At Macksville (6-2)
The Macksville High School football team has mathematically clinched a berth in the playoff by taking second place in its district.
Even though tonight’s game against Skyline isn’t critical for the Macksville, Mustangs head coach Jeff Kuckelman said that this game is just like any other on their schedule.
“We are approaching this as game No. 9 on our schedule and we just want to go 1-0 this week,” Kuckelman said. “If we go 1-0 this week, we will have some momentum going into the playoffs.”
Kuckelman said that his team will be using the game to prepare for the postseason by doing what they’ve done all season.
“We will not be doing anything different,” Kuckelman said. “We are approaching this just like any other game on our schedule and are focusing on stopping them and trying to find ways to move the ball on them.
“The best way for us to get ready for the playoffs is to do what we do and try to get better at it.”
St. John (4-4)
At Kiowa County (4-4)
St. John has a chance to move into the No. 3 spot in its district with a win against Kiowa County, and nothing more.
Pretty Prairie, which is ranked No. 1 in Eight-Man Division-I, and Macksville have already clinched the two district playoff berths.
The Mavericks offense is centered on one player, quarterback Ross Binford, who leads the team with 1,871 rushing yards and 20 rushing touchdowns. In eight games, Binford has only thrown the ball for 597 yards and five touchdowns.
Solomon (3-5) at Claflin (1-7)
Claflin hosts Solomon for its last football game before it consolidates with other area schools.
The game will be a match-up between two run-first offense.
The Gorillas running game is led by quarterback John Aylward, who has 1,164 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Solomon has next to no passing game. All season, the Gorillas have completed 13 passes for 196 yards and two touchdowns.
Eight-Man Division-II District
Quivira Heights (6-2)
At Linn (4-4)
Quivira Heights is in control of its own future in its game against Linn.
The Thunderbirds are No. 2 in their district with a 3-1 record behind Hope, who is 4-0.
Linn is right behind Quivira Heights at 2-2.
If the Thunderbirds win, they are in the postseason. If they lose, then they will tie at 3-2, sending the decision to the district point system.
Going into the game, Quivira Heights is ahead at plus 26, while the Bulldogs are at plus 9 in district points.
The Thunderbirds can still make it to the postseason as long as they don’t lose by more than eight points.
Stafford (4-3) at Chase (6-1)
Stafford faces one of two teams that are above them in district play — Chase.
The Trojans are 2-2 in their district. Chase is 3-1.
Chase has three plus 13 wins and one minus-13 loss to put them ahead plus 26. Stafford has had two plus 13 wins and two minus-13 losses to even their total at zero.
Stafford’s only chance is to win by 13 points or more, forcing a 3-2 tie and a plus 13 tie in the points system.
At Pawnee Heights (2-5)
Cunningham sits in fourth place in its district, one place higher than Pawnee Heights.
The Wildcats have a 2-2 district record. Pawnee Heights is at 1-3.
To win, the Tigers will have to stop Wildcats quarterback Kyle Kerschen, who has 563 passing yards, 11 touchdown passes, 745 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns.
Kerschen has also thrown five interceptions, and the Wildcats have lost three fumbles.
Class 2-1A District
Inman (3-5) at Ellinwood (2-6)
Ellinwood finishes its season at home against Inman.
The Eagles are winless in their district, 0-3. Inman is 1-2 in the district.
Inman brings a balanced offense that has a running back with 1,227 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns, Luke Ropp and a quarterback with 735 passing yards and five touchdowns, Jason Friesen.
The Teutons’ biggest issue is turnovers. Friesen has thrown five interceptions and Inman has lost five of its seven fumbles.
Class 3A Disrict
At Ellsworth (5-3)
Hoisington faces a must-win game on the road.
The Cardinals sit at 1-1 in their district, tied with Sterling. Ellsworth is 2-0 and already into the postseason. In order to continue their season, the Cardinals must win.
Not only are the Cardinals at 1-1 with Sterling, but they are also at zero in the district points system. If Hoisington beats Ellsworth by 13 points or more and Sterling wins by less than 13, Ellsworth and Hoisington are in the playoffs.
But Hoisington has to win to have a chance, and Sterling plays Lyons, which has been blanked 30-0 and 28-0 in its previous two district games.
“We are working on consistency,” Cardinals head coach Lonnie Irvin said of his preparations for the game, “and going back to the basics.”
Hoisington will need to be fundamentally sound after a 36-6 loss to Sterling last Friday. The Black Bears were able to shut down the Cardinals’ running game, holding them to only 91 yards.
Taylor Stumma led the Cardinals in rushing with a meager 42 yards and the team’s only touchdown.
Irvin said that he expects Ellsworth’s defense to be similar to Sterling.
“They are big and physical up front with a lot of speed,” Irvin said. “They are a lot like Sterling.”
Ellsworth began its season 0-3 before winning its last five.
Irvin said that Ellsworth’s offense leans on its quarterback.
“(Ellsworth) runs a shot-gun, one-back (offense),” Irvin said. “They trap a lot, lots of zone reads. They really want the ball in the quarterback’s hands.”
Class 4A District
Larned (0-8) at Holcomb (2-6)
Two teams sitting at the bottom of their district — Larned and Holcomb — compete for third place in their district today.
Larned and Holcomb are 0-2, and neither have a chance to unseat Hugoton or Ulysses from their postseason berth.
Indians quarterback Brady Keith has a chance to finish the season with over 500 rushing yards.
The Longhorns lost to Ulysses, 61-14, but kept the game close against Hugoton, fallling 23-19.
Larned has lost to Ulysses, 66-7, and Hugoton, 69-0.
already in the playoffs
Otis-Bison finished its regular season last week against Pawnee Heights.
The Cougars were originally slated to face Haviland as a district opponent. Before the season started, Havliand consolidated with Greensburg to form Kiowa County, so everyone in the district was given a bye week to either fill as a non-district game or leave as an open date.
The Cougars won their district.