Tuesday Playoff Preview: Class 3A

Jace Ruder (12) will try and lead Norton past Marysville. (by Jean Stapel)
By: Mark Schremmer & Conor Nicholl for Kpreps.com
Oct 31, 2016

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Class 3A

East: Perry-Lecompton (4-5) at Rossville (8-1)

The Perry-Lecompton Kaws drew a tough hand for their first postseason game since 2011. The Kaws will travel to face the two-time Class 3A defending state champion Rossville Bulldawgs.

Rossville, which is ranked fourth in Class 3A, had a 32-game winning streak snapped when it fell 36-28 to rival Silver Lake in Week 5.

Directed by coach Mike Paramore, the Kaws played strong in districts. Perry-Lecompton earned lopsided wins over Royal Valley (44-8) and Oskaloosa (49-7) and were edged 21-19 by Silver Lake.

The Kaws like to run the football, average 242.9 yards on the ground. Cole Kellum leads the way with 944 yards and 15 touchdowns on 114 carries. Michael Kellum has rushed for 662 yards and five touchdowns on 90 carries.

Relying on their running game, the Kaws haven’t been as effective through the air. Senior quarterback Jordan Spreer has completed only 40 percent of his passes for 460 yards with two touchdowns and four interceptions.

Senior Nick Quinlan leads the Perry-Lecompton defense with 79 tackles, one sack and three forced fumbles.

Rossville claimed another district championship after big victories over Mission Valley, St. Marys and Council Grove.

The Bulldawgs are led by dual-threat quarterback Jacob Bradshaw. The senior has passed for more than 1,000 yards and rushed for more than 1,500 with 37 combined touchdowns.

Other offensive weapons for Rossville include Perry Foster, who has rushed for 557 yards and seven touchdowns, and Cole Schumacher, who has 32 catches for 699 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Defensively, Dawson Hammes has 98 tackles in only six games. Hammes also rushed for more than 100 yards last week against Council Grove.

Rossville 35, Perry-Lecompton 20 (Schremmer)

West: Norton (6-3) at Marysville (7-2)

Norton, a top-5 team in the preseason in Class 3A, faces off against a Bulldog squad that has enjoyed a breakout year. The teams have earned playoff spots through different ways. Norton has an average margin of 39-21, while Marysville’s average score is 27-10.

The strength of schedules are basically the same, according to Prep Power Index, though the Bulldogs’ defense has been more dominant than Norton’s offense led by Division I prospect Jace Ruder.

This season, Norton’s opponents have allowed 26.7 points a contest in games when they haven’t played the Bluejays. Norton’s offense is 12.2 points better than their opponents’ scoring defense average.

Norton has bettered their opponents’ scoring defense average in all nine games, but lost three contests in Mid-Continent League play to Plainville (20-14), Smith Center (20-17 in overtime) and Phillipsburg (36-13), easily the best three defenses the Bluejays have played this year.

In the Plainville game, Norton moved the ball effectively but had key turnovers in the red zone. Versus Phillipsburg, Norton was minus-2 in turnover margin. Norton’s only victory against a team with a winning record came in a 52-41 road win versus Colby.

Marysville’s 87 points permitted tied for first with Sabetha in Class 3A. The Bulldogs held eight of nine opponents under their season scoring average.

The defense was 15.5 points better than their opponents’ scoring offense, including great performances against Rossville (27-20 loss), Beloit (42-16 win) and Riley County (14-0 win). Those three teams averaged 45, 45 and 36 points a contest when they didn’t play Marysville.

The Bulldogs have won seven straight behind quarterback Jack Blumer, running back Hunter Warnick and wide receiver Jayton Haggard. Jacob Stryker and Warnick are among the defensive leaders.

The Bulldog defense has been especially stout against the run. Riley County had 20 carries for 21 yards versus Marysville. Beloit’s 234 rushing yards were the Trojans’ lowest through Week 8. Marysville limited Rossville to 206 rushing yards; only Silver Lake’s defense (163) held the Bulldogs to a lower number.

Marysville is in the playoffs for the second straight season after a 4-6 year last fall when permitted 20.9 points a contest. The Bulldogs entered 2015 on a 32-game losing streak.

Ruder has thrown for more than 1,250 yards for Norton, while junior Tevin Petrie has gone over 1,000 rushing yards. Before a Week 9 blowout against TMP, Norton had committed 13 turnovers. Senior Jacob Green leads the team with more than 125 tackles.

Norton has many key players back from its quarterfinal run last season and 28-24 last-second road win versus Scott City and its dominating defense. Marysville, though, has made offenses one-dimensional and Norton has struggled with offensive efficiency when forced to pass.

Its two lowest yards per carry performances came against Phillipsburg and Plainville. Norton scores more than Marysville’s defensive average, but the Bulldogs earn the playoff win.

Marysville 20, Norton 14 (Nicholl)

The rest of our 3A first-round picks:
Pleasant Ridge (3-6) at No. 5 Nemaha Central (9-0) – Nemaha Central

Mission Valley (6-3) at No. 2 Silver Lake (9-0) – Silver Lake

Humboldt (4-5) at Wellsville (8-1) – Wellsville

Fredonia (7-2) at Galena (7-2) – Galena

Sabetha (8-1) at Maur Hill-Mount Academy (7-2) – Sabetha

Osage City (4-5) at Jayhawk-Linn (9-0) – Osage City

Riverton (2-7) at Caney Valley (7-2) – Caney Valley

Garden Plain (8-1) at Wichita Independent (3-6) – Garden Plain

Southeast of Saline (7-2) at Halstead (8-1) – Halstead

Lakin (5-4) at No. 2 Hoisington (9-0) – Hoisington

Douglass (3-6) at Chaparral (8-1) – Chaparral

Sterling (6-3) at Hesston (6-3) – Hesston

Riley County (5-4) at No. 3 Phillipsburg (9-0) – Phillipsburg

Larned (2-7) at Cimarron (7-2) -- Cimarron


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