Kpreps Friday First Look - Week 1

Jett Vincent (4) made an immediate impact for Canton-Galva. (by Tina McMannis)
By: Conor Nicholl & Matt Gilmore for
Sep 3, 2022

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The Kpreps Friday First Look provides our impressions of some of the game’s most notable games and performance from Friday night’s action!

The Kpreps Friday First Look is presented by K-LAWN

Class 6A

Manhattan goes on the road and upsets No. 1 Derby in OT

Braxton Frey connected on a 25-yard field goal in overtime to propel Manhattan to a 26-23 upset of top-ranked Derby.

The Indians got off to a great start on Friday night with a long scoring drive capped by a Jason Sanchez 7-yard run for a 7-0 lead.

They extended the lead to 15-0 after a DeAndre Aukland touchdown run.

Derby would pull to within 15-7 at halftime as Dylan Edwards broke free for a 68-yard score around the right sideline.

Edwards added a 26-yard touchdown in the third quarter, but the PAT was missed leaving Manhattan in front, 15-13.

The Panthers took their first lead 16-15 on a field goal, then extended it to 23-15 on a Derek Hubbard touchdown.

Manhattan would respond. Quarterback Keenan Schartz broke free for a 6-yard touchdown and the Indians added the two-point conversion to tie the game at 23 early in the fourth quarter.  

Derby appeared to regain the lead on a long Edwards touchdown run, but it was negated by a penalty. The Panthers had to settle for a potential game-winning field goal attempt that was no good.

In overtime, Derby got the ball first and had to settle for another field goal attempt. Manhattan blocked the kick, setting up the potential for Frey’s game-winning kick.

The loss snapped Derby’s 46-game win streak at home.


Blue Valley Northwest wins battle of champions over St. James Academy

In a matchup featuring a pair of defending state champions, Blue Valley Northwest pulled away in the second half to defeat St. James Academy, 35-21.

Northwest is the defending Class 6A champion, while St. James won its second consecutive Class 4A title last season.

Northwest jumped out to a 14-0 lead on the strength of senior running back Grant Stubblefield and a touchdown from quarterback Connor White to Gavin Hoffman.

St. James would respond as Ayden Brady scored on a short run to pull the Thunder within 14-7. After a Husky turnover, St. James backup quarterback Blake Boydston connected with John Niesen on a touchdown pass to knot the game at 14.

Stubblefield broke the tie with a short touchdown run late in the third quarter to put Blue Valley Northwest up 20-14.

Stubblefield added his third rushing touchdown and White hit Hoffman again for a score to extend the Husky lead to 35-14. Stubblefield finished with more than 280 yards on the ground.


Class 5A

The streak is over! Highland Park snaps 65-game skid

Topeka Highland Park outscored KC Wyandotte 60-47 to snap the schools’ 65-game losing streak.

On Friday, senior Tre Richardson led the Scots with 229 yards rushing and three touchdowns, caught a touchdown pass, and threw for another score.

Before Friday, Highland Park’s last win came on September 12, 2014 when the Scots defeated KC Harmon, 60-26.

The game was Highland Park’s first as a member of the Meadowlark Conference, the combination of Highland Park and the former Kansas City-Atchison League.


Bishop Carroll rallies to beat Wichita Northwest

In the City League, Bishop Carroll used a massive comeback to defeat rival Wichita Northwest, 53-41. Carroll entered the night ranked No. 4 in 5A, while Wichita Northwest was No. 3 in 6A.

Northwest led the 24-9 at halftime and extended that lead to 31-9 after a LJ Phillips touchdown early in the third quarter. Jackson King, Carroll’s backup quarterback, then scored from midfield to pull the Golden Eagles within 31-16. Less than a minute later, Copper Buessing returned an interception for a score to pull Carroll within 31-22.

Phillips would answer for Northwest with a long touchdown run to put the Grizzlies back up 39-22.

