8-MAN FOOTBALL PREVIEW – WEEK 2

Last week’s action created quite a bit of shake-up in the most recent poll. Only two teams occupy the same slot as a week ago, and there is only one newcomer.
Top-ranked Sedgwick County maintained its grip on #1 thanks to an 11-man 27-0 victory over Yuma. The Cougars have their regularly scheduled bye week and won’t return to game action until next Friday when they travel to Perkins County, NE. This is the second bye week of the season for Sedgwick County, who received a forfeit in zero week after their scheduled opponent dropped to six-man.
Hoehne moved up one spot with its 30-27 victory over Sargent in one of last week’s featured match-ups. Gabe Dasko’s Farmers rolled up 421 yards on the ground, led by a career-high 206 from Trystan Moltrer. Jacob Yates did not complete a pass, but his 119 yards rushing more than made up for it. Yates also starred on defense, recording a game-high 19 tackles. Kyle Rowe made an impression with 14 tackles, three of them sacks, and a forced fumble. Dalton Hudson also recorded 14 tackles, with one sack and a blocked field goal.
Sargent’s Ryan Davis threw for 176 yards and rushed for 117, and Trevor Milne had 105 receiving yards, but Trevan Pepper’s squad could not overcome an interception and the blocked field goal. Hunter Younkerman led the defensive effort with 12 tackles. Davis added 11, and Rhys Velasquez registered 10.
Hoehne will put its new #2 ranking on the line when it hosts Springfield (1-1) on Friday. The Longhorns have split with a pair of out of state opponents to begin the season, falling to Turpin (OK) 40-26 and then defeating Rolla (KS) 50-8. Beau Dukes has thrown for 274 yards and four touchdowns in those two games, and rushed for another 181 yards and two scores. He is a two-way stand-out, registering at team-leading 33 tackles. Enrique Gutierrez is leading the team with 10 receptions for 187 yards and three scores. Connor Leonard aids the defense with 15 tackles per game.
The Farmers have a small lead in the series, 3-2, after beating the Longhorns 24-8 last year. Hoehne’s defense held Springfield to 88 yards of offense in that contest, and Moltrer rushed for 152 yards and two scores. Springfield had won the previous two meetings to tie the series.
Dayspring Christian (1-0) climbed one spot to #3 following its 44-6 non-league win at Akron (1-1) last week. That game was tied at 6-all after one quarter, but the Eagles exploded for the final 38 points. Jimmy Fargo led the ground game with 108 yards and two touchdowns on just four carries, and Ben Morris hauled in four balls for 110 yards and two scores from Christian Still. Still, a freshman, completed seven of 11 attempts in his first high school start.
Next up for the Eagles will be a Saturday road clash with Granada (0-2). Dayspring Christian has won the last two meetings and six of the last eight against the Bobcats. Granada lost its opener to Akron (46-16) and then fell to Swink (48-28) last week. In the most recent loss, the Bobcats were outscored 26-8 in the second half. Devon Jara threw for 177 yards and three touchdowns, but also tossed two interceptions. His 71 rushing yards were second behind Josh Baca’s 100. Baca snagged passes for 109 yards, as well.
For the first time since 2014, Sargent goes into its second game looking to bounce back from a loss. That season, the fourth-ranked Farmers fell at home to Caliche to start the campaign 0-2. Saturday, they will visit the Buffs, who evened their record at 1-1 with a 50-28 victory over Kiowa. The victory was #75 in coach Paul Zink’s career and his son, Adam, played a big role in it. The younger Zink rushed for 315 yards and six touchdowns, along with three two-point conversions, and recorded 20 total tackles. It was a nice rebound for the Buffs, who surrendered over 500 yards (474 rushing) in a season-opening 48-36 loss to Soroco.
This will be just the third meeting between Sargent and Caliche. They have split the previous two. Last year, the Farmers dominated the Buffs 50-6, building a 32-0 first quarter lead. Ryan Davis threw for 154 yards and two scores in the victory.
Saturday will also see a clash of unbeatens when #5 West Grand (1-0) visits South Park (1-0). Luis Dominguez had a big day for West Grand in the opener, rushing for four touchdowns and throwing another as the Mustangs mercy-ruled Sanford, 40-0.  Josh O’Hotto set the tone on defense with 16 tackles and a fumble recovery, and Noah Schroeder added 11 tackles with a sack and a fumble recovery.
South Park only needed 190 yards of offense to blast Sangre de Cristo 48-6 in week one. The Burros saw Cameron Rullan carry the ball four times for 41 yards, with three of the runs ending in the end zone. The junior also had a strong effort on the other side of the ball, recording 11 tackles, a forced fumble and a blocked punt.
