It’s time to decide Kansas football state championships and 913 area teams are still in the hunt. Shawnee Mission East and St. Thomas Aquinas are looking for their first titles, and Bishop Miege takes aim on fifth. It would be the first for the Stags since 2009.
Season record: 36-12
Last week: 3-0
Class 6A: SM East (12-0) vs. Hutchinson (8-4), 1 p.m. Saturday at Emporia State University
The Lancers entered the season with one goal and that was to win a Class 6A state championship. They fell just short last year and lost to Derby, but the Lancers returned 16 starters from that squad. The offensive balance between quarterback Gunnar Englund and running back Wyatt Edmisten has presented a unique challenge to opponents. Not many teams — except Olathe North last week — have been able to hang with SM East this season.
Prediction: Shawnee Mission East 35, Hutchinson 24
Class 5A: St. Thomas Aquinas (9-3) vs. Bishop Carroll (12-0), 1 p.m. Saturday at Pittsburg State University
The St. Thomas Aquinas Saints have a pretty big challenge standing between them and a state title. The Bishop Carroll offense averages 375.3 yards per game and its defense has held every opponent to 15 or fewer points this season. Aquinas will need a nearly perfect game and another big week from quarterback Karter Odermann to knock off Bishop Carroll. Odermann has 12 total touchdowns.
Prediction: Bishop Carroll 24, St. Thomas Aquinas 17
Class 4A Division I: Bishop Miege (12-0) vs. Topeka Hayden (11-1), 1 p.m. Saturday at Hummer Sports Complex in Topeka
This year’s Bishop Miege seniors still have a bitter taste in their mouth from losing in the state title game two years ago. They’ve worked hard to get another shot at redemption. That determination led the Stags to an Eastern Kansas League title and undefeated run to the championship game. They will need another strong performance from quarterback Ryan Willis and running back Dawson Downing.
Prediction: Bishop Miege 28, Topeka Hayden 21
To reach Kathleen Gier, call 816-234-4875 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.