RE/MAX Big 3 Week 9

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: October 9, 2017 - 3:31 PM

Platte County at Kearney
7 p.m. Friday at Kearney District Stadium

The Suburban Blue Conference title and the No. 1 seed in the Class 4 District 8 are on the line as Platte County travels to Kearney.

If it seems like these teams have played a lot recently it’s because they have. This will be the third time in a year and the fifth time in three seasons. In the last few years this game has been dominated by Kearney. The Bulldogs have won six straight with Platte County’s last win coming in 2013.

If that streak is going to be broken this might be the game that does it. Platte County comes in with its only loss of the season coming way back in Week No. 3 to Staley. Since that time the Pirates have won five straight including impressive wins over Liberty, Belton and Raytown South.

Kearney also has a loss to Staley on its resume but that one came last week and it was a bad one. The Bulldogs fell 42-0 in a game that was over in a quarter and a half. Platte County’s loss was almost as bad on paper but the 62-27 game was close in the first half as the teams traded the lead back and forth.

The big matchup in this game is the Platte County offense vs. the Kearney defense. The Pirates are led by quarterback Tanner Clarkson whose almost 2,000 yards passing and 23 touchdowns have been a major part of the Platte County offense.

Kearney answers with a defense that had been very stingy tossing two shutouts and holding two other opponents to one touchdown. Even with that success the Bulldogs have allowed 75 points in their last two games so a new trend is emerging.

This should be a good game but it could be the first of two for the third year in a row.

Lee’s Summit North at Liberty
7 p.m. Friday at Crossley Family Stadium

Two teams having each having one of their best seasons in more than 10 years look to close out the regular season on a strong note.

North comes in as a winner in three of its last four games playing some of the best football of the season. The Broncos are coming off their most complete win beating Park Hill South 35-3 last week.

Liberty is on a similar run with two straight wins over Park Hill South and Truman. The Jays are looking like a team that could be a challenger to Staley when district play starts next week. Liberty’s offense has been outstanding all year but the defense has kept every opponent under 20 points except for the 35-28 overtime loss to Platte County and a 55-35 win over Raytown.

This game will be a test of that defense as the Broncos feature some of the better athletes in the Metro led by quarterback Christian Carter and tailbacks John Eldridge, Ontario Russell and Keyon Mozee. The Jays will need to slow that group down or they could find themselves in another shootout.

Good news for Liberty is they are 1-1 in shootouts so they have a good chance. The Jays offense has been dynamic led by running back Robert Rawie and quarterback Thomas Heinrichs.

No matter if it is a defensive battle or a shootout this could be one of the best games in the Metro this week.

Sedalia Smith-Cotton at Center
7 p.m. Friday at Center Stadium

This battle for the West Central Conference championship has a little more on the line for one team than the other.

For Sedalia Smith-Cotton it’s a chance to finish the year undefeated and head into a bye in the district tournament with a full head of steam. For Center there is the conference crown but also the chance to get a win with bonus points that could move the Yellowjackets ahead of Hogan Prep Academy and into the No. 1 seed in their district.

Smith-Cotton has been dominant for most of the season most recently setting down St. Pius X 41-14. The Tigers have been rolling through their schedule with wins over all the conference foes and Pleasant Hill and Moberly.

Center opened the season at 1-1 with a somewhat shocking loss at Nevada win week No. 2. Since that time the Yellowjackets have rolled with big wins over a 6-2 Grain Valley and a one-loss Pembroke Hill.

Last year this game went to Center and if the Yellowjackets get quarterback Amaun Ryan and tailback Jeremiah Wilson going it could be yet another title for Center and the beginning of what could be another deep run in the Class 3 playoffs.

Lawrence at Shawnee Mission East
7 p.m. Thursday at Shawnee Mission North District Stadium

The Shawnee Mission East express is rolling with one of the last possible stops coming this week as Lawrence comes to town Thursday night.

Outside of a week No. 3 loss to Rockhurst East has been as dominant as anyone not named Lawrence Free State. The Lancers have scored at least 41 points in four of their five victories while allowing no more than 14 points in all five of their wins and only 21 points in the loss.

The Chesty Lions come to town with a team that can score. Lawrence has been held to less than 35 points only twice and in those games, it scored at least 28. The big question has been the defense. Last week’s 28-14 win over Olathe South was the lowest point total allowed during the season where three of the five games the opponent has scored at least 31 points.

These two teams can score but East’s defense does a better job of holding up its end of the bargain. Lawrence has to hope its offense can have a special night and have the ball last with a chance to win and hand East its first conference loss since 2013.

Mill Valley at Blue Valley North
6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Blue Valley D.A.C.

A year later and not much has changed for these two teams. Blue Valley North enters with a 3-3 record with identical losses in both 2016 and 2017. Mill Valley has one more loss but is again finishing out a four-game run that saw them lose to Blue Valley, St. Thomas Aquinas and Bishop Miege.

Last year North made that a four-game losing streak for the Jaguars with a 52-23 win. All Mill Valley did from there was win six straight games and finish with a second straight Kansas Class 5A state championship. North would win that game last year and not lose again until the quarterfinals against Blue Valley.

This time around could look very similar. Blue Valley North’s offense is rolling behind Graham Mertz while the Mill Valley defense has been shredded in recent weeks.

Even with that the Jaguars have an outstanding quarterback of their own in Brody Flaming and if their defense can get a couple of stops Mill Valley is very capable of putting enough points on the board to earn the win.

Shawnee Mission South at Shawnee Mission West
7 p.m. Friday at Shawnee Mission South District Stadium

South is looking for their first win over West in almost two decades. In that time West has dominated the series with most wins coming by blowout. In fact, the closest contests came in 2013 and 2014 when both games were one-score wins for the Vikings.

This year it is South that comes in with the better record. The Raiders have wins over Shawnee Mission North and Leavenworth while West is winless.

The Vikings struggled to compete early in the season but showed signs of life in a 35-28 loss to Lawrence three weeks ago. The young West squad has played like a young team bouncing back and forth between blowouts and games where they show the ability to compete.

South has the two wins but has also been shutout in two of its losses and scored only six points in a 7-6 loss to Shawnee Mission Northwest last week.

This game should come down to whichever team can find a consistent offense and put multiple touchdowns on the board should win this game.