Playoff Preview: Class 3A & 2A (Regionals)

Parsons QB Tra Mack runs tries to avoid a Caney Valley tackler. (by Sheri Montgomery)
By: Conor Nicholl & Matt Gilmore for
Nov 3, 2021

Share This Story:

Kpreps 2021 playoff coverage is presented by BTI – “Proud Supporter of Kansas High School Athletics”

Class 3A

VIEW: 3A Bracket


Highlighted Games:

D1-#2 Parsons (7-2) at D2-#1 Girard (9-0) – Girard

Girard is seeking its first 10-win season since 2006 when the Trojans advanced all the way to the Class 4A state semifinals. The Trojans are 9-0 behind a defense that is surrendering a little more than nine points per game. On offense, Coach Neal Philpot’s group scores more than 35 points per contest. Girard scored 35 in the first half of last week’s 35-8 victory over Caney Valley. Quarterback Luke Niggemann leads the Trojan offense, while standout linebacker Brecken Troike is the key man in the middle of the Trojan defense.

In Parsons, Girard will take on a young team that has won five straight games to get to 7-2. The Vikings reversed a 38-14 regular-season loss to Prairie View by eliminating the Buffaloes, 28-26, last week. Sophomore quarterback Tra Mack has passed for 1,333 yards and 16 touchdowns with senior Dion Sylvester being his primary target with 39 catches for 667 yards and eight scores. Sophomore Jahmarion Washington leads the ground game with 577 yards and seven scores. Girard and Parsons last met in the first round of the 2018 playoffs when Parsons held on for a 6-0 victory.

D3-#2 Perry-Lecompton (6-3) at D4-#1 Holton (9-0) – Holton

Big 7 Conference rivals Perry-Lecompton and Holton will meet for the second time this season and the sixth time in the last three years on the gridiron. Holton won the earlier meeting, 28-7, back in Week 3 as the Wildcats rushed for 359 yards in the game. Jace Boswell lead Holton that night with 116 yards and a score, while Conner Collins scored twice on the ground. Reichen Rush led Perry-Lecompton with 99 yards on 15 attempts and Gunnar Ball added 62 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Ball also passed for 91 yards in that first meeting.

Ball has had a solid first year starting in passing for 1,110 yards and 15 touchdowns while rushing for 551 yards and eight scores. He passed for 281 yards and three scores in last week’s win over Sabetha as the Kaws struggled to get the run game going. Sabetha held Perry-Lecompton to 91 rush yards on 38 attempts.

Holton has had very little trouble running the football this year as the Wildcats average more than 350 yards per game on the ground. Jayden Fletcher leads a deep group of ball carriers with 661 yards and 8 scores while Garyson Booth has added 624 yards and seven touchdowns. Quarterback Matt Lierz has a team-high ten rushing touchdowns to go along with 557 rush yards, and Jace Boswell has added 533 yards and six more scores.

These two teams have met twice in each of the past two seasons with Perry-Lecompton winning both playoff matchups on their way to consecutive Class 3A state runner-up finishes. The Kaws have won four of the past six in the series, but Holton’s ball-control, power-run game has the edge in this one.

Other first-round games:

D2-#2 Frontenac (7-2) at D1-#1 Galena (8-1) – Frontenac

D4-#2 Rock Creek (6-3) at D3-#1 Topeka Hayden (8-1) – Hayden


Highlighted Games:

D5-#2 Chapman (7-2) at D6-#1 Southeast of Saline (9-0) – SE Saline

This will be the first matchup between the two teams since Week 2 of the 2017 season. Southeast of Saline finished 9-1 last year and was second in 3A scoring defense. That marked the school’s best scoring defense since before 1970. The Trojans posted four shutouts and narrowly lost, 27-20, to Wichita Collegiate in the playoffs.

This season, Southeast of Saline is even better and easily leads 3A in scoring defense. The Trojans have allowed just 19 points this year, including quality wins versus rival Beloit (36-6) in Week 2 and Marysville (60-7) last week. SES has three well-known names in senior linebacker Matthew Rodriguez, quarterback Luke Gebhardt and speedy all-purpose threat Chase Poague.

