The St. John High School football team has found success as a balanced team between running and passing.
Tigers junior tailback Schuyler Brown has rushed for 950 yards and six touchdowns on 142 carries.
“Schuyler seems like he’s getting better every day,” St. John head coach Nick Garcia said. “When we were coming into the beginning of the year, I knew we’d be asking a lot out of him.
“He’s gone from being the backup to the frontrunner, and he’s done a good job.”
Senior quarterback Spencer Nusser has completed 56 of 111 passes for 948 yards and 16 touchdowns. He’s thrown eight interceptions.
Nusser has rushed for 130 yards and eight scores.
Since its Week 1 loss to Otis-Bison, 22-20, St. John has been on a tear. The Tigers are 6-1 overall, 4-0 in Eight-Man Division-I District 6 play.
“It’s been awhile since we’ve had this kind of success,” Garcia said. “We were 4-1 at one point last year, but then we lost a couple games against Pretty Prairie and Macksville. We finished 6-3.”
The Tigers have been hit with some injuries this season.
Dean Wade, a 6-foot-7 sophomore tight end, has missed multiple games with back spasms. Wide receiver Zuriel Reyes has missed practices this week due to a hand injury.
Fullback Ethan Long was held out of last week’s 34-18 win over Pratt-Skyline.
“We’ll have Zuriel and Ethan back this week,” Garcia said. “The big question mark is Dean. We’ll see what happens. We’re not 100 percent healthy, but we’re healthy enough that if we do what we need to do, we’ll be competitive.”
The Tigers host Fairfield (5-2, 3-1) tonight at 7.
The Falcons are led by running back Cannon Burns, who has rushed for 492 yards and seven TDs.
Quarterback Ryan Ewy has rushed for 488 yards and five touchdowns, and fullback Wayne Schoenecker has rushed for 472 yards and six scores.
“We’re just trying to get ready for their running back,” Garcia said. “We’ll need to match their physical play, and we need to be more assignment-sound.
“We missed a lot of tackles last week, and we can’t do that against Fairfield.”
Wilson (3-4, 1-2) at Otis-Bison (6-1, 3-0)
Otis-Bison running back Dylan Wissman has rushed for 1,266 yards and 25 touchdowns so far this season.
The Cougars are in the driver’s seat in Eight-Man D-II District 7, leading the standings.
Wilson is fourth in the district standings.
Dragons senior quarterback Jordan Bess has completed 70 of 121 passes for 934 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Marcus Denham has rushed for a team-leading 753 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Solomon (7-0, 3-0) at Central Plains (3-4, 2-1)
Solomon is leading the Eight-Man D-I District 5 standings.
The Gorillas rack up 57.1 points per game, while allowing a measly 10.0.
Central Plains averages 23.7 points per game. The Oilers defense allows 26.7.
Central Plains is fourth in its district’s standings.
Ellinwood (0-7, 0-2) at La Crosse (7-0, 2-0)
La Crosse senior running back Levi Morss has rushed for a team-leading 1,234 yards and 13 touchdowns this season.
Leopards sophomore quarterback Jack Garcia has completed 43 of 69 passes for 756 yards and nine TDs. He has thrown one interception.
Ellinwood averages 14.6 points per game, coming off a 30-20 loss against Medicine Lodge.
The Eagles have allowed an average of 47.1 points per game.
Russell (1-6, 0-1) at Hoisington (3-4, 0-1)
After dropping its first Class 3A District 15 game against undefeated Scott City, Hoisington is facing a must-win against Russell.
Cardinals senior quarterback Hagan Hanzlick has rushed for 937 yards and 11 touchdowns on 127 carries.
Russell is coming off a 36-26 district loss to Thomas More Prep Marian.
The Broncos average 16.6 points per game, while allowing 46.3.
Larned (3-4, 0-1) at Hugoton (3-4, 1-0)
Hugoton is coming off a 21-20 4A District 14 win over Pratt, while Larned is looking to bounce back from a 73-0 beating.
Indians running back Brady Keith has rushed for 944 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Sophomore quarterback Easton Palmer has completed 59 of 117 passes for 982 yards and four TDs.
Hugoton averages 22 points, while allowing 25.9.
Macksville (3-4, 2-2) at Pratt-Skyline (0-7, 0-4)
Macksville sits in fourth in its Eight-Man D-I District 6 standings, while Pratt-Skyline is in seventh.
Mustangs quarterback Tanner Tranbarger has carried the ball 194 times for 1,056 yards and 20 touchdowns this season.
Thunderbirds senior Brandon Baird has rushed for 438 yards and four TDs.
Cunningham (4-3, 3-1) at Stafford (4-3, 2-2)
Stafford junior running back Tristin Paulsen has carried the ball 111 times for 748 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Sophomore Ethan Johnson has rushed 99 times for 662 yards and 10 scores.
Cunningham averages 42 points per game, while allowing 36.