Through the Uprights Mile Lavieri 10/27

Mike Lavieri

By Mike Lavieri PrepsKC staff writer
Posted: October 27, 2015 - 8:21 AM



In the eastern part of Kansas, all but District 4 knows which teams will be going to the playoffs. The winner of Olathe North/Olathe Northwest will take the second spot behind Lawrence.

In 5A, all but District 3 in eastern Kansas has been set, besides order. The winner of Bonner Springs/St. James will be second behind Mill Valley.

And in 4A-I, Districts 1, 2 and 3 all have open spots.

But let’s focus on 6A and 5A because those are two of the best games in the Metro.

Battle of Olathe
In any other district, both of these teams would most likely be moving on, but instead only one can move on.

North comes in with only one loss — a heartbreaking 31-28 loss last week to Lawrence. Northwest lost to Lawrence two weeks ago and to Shawnee Mission West in Week 2.

The Ravens’ game against the Vikings was a bizarre one as weather forced the game to be suspended with ONW leading 12-0 with about a minute left until halftime. When play resumed the next day, SMW rattled off 20 unanswered points to pull off the comeback.

I’ve been really impressed with how Olathe North has played this year under first-year coach Chris McCartney.

Vinnie Shabazz picked up right where Venus Triplett left off rushing for more than 1,300 yards and 20 touchdowns. Based on his per game average, he should eclipse 1,500 yards on the season on Friday.

Matt Wright has done a nice job at quarterback, as he has passed for 14 touchdowns with eight of them going to Isaiah Simmons, the No. 3 receiver in the state according to Rivals.

On the flip side, Olathe Northwest likes to pound the ball, with Darius Henderson and Brendan Watkins.

Like I said two weeks ago, I like Olathe North in this one and I’m sticking with it.

Eagles 34, Ravens 31

Can Bonner Springs do it again?
The Bonner Springs/Mill Valley/St. James district is playing out identical to last season. Bonner Springs and St. James beat Turner, Mill Valley beats Turner and St. James, which then sets up a Week 9, winner-take-all match-up between Bonner Springs and St. James.

Last year, it was Bonner Springs using its defense to win 13-0 at home and earn its first playoff berth since 2011 — the last year it was a 5A school before this current two-year cycle. Now, the Thunder are the home team, and are looking for revenge.

The cores of the two are pretty much the same as 2014.

Bonner Springs has Connor Byers, St. James has Trey Keith under center. In the backfield it’s Marcel Holmes for the Braves, and well, uh, it could be Jake Burgmeier, but if his ankle is still bothering him, then it’s Dylan Streeter.

The X-factor in this one could be Mason Dunsmore. If Keith can get the ball into the receiver’s hands more often, then St. James could win it.

If not, I think Bonner Springs has a little bit more fire power on offense.

Braves 28, Thunder 17