Rodriguez is possibly 3A’s best defensive player and has been used more offensively this season. He has 94 carries for 534 yards and 18 scores, all team-bests. He has 61 tackles, one off the team-high, and 18 TFLs. In his career, Rodriguez has 256 tackles and 14 sacks.

Gebhardt has capably replaced his brother, Jaxson, at quarterback. He has completed 122 of 160 passes for 1,878 yards with 21 scores against three interceptions. He has 67 carries for 423 yards and 10 scores. Senior Dawson Adams is a three-year starter on the lines, and junior Caden Isaacson, a special teams player last season, has really improved. Senior defensive lineman Jasper McDowell has returned after he had an injury last year. Plus, seniors Braxton Blake and Dalton Bunch have played well up front.

They have all enjoyed big years. Adams has 12 TFLs, McDowell with 11 TFLs, Isaacson has eight and Blake with seven. SES has 8.4 yards per play and 49 plays per game.

Chapman has enjoyed a nice three-win improvement under coach Kurt Webster. Senior Eli Riegel has delivered a breakout year and ranks second in Chapman history in rushing with 235 carries for 1,777 yards and 25 TDs. The Irish have its experienced line, paced by Colt Sell, who has committed to Bethel College. Chapman has 7.3 yards per play and has run the ball on 95 percent of plays. Chapman has delivered a strong year, but SES has the overall edge, especially in passing game and defense.


D2-#2 Wichita Collegaite (8-1) at D8-#1 Cheney (9-0) – Cheney

This is a rematch from last season where Collegiate eliminated Cheney, 35-20. In 2019, Cheney beat Collegiate, 46-21, in the regular season and 30-13 in the playoffs. Cheney finished 9-1 last season. A year later, Cheney (9-0) looks for the first double-digit winning season in school annals.

These are likely Class 3A’s top-two quarterbacks with Cheney’s Harrison Voth and Collegiate’s Wesley Fair. Collegiate has a 337-129 total margin with a No. 16 strength of schedule per Prep Power Index, and Cheney has a 393-90 with a No. 30 SOS. Last week, Collegiate held down Pratt, 23-8. Jack Duarte kicked three field goals, and Ashtun Villagomez returned a fumble 56 yards for a score. Fair completed 10 of 18 passes for 119 yards. He also rushed 22 times for 133 yards and a TD. Fair has 26 total TDs and has exceeded 900 rushing and 900 passing yards.

Voth ranks fourth in Kansas with 2,222 passing yards. Luke Grace has 814 receiving yards with Dayton Higgs at 588 and Jack Voth has 540. These are two great teams that have been ranked in the top-5 all season, and each have a quality win. Collegiate beat Mulvane (7-2), and Cheney defeated Kingman (8-1). Cheney has likely the more explosive offense and likely has the edge here.

Other first-round games:

D5-#3 Concordia (7-2) at D5-#1 Riley County (9-0) – Riley County

D8-#2 Holcomb (7-2) at D7-#1 Andale (9-0) – Andale


Class 2A

VIEW: 2A Bracket


Highlighted Games:

D4-#2 Nemaha Central (7-2) at D3-#1 Rossville (9-0) – Rossville

Top-ranked Rossville will host traditional contender Nemaha Central in a battle of the last two Class 2A champions. Rossville earned its 22nd straight victory by rolling past Republic County, 56-0. The Bulldawgs led 24-0 after the first quarter and 35-0 at halftime. Standout quarterback Torrey Horak, the reigning 2A Offensive Player of the Year, again did not play. Senior Corey Catron stayed at quarterback and passed for 162 yards with two touchdowns. Catron also rushed for 99 yards. For the season, Catron has rushed for 788 yards and 15 touchdowns. He’s passed for nearly 300 yards and five touchdowns in the past three weeks since taking over for Horak.

Nemaha Central won its fourth consecutive game by handling Pleasant Ridge, 48-14. Zac Kramer and Sam McWilliams key the Thunder offense, while Cooper Hajek has had a strong season at linebacker on the other side of the ball. Nemaha Central has defeated a Mid-East League school in the second round in each of the past two seasons – Silver Lake in 2020 and Rossville in 2019.

