RE/MAX Big 3 Games of the Week

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: October 5, 2014 - 1:14 PM

Blue Springs at Lee’s Summit West

7 p.m. Friday at Lee’s Summit West Stadium

When the season began this looked like a possible match between undefeated defending state champions riding long winning streaks.

Well, things haven’t exactly turned out that way. Blue Springs has lost two straight games and now stands at 4-3 on the season. West lost to Lee’s Summit two weeks ago and needed a furious fourth-quarter rally to get past Blue Springs South last week.

The Wildcats struggled on defense in the loss to Ray-Pec as the Panthers were able to run the ball on Blue Springs. The offense also struggled as Ian Brown was forced into three interceptions, which is half as many as he had all season long.

The Titans rallied to get the win over South but still find themselves with some inconsistent play. The Jaguars held the West offense in check for most of the game along with forcing some key turnovers.

Both teams come in not playing their best. It will be interesting to see which team snaps out of it. As the season winds down, a loss here would virtually eliminate the loser from the Suburban Big Six Conference title race and put them in a situation where going on the road in the first round of the postseason would also be in play. This is a must win for both schools.

Fort Osage at Liberty North

7 p.m. Friday at William Jewell Stadium

Two of the best Class 5 teams on the Missouri side matchup this week. Fort Osage enters unbeaten. The Indians are a perfect 7-0 and haven’t had a close game since a week No. 3 31-28 win over Lee’s Summit.

Liberty North has two losses, but since that time has rolled to three straight big wins. The Eagles have been dominant in their last three wins allowing just 13 points while scoring 125.

The big test in this game will come for both defenses. Fort Osage has been one of the most dynamic offenses in the Metro led by quarterback Skylar Thompson and do-everything tailback Jesse McBee. The pair lead an attack that has scored more than 50 points twice, 40 points two other times and 30 points in three games. Only Staley held Fort Osage under 30 in a 24-20 Indians win.

North counters with a quarterback-running back combination of its own. Bryan Sharp has been steady for the Eagles all season long and tailback Richard Richards is a game-breaker who has put up big numbers when he has been healthy.

The team that gets the most defensive (you have defense here) stops will probably be the one who wins. For Fort Osage a win here would most likely wrap up a No. 1 seed in its district while Liberty North could lock down at least a No. 3 seed in its tough district.

O’Hara at Center

7 p.m. Friday at Center Stadium

Simply put, this game is for the West Central Conference title. O’Hara enters with a perfect 7-0 mark on the season with four of those wins coming in the league. Center is 6-1 with only a league loss to St. Pius X as a blemish on its record.

The Celtics have been dominant from week No.1 and last week dispatched rival Pius in dominating fashion. O’Hara has a veteran quarterback in Michael Briggs and a bevy of talented backs and receivers.

Center is younger than the last few years and only a tough 23-13 loss to Pius is the only thing holding them back from an undefeated mark. The Yellowjackets have the speed and physicality to match O’Hara’s athletic ability, but the big question is whether O’Hara’s experience will be the deciding factor.

If Center wins it can almost guarantee a split of the conference title with Pius and O’Hara, while a Celtics victory puts them in the driver’s seat for the conference crown.

Blue Valley Northwest at Blue Valley West

6:30 p.m. Thursday at B.V.D. A.C.

While almost every game this week seems to have conference or district implications, this is just an old-fashioned district rivalry between two talented teams.

Northwest and West enter with identical 3-2 records on the season and identical 2-2 marks in the EKL. Both have won some good games and both have lost to Bishop Miege.

They each have veteran big play makers who have made impacts all season. This is just a game of who wants it more and who is willing to put it all on the line. This game should feel like a playoff game for both schools and give them the experience of playing an evenly matched opponent in a tough atmosphere.

Shawnee Mission Northwest at Olathe Northwest

7 p.m. Friday at C.B.A.C.

While the top of the Sunflower League gains a lot of attention, the middle has some teams that are playing good football right now. Both Shawnee Mission Northwest and Olathe Northwest enter this week coming off wins and are playing some of their best football of the season.

This should be a good matchup as the strengths of these teams will be on the field at the same time. Olathe Northwest has been one of the better defensive teams in the Sunflower this year allowing just 38 points in four of its games along with 35 in a loss to Olathe South. The Ravens pitched a shutout over Shawnee Mission West and held Leavenworth to just six points in a win.

Shawnee Mission Northwest has shown the ability to score points in its two wins including 27 in an impressive 27-7 win over Olathe East last week. That victory was the biggest for the Cougars in the two years Lin Hibbs has been the head coach and could be a signal of good things to come.

Lansing at Mill Valley

7 p.m. Friday at Mill Valley Stadium

Mill Valley beefed up its schedule this season and the Jaguars have the bumps and bruises to prove it. Mill Valley stands at 1-4 on the season as they get ready to host a 2-3 Lansing squad that has wins over Turner and Tonganoxie.

With district play just a week away this game will give both teams a chance to see if they are ready for Class 5A competition. Lansing has shown signs of improvement but they have yet to see that breakthrough win. The Lions will play in a district that includes Leavenworth, along with the two best teams in the Kansas City Atchison League in Washington and Schlagle, so confidence heading into district play will be important.

Mill Valley looked like a team that would benefit from a schedule that included Derby, Staley, Blue Valley Northwest and St. Thomas Aquinas, but the losses and a few injuries have piled up. Now they are just looking for a win as they head for a district that currently features two one-loss teams in Bonner Springs and St. James and a three-win team in Turner.

This game could come down to which offense can sustain itself. Lansing has a veteran quarterback in Krystian Abbot and several good receivers. If they can find a good pace, that will help keep the ball away from Mill Valley’s power rushing attack led by Logan Koch.