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Third and Long: Ryan Edwards 10/28

Finally, we’ve made it to the best part of the season: playoff football.

Why is playoff football so much fun? Well, I’ll tell you why. … It’s win or go home season. And there are a lot of teams that can spoil the party for some of the favorites on the Missouri side. 

For the sake of this column, I won’t talk about the top seeds in every district, but rather focus my attention on teams who may have been overlooked in the regular season — teams that can make deep runs in the postseason. 

In Class 6 District 3, the one team that can potentially make some noise is Lee’s Summit. The Tigers may be 4-5, however, don’t let the record fool you, they are extremely talented on offense. An offense led by Elijah Martinez, David Dossett and Josh Manning. Manning and Dossett are tough covers for just about every team they play, including Lee’s Summit North. The Broncos had difficulty covering Dossett and Manning as they torched North’s secondary for 218 yards and two touchdowns in North’s 38-16 win on Sept. 16. 

In Class 6 District 4, the one team that has potential to make a deep run is Rockhurst. The Hawklets are young, but they have been tested every week. They’ve played one of, if not, the toughest schedules in the metro. If the Hawklets can beat Park Hill and the winner of the Staley/Park Hill South game, it’ll set up a rematch with Liberty North. Rockhurst is the only team to play the Eagles close this season — if they can play solid defense, the Hawklets can spoil the party for the favorite in Class 6.  

Moving to Class 5, there are a handful of teams that can make deep runs, but they’ll have to play near perfect football to advance. 

In District 7, the Raytown Bluejays are dangerous. They come into the playoffs with a 5-4 record, but they could easily be 6-3 or 7-2 if they catch a few breaks. The Bluejays are talented and have a lot of speed on both sides. The one thing that they do well is run the football and in order to be successful in the playoffs, you have to run the football.

However, the more interesting district in Class 5 is District 8. North Kansas City and Platte County are both teams that should scare both top seeds. North Kansas City has an elite defense, as does Platte County. However, both of those teams struggle offensively, if they were to make deep runs they’d ride the coattails of those elite defenses. 

Now in Class 4 there is one district I will be watching closely, and that’ll be District 8. You know, the one with Kearney and the defending Class 4 champion, Smithville. 

The Bulldogs and Warriors have been on a crash course since they played an epic thriller in Week 3, a game in which the Bulldogs won 20-19. I suspect both teams will be chomping at the bit to get back into the district final, which should be another epic game, with the winner advancing to the quarterfinals of the playoffs.