Kpreps Game Day - Week 7

Garden Plain's Nate Pauly (28) will lead the Owls against Conway Springs. (David Jackson, 2015)
By: Matt Gilmore & Conor Nicholl for
Oct 13, 2016

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We have redesigned our Kpreps Kansas Game Day feature this week in order to provide you with a program for things to watch out for in Week 7 action.  If you have suggestions for what you would like to see in future Game Day features, send us a message on Twitter or Facebook.

We are going with a streamlined version of Game Day this week given all of the district previews featured on Kpreps this week.  If you’ve missed any of our district previews, we have provided links below:

District Previews:

Class 4A-I

Class 4A-II

Class 3A

Class 2-1A

Class 8-Man, Division I

Class 8-Man, Division II

Class 6A & Class 5A seeding

Last week, we provided a brief explanation of the new playoff format for Class 6A/5A and previewed what the seeding would look like if the season ended right then.  Here is that explanation --  

The new format splits each classification into a 16-team east side and a 16-team west side.  The system eliminates districts in the traditional sense, reduces the regular season to an 8-game schedule, and qualifies all teams for the “playoffs” beginning in Week 9.  After Week 8, all teams will be seeded 1 through 16 on the east and west sides based on objective measures.

This week we’re going to look at the seeding process and specifically the tie-breaking process, because, we expect a lot of teams in each classification to finish with identical win/loss records.  

The new system essentially creates an East and West “district” in both classifications.  Each side of the state consists of 16 teams that will be seeded 1 through 16 based on their win/loss record.  Ties will be broken in the following order:

1.      Win-loss percentage in all games played from Week 1 to Week 8

2.      Head-to-head games if all teams tied for a seed played each other during the 8-game regular season

3.      The familiar 21-point tiebreaker rule used in the old district format.  When two or more teams are tied in win-loss percentage and there is no common winner between those teams, the district points system will establish the first seed of those teams tied.  The entire tiebreaking process will then start over at No. 1 above to determine the seeds of the remaining tied teams.

4.      Total number of wins against teams within a team’s class or higher

5.      Win-loss percentage against teams within a team’s class or higher

6.      KSHSAA will basically draw out of a hat as a last resort.

You’ll notice that all tie-breaking procedures are objective in nature.  Opinions of one team’s strength compared to another’s do not matter. Ultimately, this may be the facet of the new systems that will need some tweaking.

For instance, currently Kansas City Schlagle is seeded No. 1 on the East side of Class 5A based on the above criteria.  The Stallions are 5-1 on the season and have had a great year, but you will likely find few opinions outside of Stallion headquarters that would say they are deserving of the top seed on the East side of Class 5A. Schlagle’s wins have come against opponents that are a combined 9-23.

Earlier this week, we highlighted another instance where the formula may need some adjustment.  On the West side of Class 5A, Newton, Goddard-Eisenhower, and Topeka West are all tied for the No. 12-14 seeds with a 1-5 record. The three teams have not all faced each other this season, therefore the points system is used to determine the highest seed (in this case the No. 12 seed).  Newton has the best point total at -76 and would be awarded the No. 12 seed, just ahead of No. 13 Goddard-Eisenhower; though the Railers lost to Eisenhower 40-27 back in Week 3.

We know, it is a little confusing and it is still early. There are still a couple of weeks to work some of these issues out, but the potential exists for teams to be unfairly seeded when based only on objective measures and tie-breaking formulas.

A pair of unbeaten showdowns in Class 3A

As district play begins, ten reams remains unbeaten in Class 3A.  Tonight, we have two showdowns featuring two unbeaten teams.

District 1: Nemaha Central (6-0) at Sabetha (6-0)

Sabetha will try and end an eight-game losing streak against Nemaha Central (and previously Nemaha Valley). Defensively, both team have posted three shutouts.  Nemaha Central allows 11 points per game, while Sabetha only allows seven.

