Week 4 of high school football in the Wichita area features a lot of games that could break the spirits of state title contenders.
Here is a preview of the biggest matchups.
Bishop Carroll at Derby
2018 meeting: Derby 24, Bishop Carroll 6
Preview: It might be the biggest game of the regular season in the Wichita area.
Few programs in Kansas have captured the sustained success of Bishop Carroll and Derby over the past decade, which makes brings statewide attention to the Week 4 Varsity Kansas Game of the Week.
Since 2016, when the schools added each other to the schedule, Derby has dominated. Over the past three seasons, the Panthers have gone undefeated twice with a pair of state championships ... and in the season they didn’t, Carroll won a title.
Last year, the Derby defense held Carroll to six points in a 24-6 road win. It was the first time the Golden Eagles were held shy of double-digits in eight years. Since that game, Derby has done it to eight opponents in 12 tries, including once in a state semifinal.
But this year’s game should feature more offense. Derby (3-0) brings back perhaps the best roster of offense in Kansas, with quarterback Grant Adler, running back Tre Washington, receivers Cavion Walker and Davin Simms, tight end Jacob Karsak and linemen Alex Conn and Kevin Washington.
Carroll had a lot of holes to fill on offense after losing its 2018 Week 1 quarterback, running back and top three receivers. But after getting out to a 2-1 start with wins over Wichita Heights and West — and losing to state runner-up Northwest by only four — Carroll seems to have found its replacements.
That could mean fireworks Friday in Derby.
Prediction: Derby 35, Bishop Carroll 24
Eisenhower at Goddard
2018 meeting: Goddard 12, Eisenhower 3
Preview: They call it the Roar on 54.
Just a couple of miles and Highway 54 split the crosstown rivals, and Goddard and Eisenhower’s 2019 game has the potential to be special.
Both teams enter 2-1. Goddard is the defending 4A runner-up. Eisenhower is one of the up-and-coming teams in the Wichita area. The Lions are fresh off a 38-21 road loss to Andover Central. The Tigers just completed a 20-14 road comeback over Andover.
Goddard is under the direction of second-year coach Tommy Beason. Eisenhower has a first-year coach Darrin Fisher who was Beason’s defensive coordinator last season.
Last year’s game finished 12-3 in one of the ugliest outings of the year for both offenses. Neither offense has looked unstoppable this year, and both defenses have shown glimpses of greatness this season.
The teams appear evenly matched for a Week 4 tangle on the west side of Wichita.
Prediction: Goddard 14, Eisenhower 10
Clearwater at Cheney
2018 meeting: Clearwater 21, Cheney 7
Preview: Two of the surprise teams in the Wichita area are looking to make their next statement.
Cheney lost 35-19 to undefeated rival Garden Plain in Week 1. Since then, the Cardinals have outscored opponents by 95 points, including a 49-19 win over Conway Springs, which hadn’t lost a regular-season game since 2016.
Clearwater is 3-0 for the first time since 2011, when it finished 8-2. The Indians have AVCTL IV wins over Rose Hill, Mulvane and Wellington.
A win in Week 4 for either propels that team through the Class 3A district standings and sets up a promising postseason.
Prediction: Cheney 20, Clearwater 13
Wichita West at Wichita Northwest
2018 meeting: Northwest 56, West 32
Preview: Some of the wind has come out of its sails, but this City League matchup looks like first vs. third.
Northwest has a win over Bishop Carroll, and Carroll has a win over West, indicating Northwest should handle its business against the Pioneers. But West has shown a different kind of fight in 2019.
The Pioneers captured their first win over Kapaun since 2000 in Week 2 and have started 2-1.
But Northwest is undefeated with a win over two state quarterfinalists and another while scoring the third-most points in school history. The Grizzlies haven’t allowed more than 20 points in any game this season.
Prediction: Northwest 35, West 14
Sedgwick at Ell-Saline
2018 meeting: Ell-Saline 27, Sedgwick 13
Preview: This is one of this weekend’s only meetings between undefeated Kansas teams in Week 4.
Sedgwick and Ell-Saline make up one of the biggest rivalries in the smaller classifications. Over the past five years, Sedgwick has dominated, but Ell-Saline is making a turn.
Ell-Saline has outscored opponents 105-0 through the first three weeks and beat Sedgwick 27-13 last year. But even without gunslinger quarterback Hooper Schroeder, the Sedgwick offense is still putting up outstanding numbers.
Sedgwick’s lowest offensive output this season is 49 points in Week 1 to Remington. The Cardinals won 49-0.
Prediction: Ell-Saline 31, Sedgwick 14
Conway Springs at Hutch-Trinity
2018 meeting: Conway Springs 22, Hutch Trinity 8
Preview: In the past decade, there are only about a dozen teams in Kansas with more wins than Conway Springs or Hutchinson Trinity. That excellence will be on the field again Friday.
Last year was the first time these teams had met since 2009, when they played to a 33-28 finish in the second round of the postseason. There is reason to believe the game will be that close a decade later.
Both teams enter 2-1 with ugly losses still fresh. Another loss in Week 4 would be crippling.
Prediction: Conway Springs 24, Hutch Trinity 21