Varsity Kansas

This week's area football playoff games (Nov. 11)

Class 6A

Garden City at Heights

When: 7 tonight

Records: Garden City 7-2, Heights 10-0

Radio: KQAM, 1480-AM

Outlook: Heights is on a 23-game winning streak and trying to win its second straight Class 6A title. QB Matt Reed (1,031 rushing yards) injured his ankle in last week's 43-0 win over Washburn Rural and sat out practice on Monday and Tuesday but is expected back tonight. Garden City is led by senior QB Jake Curran (6-3, 185), who has thrown for 1,239 yards, 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions but hasn't thrown a pick since Sept. 16. DT Gabe Luna (6-3, 265) is a load up front.

Manhattan at Derby

When: 7 tonight

Records: Manhattan 10-0, Derby 7-3

Radio: KWME, 93.5-FM

Outlook: Derby heads into tonight's game loaded with confidence, and rightly so. The Panthers started 0-2 but have played well in the last eight, nearly beating Heights, the state's top-ranked team, and shutting down the Falcons' running game more effectively than any other team.

Derby's QB situation is still a question. Starter Todd Freeman (935 rushing yards) was injured in the 21-14 win at Northwest last week, but he has quality backups in Kellen Sims and Jeremy Dunham. Tyler West (756 rushing) is a capable back, too.

Manhattan rolled in its playoff opener, beating Dodge City 55-0. The Indians had two close wins in a tough district, winning by a combined 11 points. RB Ty Suggs had six touchdowns and 163 yards in last week's win. QB Dakota Harwood threw for 149 yards on five completions.

Class 5A


When: 7 tonight

Records: Emporia 7-3, Carroll 9-1

Radio: KGSO, 1410-AM

Outlook: Carroll QB Zeke Palmer has turned into a star, throwing for 1,889 yards and 13 touchdowns. Even more impressive is how Palmer has spread out the catches — seven receivers have caught touchdown passes and four have at least 250 receiving yards.

Emporia's offense averages 455 yards and 40.9 points and is led by RB Derek Gifford, who has rushed for 1,551 yards and scored 21 touchdowns. Sophomore FS Cody Campbell has made big plays in his first season as a starter and has 69 tackles, two interceptions, seven pass breakups and has scored touchdowns by interception, punt return and kickoff return.


When: 7 tonight

Records: Kapaun 8-2, Hutchinson 8-2

Radio: KWLS, 107.9-FM

Outlook: The Crusaders are riding high after a 32-31 win over McPherson in which they scored two touchdowns in the final 1:54. Kapaun QB Nathan Degenhardt had a breakout game, throwing for 191 yards and rushing for 135.

To beat the Salthawks, Kapaun will have to slow RB Ja'mon Cotton, who has rushed for an eye-popping 1,768 yards and 30 touchdowns. Hutchinson has dealt with turnover problems, fumbling six times (losing five) in last week's 27-21 win over Hays. The Salthawks had their streak of six straight state titles _ four in Class 6A, two in 5A _ snapped last season.

Class 4A

Topeka Hayden at Buhler

When: 7 tonight

Records: Hayden 10-1, Buhler 11-0

Radio: KNSS, 1330-AM

Outlook: After Hayden ended Buhler's season two straight years, Buhler won at Hayden in 2010. Buhler hopes to make that a winning streak tonight. The Crusaders are led by ' offense is potent, with one of the state's top backs in Tanner Fisher (2,144 yards, 37 TDs), QB Chandler Shantz (1,170 passing yards) and receiver JP Lohrentz (799 receiving yards, 12 touchdowns). The offensive line, a question early, has improved.

Fisher missed the first game of the playoffs with a staph infection, but Riley Allen filled in nicely with 150 yards. Fisher came back strong in Saturday's win _ he had 320 rushing yards and his first carry was 80 yards.

Hayden QB Grant Arnold has 1,116 passing yards, while Zack Weekley has a team-high 742 rushing. The Wildcats primarily play 6A and 5A schools, and their only loss was by five to Manhattan in the opener.

Rose Hill at Ulysses

When: 7 tonight

Records: Rose Hill 10-1, Ulysses 10-1

Radio: None

Outlook: The Rockets are led by QB Derrick Decker, who has thrown for 844 yards and rushed for 868. Decker also has 70 tackles. RB Jonny Pearson leads Rose Hill with 1,278 rushing yards. Defensively, Cody Carlson has a team-high 128 tackles.

Ulysses is a run-oriented team led by Armando Sandoval (923 rushing yards, 12 touchdowns.) and Josh Jarnagin (676 yards, 16 touchdowns). But QB Braden Langston's skill has resulted in Ulysses passing more than past years. He has 1,473 passing yards and 19 touchdowns.

Class 3A

Scott city at conway springs

When: 5 p.m. Saturday

Records: Scott City 11-0, Conway Springs 10-1

Radio: KZSN, 102.1-FM

Outlook: Conway Springs is coming off a 55-13 win over previously unbeaten Sedgwick in which the Cardinals picked off star QB Trent Stucky four times after Stucky had only thrown four picks previously.

Unbeaten Scott City will be hard-pressed to find ways to stop Conway's single-wing offense, which features Cory Misak (1,018 rushing yards) and Brian Doffing (983).

Beloit at Garden Plain

When: 7 tonight

Records: Beloit 9-2, Garden Plain 10-1

Radio: None

Outlook: Garden Plain has managed to win one close game after another, including an overtime win at Conway Springs midway through the regular season, and a three-point win over Collegiate in the second round of the playoffs.

Senior RB Joey Capul, a tough, physical back with speed, has a team-high 1,487 rushing yards with 16 touchdowns, while teammates Denver Doyle, Dylan Clark and Lucas Jennings each have more than 540 rushing.

Beloit is led by Alex Niemczyk, who has 1,161 rushing yards. Stanten Krone and Bowe Behymer add 608 and 513. Defensively, Beloit is led by Payton Vetter, who has 72 tackles. He also has thrown for 745 yards.