If Campus could have any game back from the 2017 season, it would be Week 6.
Last year, Maize beat the Colts 38-28. All in the Campus locker room would tell you they didn’t come out with the energy they needed. And that cost them. But the fact is Campus was a year away in 2017.
Maize was expected to take a step back after losing its top running back and some top end talent on defense, but the Eagles have proven to be stead and lethal. Maize beat Valley Center 49-0 in Week 1. Seven days later, they won by the same score at Hutchinson.
Friday’s meeting will have major implications on the AVCTL I race. Although both teams still have to go through Derby, the reigning league champs, a win here would go a long way in proving they belong in the conversation.
Last Meeting: Maize 38, Campus 28 (Week 6, 2017)
Prediction: Campus 35, Maize 34
I picked Hesston to go undefeated before the season, but through two weeks, Pratt looks like the more likely choice.
The Swathers have scraped by with one-score wins over Hillsboro and Larned while the Greenbacks have rolled with victories over Hoisington and Halstead.
Friday will come down to a pair of runners. For Hesston, it’s senior Parker Roth. For Pratt, Travis Theis.
Both seniors were listed in the Eagle’s top 20 players to watch heading into the 2018 season, and both will be needed for their team to stay undefeated in a huge Central Plains League matchup.
Last Meeting: Hesston 14, Pratt 7 (Week 6, 2015)
Prediction: Pratt 31, Hesston 21
Cheney needs this.
The Cardinals have had one of the most brutal opening two weeks of any team in the Wichita area with Garden Plain and Conway Springs. It doesn’t get any easier with Chaparral.
The Roadrunners’ offense is high-powered with quarterback Jake Burke, running back Jarrett Shelton and receiver Quinton Pfaff. They present a three-headed problem for Cheney.
Cardinals quarterback Kauy Kuhn and running back Riley Petz will have to find ways to keep Chaparral in it late.
Last Meeting: Cheney 39, Chaparral 14 (Week 7, 2017)
Prediction: Chaparral 21, Cheney 14
Goddard won’t want to look at what happened last time these teams met.
Andover Central beat the Lions 28-21 in Week 3 of the 2015 season. A lot has changed since then. Goddard is one of the perennial powers in Kansas, but the Jaguars have proven to have a strong defense in 2018.
Goddard’s offensive weapons are great, with quarterback Kyler Semrad, running back Ben Bannister and tight end Blake Mitchell, but its defense could be even stronger with Kam’Ron Gonzalez and Dhimani Butler headlining the linebacker core.
If Andover Central can throw off the Goddard defense, it might be a game.
Last Meeting: Andover Central 28, Goddard 21 (Week 3, 2015)
Prediction: Goddard 31, Andover Central 7
West is a hard team to make out through two weeks.
The Pioneers started with 55 on Hutchinson and followed it with -2 total yards and zero points against Kapaun. Hutch is down and Kapaun’s defense is up, but where does that leave West?
Friday against Carroll will show us.
The Golden Eagles are coming off their first win since the 5A state championship, which should do them a lot of good heading into a big City League road game.
Last Meeting: Bishop Carroll 45, Wichita West 14 (Week 3, 2017)
Prediction: Bishop Carroll 28, Wichita West 14
Both at 1-1, this will dictate a lot of the direction each of these teams heads for the rest of the 2018 season.
Andover and Eisenhower have throw-away games. For the Trojans, it’s a 35-12 loss to Great Bend. For Ike, the 44-7 blowout at the hands of Salina Central — a team that hadn’t won since 2015.
But both teams showed good qualities in Week 2 wins.
The Trojans will spread the field and look to utilize the arm of sophomore quarterback Eli Fahnestock while the Tigers will pack it in with their flexbone system.
Whichever team takes the tempo and doesn’t turn the ball over is likely the one to win.
Last Meeting: Eisenhower 35, Andover 21 (Week 7, 2017)
Prediction: Andover 17, Eisenhower 14
With the way Derby is rolling, it’s hard to pick any team going against them.
Newton gets this game at home and is coming off an emotional loss to Campus in Week 2. That should help, but the Panthers’ starting defense still hasn’t allowed a point this season. If quarterback Grant Adler can lead the offense to a couple of scores, Derby just has to hold on.
Newton has good qualities in quarterback Colton Davis and receiver Damarius Peterson, but Derby has so many neutralizing weapons on defense.
Last Meeting: Derby 57, Newton 0 (Week 5, 2015)
Prediction: Derby 45, Newton 7
With Andale likely to win AVCTL IV, this game will go a long way in deciding the No. 2 spot.
Mulvane and Collegiate are both in the transition phase but still have weapons at their disposal.
Both are looking to put embarrassing Week 1 performances out of sight, and a win in Week 3 will do that a lot of good.
Last Meeting: Mulvane 35, Collegiate 19 (Week 4, 2017)
Prediction: Mulvane 22, Collegiate 14
North has a chance - a good chance - to be 3-0.
The Redskins shocked the state with a Week 1 win over Wichita South and followed it up with an inspired road victory at Liberal. They are back in town and now face a team that lost to South 36-7.
North coach Scott Moshier said his players are starting to take the game more seriously with a couple of wins under their belt. A third would create one of the best feel-good stories in Kansas.
Last Meeting: Wichita Southeast 49, Wichita North 42 (Week 3, 2017)
Prediction: Wichita North 26, Wichita Southeast 10
Great Bend continues its Wichita-area tour with one of its bests.
Northwest’s passing offense came to life in Week 2. The Grizzlies beat East 56-0, and quarterback Reagan Jones and receiver Kale Patterson connected for three touchdowns in the first half.
Great Bend has an impressive win over Andover in the season-opener, but Northwest is a different animal on both sides of the ball.
Last Meeting: Wichita Northwest 63, Great Bend 27 (Week 3, 2017)
Prediction: Wichita Northwest 52, Great Bend 15