2 start. The Wildcats have won all three meetings with Genoa-Hugo, but they have not played since 2015.
Sierra Grande moves on to face an unbeaten Hanover squad on Saturday. The Panthers had a field day in their win over Kit Carson, with Isiah Chairez completing 11 of 13 passes for 221 yards and four scores, and running for 124 yards and three touchdowns on four carries. Angelo Lucero, Matthew Martinez, Jeremy Martinez, and Tyler Kester each caught a TD, and Lucero ran for two more.
Hanover rolled to a 41-6 win over La Veta in week one, scoring 35 first half points. While the Hornets got three rushing touchdowns from freshman David Byers, and two from Tyler Hofmann, the defense deserves special attention. That unit held the Redhawks to just 16 yards of offense, and recorded five sacks and three takeaways. Blake Sebastian scored on one of those takeaways.
This will be the first meeting between Sierra Grande and Hanover. The winner will get a huge boost towards a possible postseason berth.
Prairie did have some positives in its loss to Stratton last week. Andy Long threw for more than 300 yards with three touchdowns, with David Speicher hauling in nine passes for 237 yards and two scores. Defensively, Claytin Hove (13), Carter Jaeger (12), and Parker Jaeger (11) all recorded double digit tackles, and Carter Jaeger blocked a kick. The Mustangs will look to get the ground attack on track this Friday when they host Weldon Valley. They were held to -4 yards on 12 carries. Weldon Valley had issues stopping the run last week, allowing 261 yards against Otis. Prairie has won three straight against the Warriors, and seven of the last eight in the series.
Ninth-ranked Branson/Kim, a newcomer to the poll this week, will look to improve to 2-0 when it visits La Veta on Friday. The Bearcats opened with a 56-21 victory over Walsh last week, getting three TD passes from Brody Doherty. Peyton Cranson (143 yards) and Cole Hofmeister (105 yards) both went over the century mark on the ground, as the Bearcats close to 300 yards rushing. Freshman Kolter Cranson got in on the fun with a fumble recovery for a score.
The numbers weren’t pretty for the Redhawks last week. They were held to eight yards passing and eight yards on the ground. Their lone touchdown came on a pick-six by sophomore Trey Medina in the fourth quarter. To avoid an 0-2 start, La Veta has to perform better than it has in the last two meetings with Branson/Kim. The Bearcats outscored La Veta 149-26 over the last two years.
Just outside of the top-10 is an interesting clash between Cheraw and Mountain Valley. Cheraw will be looking to bounce back from the loss to Idalia, while the Indians will be trying to add to last week’s 21-14 victory over North Park. After being the preseason #6 team, another loss would make it an incredibly tough task for the Wolverines to make the postseason. Mountain Valley, sitting 12th this week, one spot behind Cheraw, could crack the top-10 next week with a victory.
North Park will host Flagler on Saturday, looking to avoid an 0-2 start ahead of opening North division play. Flagler, conversely, can moved to an unexpected 2-0 with a win over the Wildcats. The Panthers went on the road and held on for a 41-35 victory at Cripple Creek-Victor last week.