RE/MAX Big 3 Week 5

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: September 11, 2017 - 8:48 PM

Bishop Miege at St. Thomas Aquinas
7 p.m. Friday at Aquinas Stadium

The Holy War is back for another year and this time around it is a battle between No. 1 ranked teams. Both Miege and Aquinas hold a No. 1 ranking in the poll and they have both earned those spots with stellar play to start the season.

Miege is off to a 2-0 start with blowout wins over Blue Valley and Gardner-Edgerton. The Stags offense has scored 103 points in two games but the defense has been even better. Miege held Blue Valley to 10 points the first week and then shutout Gardner-Edgerton in its last game.

Aquinas has allowed 14 points in each of its games beating Gardner-Edgerton 35-14 and Blue Valley North 28-14 last week. The Saints offense has been balanced with its style and its weapons. In the first week, the passing game of Will Swanson racked up 200 yards and two TDs but in week 2 it was the rushing attack led by Cameron Jackson and Swanson who combined for 199 yards.

Miege answers with quarterback Carter Putz and running backs Cameron Clark and Bryson Cobbins. All are big play performers and will challenge the Saints defense all night long.

This game could be a big-time shootout and the winner will be the one that makes enough stops on defense to get its offense back on the field.

Park Hill at Lawrence Free State
7 p.m. Friday at Free State Stadium

The No. 1 Class 6 team in the state of Missouri takes on the No. 2 Class 6A team in Kansas in the marquee matchup in the second Sunflower-Suburban Showdown.

Park Hill enters off its big 28-25 win over Blue Springs. The Trojans held off a late charge by Blue Springs to move to 4-0 on the season. Free State stands at 2-0 with two easy wins over Shawnee Mission West and Shawnee Mission South.

This week the Firebirds will play probably the toughest team on its regular season schedule. Last year these teams met up and Park Hill earned a 34-21 win on the strength of strong fourth quarter.

This year’s game looks to be a similar matchup of the physical style of Free State and the blinding speed of Park Hill. The Trojans just got done beating a Blue Springs team that wants to run the ball right at you and they will see that in Free State and tailback Jax Dineen. The Trojans did an excellent job of making the Blue Springs running backs go sideline to sideline and they will need to do that again this week.

Free State will be charged with stopping a passing attack led by senior quarterback Billy Maples. In just four games Maples has 18 TDs and just one interception. In that span, he has had a four TD, five TD and nine TD games.

One key for Park Hill will not to get caught looking ahead to next week when they play Suburban Gold foe Lee’s Summit West. The Titans beat the Trojans last year and they could be looking for revenge but they have a very good football team to tackle this week before anything else happens.

Rockhurst at Shawnee Mission East
7 p.m. Friday at Shawnee Mission North Stadium

A rematch of one of the best games from 2016 happens this week. Rockhurst won that game 26-20 on the strength of six turnovers that short-circuited the Lancers chance to win.

This year that game should be on the front of everyone’s mind as East probably feels like that game should have been a W. The Lancers fumbled the ball four times and threw two interceptions while outgaining the Hawklets and moving the ball up and down the field.

This year a new group of offensive starters has hit the ground running for East. The Lancers topped a good Olathe South squad 28-6 in the opener and then blitzed Shawnee Mission Northwest 41-0 last week. The defense has been stellar and it will look to slow down a Rockhurst team that has done nothing but get better since a week No. 1 loss at Columbia Rockbridge.

The Hawklets bounced back from that uncharacteristic loss with three straight wins over Blue Springs South, Bentonville, Ark. and Raymore-Peculiar. This week is probably their toughest test of the season so they must be able to keep improving. One other test for Rockhurst is not to look ahead to the game with rival Blue Springs. If Rockhurst doesn’t come ready to play not only could it lose, it could lose badly.

Belton at Platte County
7 p.m. Friday at Pirate Stadium

This Suburban Blue matchup features two teams playing some of its best football heading into the midpoint of the season.

Belton has bounced back from losses to Ray-Pec and Liberty to defeat Winnetonka and Raytown South. The offense led by Nebraska commit Bart Harris is potent scoring almost 100 points the last two weeks. It will test a Platte County defense that has given up just 25 points to three teams not named Staley.

The Pirates are coming off a hard-fought 20-12 win at Harrisonville where the defense shined again. The offense has been good behind quarterback Tanner Clarkson and Platte County will need another good performance out of him this week.

The winner of this game keeps itself in good position to lead the Suburban Blue and possibly win the conference title. No matter who wins it should be one of the best games of the week.

St. Joseph Lafayette at Smithville
7 p.m. Friday at Smithville Stadium

This game is a battle between two of the best teams in the Midland Empire conference and could decide the winner of that league. It is also a key game for district positioning for the postseason.

Both teams come in at 4-0. Smithville has dominated this series in recent seasons as the Warriors are riding a four-game winning streak into this year’s game.

This will be the biggest the season so far for either team. The Warriors have been dominant but only one of the four teams they’ve beaten has at least a .500 record. Smithville is averaging more than 40 points per game to go along with a defense that has allowed just 33 points with two of those wins coming by shutout.

Lafayette has been dominant as well putting almost 45 points a game. That being said the four teams the Fighting Irish have played are sporting a combined 1-15 record so it isn’t exactly murders row.

This could be a game that goes down to the wire and whoever wins will have a big win on its resume for district standings and a chance to with the MEC.

Fort Osage at Staley
7 p.m. Friday at the North Kansas City District Stadium

One of the best matchups of the season is back to elite status this year. Both teams are 4-0 and ranked in the top five in Missouri Class 5.

Staley is riding high with four straight wins. All those wins have seen the offense put up huge numbers averaging 49.5 points a game. The defense is one of the more highly touted groups in the Metro but they have given up 27 points or more three times.

Fort Osage answers with a starting defense that has kept teams to two TDs or less in every game except one and in that game the final 18 points were scored on the backup defense.

Fort Osage has seemed to get better each week but this will be its biggest test. If its defense can force some turnovers or punts it could put its offense in good position. If this game turns into a shootout it could weigh heavily in Staley’s favor.