But King would answer back with a short touchdown run to pull the Eagles within 39-30. Then late in the third quarter, Thomas Gorges scored from three yards out to trim Northwest’s lead to 39-37.

Carroll wasted no time in the fourth quarter. Tate Blasi took the ball around the end from midfield to give the Golden Eagles a 45-39 lead. Late rin the quarter, Van Haneberg scored from 10 yards out to put Carroll up 53-39.

This marked the fifth straight time the teams have matched up in Week 1 with both being ranked. Bishop Carroll won this matchup, 37-27, last season. The last six meetings have been decided by 12, five, one, four, 10 and 12 points.


Hays runs away from Junction City behind Bah’s big night

In a matchup of teams just outside the top-5 in its respective classifications, 5A Hays High defeated 6A Junction City, 33-21.

Hays High had 23 seniors, many whom had never started before. Well documented, HHS needed to replace Top 11 All-Class players QB Jaren Kanak and LB Gavin Meyers.

The Indians battled back from deficits of 14-0 and 21-7 in the game. Malik Bah, expected to be a breakout player this year, enjoyed a massive game, including a 46-yard touchdown run to seal the contest late.

Bah finished with 31 carries for 273 yards and three scores. Per Hays High broadcaster Dustin Armbruster, it marked the third-highest single-game rushing total by an Indian since 2011.

Overall, the Indians gained 544 yards and senior Kyreese Groen played well in his first game at quarterback with 259 yards of total offense. Senior wide receiver Keamonie Archie was among those pressed into two-way duty and had a key fourth-down goal line pass breakup in the fourth quarter. This was Archie’s first ever football game at any level.


Class 4A

Aquinas dominates Blue Valley West, 31-7

St. Thomas Aquinas, ranked No. 3 in Class 4A, defeated 6A No. 4 Blue Valley West, 31-7 on Friday with a complete performance.

Aquinas was in full control throughout and led 14-0 after the first quarter, 21-0 at halftime and 28-0 after three quarters.

Standout running back Sean Carroll had 15 carries for 105 yards and two TDs.

Aquinas held Blue Valley West standout running back Sage Huffman to 13 carries for 67 yards.


Class 3A

Andale extends win streak to 39 games

Top-ranked Andale ran its winning streak to 39 games, the longest current streak in Kansas, with a 63-14 road-win at Wellington.

Kelby Eck, who had four special teams TDs last season, delivered an impressive 90-yard interception return for a score that put Andale up 50-7.

Seniors Cody Parthemer and Riley Marx scored early TDs that gave Andale a 22-0 late in the first quarter.


Topeka Hayden ends Olpe’s win streak

Topeka Hayden, ranked No. 5 in Class 3A, won a defensive battle over Olpe, 21-7

After a fumbled punt late in the second quarter, Hayden scored on a JC Cummings touchdown run to take the lead at halftime.

In the third quarter, Hayden extended its lead on a long Jett Wahlmeier to Jensen Schrickel touchdown connection to go up 14-0.

Later in the fourth, Hayden’s Ethan Florance took a pitch down the left sideline for an 83-yard TD run.

The loss snapped Olpe’s 24-game winning streak. The Eagles have captured back-to-back Class 1A state titles having allowed a total of 35 points in 2020 and 24 points in 2021. The 21 points allowed on Friday was the most since a 22-20 playoff loss to Centralia in 2019.


Girard rallies to win at Columbus, 20-15

Girard went on the road and pulled out a key CNC win at Columbus, 20-15.

The Trojans rallied from a 9-0 deficit to take the lead in the second half and eventually hold on.

Things went Columbus’ way early. An errant Girard punt snap resulted in a safety, and Brett Hamilton’s touchdown run gave the Titans a 9-0 advantage.

Girard would pull within 9-6 at halftime, and Alex Coester would add his second scoring run in the third quarter to put the Trojans up 13-9.

Quarterback Luke Niggemann then rushed for a touchdown to extend the Girard lead to 20-9.