Nemaha Central has been a bit more explosive on offense.  The Thunder aveage 51 points per game compared to Sabetha’s 44.  Nemaha Central is more balanced with Ryan Hasenkamp passing for 825 yards and seven touchdowns.  Sabetha, on the other hand, keeps the ball on the ground and averages more than 360 yards rushing per contest.  

District 12: Southeast of Saline (6-0) at Marion (6-0)

A battle between unbeatens from the North Central Activities Association (NCAA) and the Heart of America (HOA) League will take place in Marion.

The Southeast of Saline Trojans will try and follow-up last week’s big 48-26 victory over Beloit by handing another opponent their first loss.  The Trojans offense averages nearly 42 points per game led by senior quarterback Bryce Banks.  Banks has passed for 1,270 yards and 12 touchdowns and led the Trojans in rushing with 406 yards and seven scores.

Ben Murray has added 226 yards rushing and seven touchdowns, and is the Trojans’ leading receiver with 26 catches for 524 yards and eight scores.

Southeast of Saline has survived a 28-20 decision over Republic County in Week 1, and topped Sacred Heart 24-14 back in Week 4.

On the other side, Marion has cruised to a 6-0 start with an average scoring margin of 41 to 10.  The Warriors, up from Class 2-1A this cycle, are led by quarterback Jack Schneider (6-2, 180), running backs Aaron Riggs and Corbin Wheeler, and receiver Mason Pedersen.

Will Pauly drive the bus too?

Fifth-ranked Garden Plain (6-0) opens a challenging district against their rivals from Conway Springs (5-1).  The game takes on even more importance this season because fellow district members Chaparral (6-0) and Cheney (5-1) are also legitimate 3A contenders.  All four teams are competing for District 10’s two playoff spots.

The name Pauly seems to be synonymous with this rivalry. Several members of the Pauly extended family have contributed to both the Owls and Cardinals over the years.  This year is no different.

Garden Plain senior Nathan Pauly leads the Owls on offense. And defense. And special teams.

An all-state selection as a defensive back last season, Pauly is Garden Plain’s leading rusher with 883 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns.  He’s carried 80 times for an average of 11.0 yards per carry. Pauly is also the quarterback and has thrown for 377 yards and four touchdowns.

On defense, Nate leads the Owl secondary with four interceptions. 

Pauly is also the Garden Plain return man where he’s averaged 46.6 yards per kickoff return and 37 yards per punt return.  He handles the kickoffs with an average of 54.8 yards and has three touchbacks.  He also is the Owl punter and averages 33.1 yards per punt with two downed inside the 20-yard line.  

Garden Plain and Conway Springs have met twice, regular season and playoffs, in four of the past eight seasons.  In the last twelve meetings, Conway Springs holds a 7-5 advantage, including a 3-1 advantage in the playoff matches. Garden Plain has won four of the last six meetings overall.

Freshmen contributing

Former Marquette University basketball coach and television commentator Al McGuire once said, “The best thing about freshmen is that they become sophomores.” 

That being said, several teams in Kansas have benefited from the contributions of freshmen this fall.  Here is a look at a few of those contributions.


Maur Hill-Mount Academy quarterback Jack Caudle has put up impressive numbers regardless of his class.  Caudle (6-1, 170) has completed 61 percent of his passes for 1,070 yards and 14 touchdowns with six interceptions.

Andrew Reed leads a young Uniontown squad making its return to 11-man football. Reed has passed for 584 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while rushing for 949 yards and nine scores.  Reed has two, 200-yard performances on the season, including a 26-carry, 213-yard, 2TD performance in last week’s 40-30 loss to Immaculata-Maranatha.

Ty Bowman (6-4, 180) has led 4A-I Chanute to a pair of wins in his first six games.  Bowman has passed for 491 yards and added 169 rushing yards with three touchdowns.

Hodgeman County’s Eli Salmans has played well in the backfield. Salmans has rushed for 371 yards and scored 10 touchdowns for the 5-1 Longhorns. 

