At the beginning of the season, how many of you had Raymore-Peculiar and Liberty playing for the Suburban Gold Conference championship?
If you said yes, then you deserve an award. I expected Ray-Pec to be on top of the Suburban Gold, but I didn’t see Liberty being undefeated this far into the season.
But it makes sense why these two teams are standing atop of the standings this late in the season.
Why? Why does it make sense?
Well, they’ve been the two teams to play at consistent level week in and week out this year.
Ray-Pec has been the talk of Class 6 all season. The returning starters, the senior quarterback, a loaded defense, the experience from playing in pressure packed games last year -- all of that led to the Panthers being 6-1.
The only blemish? A turnover riddled loss at the hands of Lee’s Summit West.
Liberty, on the other hand, wasn't supposed to be in this position. The Blue Jays went 4-6 in the Suburban Red Conference last season.
Like Ray-Pec, they too, returned a lot of experience on both sides of the ball, led by junior running back Wentric Williams III. Williams has been nothing short of spectacular this season.
Williams comes into Friday’s game averaging 164.3 yards a game on the ground. Williams has also scored 15 touchdowns through seven games, nine of which have come in the last three games.
Friday’s game will go a long way for determining who will have the upper hand in the Suburban Gold Conference for years to come, but all signs point to these two teams being near the top.
Another game I am looking forward to this week is St. Thomas Aquinas at Omaha Westside.
The Warriors are the top ranked team in Class A in Nebraska. They have four D1 players. St. Thomas Aquinas has several D1 prospects and have played a loaded schedule thus far.
When I found out that the Saints would be traveling to Omaha to play Westside, I thought of the 1980s and those ground and pound Nebraska Cornhusker teams that ran the ball all over opposing defenses.
That is what Aquinas does best. They will run the ball down your throats, even if you hold them to a 2-yard gain, they will eventually break off a long run that will break your will. The Warriors should match up well with this Aquinas team -- especially having three D1 recruits on the defensive side of the ball.
Westside, most likely, will try to spread out the Saints defense and throw the ball. Why wouldn’t they? They have the pieces to do it. If I had to compare this Westside team, I would compare them to Bishop Miege in terms of the offense they run. They like to throw the ball to establish the run … If they do that, Aquinas may have a hard time stopping the Warriors.
NOTES: I had a chance to see Mill Valley last Friday, and let me tell you, I was impressed by the way the Jaguars dismantled Olathe West.
The Jaguars overwhelmed the Owls by running the ball with Jacob Hartman -- Mill Valley’s leading receiver coming into the game. Hartman finished the game with 222 yards on 21 carries, scoring three touchdowns.
Even though the Jaguars are 4-2, I’m tempted to say that they may be the best team in the metro. Why? Because if they play the way they did Friday night against Olathe West, they’d beat just about any team in the metro with ease.