Sideline Pass: Jim Bradford 9/8

Jim Bradford

By Jim Bradford PrepsKC Senior Writer
Posted: September 8, 2014 - 7:17 PM



Well, we finally got to see the high school football season begin on the Kansas side and, man, it was worth the wait.

It is every year, but this year had a little extra spice.

And even if the open schedule for the Sunflower League wasn’t enough, folks in Olathe got an extra special treat when the season opened with a doubleheader at the brand new artificially-enhanced College Boulevard Activity Center. Its older brother got a similar facelift, but the curtain won’t go up over there until this weekend.

The new artificial surface was just a small fraction of the allure Friday night as Olathe Northwest hosted Hays (Kan.) and Olathe East hosted Garden City (Kan.).

While head coach Chip Sherman and the Northwest staff might not have been too pleased with the outcome Friday night, they certainly have reason to walk away from the Great Intrastate Experiment 2014 with their heads held high.

For three-and-a-half quarters they kept the future K-State Wildcat quarterback Alex Delton in check with an outstanding defensive scheme. Their linebackers were as active as I can remember seeing a Ravens squad ever be.

They had Hays figured out.

Everything they had in store for the No. 3 team in Kansas Class 4A-I worked.

They just got tired and Delton made them pay.

The Indians had one good drive all night long and it happened to come in the fourth quarter when they needed it most, and they pulled out the 12-10 win.

What did we learn in week 1 form the Ravens? Plenty. They are going to be a tough out this year if they play defense like they did Friday evening.

Friday night we saw Olathe East throw a new quarterback to the wolves, or buffaloes, as the case may be.

East, who has a couple of skill position players back this year, is pretty inexperienced everywhere else.

But that didn’t hold the Hawks back one bit. New signal caller Chase Miller showed the Hawk faithful that there’s nothing to fear as he threw two touchdowns and ran for another as East manhandled Garden City, who went deep into the playoffs last year and is expected to be just as tough out west this year.

While things got tense in the third quarter, the Hawks never trailed. Heck, as tense as things got, the Buffaloes never got closer than eight points in the second half as East opened with the impressive 26-13 win.

With Jalen Branson in the backfield along with Miller, the Hawks have a formidable duo that could really surprise some folks in the Sunflower League this year.

And let’s not forget about their kicker, Chris Diddle. All he did in the crisp air at CBAC was nail a 47-yarder that might have been good from 50-plus.

Never underestimate a team with a kicker that can blast a 50-yarder.

So, well, it might not be such a good idea to underestimate East, or Northwest, for that matter.

Yep, we learned plenty on Friday.