Week 7 is set to be the most loaded schedule of the 2018 season.
With that, there are several favorable matchups. Here is a player to watch at every position Friday:
Reagan Jones - Wichita Northwest, Quarterback, Jr.
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Wichita Northwest has the most yards of any offense in Kansas, and Jones is at the helm of it.
The Grizzly junior is in his first season in blue and gold after transferring from Andover Central. He is still learning the ins and outs of the offense, but so far he has been outstanding and will have a good chance to shine again Friday.
Northwest plays Heights at home. The Falcons (4-2) are coming off an overtime win over Wichita South.
Cole Diffenbaugh - Mulvane, Running Back, Sr.
Few players had the night Diffenbaugh had last week.
The Mulvane back finished third in the top five individual performances after a five-touchdown evening. He and the Wildcats will have plenty of opportunities at the end zone in Week 7 at El Dorado (2-4).
Diffenbaugh has rushed for 868 yards this season with nine touchdowns. That’s almost 150 yards a night.
Mark Hedstrom - Trinity Academy, Receiver, Jr.
Trinity Academy hasn’t won a game this season and for good reason.
The Knights’ opponents have a combined 29-7 record, but this could be the week as they host 1-5 Cheney. Through it all, Hedstrom has been a positive.
The junior receiver has 493 receiving yards this season, which is top five in the Wichita area. Trinity has been beaten up this season, but Friday should be the Knights’ chance at getting back.
Blake Mitchell - Goddard, Tight End, Jr.
Maize South comes into Goddard with a lot of momentum. Mitchell will be key to neutralizing that.
At 6-foot-3, 195 pounds, Mitchell is too big for most defensive backs and far too fast for many linebackers. He is the Lions’ leading receiver through six games with 358 receiving yards and should be the beneficiary of an offense that is starting to hit its stride.
The Mavericks started the season giving up a lot of big plays, and though they have cut down on that, Mitchell is always a big-play threat.
Bishop Carroll - Offensive Line
Carroll should finally get a break.
After a barrage of a schedule, the Golden Eagles host Wichita North for homecoming in Week 7. To this point, West has been Carroll’s most lopsided game.
The Golden Eagles are down to their third string quarterback, so that offensive line will need to perform to make Aiden Niedens more comfortable behind them.
Maize - Defensive Line
The last time the Maize defensive line played an offensive line as talented as the one it will see Friday, the Eagles finished with double-digit sacks.
Maize’s defense has been its calling card in 2018, and if the Eagles want to get past Salina Central and Kansas’ leading rusher Taylon Peters, the defensive line will need to be at its peak.
The Eagles will rotate in about six bodies, so freshness won’t be an issue.
Kyle Hurd - Douglass, Linebacker, Sr.
Migc Aiyanyor - Derby, Safety, Sr.
Campus likes to throw it, and Aiyanyor likes to run it the other way.
The last time Campus played a defense as talented as the one the Colts will see Friday, they didn’t score a point.
Aiyanyor is Derby’s most ball-friendly defensive back, and with the ball being thrown around the yard as often as it is likely to be, he should have his shots at snagging an interception.
Bryce Cormack - Chaparral, Cornerback, Sr.
Conway Springs doesn’t like to throw it much, so maybe ironically, Cormack is one to watch.
Cormack is the Roadrunners’ top-tackling cornerback with 35 this season — fifth most on the team. Conway Springs likes to run it, so Cormack’s tackling will be needed.
And when the Cardinals drop back, he must be discipline to stick to his coverage in what could be a district and league title game.