The Burros have lost eight of the last nine meetings with West Grand, including a 42-14 decision last year. Brady Gore threw for three touchdowns and rushed for one more as the Mustangs built a 40-0 halftime lead in that contest.
Fresh off a 57-6 pounding of Deerfield (KS), Holly (1-0) makes an appearance at #6 and will host Swink (1-0) on Friday. The Wildcats used the Kansas mercy rule to end the game at the half after racing out to a 41-6 first quarter lead. In doing so, Holly improved to 4-0 against the Spartans, outscoring them 199-6 over the last four years. Payne Donaldson threw two touchdown passes, Erick Chaparro rushed for two, and the Wildcats got a pair of punt return touchdowns as well. Brandon Ramos and Alex Ramos each housed a Deerfield punt in the rout.
Swink used its strong second half to snap a three-game skid against Granada and earn its first season-opening victory since 2012. The Lions had only one win against the Bobcats in their previous nine meetings. They will be looking to get back in the win column against Holly after losing to the Wildcats 29-0 last year. That loss ended a string of six straight wins over the Wildcats. Kobe Davis threw for 197 yards and three scores in the win, and the Holly defense smothered the Lions, allowing a total of 209 yards while recording nine sacks and four takeaways.
Eighth-ranked Haxtun (1-0) got its season started with a 46-0 shutout of Simla last Friday. The Bulldogs, who travel to Rocky Mountain Lutheran (1-0) on Saturday, got a big performance from Drew Coffin in the victory over the Cubs. The junior completed 10 of 13 passes for 192 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 125 yards and two more scores. Jaxon Brown, Joey Gerk, and Ryan Schaefer each caught a touchdown pass. Wyatt Buccelli spearheaded the stout defensive effort, registering 16 tackles and a sack, and Braden Anderson recovered two fumbles for the Bulldogs.
Charlie Hahm carried a heavy workload for Rocky Mountain Lutheran in a 65-18 victory over Custer County. The senior went for 244 yards and six touchdowns on the ground, while adding a 60-yard receiving touchdown from Andrew Zemlicka. Throw in a 77-yard kick return and two conversion runs, and Hahm spent most of the game in the end zone. Oh, and his big day wasn’t just limited to putting points on the board. Hahm finished the day with a game-high 18 tackles, 15 of them solo.
The Eagles will be looking to avenge last year’s 69-20 loss to Haxtun. The Bulldogs raced out to a 42-0 first quarter lead and had extended to 55-0 by the half. Coffin and Brown are their top returning performers from that contest. Coffin was the leading rusher with 77 yards and a touchdown on three carries and he added a receiving and return TD as well. Brown touched the ball once on offense and housed it 75 yards. He added a scoop and score on defense.  Hahm was held to 39 yards rushing in the game, 35 of it on one play. Levi Adickes led the Eagles with 127 yards on 13 carries in that contest.
The lopsided 44-6 loss to Dayspring Christian caused Akron to slip seven spots to #9 this week. The Rams must try to rebound against a Fowler (1-0) squad that posted a 50-0 victory over Las Animas last week. The Grizzlies nearly cracked the top ten this week, coming up four votes shy. Akron’s running game was held to 108 yards on 51 attempts, just over two yards per play. Jaden Hottinger had a solid night on defense, recording a team-leading 11 tackles, while Derrick Poss added 10 solo stops.
Fowler, on the other hand, had the offense running smoothly in its rout of the Trojans. Quinton Flanscha rushed for 160 yards and two TDs and Luke Bitter’s 138 passing yards helped the Grizzlies roll up 457 total yards of offense. Nearly everyone on the roster got involved in the defensive effort, with 18 different players recording a tackle. Dylan Palomino led the way with eight stops. That unit also recovered four fumbles, helping to keep Las Animas off the scoreboard.
The series between Akron and Fowler has been lopsided in favor of the Rams. Akron has won all five meetings, including the last three by a combined score of 142-12. Last year, it was a 48-6 victory in which the Rams piled up 444 yards on the ground. Tyler Wylie accounted for 203 of them.
Seventh-ranked Norwood (1-0) and #10 Merino (2-0) both have byes this week. Merino fell three spots this week after holding off Gilpin County, 35-28. The Rams led 27-0 after one period but gave up 20 second half points to make it close at the wire.
 
 

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