RE/MAX Big 3 Games of the Week
By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Olathe South at Lawrence Free State
7 p.m. Friday at Free State Stadium
This early season showdown brings two of the most dominant teams in the Metro together. Both the Falcons and Firebirds have won their first two games and done so in impressive style.
Olathe South opened with a tough win over Olathe East in a game in which each team battled the elements as much as each other. The Falcons followed that up with a monster 62-13 win over Shawnee Mission North in week No. 2.
The defending Class 6A champs look ready to defend, but their first road game of the season will be a big test. Free State has been equally impressive in its two wins. The Firebirds pounded Olathe Northwest 37-0 in the first week and then beat a good Shawnee Mission West team 28-14.
This game features two of the better quarterbacks in the Metro as South’s Frankie Seurer Jr. and Free State’s Kyle McFarland are talented passers and runners. Whichever defense can slow down the play of the other team’s signal caller should get the win in this one.
Baldwin at St. James Academy
7 p.m. Friday at St. Thomas Aquinas
If St. James was an official member of the Frontier League, this would be a big conference showdown. Since the Thunder aren’t in the league and just play a full Frontier League schedule, this is just a possible playoff preview between two good teams.
Both teams have a win over Paola and blowout wins in their other games. St. James rolled past Bishop Ward for its other win and Baldwin did the same against Wellsville.
Both teams have goals of making it to the playoffs and making deep runs. This will be a good barometer of each team’s chances to do just that.
It is also St. James first home game on their new field, sort of. The Thunder now play their home games at St. Thomas Aquinas and both teams should enjoy the new turf and upgrades Aquinas put in before the season started.
Shawnee Mission West at Olathe North
7 p.m. Friday at O.D.A.C.
This game features a coaching legend in Gene Wier and one of his former assistants who has gone on to run a very successful program of his own.
This time when they meet, it is the former assistant West coach Tim Callaghan who could have the upper hand. West has started the season with an impressive win over Lawrence and a tough loss to Lawrence Free State. For the first time in a long time the Vikings enter the game as the favorite while North comes in looking for its first win.
The Eagles have now lost six in a row dating back to last season and wins might be tough to come by for this young team. A win over West would give North some confidence and might bring back some of the swagger of the Olathe North program.
Holden at Odessa
7 p.m. Friday at Odessa Stadium
This Missouri River Valley Conference East vs. West matchup features two teams that have already reversed their fortunes from a year ago.
Holden comes in at 2-1 with only a close loss to Oak Grove while Odessa is 3-0 which is a major turnaround from last year’s 0-10. In fact the Eagles pounded the Bulldogs 62-19 to open the 2011 season.
These teams are in different classes and different conferences but are close to each other on the map. The game doesn’t have the history of, say, an Oak Grove-Odessa rivalry, but these kids know each other, and win here goes a long way.
Odessa will need to stop Holden’s Max Mickey and a talented offense if it wants to stay unbeaten. At the same time the Eagles will face a group of Bulldogs brimming with confidence after three big wins to start the season.
Lee’s Summit West at Blue Springs
7 p.m. Friday at Peve Stadium
If you are looking for the two most impressive teams to start the season, these two are a good place to start. West and Blue springs have been dominant no matter what team lines up against them.
West has yet to lose and has wins over Staley, Park Hill and St. Joseph Central. The Titans defense has allowed just 21 points in three games including a shutout of Staley in the first game of the season. The group led by seniors Jamone Boyd and Nick Ramirez is one of the top defenses in the Metro.
The Titans defense will face its toughest test of the young season when they matchup with the Wildcats potent rushing attack led by Dalvin Warmack. Blue Springs has put points on the board no matter is the opponent.
The Wildcats are averaging 43 points a game and they just got done hanging 38 on Rockhurst including 31 in the first half.
At the end of the year the both teams could be claiming state titles and the winner of this game could earn the title of best team in the Metro.
Blue Springs South at Staley
7 p.m. Friday at NKC Staley District Stadium
It’s not often defending state champs get to meet the following regular season. The Falcons and Jaguars climbed to the top of their class last year winning state titles in impressive fashion.
This year both enter with a loss, but each is holding down spots in the top 10 of its respective class. The Falcons come in after dominating wins over Raytown and William Chrisman. Staley was shutout in its first game of the season but the offense has exploded since.
South is a team that is still trying to find its identity. In its two wins the offense has been full of big plays but the defense has struggled. In the Jaguars loss to Fort Osage they only allowed six points but never scored against a tough Indians defense.
Both these teams should be forces come playoff time but this game will tell a lot about where each is right now.
Sedalia Smith-Cotton Tigers
Shawnee Mission South Raiders
Lawrence Free State Firebirds
St. James Academy Thunder
Lafayette County Huskers
Sabetha Blue Jays
Sweet Springs Greyhounds
Liberty North Eagles
East Buchanan Bulldogs
Blue Valley Tigers
Prairie View Buffalos
Pleasant Hill Roosters
Liberty Blue Jays
Derrick Thomas Academy Chiefs
William Chrisman Bears
Appleton City Bulldogs
Grain Valley Eagles
Rich Hill Tigers