At St. John (4-3)
While Pretty Prairie sits at the top of Macksville and St. John’s district, the Mustangs and the Tigers are right behind at 3-1 and 2-2 respectively.
Kiowa County is on the fringe with a district record of 3-2. It makes this game a way for Macksville to put some space between it and Kiowa, and a crucial game for St. John to stay in the hunt for the postseason.
“Right now, we are still in control of our own destiny,” Macksville head coach Jeff Kuckelman said. “We just need to do everything we can to stay in control and that means just going 1-0 this week.”
The two towns are 16 miles apart, making this game a county rivalry.
“This is a definitely a rivalry,” Kuckelman said. “It’s a county deal. The kids all know each other so we always expect a fight from each team.”
St. John is picking itself back up after a 58-0 beating at the hands of Pretty Prairie.
Macksville has an important leg up on the rest of the district last week after a 40-18 victory over Kiowa County.
The Mustangs’ offense relies heavily on quarterback Seth Filbert, who has 1,020 passing yards and 18 passing touchdowns while leading Macksville in rushing yards, 415, and rushing touchdowns, eight, as well.
“On offense, we’ll try to be as balanced as possible, throwing and running the ball,” Kuckelman said. “Defensively, they have a fast quarterback and running back so we just have to contain them.”
Macksville running back Adam Oak had totaled 370 yards and four touchdowns.
Class 3A District
At Hoisington (6-1)
Hoisington hosts Sterling for its second district game of the season.
The Cardinals are 1-0 in their district after blanking Lyons, 30-0, last week, while Sterling is 0-1 after losing to Ellsworth, 34-8.
Hoisington continues to pound the ball on the ground with running backs Taylor Stumma and Ben Stacey. Last week, Stumma ran for 262 yards and all four of the Cardinals’ touchdowns against Lyons.
The Black Bears run the ball just as much. Of their 1,838 yards of total offense, 1,441 yards are from rushing.
Bryant Patterson leads Sterling on the ground with 554 yards and seven touchdowns. Chad Bennett adds 296 rushing yards, and Alex Burgess has rushed for 262.
At Quivira Heights (5-2)
Quivira Heights will contend for the undisputed No. 2 spot in its district against Wilson on Friday.
After losing to Hope, the Thunderbirds are 2-1 in their district, which is composed of Hope, Wilson, St. John’s-Beloit, Tescott, Linn and Wilson.
The Dragons sit right next to Quivira Heights at 2-1. Wilson also has lost to Hope.
The Thunderbirds’ offense is led by quarterback Gunner Phelan. Last week, Hope was able to contain Phelan to only two touchdowns — a 25-yard scoring pass to receiver Jordan Trevino and a 31-yard catch-and-run to running back Nick Schepmann.
The Thunderbirds have amassed 1,106 passing yards and 991 rushing yards. The Dragons’ offense is just as even.
The Dragons have a pair of running backs over 400 rushing yards, Cole Spears (478) and Trenton Ptacek (471). Quarterback Kenny Steinle has thrown for 847 yards, 14 touchdowns and two interceptions.
Class 2-1A District
Ellinwood (2-5) At La Crosse (7-0)
Ellinwood looks to right its ship against undefeated La Crosse on Friday.
The Eagles are on a three-game losing streak and hit rock bottom last week against Plainville, losing 46-0 and finishing with minus-15 yards total offense.
Ellinwood is 0-2 in its district with losses to Plainville and Ell-Saline, but the Eagles can still finish with a 2-2 record in their district with a win this week at La Crosse and next week against Inman.
The Leopards are led by quarterback Taylor Stull, who has 504 passing yards and 745 rushing yards this season. Stull also leads La Crosse with 20 touchdowns this season.
Running back Kip Keeley adds 501 rushing yards and eight touchdowns for the Leopards.
La Crosse is 2-0 in its district, with Ellinwood and Plainville left.
Pawnee Heights (2-4)
At Otis-Bison (7-0)
Pawnee Heights travels to Otis to face its toughest obstacle this season, the undefeated Cougars.
Otis-Bison has yet to play a game to the end of regulation, having forced the 45-point rule into effect before the final quarter.
The Tigers and the Cougars are in a six-team district featuring Chase, Stafford, Cunningham and Bucklin.
Otis-Bison leads the district with a 4-0 record. Chase right behind the Cougars at 3-1.
Claflin (1-6) At Victoria (6-1)
Claflin will have its hands full this Friday on the road against Victoria.
The Knights have not lost a game since Week 1, against Macksville, 36-14. Since then, Victoria has had three shutouts and two games where its opponents only scored six points.
The Wildcats are coming off of a 56-8 loss to Lincoln, where Claflin’s defense gave up 311 yards of total offense, 126 passing and 185 rushing.
Class 4A District
Larned (0-7) At Ulysses (5-2)
Larned travels to Ulysses for its second district game after losing to Hugoton 66-7 last week.
Ulysses’ only losses are against Liberal, 40-8, and Scott City, 38-12.
Ulysses and Larned have both faced Hoisington this season. Larned fell 54-12. The Tigers gave the Cardinals their only loss of the season, 46-10.
Ulysses is 1-0 in its district after beating Holcomb 61-14.