Swathers eye playoff berth on Friday

By Steve Sell
October 22, 2015

The Hesston Swathers will not get caught looking ahead.

A Hesston win on Friday at Council Grove would most likely put them in the Class 3A playoffs. Southeast of Saline is a prohibitive favorite against Hillsboro in the other district game, so a Swather victory would set up a district championship game next week in Hesston.

“Council Grove is a good, senior-led team at 5-2,” Swather coach Clint Rider said. “They run the flexbone offensively, which we have had to defend multiple times this season. Defensively, they run a 4-3 defense, which again we've seen multiple times this year. It will be their Senior Night with their backs against the wall, needing a win to stay in the playoff hunt so we know they will come out very motivated.”

The Swathers coasted past Hillsboro last week, a game they were able to get a lot of players into.

“I’m really proud of our team for getting out to a fast start,” Rider said. “Friday's game was the first time we had to defend against a team that likes to put the ball in the air. Once again our defense played outstanding forcing multiple turnovers. (Assistant) Coach (Doug) Broadfoot always put together a great game plan and our players have executed those game plans well all season.” 

Zach Esau, despite calling it an early night, was 7 of 7 for 197 yards and four touchdowns. Zach Vogt and Scott Duerksen caught nearly 200 yards of passes and the four scores. 

Defensively, Kitt Regier had a pick six, while Esau and Vogt had interceptions. Trevor Koehn knocked down four passes.

• Moundridge at Sacred Heart — The Wildcats are in control of their own destiny.

They are 2-0 in district play and a victory would put them in. They have won their last three in row after starting the year 0-4.

MHS stuffed Remington 40-28 last week.

“Nice win,” Moundridge coach Matt Cole said. “Non-district, but winning always beats losing. The stats speak for themselves.”

The Wildcats ran the ball hard with both Damian Calderon and Joel Holloway going over 100 yards. 

The Knights are 2-1 in the district, with the loss to Sedgwick, 44-14. They play a non-district game next week against Oswego, so in actuality the playoffs start here for them.

“Probably the best team we have faced this year,” Cole said. “The winner is in playoffs, enough said.”

Cole also said the Wildcats are as healthy as they’ve been.

• Canton-Galva at Goessel — The playoffs are out of the picture, so the 1-6 Eagles are just concentrating on building some positives for next season.

Goessel will pose problems for the Eagles’ defense as it plays a wide-open style. But C-G coach Dustin Patee said this is a game his team is looking forward to.

“Goessel is a team our boys believe they can beat, which is good,” Patee said. “The last team they thought this about was Burrton, which we won. They will spread us out and test our open-field tackling.  If we can score we should have a shot.”

Canton-Galva is coming off a loss to Little River, though there were some positives.

“We are back to playing hard and disciplined football, that was nice to see,” Patee said.   “The team is doing a good job of adjusting to our rotations we have to make (every week) because of our numbers crunch. Travis Unruh had a huge game and he will continue to be our 'go-to' guy.  Reed Wiens did a great job at quarterback and now we have our team for the remainder of the season set.”

The Eagles have no subs this week as four players are out.

• Little River at Ellinwood — This promises to be a tough test for the Redskins as Ellinwood is 4-3 and played Solomon tough for a half.

The Redskins, 5-2 on the year, are playing the game without standout Damian Martinez, who is out for the year with a broken collar bone.

"We play a senior-heavy Ellinwood team that has been very successful to this point in the season and forced Central Plains to throw the ball in order to win," Little River coach Paul Dold said.

The Redskins are coming off an impressive victory over Canton-Galva.

"We were able to execute well on offense versus some tough Canton-Galva players," Dold said. "Unfortunately they were only able to suit up eight players, which is really tough to do and I admire the toughness of the Eagles players and the fact that they did not quit on themselves when the game was not going their way."

The Redskins were strong on the ground with Levi Swenson and Peyton Harvey both going over the 100-yard mark, while Clay Zeller completed 5 of 6 passes for 62 yards.

Justin Porter has stepped in at tight end for Martinez and Dold said he played well once he entered the game last week.  

• Wamego at Smoky Valley — The feast-or-famine Vikings are looking to feast again after being blanked last week by Nickerson.

Wamego is 2-5 on the year, the same record as the Vikings. It was a 34-0 winner over Chapman last week.

Smoky Valley coach Tim Lambert did not return his information sheet this week.

• Troy at Inman — The Teutons step out of district play and take on a handful.

The Trojans are 6-1 on the year and always one of the more competitive teams in Class 2-1A. They have won six in a row since a season-opening loss to Washington County.

Inman is 1-6 on the year.

Teuton coach Ed Ramsey was unavailable when contacted.