RE/MAX Big 3 Games of the Week

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: October 20, 2014 - 4:57 PM

Grandview at Raytown South

3 p.m. Friday at Ted Chitwood Stadium

The first week of district brings a regular season rematch between two rivals. Raytown South won the first game and will now look to sweep the Bulldogs and move on in the Class 4 District 6 tournament.

The Cardinals are coming off a tough 35-34 loss to Platte County in the final week of the season. South battled back from two score deficits twice during the game and did so without the services of star quarterback Jabril Cox who missed the majority of the game after suffering an injury during the second quarter.

The Bulldogs enter on an eight-game losing streak after opening the season with a win over Ruskin. Grandview’s tough schedule has included conference games with South, Winnetonka, Kearney, Platte County and Belton, along with non-conference games with Grain Valley and Class 5 teams Oak Park and Liberty North.

Grandview is a young team and has taken a lot of lumps along the way. While this may seem like a mismatch, this is a rivalry game. These teams compete hard in every sport and knocking off Raytown South would surely make the Bulldogs’ season. If Cox is unable to play, that could also level the playing field.

Park Hill South at Liberty

7 p.m. Friday at Liberty High School Stadium

This game will make history as Liberty will host a varsity high school football game at the stadium on campus for the first time in history.

Park Hill South enters as the No. 5 while Liberty’s win over Ruskin last week combined with the win over South two weeks earlier allowed the Blue Jays to appeal and move to the No. 4 spot.

That move gave Liberty a home game, and due to scheduling conflicts with Liberty North (who is the No. 3 seed and is hosting St. Joseph Central) and William Jewell College’s soccer team, meant the Blue Jays needed to find a place to play. The game has been moved to the on campus field that is used for sub varsity games, and Liberty will make history Friday night.

This is a rematch from a close Liberty 24-21 win two weeks ago. These teams enter as almost mirror images of each other. Park Hill South has one more win at 3-6 but both are young teams that have struggled at times.

In the end, the winner of this game will be the one that makes more plays and uses the confidence gained in the final few weeks of the season.

Savannah at Smithville

7 p.m. Friday at Smithville Stadium

These Midland Empire Conference rivals meet in a rematch of a week No. 3 game won by Smithville 37-27.

Smithville has had an impressive season with only losses to Park Hill and Maryville as a black mark on its record. Those teams are a combined 18-0 on the season and the Warriors have taken care of the rest of its schedule in an impressive fashion.

The Warriors have an outstanding offense that can run the ball at will while mixing in the passing game at key moments to provide balance.

Savannah has been impressive, but the Savages have come up short against the top teams in the MEC: Smithville, Maryville and St. Joseph Lafayette.

The big test in this game will be if Savannah can slow down the Smithville offense and keep the game from getting out of hand early.

Mill Valley at Bonner Springs

7 p.m. Friday at Bonner Springs Stadium

The second week of district play pits two teams that earned wins in the first week. Bonner Springs rolled past Turner while Mill Valley needed a touchdown and missed field goal in the final minute to get past St. James Academy.

The Jaguars came into district play with just two wins due to a brutal schedule that featured Derby, St. Thomas Aquinas, Blue Valley Northwest and Staley. Mill Valley looked like a team that had learned from its tough run playing one of its better games of the season against St. James.

Bonner Springs has been rolling all season long led by a powerful offense that has put up lots of points almost every week. The Braves have scored less than 30 points only twice and are riding a six-game winning streak heading into the game.

This game should come down to Mill Valley’s ability to run the ball and keep it away from the high-powered Bonner Springs offense that features several good athletes.

For Mill Valley a win here would almost certainly lock up a playoff spot, while a win by Bonner Springs would put it in position to win the district outright with a win over St. James. No matter who wins, there could still be a possible three-way tie that could go deep into the tiebreakers.

Olathe South at Blue Valley

7 p.m. Friday at Blue Valley High School

The two under the radar teams in Kansas Class 6A meet in what could be a district championship game.

Both Olathe South and Blue Valley enter this game with identical 6-1 overall and 1-0 district records. South’s only loss was to an undefeated Olathe North while Blue Valley fell to undefeated Bishop Miege.

The strong suit for Blue Valley this season has been defense. The Tigers have routinely shut teams down and are coming off a 70-20 win over Gardner-Edgerton. The 20 points are the most since allowing 42 in the loss to Miege. In its other five games, Blue Valley has allowed 14, 13, 7, 7 and 0 points, and that strong defense will be tested this week.

South comes in after beating Blue Valley Northwest 42-20 to open district play. The Falcons offense has found itself after losing tailback Collin Fisher a few weeks back. Now the offense is rolling and the defense that was a strength early in the season, is again playing well.

Something has to give and the winner of this game will have the inside track to a district title and a good seed in the 6A playoffs.

St. Thomas Aquinas at Blue Valley West

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

St. Thomas Aquinas has been very steady all year long while West has had some ups and downs. Both teams have losses to Blue Valley and Bishop Miege, while West also has a loss to Blue Valley Northwest on its resume.

Last week West bounced back with an impressive 14-12 win over previously undefeated Pittsburg. The Jaguars held off a strong rushing attack of the Purple Dragons with big defensive stances in the second half. West will need that defense again as Aquinas has been running wild all season.

The Saints have shown well under new head coach Randy Dreiling’s system. They hit the ground running and have shown improvement as the season has gone on.

This game could come down to West’s ability to get Aquinas’ offense off the field and then sustain some drives of its own.