RE/MAX Big 3 Games of the Week

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: September 6, 2016 - 2:52 PM

Rockhurst at Raymore-Peculiar
7 p.m. Friday at Ray-Pec Stadium

It’s odd to say this but the Panthers and Hawklets have been flying under the radar all season but with three impressive wins to start their seasons the teams take center stage this week.

Ray-Pec handled its business easily in the first two weeks with dominant wins over Belton and Lee’s Summit North. The Panthers backed that up with an impressive 42-35 victory over Lee’s Summit West in a game they led 28-7 in the third quarter.

Rockhurst opened with an easy win over Columbia Rock Bridge followed by a grind it out 14-7 win over Blue Springs South. Last week the Hawklets went to Arkansas to face power Bentonville and earned an impressive 24-21 overtime win.

So here these teams are with perfect 3-0 records playing a game that will have a lot to say about how the seeding goes once the Class 6 tournament gets underway in October.

That’s what happened before. What happens Friday night will depend a lot on which team can get their offense going. Ray-Pec has been able to score and that should make them the favorite but the Hawklets have allowed just 34 points in three games and that unit has been outstanding.

Either way this could be the best game on either side of the state line.

Park Hill at Blue Springs
7 p.m. Friday at Peve Stadium

While Ray-Pec and Rockhurst are waging their important battle Park Hill and Blue Springs will be in a similar fight in Blue Springs.

Both teams come in with a loss with Blue Springs falling at top Arkansas program Fayetteville last week and the Trojans falling to Lee’s Summit two weeks ago.

The Wildcats played well on its road trip but will need to get its offense going this week. The Wildcats defense has surrendered at least 20 points in all three games including 45 in the first week to Lee’s Summit. The Blue Springs’ defense has shown signs of improving since then but given the history the offense will likely need to be in the 28-31 point range to earn a win.

Park Hill’s defense has played well most of the season including a 24-23 win over rival Park Hill South last week. The offense has struggled at times and that unit will be key this week as well.

If either team’s defense holds the opponent under 20 points it will probably lead to victory.

Harrisonville at Platte County
7 p.m. Friday at Platte County Stadium

Two of the top ranked teams in Missouri Class 4 will square off in a big early-season game. While this game doesn’t have conference or direct district seeding implications it is a true test between teams that have ideas of playing deep into the postseason.

Harrisonville has been very workmen like in its first three games allowing just 14 total points while putting up 92 on St. Joseph Benton, Savannah and Pittsburg, Kan. The defense has been outstanding but this will easily be the biggest test of the season as Platte County is averaging 38 points a game.

Platte County’s defense is very good as well even with the 55 points it gave up to Class 5 No. 2 Staley in last week’s 55-42 loss. The Pirates shutout Grandview 36-0 and allowed just one score to Oak Park while the defense scored two of its own touchdowns along the way.

The task for Harrisonville will be figuring out which part of Platte County’s offense to stop. The outstanding running game that led the way in the first two weeks or the passing game led by senior quarterback Justin Mitchell that lit up the scoreboard last week.

Platte County will need to get its defense back in line after last week’s shootout and not make key turnovers that have been a bit of an issue the first few weeks. Harrisonville is a solid team and any extra possessions could be just what the Wildcats ordered.

Blue Valley at Blue Valley West
7 p.m. Friday at the Blue Valley D.A.C.

Blue Valley opened with a marquee game with Bishop Miege and now the Tigers follow that up with a rivalry game at Blue Valley West.

The Jaguars are coming off their first win under first-year coach Josh Koerkenmeier and are now looking to double his total in just two weeks.

West had a solid 20-17 win over Blue Valley Southwest in a game that saw the Jaguars jump out to an early lead, struggle and then play its best football over the quarter and a half to earn the win.

The Jaguars biggest test will be slowing down a balanced offense that put up big numbers against the Stags. The defense improved as the game went on and will need to carry that improvement into this week.

The Tigers are coming down from a back and forth instant classic 35-28 over Miege and will now have to keep its emotion at game level and not get caught with a letdown. With another rivalry game next week against Blue Valley North the Tigers can’t look ahead.

DeSoto at Bonner Springs
7 p.m. Friday at Bonner Springs Stadium

Two teams that had different margins of victory but equally impressive wins take the field in a matchup in a Frontier League-Kaw Valley League showdown.

Bonner Springs rolled past Turner 62-13 in week one and look to be the same offensive juggernaut under new coach LeDrew Murrell this season. Murrell was the offensive coordinator for former coach Lucas Aslin and this team already looks a lot like the last few seasons.

DeSoto earned a hard-fought 28-27 over a good Ottawa and now will need another good effort as the Wildcats go on the road for the first time this season.

If the Wildcats can slow down the Braves this could be a good win for DeSoto as it gets back into Frontier play in the following weeks. For Bonner getting wins and staying near the top of the Class 5A East standings is the goal every week.

St. James Academy at Blue Valley Southwest
7 p.m. Friday at Blue Valley High School

St. James and Blue Valley Southwest are both looking for a bounce back after tough week one losses.

Southwest had stretches of good play against Blue Valley West but a tough second half put the Timberwolves in a hole falling 20-17 to the Jaguars.

St. James went into its opening contest with Mill Valley with high hopes but the defending Class 5A champs jumped on the Thunder early and never looked back for a 35-13 win.

Both schools saw the debut of promising quarterbacks who had their moments. St. James Sammy Wheeler showed some flashes but some dropped balls and two interceptions kept the Thunder’s offense from finding its footing. If that unit can take a step forward St. James could have a much better result this time around.

The Timberwolves were led by sophomore Will Eldridge who grew nicely as the game went on. The Timberwolves signal caller did a good job getting the ball to do everything receiver Cooper Ast and another strong performance would be good for Southwest.