D3-#2 Silver Lake (7-2) at D4-#1 St. Marys (5-3) – Silver Lake

Mid-East League rivals Silver Lake and St. Marys will meet in a rematch to determine which team advances to the quarterfinals. Silver Lake led the first meeting 21-14 at halftime before the Bears scored a touchdown and two-point conversion in the third quarter to take a 22-21 lead. Silver Lake then added a touchdown in the fourth quarter and converted the two-point attempt to win 29-28.

This time, the game will be at St. Marys as the Bears won the District 4 championship with wins over Nemaha Central and Atchison County. Junior quarterback Keller Hurla leads the Bear offense along with Jordy Stelter in the backfield. Silver Lake finished as the District 3 runner-up to Rossville. Eagle quarterback Daigan Kruger who has thrown for 1,823 yards and 24 touchdowns. Gannon Remer leads Silver Lake with 511 yards and nine touchdowns. St. Marys’ three losses have come to Rossville (9-0), Riley County (9-0) and Silver Lake (8-1).

Other first-round games:

D2-#2 Osage City (8-1) at D1-#1 Riverton (7-2) – Osage City

D2-#3 Humboldt (6-3) at D2-#1 Wellsville (9-0) – Wellsville



Highlighted Games:

D6-#2 Chaparral (8-1) at D5-#1 Hillsboro (8-1) – Hillsboro

Chaparral’s pass-heavy offense and big turnaround with first-year coach J.C. Zahradnik has been well-publicized. The Roadrunners finished 2-6 with zero touchdowns in the last four games. This year, Chaparral switched from the single wing to the spread offense behind senior quarterback Wyatt Drouhard, who had not played football since the eighth grade. Drouhard has helped Chaparral average 32.8 points per contest. He has completed 143 of 257 passes for 2,155 yards for 29 scores against eight interceptions. Chaparral has averaged 7.4 yards per play. The Roadrunners went 8-1 with only a district loss to Kingman.

Hillsboro is also 8-1 and has won six straight games. The Trojans have tallied at least 41 points in all six wins. Overall, Hillsboro has 45.1 points a contest. In his second straight big year, Hillsboro senior quarterback Matthew Potucek has completed 74 of 114 passes for 1,303 yards with 14 scores against one interception. He has rushed 71 times for 798 yards and 16 scores. Senior Jamari Harris has 93 carries for 933 yards and 17 scores. Overall, Hillsboro has averaged 10.2 yards per play. As great as Chaparral’s offense is, Hillsboro is more explosive, especially in the ground attack.

D7-#2 Thomas More Prep (7-2) at D8-#1 Hoisington (8-1) – Hoisington

Since 2006, Hoisington is 8-0 versus Thomas More Prep. The Monarchs, though, have put together back-to-back 7-2 seasons, especially with some school history this fall. TMP won its first playoff game since 2002 last week against Minneapolis with two pick-sixes to start the game.

The Monarchs have delivered a highly impressive season, including four straight shutouts, the school’s best streak since before 1970. TMP has its experienced backfield of QB Kade Harris, RB Bryce Seib and its sophomore linemen with Kendall Walker and Kolton Hagans. Walker and Hagans have combined for double-digit TFLs.

Hoisington senior running back Legend Robinson has been one of the breakout players of 2021 and picked up several scholarship opportunities. He has 194 carries for 1,683 yards and 24 scores. The defending state runner-up, Hoisington has won eight straight after a Week 1 loss to Pratt and has rarely lost at Elton Brown Field in recent years. Hoisington has 7.8 yards per play. The Cardinals rarely pass, but senior Wyatt Wikum has put together a nice year with 13 of 41 passing for 423 yards with four scores against two interceptions. Hoisington has its big line anchored by Logan Philbern and Cole Gilliland. TMP has delivered an historic season for its program and should be able to keep this close, but Robinson is likely the best player on the field.

Other first-round games:

D6-#3 Garden Plain (6-3) at D6-#1 Kingman (8-1) – Kingman

D8-#2 Beloit (6-3) at D7-#1 Cimarron (7-2) – Beloit

Use your Facebook account to add a comment or start a discussion. Posts are subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment.