Playoff Preview: 8M-I, 8M-II & 6-Man

Rural Vista's Landon Parker (11) & Cody Brown (65) combine for a tackle. (by Erin Wohletz)
By: Matt Gilmore & Conor Nicholl for
Oct 24, 2023

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Kpreps 2023 playoff coverage

Class 8-Man, Division I

VIEW: 8M-I Bracket


Highlighted Game:

D4-#4 Burlingame (5-3) at D1-#1 West Elk (7-1) – Burlingame

West Elk will host Burlingame in an intriguing first-round matchup. The Patriots have won five straight since their lone loss of the season to unbeaten Central Burden, 48-28. Junior Cyro Koop has rushed for 1,096 yards and 28 touchdowns this season while averaging 11.3 yards per carry. Quarterback Trent Haag has provided balance in throwing for 622 yards and ten touchdowns with Koop grabbing 14 catches for 279 yards and three scores. Maddex Moreno is the teams second leading rusher and receiving with nearly 400 yards of total offense and six touchdowns. Burlingame will counter with junior quarterback J.D. Tyson. Tyson has passed for nearly 1,100 yards and 19 touchdowns and leads the Bearcats with 441 rush yards and nine touchdowns. Junior Dane Winters has put up incredible numbers with 49 receptions for 623 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Other first-round games:

D3-#3 Oxford (5-3) at D4-#2 Little River (6-2) – Little River

D1-#4 Cedar Vale-Dexter (2-6) at D2-#1 Lyndon (8-0) – Lyndon

D4-#3 Herington (5-3) at D3-#2 South Sumner Co. (7-1) – South Sumner Co.

D4-#4 Goessel (1-7) at D3-#1 Central Burden (8-0) – Central Burden

D1-#3 Sedan (4-4) at D2-#2 Cair Paravel (6-2) – Cair Paravel

D3-#4 Argonia-Attica (5-3) at D4-#1 Moundridge (8-0) – Moundridge

D2-#3 Chase County (5-3) at D1-#2 Oswego (4-4) – Chase County


Highlighted Games:

D6-#3 Hill City (5-3) at D5-#2 Clifton-Clyde (6-2) – Hill City

Clifton-Clyde is 54-12 in the last seven seasons with longtime coach Russ Steinbrock. However, the Eagles have had their season cut short in Week 9 in the last two seasons. Hill City was the state semifinalist the last two falls and opened as a top-five team. However, the Ringnecks have suffered a litany of injuries and other adverse situations this fall. Hill City has slowly come back to strength in the last month and posted a comeback overtime victory at Quinter, a close 12-point loss to currently No. 5 Hoxie and earned back-to-back shutout victories. Senior Aiden Amrein and sophomore Tate Balthazor have played in four and six games, respectively. They have combined for 12 touchdowns against four interceptions. Senior Jaden Nuss has enjoyed a big two-way season with 129 touches for 840 yards and 12 scores. Junior Sylar Rohr has 88 tackles, eight for loss, while Nuss has 69 tackles, six for loss. Senior Trent Long has enjoyed an impressive season for Clifton-Clyde. The Eagles have run and passed effectively. In a 58-18 win at Bennington last week, the Eagles passed for 272 yards and four scores and rushed for 164 yards and four TDs. If Hill City is healthy and has full personnel, the Ringnecks probably have the higher ceiling.

Other first-round games:

D6-#4 Quinter (5-3) at D5-#1 Ell-Saline (7-1) – Ell-Saline

D7-#3 Pratt-Skyline (4-4) at D8-#2 Meade (7-1) – Meade

D5-#4 Bennington (3-5) at D6-#1 Hoxie (7-1) – Hoxie

D8-#3 Sublette (5-3) at D7-#2 La Crosse (5-3) – La Crosse

D8-#4 Spearville (2-6) at D7-#1 WaKeeney-Trego (6-2) – WaKeeney-Trego

D5-#3 Lincoln (5-3) at D6-#2 Atwood-Rawlins Co. (7-1) – Rawlins County

D7-#4 Kiowa County (2-6) at D8-#1 Leoti-Wichita Co. (8-0) – Leoti-Wichita Co.


Class 8-Man, Division II

VIEW: 8M-II Bracket


Highlighted Games:

D2-#3 Rural Vista (4-4) at D1-#2 Marmaton Valley (6-2) – Marmaton Valley

Marmaton Valley and Rural Vista are both looking to overcome last season’s first-round playoff exit. Marmaton Valley enters contest coming off of a 76-28 victory over St. Paul to win the Three Rivers League championship. Junior quarterback Brayden Lawson passed for nearly 350 yards and seven touchdowns and added 83 yards rushing and two rushing scores. For the season, Lawson has passed for 1,294 yards and 25 touchdowns and added 539 yards rushing and seven scores. Dre Ellis has more than 500 yards rushing, ten touchdowns, and 325 receiving yards with five scores. Jaedon Granere is the wildcats’ leading receiver with 536 yards and 11 touchdown catches. Rural Vista has dropped two straight entering this contest. The Heat is led by a trio of sophomores in Koden Sanford, Kole Riedy, and Grant Eskeldson. Sanford has passed for 700 yards and nine scores with Eskeldson grabbing a team high 17 catches for 335 yards and five scores. Riedy has led the ground game with 760 yards and 10 scores, while juniors Logan Tate and Gavin Carson have combined for nearly 1,00 rushing yards and 13 scores.

