High schools

Friday-Saturday high school football: Five games to watch

Updated: 2013-10-11T05:22:20Z

1. Olathe Northwest (2-3) at Shawnee Mission West (3-2)

This game will weigh heavy on the heart of every single SM West player, coach and fan because the image of Andre Maloney will be hovering in the minds of Viking Nation. Maloney, a star wide receiver and defensive back who had verbally committed to Kansas, died last Friday after suffering a stroke after a touchdown reception in West’s game the previous night. Number 29 won’t be on the field tonight and there will be at least two moments of tribute in his honor. His jersey will be included in the pre-game coin flip and a moment of silence will take place prior to the game’s first offensive play.

2. Kearney (5-1) at Staley (3-3)

Allowing 77 points in one game was apparently the best thing to happen to the Kearney Bulldogs. Suddenly they can't lose. After giving up 77 points to Lee's Summit in a Week 2 loss, Kearney has responded with four victories, yielding only 15 points per game. Austin Hinck's first year as quarterback has been a quick transition, a task made easier by top wideout Zack Davis. Staley's aerial attack isn't picking up the same speed, although the Falcons have found a way to remain competitive. Their three losses were by a combined 20 points. Kahluna Bouchard has 707 rushing yards and seven touchdowns.

3. Harrisonville (5-1) at Oak Grove (5-1)

The streak is over. After 713 days without a regular season loss, Oak Grove fell 26-22 to unbeaten Pleasant Hill last week. The Panthers don't have time to sulk. They welcome perennial power Harrisonville to town this week. A win could put Oak Grove back in the race for the Missouri River Valley Conference West championship hunt. Continuing his flair for the dramatic, Harrisonville do-everything quarterback Zach Davidson scored a touchdown with less than a minute to play to defeat Grain Valley last Friday. It's the second time the Wildcats have won in the waning seconds with Davidson providing the late-game magic on both occasions.

4. Lawrence Free State (4-1) at SM East (5-0)

The Lancers play host to Free State, a squad which could reclaim control of the Sunflower League with a victory. But if the game’s close, SM East could have an edge. The Lancers have won their last three games by a combined 11 points -- including last week’s 27-21 overtime victory over SM South in a thriller.

5. Saturday: Van Horn (6-0) at Hogan Prep (6-0)

Two months ago, Van Horn coach Jeff Tolbert said he had the most complete football team in his six years with the school. His reasoning was simple. This team, he explained, had the ability to run the option. He wasn't kidding. Van Horn tailback J.J. Rivers and quarterback Tony Winningham form a potent offensive duo that has the Falcons averaging 45 points per game. Their biggest test of the season, however, comes on Saturday. Hogan Prep also has a 6-0 record for the second straight year. The Rams have allowed only 36 points in six games, and Van Horn might be their only opponent remaining in the regular season capable of blemishing the undefeated mark. The game begins at 1 p.m.

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