RE/MAX Big 3 Games of the Week
By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Pembroke Hill at Oak Grove
7 p.m. Wednesday at Panther Stadium
Two teams with a combined 19-1 record meet in the Class District 7 semifinals. The Panthers rolled over Southwest last week and now host the Raiders who earned an impressive 28-0 win at Clinton.
The question on Pembroke Hill all season was if its schedule that was heavy on Interscholastic League teams would have it ready for the post-season. The Raiders answered that question with a resounding yes when they avenged their only loss of the season with the win at Clinton.
The Panthers just continue to roll along, moving to 10-0 with the win over Southwest. The 10-0 mark is the best in about two decades, and the Panthers have designs on going deep into the post-season for the first time since a run to the Class 3 semifinals in 1995.
This should be a very physical game between two teams that like to run the ball and play defense. In a district that featured only two teams with losing records every game from this point on is going to be tough no matter what seed the team earned coming in.
Liberty North at Platte County
7 p.m. Wednesday at Platte County Stadium
About a month ago Liberty North was in the middle of a four-game losing streak. The Eagles began the season as one of the most highly touted Missouri Class 4 teams in the Metro but the midseason skid had some wondering just what kind of team North was.
At the same time there were few expectations surrounding the Pirates when the season began. Platte County had graduated a very talented senior class led by Fontana Award winner Krae Kelso, and it was one of the more inexperienced groups coach Bill Utz had seen in recent years.
The Pirates have exceeded almost everyone’s expectations to this point and now look like a team able to make a deep run. This week Platte County will face a team that beat them back in week No. 7. The Eagles rallied to score the final 13 points of the game their way to a 33-22 win.
Liberty North Antwynn Beavers had a big night on the ground with 254 yards and two touchdowns while Platte County quarterback James Valentine answered with 268 yards and two TDs through the air but it wasn’t enough.
North Kansas City at Winnetonka
7 p.m. Wednesday at North Kansas City Stadium
Old rivals meet in a Class District 7 semifinal. Winnetonka won the regular season meeting 35-14 in week No. 7.
The Hornets got off to a good start winning four of their first five games but they closed out the regular season on a four-game losing streak. North Kansas City bounced back with a win over Truman in the district opener, but the competition will improve from this point on.
The Hornets are a dangerous team led by Marcus Jones who does a little bit of everything on offense. North Kansas City will need a good game from him if they want to get to the next round.
Winnetonka is looking to end a small losing streak of its own. The Griffins started 6-1 before a turnover filled loss to Platte County and an overtime defeat at the hands of Kearney. Winnetonka hasn’t played in more than a week so they should be rested and ready to go.
Bishop Miege at Mill Valley
7 p.m. Friday at Mill Valley Stadium
After spending the last two seasons in the same district Mill Valley and Bishop Miege get to wait one more week to meet.
The last two years the Jaguars have suffered only two district losses and both of those were to the Stags. In fact Miege has defeated Mill Valley by a combined score of 108-28.
This time around it is Mill Valley who comes in as one of the top teams in Class 5A while Miege enters with just a 4-5 record. The Jaguars are riding an eight –game winning streak and haven’t played a game within 23 points since their season-opening loss at Class 6A Manhattan.
Miege comes in off an emotional 27-24 loss to St. Thomas Aquinas that ended a two-game winning streak.
There are plenty of playmakers on both teams and this could be a wild offensive showdown. The question is can Mill Valley forget the last two years and go out and win its second playoff game in school history?
Lawrence at Gardner-Edgerton
7 p.m. Friday at Gardner-Edgerton Stadium
The East side of the Kansas 6A bracket is loaded and this game is one of the biggest. The Lions have been one of the best teams in the Metro all season while Gardner-Edgerton has gotten hot after a rough start to the season.
Both teams have dynamic offensive players. Lawrence is led by quarterback Brad Strauss while the Trailblazers Traevohn Wrench routinely goes for 200 yards and two or three touchdowns in a game.
These teams have to be ready to play or their seasons will be over quickly. Lawrence needs to shake off its loss to Free State while Gardner-Edgerton needs to be ready for a tough game after being barely tested in district play.
Shawnee Mission East at Olathe East
7 p.m. Friday at C.B.A.C
In the first few weeks of the season these two teams were headed in different directions Shawnee Mission East looked like the top Kansas 6A school in the Metro while Olathe East looked like it might struggle to win three or four games.
The Lancers (7-2) cooled off after a 5-0 start while the Hawks (5-4) have won four straight games after Shawnee Mission East beat them 41-21 in week No. 5.
The Hawks running game and defense have been the key to their success while the Lancers balance has led them all season. Shawnee Mission East is coming in as the No. 2 but this could be a spot where a road team steals a win.
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