RE/MAX Big 3 Games of the Year

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: November 5, 2013 - 1:49 PM



Center at Hogan Prep Academy
7 p.m. Wednesday at IL Stadium
Hogan Prep finds itself matching up with the same team in the same part of the season where they saw there undefeated season end last year.
 
The Rams were 10-0 in 2012 and Center ended their run with a 13-12 win in the second round of postseason play. Hogan got some revenge earlier this year with a 22-15 win over Center but another loss in the postseason would be a tough pill to swallow.
 
Center has quietly gone about its business since the loss to Hogan and enters with an 8-2 record coming off an impressive 42-6 win over Odessa in the first round.
 
Both teams are athletic and physical and this should be another close tough ballgame. The winner will most likely see Oak Grove so the hope is to get the win and not be too beat up to challenge for a district title.
 
Raytown South at Pleasant Hill
7 p.m. Wednesday at Pleasant Hill Stadium
With a win over Harrisonville last week Raytown South assumed the mantle of the team nobody wants to play. This week the Cardinals stay in the Missouri river Valley Conference when they travel to Pleasant Hill in a rematch of last year’s first round game won by South.
 
The Roosters stayed undefeated with a 38-15 win over conference foe Grain Valley in the first round and now face a team that started the season ranked in the top 10 of Class 4. While South started with some hype Pleasant Hill had built respect on the way to a 10-0 record and a current No. 6 ranking.
 
The records say this game should be all Pleasant Hill but the Cardinals are playing their best football. The main test will be if the Roosters physical style can overcome the athletic explosiveness of Raytown South and carry the day.
 
Liberty at Lee’s Summit
7 p.m. Friday at Hertzog Stadium
This is a rematch of one of the better games of the regular season. Lee’s Summit topped Liberty 31-28 with a field goal in the final seconds. The win showed doubters that Lee’s Summit’s 3-0 start to the season was for real.
 
Both teams enter off big wins in the first round and look like they have rebounded from losses in the last week of the season.
 
Lee’s Summit bounced back nicely with a win over Joplin. The Tigers offense was back in fine form last week and it will need to be clicking on all cylinders again this week.
 
Liberty’s defense needs to be ready for a tough night but the offense can help them out by establishing its running game and keeping the Lee’s Summit offense off the field.
 
Ottawa at Spring Hill
7 p.m. Friday at Spring Hill Stadium
The first round of the Class 4A playoffs pits two Frontier League teams who are very familiar with each other. In fact these squads matched up just four weeks ago with Ottawa earning a 21-17 win.
 
The Cyclones got the win the first time around and it was a big win for the program. The victory ended a three-game losing streak and evened Ottawa’s record at 3-3. The Cyclones would win two games in its district and qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2003.
 
Spring Hill struggled most of the season before getting into districts and winning three straight. The Stallions have played their best football at the end of the season the last two years winning district titles both times. This year Spring Hill is hoping to take the next step and win a playoff game.
 
There are no secrets between these teams, and it should be an old-fashioned Frontier League battle with the winner earning the right to play at least one more game.
 
Olathe North at Blue Valley Northwest
7 p.m. Friday at Blue Valley D.A.C
Two teams that have flown under the radar a little this season meet in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs.
 
Northwest has won six straight since starting the season 1-2 and have done it with a balanced attack and a physical defense. The Huskies have a standout tailback in Miles Alexander and a solid quarterback in Jacob Rominger.
 
Olathe North also has a standout quarterback-tailback combination in QB Cole Murphy and running back Venus Triplett. The pair lead a very successful offense that has shown the ability to score on almost every defense it has played.
 
Both of these teams like to run the ball and play tough defense so the squad that makes the fewest mistakes will probably be the one that finds itself playing next week.
 
Olathe East at Gardner-Edgerton
7 p.m. Friday at Gardner-Edgerton
The run to a possible state championship game appearance for Gardner-Edgerton begins with a first round game with Olathe East. The Trailblazers have just one loss on the season and this senior led team looks like it is a real contender.
 
Standing in the way this week is a program that has years of experience, not just making the postseason but making deep runs almost every year. East again is back in the playoffs with a 6-3 record. Those three losses have come against Lawrence Free State, Olathe North and Blue Valley Northwest.
 
East has a strong defense and it will need it to keep Gardner-Edgerton’s Traevohn Wrench in check. The Trailblazers standout tailback can score from anywhere on the field and holding him to a reasonable total will be key for the Hawks chances of winning.
 
Gardner-Edgerton is the favorite, but the Trailblazers need to make sure they don’t stub their toe like they did last year in a first-round home loss to Lawrence.