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Area Football Week 1: Tigers anxious to test 6-man waters
Prep football
Pawnee Heights cmyk

ROZEL — Things change so fast in 6-man football that Pawnee Heights’ first football opponent has changed. The Tigers will play Wheatland-Grinell Friday instead of Western Plains. It’s the Tigers’ first football game since 2010 when Pawnee Heights kicks off the inaugural six-man football season in Kansas.
Pawnee Heights head coach Jeff Chambers drives 20 miles from Kinsley each day for football practice. Mary Pywell, Pawnee Heights athletic director, talked to Chambers about coaching football last year. Logan Williams was the Tigers’ only player who competed at Larned last season.
Fifteen players will compete at Pawnee Heights.
“That tells me the players are excited about playing football again,” said Chambers, who has coached nine years at Kinsley. “The opportunity to play high school football again has the players excited.”
When Chambers saw the Tigers run track, you saw some good athletes.
“What I like is these guys show a lot of heart and savvy,” he said. “They believe they will compete and belief is a big factor. They’re excited about the change to 6-man football.”
With three backs and three eligible receivers, six-man is a wide open offensive style based on team speed.
“We’ll have good speed and some strength on the line,” he said. “I’d like to run 70 percent and throw 30 percent. We’d like to control the football on offense.”
Wheatland-Grinnell starts QB Chandler Ostmeyer (635 yards, 8 TDs) in a spread offense that features RB Cory Preweo (1,276 yards). Ostmeyer (92 tackles, 7 int.), Prewo (61 tackles) lead the defense. PK Jorge Esparza recorded 11 touchbacks on kickoffs last year.

• All players are eligible receivers
• 15 yards for a first down
• 10-minute quarters
• A forward pass to a snapper must travel 1 yard
• The QB must hand, pitch or throw the ball before it can cross the line of scrimmage.
• Field goal—4 points
• PAT kick—2 points
• PAT run/pass—1 point
• 45-point advantage ends game
• A kickoff must travel 15 yards to be recovered by kicking team

Central Plains (9-2) at Victoria (12-0)
Central Prairie League powerhouses Central Plains and Victoria captured Eight-Man state football championships in 2014 and Victoria repeated as Eight-Man 2 state champion in 2015. Victoria is riding a 16-game home winning streak with 14 consecutive playoff trips. LB Bryant Karlin (93 tackles) and LB Cooper Pfannenstiel (43 tackles) lead the Knights. Oiler OL-DL Trey Schulte (72 tackles, 11 loss) and WR-S Alex Barton (78 tackles, 3 int.) anchor the defense. Barton accounted for 678 yards last year.

Kingman (4-5) at Hoisington (11-1)
Kingman features FB Payton Pickering (1,406 yards, 55 tackles), RB-CB gage Pickering, QB-S Tal Hartley and Rb-CB William Milford. The Cardinals counter with RB-OLB Hunter Hanzlick (1,949 yards, 28 TDs) and OL-ILB Landen Urban (73 tackles), OL-ILB Justin Bradley (44 tackles) and SS Sean Urban (41 tackles). FS-RB Cameron Davis may be the Cardinals’ secret weapon.

Pratt (4-5) at Larned (4-5)
First-team All-CKL WB-DB Hunter Kaufman (636 yards, 45 tackles) headlines the Greenbacks. QB Landen Studer returns after an injury with FB-DB Travis Theis providing a threat. First-team All-CKL WR-DB Kolby Keith, OL-DL De’Shaun Clark and RB-LB Nate Williams headline Larned.

Macksville (1-8) at Ness City (3-6)
The Mustangs hope to rally with six returning offensive and defensive starters, including RB-CB Jesus Saavedra, RB-CB Luis Saenz, RB-LB Chris McMullen, RB-CB Bryce Casper and WR Kreed Parr and WR Nate Brandyberry. Ness City RB Logan Schegel and LB Leviathan Kelley lead Ness City.

St. John (0-9) at No. 2 Otis-Bison (8-2)
The Cougars feature RB Brad Lightfoot (1,156 yards, 24 TDs) and QB Kade Urban (18 TDs, 1r rushing) with Ol-DL Bryce Maneth, OL-DL Luke Higgason and OL-DL Landon Hoopingarner leading the line.

Norwich (2-7) at Stafford (4-5)
Norwich struggled, but returns eight offensive and seven defensive starters, inculding QB Nick Kyle, RB Jessy Kraus, RB Carter Payne and TE Cody Bartel. Stafford’s LB Caleb Hildebrand (89 tackles), RB Josh Harter (653 yards, 8 TDs) and TE Laithen Shocklee lead the Trojans.

Ellinwood (6-3) at Kinsley (2-7)
Kinsley RB Humberto Soto will key the Coyotes. Ellinwood coach Jason Duvall has sparked the Eagles’ program. QB Myles Menges inherits the passing duties to free athletic RB Tyson Martinez (1,151 yards, 19 TDs passing). OL-DL Jacob Herman and OL-DL Colby Prescott anchor the line.