Varsity Football

#VKFB18: The top 20 high school football games to watch in Wichita this fall

Northwest football will travel to Bishop Carroll in the Grizzlies season opener Aug. 31.
Northwest football will travel to Bishop Carroll in the Grizzlies season opener Aug. 31. Correspondent

20. Maize at Campus

Week 3, Sept. 14

Last Meeting: Campus 26 at Maize 36 (2017)

19. Kapaun Mt. Carmel at Northwest

Week 5, Sept. 28

Last Meeting: Northwest 26 at Kapaun 14 (2017)

18. Andover at Andover Central

Week 7, Oct. 12

Last Meeting: Andover Central 7 at Andover 39 (2017)

17. Campus at Derby

Week 7, Oct. 12

Last Meeting: Derby 48 at Campus 20 (2017)

16. Andover at Goddard

Week 8, Oct. 19

Last Meeting: Goddard 21 at Andover 17 (2017)

15. Maize South at Eisenhower

Week 6, Oct. 5

Last Meeting: Maize South 20 at Eisenhower 29 (2015)

14. Goddard at Maize South

Week 7, Oct. 12

Last Meeting: Goddard 34 at Maize South 41 (2015)

13. Kapaun Mt. Carmel at Andover

Week 4, Sept. 21

Last Meeting: Andover 0 at Kapaun 21 (2017)

12. Andale at Mulvane

Week 1, Aug. 31

Last Meeting: Mulvane 20 at Andale 48 (2017)

11. Cheney at Conway Springs

Week 2, Sept. 7

Last Meetings: Cheney 0 at Conway Springs 41 (2017)

10. Pratt at Hesston

Week 3, Sept. 14

Pratt vs. Hesston
Pratt football will play at Hesston in on Sept. 14. Travis Heying The Wichita Eagle

Pratt and Hesston finished the 2017 season with 15 combined wins. The Greenbacks won the Central Kansas League but did not qualify for the state playoffs. Hesston finished fourth but made it to the Class 3A sectionals after a regional win over Conway Springs.

The meeting in Week 3 should give both teams a chance to gain momentum before what could turn out to be a pivotal CKL clash.

Last Meeting: Pratt 7 at Hesston 14 (2015)

9. Garden Plain at Cheney

Week 1, Aug. 31

Garden Plain vs. Cheney
Garden Plain football will play at Cheney to open the season Aug. 31. Wichita Eagle

The battle of the birds has turned into one of the best rivalries in the Wichita area, and the 2018 edition could be tone-setting game for both teams’ seasons in the season opener.

Cheney finished second in the Central Plains League only to Conway Springs and went out in the Class 3A sectionals to eventual champion Marysville. Garden Plain came third in the league despite beating the Cardinals. The Owls missed the playoffs.

Last Meeting: Cheney 13 at Garden Plain 18 (2017)

8. Bishop Carroll at Kapaun Mt. Carmel

Week 6, Oct. 5

Carroll vs. Kapaun
Bishop Carroll football will play at Kapaun Mt. Carmel for the Holy War on Oct. 5. Manny De Los Santos Wichita Eagle

The 2018 Holy War might have the flair of the past with the Golden Eagles coming off a Class 5A state championship and the Crusaders lost twice to Carroll last season. But the rivalry is almost always competitive.

In Carroll and Kapaun’s regular season meeting, the Crusaders held a lead but eventually lost 30-22. Both teams return a healthy crop of seniors, which could turn this year’s version into a classic.

Last Meeting: Kapaun 6 at Carroll 41 (2017, 5A Regional)

7. Maize at Goddard

Week 5, Sept. 28

Maize vs. Goddard
Maize football will play at Goddard on Sept. 28. Jaime Green The Wichita Eagle

Maize and Goddard have been two of the most powerful in the Wichita area in recent years, but the Eagles and Lions haven’t met since the 2013 season.

Goddard is coming off its second straight AVCTL II title, and Maize is hot off a second-place league finish and 5A sectional appearance. The Eagles only lost to state champion Carroll by 12.

