SEK League Week 3
Ft. Scott (2-0, 2-0) @ Chanute (1-1, 0-0)
This has to be the most intriguing game in the SEK League this week. The Chanute Blue Comets are fresh off a loss where they completely outmatched by former SEK League foe Pittsburg. They sustained injuries and dampened the momentum they were carrying from a win over Iola. Coach Shields believes this schedule will only better prepare the young Comets for district with a physical Coffeyville team and athletic Labette County squad.
Fort Scott enters Friday’s match-up 2-0, outscoring their opponents 112-13. Their wins came against a two young league teams in Parsons and Independence. Fort Scott is the pre-season pick to win the SEK League. Long time head coach Bob Campbell will no doubt have his team prepared for the trip to Chanute, but how will the team respond to a team that they don’t completely over match?
Coffeyville (1-1, 1-0) @ Riverton
After an impressive win last Friday at home against Parsons, the Field Kindley Golden Tornado of Coffeyville are hoping to notch their second of the season, as they travel to Riverton to face a winless Rams squad.
In a league that is looking to be up for grabs between the top four teams as of right now, momentum will be vital for these teams as they approach the weeks leading up to their match-ups. In recent years the SEK league has been dominated by a run-heavy Fort Scott team. This was all changed last season as Independence took it all in a 5-0 sweep of the league. This year things are prone to be even more interesting as the reigning champion Bulldogs of Indy have graduated most of their starters and Fort Scott returns as the favorite. With all these factors playing a role in deciding who will win the league, non-conference games like Coffeyville’s this week, may prove to be just as important as the games themselves, since we all know that a team with a 7-1 confidence will likely play better than a team with a beaten-down 1-7 record.
Regardless of games coming up, the fact is: the ‘Nado have a game this Friday against a team from the rough, tough CNC (Crawford-Neosho-Cherokee) league, and they cannot find themeselves in a “trap game” situation. They must look at the task at hand and get the job done and surely Coach Darrin Wegner is stressing this to his team. Wegner’s offense has proven to be his strong suit since starting with Coffeyville a year ago, being blessed with a potential All-State caliber, dual threat quaterback in Junior CJ Kelley. Kelley completed six (6) of eleven (11) passes last week for 153 yards and one (1) touchdown, while carrying the ball thirteen (13) times for a total of thirty-two (32) yards and another score. He also added a two-point conversion to his impressive outing. The ‘Nado defeated Riverton last season with a routing which resulted in a final score of 44-12. The Rams hold a record of 4-17, dating back to 2015, however they did manage to sneak into the 3A state playoffs last season before falling to Caney Valley, as their only two (2) wins came in district play.
Labette County (1-1, 0-0) @ Osawatomie
This week, the Labette County Grizzlies will travel upstate to Osawatomie, KS as they are looking to get back on track after a physical week 2 loss at home against a very solid Andale team. Last week Labette consistently struggled to move the ball on offense, and they couldn’t stop the powerful downhill running attack provided by a one- two punch out of the Andale backfield. This week, however, the Grizzlies look to come out firing against an Osawatamie defense that has been lackluster thus far. After two games the Trojans have been outscored 86-42. Going against two run-heavy offenses Osawatomie has allowed a total of 609 yards rushing on 85 attempts for an average of 7.1 yards per carry. The pass defense hasn’t fared much better as they have given up 279 yards through the air on just 14 completions for an average just under 20 yards per attempt.
The lack of pass coverage looks to play right into the wheelhouse of this Labette County offense though, as Head Coach Sean Price and first year signal caller Easton Dean will look to spread the ball around to their deep core of receivers. Through just 2 games the Grizzlies have had 10 different players record an offensive grab. That number alone shows that there is no sweat in finding a target on Friday night, although, Dean will more than likely be throwing more passes than not in the direction of Owyn Back, Tanner Russell or Kale Irwin, as all three currently have a yard per catch of over 15 yards. Look for Coach Price to run a more balanced offense this week, and potentially break out a few draw plays to senior tailback T.J Mayhue who currently leads the team in all purpose yardage with a total of 200 yards from scrimmage, the majority coming from the ground game.
Independence (0-2, 0-1) @ Parsons (0-2, 0-2)
After bringing home the SEK league championship a year ago, the Independence Bulldogs are still searching for win number one of the 2017 season as they prepare for a week 3 matchup with the Parsons Vikings.
Neither team has started the season the way they intended, however both Independence and Parsons have the opportunity to get a much needed win on Friday night. While the Vikings will once again rely on speed and big plays to spark their offense, the Bulldogs will look to senior quarterback Josh Pralle to lead the charge on the road.
Pralle, who is making the transition to quarterback from running back, will look to run the read option much of the night. Although Pralle will rely on his own legs much of the game, he will also look to sophomore running backs Marshall Day and Amauryon Farley to carry much of the load to wear down the Vikings defense.
On the defensive side of the ball the Bulldogs are giving up over 47 points per game, while the Vikings are giving up 57 points per game.
Both teams are looking to improve on defense but expect a high scoring affair. This one could come down to a single point as the Bulldogs have yet to attempt an extra point and are 0-3 on two point conversions.