RE/MAX Big 3 Week 8

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: October 3, 2017 - 5:43 PM

Paola at Bonner Springs
7 p.m. Friday at Braves Stadium

A week before district play begins in Kansas Class 4A-I Paola gets a good test on the road at Bonner Springs.

The Panthers have just one loss on the season and a trip to play the Braves could be one of their biggest challenges before a game at Louisburg in the final week of the season. The Braves are coming off a bit win over previously undefeated Basehor-Linwood and should take some confidence into this game.

These teams have two common opponents with each having the same result with wins over Piper and losses to DeSoto. With Bonner’s win over Basehor-Linwood last week this game has huge implications for the Kaw Valley League title. A Bonner win could keep them in the hunt for a title if Basehor-Linwood can beat Tonganoxie down the line.

This game could come down to Paola's ability to keep its offense on the field keeping Bonner’s athletes on the sideline. If the Panthers do that it should be a victory. If not, the Braves could knock off an undefeated team for the second week in a row.

Shawnee Mission East at Olathe East
7 p.m. Friday at C.B.A.C.

One of the rising teams in the Sunflower League will take on one of the top dogs as Olathe East hosts Shawnee Mission East.

Olathe East has won three of its last four games and is starting to gain some momentum as the second half of the season starts. The Hawks only have two losses and they led in the second half of both games. Liberty rallied from down 13-7 to win 34-13 while Hutchinson took down Olathe East with a score in the final minute 22-21.

The Hawks defense has been the most consistent part of the team holding its opponents to 14 points or less in the three wins. The offense had done enough to win or stay competitive the first four weeks but it broke out last week scoring 42 against Shawnee Mission South.

This week the Lancers come calling looking to win their third straight and move to 5-1 on the season. Shawnee Mission East blitzed both Olathe North and Shawnee Mission North led by a defense that has allowed just 47 points in five games with 21 of those points coming in a loss to Rockhurst.

The Lancers offense has been ramping up over the last few weeks. Shawnee Mission East hung 59 on Shawnee Mission North last week in a game that was over after one quarter. Olathe East’s defense will have to find ways to keep that offense off the field if it wants to come out with the win.

St. James Academy at St. Thomas Aquinas
7 p.m. Friday at Aquinas Stadium

The next test for St. James Academy comes in the form of St. Thomas Aquinas. The Thunder beat Eastern Kansas League power Blue Valley last week and now it will face an Aquinas team it has never beaten.

Aquinas welcomes St. James after another impressive win. The Saints took down Mill Valley 42-21 and have now won two straight after losing to Bishop Miege in Week No. 3. Aquinas has got its offense going scoring more than 40 points in its last two games and outside of the loss to the Stags has put up at least 28 in their four wins.

St. James is a perfect 5-0 but has won its games in two diverse ways. The first two games came on the strength of an offense that scored 45 and 38 points while the next two were 17-6 and 17-14 victories. Last week the shootout squad reappeared as the Thunder beat the Tigers 35-28.

Both teams have offenses that can score and both have defenses that have proven they can shut teams down. This game could come down to who wins the turnover battle and how St. James handles another chance to win a milestone game for the second straight week.

Blue Springs South at Blue Springs
7 p.m. Friday at Peve Stadium

Rivals square off once again in what could be one of the best games of the week on either side of the state line.

Blue Springs has won three straight after back to back losses while South is riding a three-game streak after starting the season 0-4. Both teams are playing well on both sides of the ball and have been dominant in their victories.

South has really got things going after a run through Lee’s Summit West, Rockhurst, Lee’s Summit North and Staley to start the season. The Jaguars installed a new offense in the offseason and it struggled to find its footing early. In the week No. 4 loss to Staley that all changed as South barely lost 41-37 and since that time they have scored 49 twice and 50 once. The Jaguars defense has also been dominant allowing 44 points in its three wins with a lot of those coming in the second half against the second team defense.

The Wildcats defense has stepped up as well. After giving up 50 total points in the losses to Fayetteville, Ark. and Park Hill, Blue Springs shutout Shawnee Mission West, beat Rockhurst 21-14 and Lee’s Summit North 42-6. The Blue Springs offense has recovered from those losses and the power running game has returned in force.

This should be a good one and with both teams in the same district it could be game one of two in 2017.

Lexington at Lafayette County
7 p.m. Friday at Huskers Stadium

A lot is on the line when these two long-time Missouri River Valley Conference East rivals hook up.

Both teams are 7-0 and ranked in the Missouri Media Class 2 top 10. The winner of this game most likely locks up the conference title and has the inside track on the No. 1 seed in District 8 when the postseason arrives.

Lafayette County has bounced back from one of the few non-winning seasons in the last decade and looks like the team that made it to the semifinals in Class 2 in 2015. Lexington is also playing at the same high level it has been the last few seasons. The Minutemen went 10-2 last year falling in the district finals to Lawson and are on track to be back in that game again.

This game will be basic. Both teams can score and both teams play great defense. It may look a little different on offense as Lexington is run heavy and the Huskers can come at on the ground and through the air, but these teams are all about solid play and good coaching.

Like Blue Springs and Blue Springs South this could be game one of two.

William Chrisman at Fort Osage
7 p.m. Friday at Indians Stadium

To say William Chrisman is looking for a little bit of revenge is an understatement. Last year as the Bears were having the best season in school history it was Fort Osage that handed them their only two losses.

The Indians struggled through much of 2016 but a win in Week No. 8 over Chrisman was followed by another in the first round of the Class 5 districts. Fort Osage slowed down the Bears high-powered offense and ran the ball at will in both games.

This year the Indians are riding high with a 5-2 record with only losses to Staley and Lee’s Summit West. That young group from last year that pulled off a late-season surge has taken those lessons and turned them into a very good season this year.

Chrisman’s defense has been the strength of the team this year holding teams to just under 10 points a game in their five wins. Contrast that to 86 points in their losses and it shows if the defense plays well, the Bears usually win.

Fort Osage’s defense has been outstanding as well. Only Lee’s Summit West really had great success scoring 39 points while most teams have been held to two TDs or less by the number one defense.

The biggest factor on the line besides pride is district positioning as the winner will likely end up with the No. 1 seed and home field for the first two rounds of the postseason.