Last Meeting: Goddard 12, Maize 54 (2013)

6. Goddard at Eisenhower

Week 5, Sept. 21

Goddard vs. Eisenhower
Goddard football will play Eisenhower in a crosstown rivalry game Sept. 21. Fernando Salazar The Wichita Eagle

With Eisenhower expected to make a strong leap up the AVCTL II standings in 2018, the crosstown rivalry could turn out to be tightly contested. The Lions sent 10 players to play college football and have plenty of holes to fill and will need to shore up the offensive line before Week 5.

Although the Tigers were beaten twice last season, the rivals’ meeting in the Class 5A sectional was decided by 15 points, which could give momentum to a game that can change the trajectory of the league.

Last Meeting: Eisenhower 13, Goddard 28 (2017, 5A Sectional)

5. Andale at Cheney

Week 8, Oct. 19

Andale vs. Cheney
Andale football will finish its season at Cheney on Oct. 19. Travis Heying The Wichita Eagle

Andale and Cheney have been primed to meet for years, and it will happen on the final week of the regular season in 2018. Andale is coming off a Class 4A-Division I title game appearance, and Cheney hasn’t had a losing season since 2011.

The Cardinals will have a tough road before Week 8 but will be the Indians’ last and perhaps best opponent of the season.

Last Meeting: Cheney 6 at Andale 49 (2013)

4. Garden Plain at Conway Springs

Week 8, Oct. 19

Garden Plain vs. Conway Springs
Garden Plain football will finish its season at Conway Springs on Oct. 19. Fred Solis Correspondent

Conway Springs hasn’t lost a regular season game since the 2016 season finale against Chaparral. This season, the Cardinals finish the season with a Garden Plain team that is poised to make a strong case for the Central Plains League title. Conway Springs and Cheney seem to be the most worthy teams to make sure that doesn’t happen.

With the game coming on senior night at Conway Springs, the Owls will have a tall task to win, but the Cardinals are coming off a first-round exit in the 2017 playoffs after an undefeated regular season. That should give Garden Plain hope for the upset.

Last Meeting: Conway Springs 26 at Garden Plain 6 (2017)

3. Derby at Maize

Week 8, Oct. 19

Derby at Maize
Derby football will finish its regular season at Maize on Oct. 19. Fernando Salazar The Wichita Eagle

In the highest league in the AVCTL, Maize and Derby seem to be on a track toward the top of the standings. Their Week 8 meeting could prove to be the decider.

Derby is coming off a Class 6A title game appearance, and Maize made it to the 5A sectional against Carroll. In 2017, the Wichita area powers met in Week 3, and the Eagles were beaten soundly. The Panthers have made habit of improving as the year goes on, but the Eagles won seven straight after the Derby loss.

Last Meeting: Maize 28, Derby 60 (2017)

2. Northwest at Bishop Carroll

Week 1, Aug. 31

Northwest at Carroll football
Northwest football with open its season at Carroll on Aug. 31. Fred Solis Correspondent

The City League’s bests meet on the first day of the season, and both coaches agreed that’s what they want. Carroll won the league in 2017, and the Grizzlies came second. Their meeting will give both teams a benchmark of their progress. It will also likely dictate the winner of the City League.

Carroll is the defending 5A champion, and Northwest made it to the 6A semifinals. The Golden Eagles have lost a great deal of talent on both sides of the ball, and the Grizzlies will come back with perhaps the area’s top two players in running back Breece Hall and defensive end Marcus Hicks.

With Northwest dropping to 5A, the season opener could also be a playoff preview.

Last Meeting: Carroll 40 at Northwest 35 (2017)

1. Derby at Bishop Carroll

Week 4, Sept. 21

Carroll vs. Derby
Derby football will travel to Bishop Carroll on Sept. 21. Travis Heying The Wichita Eagle

When Carroll and Derby started their regular season meeting in 2016, it dawned the best year-after-year matchup in the Wichita area. Together they have six state championships and eight league championships since 2012.

Carroll and Derby will have a chance to meet after a month of experience and getting players in the right spots; the Week 4 game should be set up as the area’s best. The Panthers have beaten Carroll in both of the past two meetings, but this year Derby will have to travel to Wichita’s west side.

Last Meeting: Carroll 45 at Derby 54 (2017)