Friday Football Preview: Four Schools Tune Up for District Play
Mike Hammett - October 11, 2013 5:00 am
Week six of the high school football season has arrived. Tonight, three county schools are at home, while a pair go on the road.
Get set for all of tonight’s action by reading the previews below and listening to Inside High School Football, which starts at 6 o’clock on SportsRadio 1150 KSAL, as we preview all the county games. You can listen to tonight’s scene setters at the bottom of this page.
Salina Central Mustangs (1-4 overall, 0-4 AVCTL I) at Andover Central Jaguars (2-3, 2-2 AVCTL II), Pregame 6:50pm, Kickoff 7:00pm, SportsRadio 1150 KSAL
Play-by-play: Mike Hammett. Analyst: Justin Dean.
The Salina Central Mustangs could use a shot of confidence heading into district play. The Mustangs have been close against Hutchinson, Newton and Maize, but have been unable to come up with victories in those games. Improvement is evident, as the Mustangs led Maize 28-26 at halftime last week, and had two drives go to the red zone in the second half. However, a fumble and a turnover on downs at the goal line cost the Mustangs in the 34-28 loss.
This week, they face an Andover Central squad that is also desperately seeking a win. The Jaguars have lost back-to-back games against Maize South and cross-town rival Andover Central. The Jaguar offense has had success throwing the ball, picking up 811 yards through the air this season. However, not much has been there on the ground, as the Jaguars have averaged only 86 rushing yards per game.
Newton Railers (3-2, 2-2 AVCTL I) at Class 5A No. 5 Salina South Cougars (3-2, 3-1 AVCTL I), Pregame 6:50pm, Kickoff 7:00pm, Y93.7
Play-by-play: Todd Pittenger. Analyst: Dan Flemming.
The Salina South Cougars picked up a big shot of confidence in a 48-10 dismantling of previously ranked Class 6A Hutchinson at Salina Stadium. The Cougars dominated the game from start to finish, scoring on the game’s first play, a 74-yard run by Justin Stonebraker. The Cougar defense was dominant, limiting Hutchinson to just 220 yards. Stonebraker had a hand in five touchdowns for the Cougar offense, with three scoring strikes to Zach Nachbar.
This week, the Cougars face a much-improved Newton squad. The Railers are 3-2, with wins over Salina Central, Campus and Goddard-Eisenhower. Newton will run right at opponents out of the shotgun, using the zone read with quarterback Braedon Morrison and running back Seth Hill. The Railers have plenty of size along the line, with three players at 260 pounds or more and the other two at 240 and 220.
Russell Broncos (1-4, 1-4 NCAA) at Sacred Heart Knights (4-1, 2-1 NCAA), Pregame 6:50pm, Kickoff 7:00pm, Classic Hits 104.9
Play-by-play: Clarke Sanders. Analyst: Pat Martin.
The Sacred Heart Knights get a tune-up for district play tonight as they welcome the Russell Broncos to Glen Martin Stadium. Sacred Heart has showcased its high-powered offense in four straight games, scoring 40 plus points in all four games. There were questions about the Knights’ defense after giving up 48 points to Sedgwick and 56 points to Beloit. The Knights answered the bell last week, giving up just six points to Minneapolis. Clayton Wetter stole the spotlight on offense, with five carries for 172 yards and five touchdowns.
Russell’s lone win came against winless RepublicCounty. The Broncos are led by former Solomon coach Chuck Bisbee, and will employ an old-school attack. Russell tries to run right at each opponent by lining up in the T-formation. Last week, Russell had 106 yards rushing on 46 carries at Southeast of Saline. They did not throw the ball as they lost 55-0.
Southeast of Saline Trojans (5-0, 3-0 NCAA) at Class 3A No. 2 Beloit Trojans (5-0, 3-0 NCAA), 7:00pm kickoff
The Southeast of Saline Trojans and the Beloit Trojans feature the top two offenses in Class 3A. Southeast comes in averaging 49.6 points per game, while Beloit has racked up 56 points per game.
Tonight is the first true test of the season for Southeast of Saline. Southeast’s first five opponents have combined to go 4-21. Beloit hasn’t faced a much tougher schedule, but they do have a win over 4-1 Sacred Heart to their credit.
Southeast is coming off the 55-0 win over Russell, where the Trojans led 41-0 at halftime and played every player who suited up. Quarterback Cody Schlesener had a hand in three touchdowns for Southeast last week.
Beloit cruised to a 72-21 win over Ellsworth last week.
Smith Center Redmen (3-2, 1-0 Class 2-1A District 6) at Ell-Saline Cardinals (2-3, 0-1 Class 2-1A District 6), 7:00pm kickoff
The Ell-Saline Cardinals are in a virtual must-win situation tonight as they host SmithCenter. Ell-Saline is coming off a 14-0 loss at Plainville. Ell-Saline limited Plainville to just 190 yards of offense, but mustered only 168 yards themselves. High winds limited what both teams could do in the passing game, making both teams one dimensional. The two teams combined for just 10 yards passing in the game. Plainville made a committed effort to shut down Justin Schmutz. The senior fullback needed 24 carries to pick up 101 yards against Plainville.
While a loss tonight will not mathematically eliminate Ell-Saline from playoff contention, they will need help from their district mates. The Cardinals would need to win out to put pressure on Plainville and SmithCenter, but also need other teams in the district to knock off Plainville and SmithCenter.
One difference between this year’s Smith Center squad and last year’s is the loss of legendary head coach Roger Barta. Barta retired from coaching following last season. Darren Sasse is the new head coach at Smith Center. While many of the principles of the belly option offense are still in place, Smith Center has shown other looks than just the wishbone this season.