Varsity Football

The Varsity Kansas Player of the Year football watch list (Sept. 18)

Week 3: Player of the Year watch list

Check out Taylor Eldridge's top 10 Wichita-area high school football players chosen after Week Three. (Video by Fernando Salazar/The Wichita Eagle)
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Check out Taylor Eldridge's top 10 Wichita-area high school football players chosen after Week Three. (Video by Fernando Salazar/The Wichita Eagle)

Welcome to the third watch list for the Varsity Kansas Player of the Year award, something I have created for this high school football season.

It’s pretty simple: the best players who make the biggest plays in the biggest games will be rewarded. Varsity Kansas will publish a new watch list every Monday at 7 p.m. and ultimately crown the Player of the Year on Monday, Oct. 30.

Disclaimer: Players must be in Sedgwick, Butler and Harvey counties to be ranked.

Watch List: Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3

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Fernando Salazar The Wichita Eagle

1. Blake Sullivan, Goddard senior QB (LW: 1)

Week 3 recap: Sullivan didn’t have the superb game he had against Derby, but the senior stepped up in the game’s biggest moment to lead Goddard for a game-winning touchdown drive on the road to escape with a 21-17 victory over Andover. Sullivan finished with 191 passing yards on just eight completions, while rushing for 97 yards and both of Goddard’s offensive touchdowns.

Season stats: 546 passing yards with 6 touchdowns. 392 rushing yards with 5 touchdowns. 1 interception on defense.

Looking ahead: Goddard (3-0, No. 1 in 5A) vs. Eisenhower (0-3) on Friday.

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Fred Solis Correspondent

2. Braden Howell, Bishop Carroll senior QB (LW: 2)

Week 3 recap: Howell was once again deadly through the air, as he threw for 218 yards and three touchdowns and did most of his work in the first half of Carroll’s 45-14 rout over West. He was an efficient 14 of 21 throwing.

Season stats: 805 passing yards with 9 touchdowns. 122 rushing yards with 2 touchdowns.

Looking ahead: Bishop Carroll (3-0, No. 2 in 5A) at East (1-2) on Thursday.

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Fred Solis Correspondent

3. Breece Hall, Northwest junior RB (LW: 5)

Week 3 recap: Hall produced his third straight game of around 200 total yards, as he delivered 155 rushing yards with 36 receiving yards and two touchdowns in Northwest’s 63-27 blowout over Great Bend on the road.

Season stats: 557 rushing yards (9.1 yard per carry) with 5 touchdowns. 49 receiving yards with 1 touchdown.

Looking ahead: Northwest (2-1) vs. West (2-1) on Friday.

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Fernando Salazar The Wichita Eagle

4. Brody Kooser, Derby senior RB (LW: 6)

Week 3 recap: After losing last week to Goddard, Derby rebounded in a big way with a 60-28 victory over Maize in its home opener. Kooser had a quiet week against Goddard, but exploded this week with a full workload and delivered 214 rushing yards and four touchdowns in the blowout win.

Season stats: 397 rushing yards (7.5 yards per carry) with 8 touchdowns. 1 kickoff return touchdown.

Looking ahead: Derby (2-1, No. 3 in 6A) vs. Hutchinson (3-0) on Friday.

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Travis Heying The Wichita Eagle

5. Parker Roth, Hesston junior RB (LW: 8)

Week 3 recap: Roth has exceeded 200 total yards in his first three games of his junior season, as he rushed for 215 yards and added 38 more in receiving to go along with four touchdowns in Hesston’s 56-35 shootout victory over Larned. Not only is Roth rushing nearly 20 times a game, but he’s averaging 11 yards per carry through three weeks of the season.

Season stats: 661 rushing yards (11.0 yards per carry) with 8 touchdowns. 95 receiving yards with 1 touchdown.

Looking ahead: Hesston (2-1) vs. Nickerson (2-1) on Friday.

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Fernando Salazar The Wichita Eagle

6. Cody McNerney, Collegiate senior QB (LW: 3)

Week 3 recap: Up against one of the best defenses in the state, McNerney still found a way to throw for 255 yards and two long passing touchdowns. He finished with negative-11 rushing yards in Collegiate’s 47-21 loss to Buhler.

Season stats: 664 passing yards with 7 touchdowns. 243 rushing yards with 4 touchdowns.

Looking ahead: Collegiate (2-1, No. 3 in 4A II) at Mulvane (2-1) on Friday.

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Travis Heying The Wichita Eagle

7. Nick Channel, Kapaun Mt. Carmel senior RB (LW: 7)

Week 3 recap: Kapaun isn’t putting up gaudy numbers in its 3-0 start to the season, but Channel has been its most consistent performer on both sides of the ball. He rushed for 59 yards and added 44 receiving yards with a touchdown in Kapaun’s 21-0 win over East last Friday.

Season stats: 378 rushing yards (7.7 yards per carry) with 5 touchdowns. 52 receiving yards (1 touchdown). 1 special teams touchdown.

Looking ahead: Kapaun Mt. Carmel (3-0) at South (1-2) on Friday.

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Bo Rader The Wichita Eagle

8. K’Vonte Baker, Heights junior QB (LW: UR)

Week 3 recap: Baker made his season debut in record-setting fashion, as the junior set the Heights’ record for most rushing yards in a game with 452 yards, most touchdowns scored with eight, and the longest touchdown run with a 92-yard scamper. And the most impressive thing was that he did this on just 13 carries, which means he was running for nearly 35 yards every time he touched the ball.

Season stats: 55 passing yards. 452 rushing yards (34.7 yards per carry) with 8 touchdowns.

Looking ahead: Heights (1-2) vs. Southeast (1-2) on Thursday.

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Travis Heying The Wichita Eagle

9. Jayden Price, Mulvane senior QB (LW: 4)

Week 3 recap: It was a rough week for Mulvane, which lost 48-20 to a very solid Andale team. Price struggled in the game, throwing four interceptions, but did finish with 135 passing yards, 78 rushing yards and three touchdowns in the game.

Season stats: 523 passing yards with 5 touchdowns. 361 rushing yards with 5 touchdowns.

Looking ahead: Mulvane (2-1) vs. Collegiate (2-1, No. 3 in 4A II) on Friday.

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Fernando Salazar The Wichita Eagle

10. Sam Hardin, Trinity senior QB (LW: UR)

Week 3 recap: Hardin makes his debut on the list after torching Independent’s defense for 351 passing yards and five total touchdowns in a 42-15 victory. Hardin finished the game completing 15 of 19 passes, while adding 55 yards on the ground.

Season stats: 794 passing yards with 8 touchdowns. 259 rushing yards with 3 touchdowns.

Looking ahead: Trinity (1-2) vs. Chaparral (3-0) on Friday.

Others to watch

Quarterbacks: Austin Anderson, Northwest; Cameron Cox, Hesston; Caleb Grill, Maize; Micah Grover, Cheney; Federico Harvey, Campus; Dalton Kraus, Halstead; Matt Pauly, Garden Plain; Chance Whitehead, Augusta.

Running backs: Max Domnick, Maize South; Nick Dooley, Garden Plain; Riley Petz, Cheney; Sawyer Simon, Andale.

Receivers: Owen Beason, Goddard; Dalton Cross, Valley Center; Drew Ellis, Mulvane; Thomas Helten, Carroll; Noah Mendez, Halstead; Reese Nebel, Hesston; Jax Reynolds, Northwest; Trent Scheer, Cheney; Caden Williams, Trinity.

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