Columbus would later add a Landin Midgett touchdown catch to pull within 20-15, but could get no closer.


Class 2A

No. 1 Southeast of Saline holds off 3A No. 3 Rock Creek, 38-26

Top-ranked Southeast of Saline outscored 3A No. 3 Rock Creek 24-13 in the second half en route to a 38-26 victory.

Quarterback Luke Gebhardt and Nathan Friesen each rushed for 121 yards and a touchdown to pace the Trojan offense. Daniel Kejr added 69 yards and a key fourth-quarter touchdown that extended the Southeast of Saline lead to 38-20.

Gebhardt also passed for 150 yards, including a touchdown that went to senior Michael Murray.


No. 2 Nemaha Central slips by 3A No. 2 Holton, 35-28

In what’s become a great matchup in recent history, 2A No. 2 Nemaha Central went on the road and topped 3A No. 2 Holton, 35-28.

The Thunder used an experienced offensive line and a big night from Cooper Hajek to pull out the victory. Hajek rushed for 201 yards and four touchdowns, including the go-ahead score with just under 10 minutes remaining in the game.

Holton led Nemaha Central 14-13 at halftime before a Hajek touchdown and two-point conversion by Gavin Cain put the Thunder up 21-14.

The wildcats responded with a touchdown lat in the third quarter to tie the game at 21.

Hajek scored again to put Nemaha Central up 27-21, but the PAT was no good.

Holton regained a 28-27 lead late in the third quarter, setting up Hajek’s go-ahead score a few minutes later.

Holton had defeated Nemaha Central in each of the last two seasons on game-winning field goals by Matt Lierz. Holton won 15-13 in 2020 and 25-24 last season.  


Ellsworth shocks Beloit

In NCAA play, Ellsworth pulled a 14-6 upset against No. 4 Beloit, the defending state runner-up.

Beloit, which also made the semifinals in ’20, had defeated Ellsworth by a combined score of 86-27 the last two seasons. However, Ellsworth also pulled an upset against Beloit, 28-22, in Week 2 of the 2017 season.


TMP gets off to good start against Oakley

In a key Mid-Continent League battle that has generally shaped both team’s seasons, Thomas More Prep-Marian won at Oakley, 26-13, in a game delayed by weather.

This score has been very consistent the last several years. In 2020, Oakley won 25-13 in Week 1 en route to a state runner-up finish, the best season in school annals.

Last year, TMP won 31-13 in the opening game and delivered its best season in 20 years.


Kingman doubles up Cheney

Fifth-ranked won at Central Plains League rival Cheney, 28-14. Kingman was 0-4 against Cheney since 2006.

Kingman is coming off a state semifinal appearance, its best season in 50 years. The Eagles brought back a lot of key returners, especially QB Nolan Freund, WR/DB Avrey Albright and LB Ty Birkenbaugh.

The Eagles led 14-0 after the first quarter on a 15-yard TD pass and a one-yard scoring run. Kingman scored on a 51-yard TD run with 11:27 left in the fourth quarter.


Garden Plain edges Conway Springs again

Central Plains League rivals Garden Plain and Conway Springs have played some incredible games to open the season recently, and Friday night was no different.

Garden Plain’s Gage Lee rushed for a 6-yard touchdown with :23 remaining in the game to propel the Owls to a 6-0 victory over their rival Cardinals.

As the score indicates, the game was a defensive battle with Garden Plain outgaining Conway Springs 241-180 in total yards.

Garden Plain has won all three season-openers the last three years: 14-13 in 2020 and 14-7 in 2021.


Class 1A

St. Marys halts Rossville’s win streak at 26 games

Top-ranked St. Marys ended Rossville’s 26-game win streak with a 20-13 victory.

Keller Hurla connected on touchdown passes to Abe Huaracha and Michael Gallegos to give the Bears a 14-0 lead in the second quarter.

Kade Perine’s short touchdown run pulled Rossville to within 14-7 at halftime.

