By JIM MISUNAS
For defending 6-man state champion Pawnee Heights and 8-man powerhouse Central Plains, Thursday’s opening playoff game should be a tune up for much bigger games. All 6-man and 8-man games are scheduled Thursday. The 11-man games are scheduled Friday.
CHEYLIN (4-3) at PAWNEE HEIGHTS (7-1) 6 p.m.
In 6-Man South, Tiger Player of the Year Kade Scott has rushed for 1,841 yards and 31 touchdowns with a 263-yard per game average. Last week, Scott rushed for 255 yards and six scores. QB Trace Baker has thrown for 224 yards and five scores. Scott has 299 yards receiving and six scores. Scott averages 13 tackles per game and Baker eight stops per game.
SOUTH GRAY (3-5) at CENTRAL PLAINS (8-0)
The No. 1 ranked Central Plains Oilers have earned six consecutive shutouts.
Oiler QB Myles Menges has thrown for 861 yards and 19 touchdowns. RB Alex Hickel (515, 10 TDs) helps the Oilers average 168 yards per game. WR Jerred Bieberle has 261 yards and six scores. Grant Heldstab averages 12 tackles per game and Mason Doll nine tackles. Menges has four interceptions.
MACKSVILLE (4-4) at NESS CITY (6-2)
Macksville QB Kody Mead has thrown for 1,190 yards, 23 TDs and 170 yards per game. RB Skyler Evans (446 yards, 3 TDs); WR Karson Waters (46-702, 16 TDs). Harley Blaske and Waters each have three interceptions.
STERLING (3-5) at HOISINGTON (6-2)
Hoisington TB Wyatt Pedigo has rushed for 1,527 yards and averages 218 yards per game. WR-WB Xavier Robinson has quietly gained 464 rushing yards, 195 yards receiving and eight TDs. QB Braxton Donovan has thrown for 400 yards. Pedigo averaged nine tackles and Joshua Ball seven tackles.
PRETTY PRAIRIE (3-5) at OTIS-BISON (6-1-1)
Cougar QB Anton Foust has 530 yards passing, 17 TDs and 771 yards rushing and 12 TDs. FB Bevan Gradig has 392 yards and averages seven tackles per game. TE Maitland Wiltse (seven TDS) and Seth Hoopingarner has five TDs receiving.
SOUTH HAVEN (4-4) at STAFFORD (6-2)
Stafford has clinched a home playoff game and has a good shot of winning the first playoff game in school history. QB Justice Manning (480 passing, 9 TDs, 599 rushing, 17 TDs); RB Tai Hildebrand (358 yards), RB Caleb Hildebrand (719 yards, 19 TDs) lead the rushing game. The Trojans average 208 yards rushing.
LARNED (0-8) at RUSSELL (2-6)
Russel is riding a 6-game losing streak. QB Dillan Smith and RB Brock Skelton have anchored the Larned offense. Kicker Logan DeMond is the Indians’ best offensive weapon. Russell QB Adrian Price has thrown for 857 yards and nine TDs. WR Kyler Fritschen (455 yards) and WR A.J. Oste (372 yards) are the top targets.
ELLINWOOD (3-5) at MINNEAPOLIS (3-5)
Ellinwood misses the football playoffs for the 14th consecutive season. Ellinwood RB Kody Koetter (640 yards, 9 TDS), RB-WR David Hammeke (195 rushing, 280 receiving) and WB Ryan Niles (141 rushing, 116 receiving) lead the offense. QB Kyler Doll has thrown for 508 yards and five scores.