RE/MAX Big 3 Games of the Week
By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Blue Springs at Rockhurst
7:30 p.m. Friday at Vincent P. Dasta Stadium
It’s that time again. It’s time for what has become the premier high school football game in the Metro every season.
After spending the last two years as the season opener, this year the game moves to week No. 3. The Wildcats and Hawklets have a long and storied history. They, along with Blue Springs South, have been the premier Missouri Class 6 programs in Kansas City and really the state since the turn of the century.
This year finds Rockhurst coming in off a loss while Blue Springs has simply dominated its first two opponents. Blue Springs is also looking for its first regular season win over the Hawklets since 2008. In fact the Wildcats haven’t earned a win of any kind over Rockhurst since the 2009 quarterfinal game.
Last year an experienced Rockhurst squad blitzed Blue Springs 35-20 behind a 400-yard, four-TD day from tailback Jordan Walker. Walker has since graduated as have many of the Rockhurst starters from last year.
It is a little different story for the Wildcats who have 17 starters back and are rolling in the season’s first two weeks. Blue Springs jumped on St. Joseph Central 56-13 in the first game and then backed that up with a solid performance stopping Park Hill South 35-14 last week.
Rockhurst comes in after losing to Bentonville, Ark. 24-7 last week. This is a big game for the Hawklets because a loss here would be followed by a tough game with Kansas power Hutchinson and a third straight loss could be in the cards.
Fort Osage at Liberty North
7 p.m. Friday at William Jewell Stadium
Something will have to give when these undefeated teams hit the field Friday night. Fort Osage enters having not allowed a point in its first two games while Class 4 Liberty North has earned two wins over Class 5 teams Ruskin and Truman to start the season.
The Indians got a big win over Blue Springs South last week as they held the Jaguars out of the endzone after South scored 47 points the week before in a win over Truman.
Liberty North has been consistent in its two wins. On a dry field at Ruskin the Eagles dominated winning 42-13. Last week they did what they had to in defeating Truman 12-6 in a driving rain storm.
Just three years into the program Liberty North is at a spot where a win over Fort Osage would be a defining moment for the Eagles. Fort Osage was in that same position last week and now find itself as the big time program having to face the upstart.
Park Hill at Lee’s Summit
7 p.m. Friday at Lee’s Summit Stadium
These two 1-1 teams head into the third game of the season trying to figure out which team they are. Both opened with impressive wins in the first week only to come back to earth with big losses in week No. 2.
Lee’s Summit looked like a team that was ready to roll through much of its schedule after dominating Raytown but Kearney brought them back to earth with a 34-17 loss. The Tigers led 17-0 but gave up 34 unanswered points as the Bulldogs Brock Broughton gashed the Lee’s Summit defense for 334 yards and four touchdowns.
Park Hill opened with an exciting last second win over Raytown South only to run into a tough Lee’s Summit West squad last week. The Trojans may still be a work in progress but a win at Lee’s Summit could go a long way to helping them find out who they are.
Olathe North at Shawnee Mission East
7 p.m. Thursday at SM North Stadium
This game grabs notice for a couple of reasons. It is an early season test for two teams that have been at the top of the Sunflower League the last few years and it is a matchup of legendary coaches.
Olathe North’s Gene Wier and East’s Chip Sherman meet for the first time in their careers. Wier is back for his second stint with the Eagles and was at the helm for one of the most successful runs of high school football in the Midwest during the 1990s and early 2000.
Sherman’s legendary run at Platte County was occurring around the same time. He led the Pirates to three straight Missouri Class 3 state titles and won 57 games in-a-row along the way.
While the historical perspective is interesting, this game is one where East is looking to build off a positive start from week one while North goes searching for its first victory.
Gardner-Edgerton at Bishop Miege
7 p.m. Friday at Bishop Miege Stadium
It is only the second week of the season and the Trailblazers face another huge game. Gardner-Edgerton opened the season with a tough win over a Blue Valley team that beat it twice last year and now must face Miege.
The Stags opened with a workman like win over Blue Valley North on a night when scoring was tough all over the city. This week on a dry track at Miege could mean offensive fireworks for both teams. The Stags Montell Cozart is one of the top quarterbacks in the Metro and the Miege offense can score quickly with him at the helm.
Gardner-Edgerton’s Traevohn Wrench was able to get yards against Blue Valley but the Tigers held him out of the endzone. This week getting past the goal line will be key as this game could be a high scoring affair.
Lawrence Free State at Shawnee Mission West
7 p.m. Friday at SM South Stadium
This week two of the most consistent programs in the Sunflower League meet after opening the season with impressive wins.
West comes in after going to Lawrence and coming home with a 20-17 win. The Lions came into the season as a team that some thought could win the league and make a deep run in the playoffs. West didn’t have that much hype but the Vikings went out and got a big road win to start the season.
The Firebirds were under the radar like the Vikings but a dominant 37-0 win over Olathe Northwest opened some eyes. The impressive road win in tough conditions shows that Free State is a team to be watched.
This week’s showdown comes as a key conference game for Free State. This counts as a league game and could go a long way to determining the conference champ in October.
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Lincoln College Prep Tigers
Park Hill Trojans
North Kansas City Hornets
Olathe East Hawks
Ruskin Golden Eagles
Blue Springs Wildcats
Appleton City Bulldogs
Liberty Blue Jays
Shawnee Mission East Lancers
Blue Valley North Mustangs
Sedalia Smith-Cotton Tigers
Santa Fe Trail Chargers
Van Horn Falcons
Kansas City Central Blue Eagles
Lone Jack Mules
St. Joseph Central Indians
Shawnee Mission South Raiders