Other first-round games:

D2-#4 Norwich (3-5) at D1-#1 Lebo (5-3) – Lebo

D3-#3 Hanover (4-4) at D4-#2 Lakeside-Downs (6-2) – Hanover

D1-#4 Colony-Crest (4-4) at D2-#1 Canton-Galva (7-1) – Canton-Galva

D4-#3 Beloit St. John’s-Tipton (2-6) at D3-#2 Frankfort (6-2) – Frankfort   

D4-#4 Wakefield (1-7) at D3-#1 Axtell (8-0) – Axtell                      

D1-#3 St. Paul (5-3) at D2-#2 Hutchinson Central Christian (5-3) – Central Christian

D3-#4 Blue Valley Randolph (4-4) at D4-#1 Osborne (7-1) – Osborne



Highlighted Games:

D8-#3 Dighton (4-4) at D7-#2 Kinsley (7-1) – Dighton

Kinsley has enjoyed the best start since the mid-1990s and rose to second in the Division II rankings. Dighton was preseason top-five for the first time in at least a decade. However, injuries have affected both teams. Dighton has played nearly all season without star quarterback Carson Shimer. David Cramer, a first team all-state wide receiver, moved to dual threat quarterback. Kinsley is severely limited and key starters Conner Chamberlain, Cason Lemuz and Efrain Holguin are all for sure out. Kinsley has had other key pieces hurt, too. Kinsley coach Corey Dunlap and Dighton coach Ken Simon both have had historical success for their respective programs. However, Cramer’s overall playmaking ability could be the difference. He has passed for 706 yards with 12 scores against four interceptions. Cramer has 109 carries for 729 yards with seven TDs. Kinsley is fifth in the classification in scoring defense with 14.8 points per game. Whichever team can overcome the injuries should get a win in a close game.

Other first-round games:

D6-#4 Logan-Palco (2-6) at D5-#1 Victoria (6-1) – Victoria

D7-#3 South Barber (7-1) at D8-#2 Hodgeman County (5-3) – South Barber

D5-#4 Otis-Bison (0-8) at D6-#1 Sharon Springs-Wallace Co. (5-3) – Wallace County

D8-#4 Bucklin (3-5) at D7-#1 South Central (5-3) – South Central

D5-#3 Central Plains (6-2) at D6-#2 Thunder Ridge (5-3) – Thunder Ridge

D7-#4 St. John (3-5) at D8-#1 Minneola (8-0) – Minneola

D6-#3 St. Francis (2-5) at D5-#2 Sylvan-Lucas Unified (7-1) – Sylvan-Lucas


Class 6-Man

VIEW: 6-Man Bracket


Highlighted Games:

D1-#5 Altoona-Midway (2-6) at D2-#4 Burrton (2-6) – Altoona-Midway

Altoona-Midway will take on Burrton for a second consecutive week. The Jets scored in each quarter last week, winning at Burrton, 27-6. Jacob Meigs rushed for a pair of touchdowns to lead Altoona-Midway. Kieran Foster also tossed a pair of touchdown passes – one each to Lane Poeverlein and one to William Stackhouse. Burrton scored on a Jude Barnes touchdown run. Barnes had 107 yards on the ground in the game. Altoona-Midway has won two consecutive games leading into this contest. Burrton has lost four straight games with Barnes touchdown last week as the Chargers’ only score over those four weeks.

Other first-round games:

D2-#5 Southern Cloud (1-7) at D1-#4 Centre-Lost Springs (3-4) – Centre

D1-#6 Southern Coffey Co. (2-6) at D2-#3 Pawnee Heights (4-4) – Pawnee Heights

Teams with a first-round BYE:
D1-#1 Waverly (7-0)
D2-#2 Tescott (5-2)
D1-#3 Peabody-Burns (5-3)
D2-#1 Cunningham (7-1)
D1-#2 Chetopa (5-2)


Highlighted Games:

D4-#5 Tribune-Greeley Co. (3-5) at D3-#4 Moscow (1-7) – Tribune-Greeley Co.

Both these squads have struggled against the upper-tier six-man programs. Greeley County has a 16-point victory at Golden Plains and a 45-0 win at Western Plains. Moscow, which won the 2019 state title and was the ’20 runner-up, has fallen on a difficult time with no on-field victories. Moscow has competitive losses to Pawnee Heights and Triplains-Brewster. Both teams have a similar defensive profile, though Greeley County has delivered 21 points a game to Moscow’s eight points a contest. Greeley County has veteran junior quarterback Lincoln Shafer with 34 of 72 passing for 458 yards with seven scores against three interceptions. He has 78 carries for 804 yards and nine touchdowns. A win ties Greeley County’s most wins in a single season since 2010.

Other first-round game:

D4-#6 Western Plains-Healy (0-8) at D3-#3 Deerfield (5-2) – Deerfield

Teams with a first-round BYE:
D3-#1 Ashland (7-1)
D4-#4 Triplains-Brewster (3-5)
D4-#2 Northern Valley (7-1)
D4-#1 Cheylin (8-0)
D3-#2 Ingalls (6-2)
D4-#3 Golden Plains (2-6)


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