It’s rare that a freshman starts for an elite program like Bishop Miege, but Brison Cobbins is an elite talent.  Cobbins (5-7, 155) is the Stags’ leading rusher with 353 yards and two touchdowns in his five games. He had a season-best six carries for 112 yards and a touchdown against St. Thomas Aquinas and rushed for 96 yards and a score in last week’s win over Mill Valley.

Ellinwood’s Peyton Duvall has hauled in 29 receptions for 426 yards and four touchdowns.  Duvall is the Eagles’ second leading receiver behind senior Tyson Martinez.  


Jared Casey (5-11, 182) of Plainville has registered a team-high 53 tackles this season for the second-ranked Cardinals.  Casey averages 8.8 stops per game and has 3.5 tackles for loss and two sacks.

Wyatt Pedigo has contributed at linebacker for 3A’s top-ranked Hoisington Cardinals.  Pedigo has registered 33 tackles in six games including three for loss.  He’s also has one quarterback sack and two interceptions. Pedigo’s top three tackling performances came in victories against Kingman (9), Pratt (7), and Wichita Collegiate (6).

Nick Pearson (5-11, 192) of Canton-Galva has registered 50 tackles for the Eagles this fall.  He had 15 tackles against Peabody-Burns, and 12 in the Eagles’ lone win over St. John.  Pearson also has registered 8.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, and an interception.

Murray on pace for Horak-esque season

Last year, Rossville’s Tucker Horak became the first Kansas player to rush and pass for 2,000 yards in a single season. This year, Great Bend senior quarterback Jacob Murray could match him. After six games, Murray has completed 86 of 125 passes for 1,129 yards with 13 scores against one interception. He has rushed for 861 yards and 17 TDs as Great Bend is 6-0 and ranked No. 2 in Class 5A.

Murray has averaged 188 passing yards and 144 rushing yards a contest. Great Bend likely needs a deep playoff run to catch Horak, but Murray’s per-game numbers are in line with Horak. Murray has tallied 332 yards a contest. Horak passed for 148 yards a game and rushed for 204 for 352 yards a contest.

8-man II, District 6

The competitive district features No. 2 Hodgeman County (5-1, 2-0) hosting Sharon Springs-Wallace County (3-3, 1-1), while No. 4 Dighton (6-0, 2-0) hosts Otis-Bison (4-2, 1-1). All four teams have been ranked for at least one week this season.

Dighton outscored Wallace County, 20-8, in the second quarter to pull ahead last week for a 42-32 road win. Senior Tyler Lingg threw for 158 yards with four scores against no interceptions. Wallace County, which has been very successful with forcing turnovers and turning them into points, did force the Hornets’ first turnover this season. However, the game was 1-1 in turnovers.

Key Number: 88.5

Dighton, which allowed 29 points a game last season, has been much improved this year with just 11 points permitted a contest. A major reason is run defense. The Hornets have allowed 3.2 yards per carry and 89 rushing yards a game.

That includes holding Wallace County and Northern Valley (which averages 39 points a game) to 3.1 yards a carry. Overall, Dighton has allowed just 531 rushing yards this season.

In Week 9 last year, the Hornets lost to WaKeeney-Trego, a non-playoff team, 68-22. Dighton, which co-oped with Healy, permitted 429 rushing yards and eight yards a carry.

Otis-Bison has been getting healthier with senior running back Brad Lightfoot returning. The Cougars average 256 rushing yards a game and 8.6 yards per rush. With Lightfoot limited in the backfield two weeks ago, Otis-Bison had 116 rushing yards on three yards per rush in a 28-20 loss at Wallace County.

Key Number: 34

Hodgeman County has an average score of 50-16 and has rarely played a full game the last two seasons.

Still, Hodgeman County is undefeated in the regular season against non-Spearville teams in the last two years. Hodgeman’s margin of victory is 34 points a contest, while Wallace County’s margin of victory is just eight points. Still, Wallace County has played the No. 2 SOS in the classification, Hodgeman County has faced the No. 17. Hodgeman County’s blowouts have yielded few meaningful second halves, while the Wildcats have played in many close games. This game will likely be close over four quarters.


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