St. Marys regained a two-score lead, 20-7, on a short touchdown pass to Nate Hurley mid-way through the third quarter.

Rossville would answer shortly after, as Camden Horak connected on a 27-yard touchdown pass to Braiden Hensley to pull to within 20-13. But the Dawgs could draw no closer.

Hurla passed for more than 250 yards and three touchdowns on the night.


Colgan rallies to top Frontenac, 14-12

St. Mary’s Colgan rallied with two second-half touchdowns to win at rival Frontenac, 14-12.

Frontenac led 12-0 after an early safety and a pair of touchdowns.

The Raiders seemed to be going into extend the lead, but fumbled inside the Colgan 3-yard line. The Panthers then went on a long drive culminating in a 58-yard touchdown run by Tucker Harrell.

Harrell later added a short touchdown run and the two-point conversion to give the Panthers a 14-12 lead.

Late in the game, Colgan converted a key 4th-and-3 from their own 43-yard line as Harrell rushed for 6 yards.

The win by Colgan snapped Frontenac’s three-game win streak in the series. Colgan leads the all-time series, 44-25.


Class 8-Man, Division I

New to 8-Man, Lyndon edges ranked Lebo

Lyndon has been a consistent contender in small-class football over the last several seasons. The Tigers opened their move to eight-man with a 20-14 win over Lebo on Friday. Lebo was ranked No. 4 in 8-Man, Division II.

The game was tied a 6 heading into the final quarter. Lebo took a 14-6 lead on a touchdown pass from Landon Grimmett to Corey Reese. But Lyndon’s Evan Feuerborn returned the ensuing kickoff 70 yards for a touchdown to tie the game at 14.

Feuerborn then broke the tie with a short touchdown run mid-way through the fourth quarter. He finished with 75 yards rushing and scored all three Tiger touchdowns.


Clifton-Clyde wins at Hanover

Twin Valley League rivals Hanover and Clifton-Clyde had never met in Week 1, per Kansas Football History.

Clifton-Clyde, ranked No. 4 in Division I, defeated Hanover, 52-6. The Eagles had lost six in a row in the series dating back to 2005.


Oswego runs past Marmaton Valley

Last season, veteran coach Matt Fowler dealt with a fall of much adversity at Oswego. That included a loss on the last play against St. Paul, and 106-98 defeat to Marmaton Valley, the highest scoring game in Kansas football history.

On Friday, Oswego bounced back with a 63-34 win versus Marmaton Valley.

Oswego’s single wing, a staple of Fowler’s teams at Spearville and the Indians, rushed 33 times for 272 yards. Oswego completed 1 of 2 passes for 30 yards. Oswego led 28-12 after the first quarter. Hunter Kelly had TD runs of 22, 45 and 12 yards. Jake Hutchinson finished with scoring runs of six, nine, three and 29 scores.

Marmaton Valley sophomore speedster Jaedon Granere scored on a 23-yard run and brought back two kicks for scores of 75 and 79 yards.


Class 8-Man, Division II

Canton-Galva pulls away from Little River

No. 2 Canton-Galva faced Division I No. 1 Little River for the second straight game and third time in the last two years. Canton-Galva lost the two high-octane, one-score games in ’21, though won 66-36 on Friday.

The Wheat State League rivals are in different classes this season after Canton-Galva dropped down a classification. The Eagles replaced all-time great WR Tyson Struber with WR/S Jett Vincent, the reigning Division II Player of the Year at Wheatland-Grinnell. Vincent transferred to Canton-Galva when his dad took over as principal. Vincent, who has multiple NAIA and Division II offers, had played quarterback earlier in his career when Wheatland-Grinnell had injuries.

On Friday, Vincent played quarterback with Canton-Galva three-year starting quarterback Garrett Maltbie out. Canton-Galva had three senior starters out. Maltbie hurt his knee in the jamboree. Running back Ryder Norstrom also hurt his knee in the jamboree. Braison Alcala is out for the season after he tore a tendon in his ankle and required surgery, per Canton-Galva coach Shelby Hoppes to Kpreps on Friday night. Norstrom has torn his ACL, though will try and play. Maltbie is expected to return in four to six weeks.

