Four 913 area teams — Olathe North, Shawnee Mission East, St. Thomas Aquinas and Bishop Miege — will play in Kansas high school football substate playoff games this week. All games start at 7 p.m. on Friday.
Olathe North (11-0) at SM East (11-0)
The Sunflower League’s top two teams will finally meet with a Kansas Class 6A state championship bid on the line for the second straight season.
Olathe North got off to a slow start at the beginning of the season, but has rolled since Week 3. Since then, the Eagles have won every game by double digits, with three shutouts. Olathe North defeated the Eastern Kansas League’s top 6A team last week in Blue Valley, with two touchdowns from both Venus Triplett and Cole Murphy.
They will have their hands full with the explosive SM East offense, which has averaged nearly 48 points per game and held every opponent to 19 or fewer points. Wyatt Edmisten had another strong performance with 152 yards and three touchdowns on 28 carries and Gunnar Englund passed for two touchdowns.
St. Thomas Aquinas (8-3) at Shawnee Heights (7-4)
St. Thomas Aquinas is short-staffed, but the Saints are still getting it done without star running back James Cosentino, who sustained a lower leg injury in the final week of the regular season.
Four different players scored touchdowns last week, including Karter Odermann who ran for one and connected with Nathan Burditt for another. Kyle Bollig led the Saints with 129 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries.
Both these defenses have been stingy, allowing no more than 15 points in each of their first two playoff games. Expect another low-scoring affair this week.
If the Saints defeat Shawnee Heights, they would advance to their first state title game since 2008, when they faced current Aquinas coach Randy Dreiling’s Hutchinson Salthawks.
Piper (10-1) at Bishop Miege (11-0)
Piper could easily be Bishop Miege’s biggest competition for the Kansas Class 4A Division I state title. The Stags will have to contain Piper fullback and linebacker Colton Beebe, who rushed for three touchdowns in a victory over Paola last Friday.
Bishop Miege has a lot of star power themselves in quarterback Ryan Willis and running back Dawson Downing, who have combined for five touchdowns and 426 yards of total offense in last week’s victory. It was Miege’s fourth shutout of the season and second in a row. The Stags have now outscored opponents 491-124, with a 110-0 margin in their first two playoff victories.