Vincent delivered four of six passes for 149 yards and two scores. Vincent had a remarkable 24 carries for 349 yards and eight TDs. Canton-Galva rolled up 595 yards of total offense to Little River’s 409.

Canton-Galva had great line play up front.

The game was tied at 14 after the first quarter. Little River’s key returners of quarterback Rylan Konen, running back Braxton Lafferty and wideout Braden Young all delivered at least 90 total yards.


Axtell wins the battle of defending champions over Cair Paravel  

In an extreme rare matchup of two teams coming off undefeated season, No. 1 Axtell pulled away to win 82-38 against Cair Paravel, a first year KSHSAA program.

Axtell was 13-0 and defending Eight-Man, Division II champions. Cair Paravel posted an 11-0 record and won the Kansas Christian Athletic Association title in 2021.

While the Lions graduated its two standouts, quarterback Carter Brian and tight end Noah Hastert. Axtell returned every starter, including its trio of first team all-state players: QB Isaac Detweiler, ATH Brandon Schmelzle, and OL Owen Strathman. Detweiler is the reigning Division II Offensive Player of the Year.

On Friday, Cair Paravel led a back-and-forth first-half 26-22 at the break. The teams traded touchdowns with Cair Paravel holding a 32-30 lead in the third quarter.

Axtell then went on to outscore the Lions 22-6 in the third quarter and 38-6 in the fourth.

Detweiler delivered a huge game with 12 of 18 passing for 169 yards and four scores and rushed 24 times for 205 yards and four TDs. Grady Buessing hauled in four catches for 89 yards.

Cair Paravel’s Evan Will delivered 141 passing yards and four TDs, while Simon Everhart finished with nine catches for 91 yards and two scores. Sophomore Jace Pavlik also passed for 108 yards and two scores for the Lions. The game featured 775 yards of total offense.


Thunder Ridge outscores Alma (Neb.), 74-58  

Senior-laden No. 3 Thunder Ridge had a rare out of state game against Alma (Neb.) and won 74-58.

Alma is historically a solid program with success against Kansas schools, notably Northern Valley.

Thunder Ridge has scored 144 total points in the last two season openers. Coach Joel Struckhoff moved to 5-0 in openers since he took over as head coach at his alma mater. The Longhorns have scored at 50 points in four of those.


Victoria shuts out Kinsley  

No. 5 Victoria had no trouble with Kinsley in a 49-0 home victory.

Kinsley, a top-10 squad and potential breakout team, had a key player not come out, and then transfer. QB Peyton Schmidt and WR Conner Chamberlain were both out for this game.

Victoria QB Thaddeus Wohler accounted for five touchdowns, four rushing and one passing. He also picked off a pass. Carson Werth made plays in all facets, including a key catch, broken tackle and run to set up the first score, a big sack and an extra point kick.


Class 6-Man

Top-ranked Cunningham holds off No. 2 Ashland

KSHSAA sanctioned six-man football for the first time this year. The class had several high-profile matchups, including No. 1 Cunningham versus No. 2 Ashland, and No. 3 Northern Valley versus No. 4 Natoma.

Last year, Natoma went 9-0 and won the title, Cunningham second, Ashland third and Northern Valley fourth.

On Friday, Cunningham squeaked by Ashland, 38-30. Northern Valley defeated a Natoma team that took heavy graduation losses/transfers, 38-0.

Last year, Natoma beat Northern Valley, 53-50, in a game that essentially came down to the final play. Northern Valley is known for his depth and received six pass TDs from junior quarterback Kenton Thalheim. He and Kai Cox, a first-team all-state selection, delivered nine tackles to pace the defense. Brody Preston rushed nine times for 106 yards.




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