Varsity Football

What a 5-0 start would mean for each of the Wichita area’s 14 unbeaten teams

Three of the 14 undefeated teams in the Wichita area are guaranteed to bow out in Week 5.

With three matchups of undefeated teams, there is a lot on the line. Here is what a 5-0 start would mean for each unbeaten in the Wichita area.

Derby Panthers

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The Derby High School football team Hayden Barber The Wichita Eagle

Derby is looking to go 5-0 in back-to-back seasons and the third time in the past four seasons.

The last two times the Panthers started with a handful of wins, they won a Class 6A state championship. The two before that, they reached the semifinal round, and before that, they went to the title game.

Derby goes to Salina South (1-3) in Week 5. The Panthers haven’t lost to the Cougars since 2013, a season in which they won another title.

Maize Eagles

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Noah Stanton and the Maize defense put on a show in the Eagles’ 21-0 win over Campus on Friday. (Sept. 14, 2018) Hayden Barber The Wichita Eagle

Maize is seeking back-to-back 5-0 starts for the first time in school history.

The Eagles reached the Class 5A semifinals last year after starting 5-0. They also did it in 2000 but failed to qualify for the postseason. But Maize has a massive test this week.

The Eagles host last year’s Class 4A runner-up Goddard in Week 5. Last year, they beat Goddard 27-2 on the road. Maize hasn’t lost to the Lions since 2008.

Maize South Mavericks

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Maize South Mavericks Hayden Barber The Wichita Eagle

This might be the best year of high school football in the city of Maize’s history.

Maize High and Maize South are both seeking 5-0 starts in the same week it was announced they will be in the same league beginning in the 2020-21 school year, as the Mavericks move up to AVCTL I with Salina Central dropping to AVCTL II.

Maize South’s path to 5-0 is perhaps the most challenging in the area, having to go through undefeated Andover Central. This would be just the second 5-0 start in school history. The Mavs have never lost to Andover Central.

Wichita Northwest Grizzlies

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Wichita Northwest’s Jack Wiens Hayden Barber The Wichita Eagle

Northwest is going for back-to-back 5-0 starts for the first time since the 1991-92 seasons.

The Grizzlies are no stranger to 5-0, though. They have done it six times since 1990. Northwest has what seems to be a straightforward path to 5-0 on Friday.

The Grizzlies have to beat Kapaun (1-3) on the road at the Stryker Sports Complex. They haven’t lost to the Crusaders since 2013 and won 55-26 last season. The Crusaders were undefeated at the time.

Andover Central Jaguars

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Andover Central’s Xavier Bell Hayden Barber The Wichita Eagle

Andover Central is looking to do something it couldn’t do even when it reached the state title game in 2015.

A 5-0 start would mark the third in school history and the first since 2004, when the Jaguars finished 9-1.

Andover Central beat Goddard in the Varsity Kansas Game of the Week in Week 3. The Lions were undefeated at the time and must go to Maize South, also 4-0, and beat the Mavericks for the first time in school history.

Buhler Crusaders

The past five times Buhler started 5-0, the Crusaders reached at least the state quarterfinal round and won the state championship once.

Buhler has gone 5-0 to start nine times in the past 30 seasons and failed to win a regional title only twice.

The Crusaders face an uphill battle to 5-0 this week, going to 4-0 McPherson, an AVCTL III rival that reached the Class 4A semifinals last season.

McPherson Bullpups

McPherson and Buhler. It’s one of the closest rivalries in the Wichita area over the past seven regular seasons.

The Bullpups are 4-3 in their past seven regular-season meetings, and only 12 points separate the teams on the scoreboard in that time.

McPherson is looking to start 5-0 in back-to-back seasons for the second time since 2010.

Andale Indians

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Andale’s Eli Rowland Hayden Barber The Wichita Eagle

Few teams in Kansas are as familiar with 5-0 as Andale.

The Indians have reached that mark nine times since 2005 and five times since 2013. Andale must beat winless Trinity Academy on the road to climb to 5-0 again; the Indians have never lost to Trinity in school history.

Since 2013, when Andale started 5-0, the Indians have four regional titles and two state title game appearances with one win.

Collegiate Spartans

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Hayden Barber The Wichita Eagle

The past two times Collegiate started 5-0, the Spartans reached the title game and won it.

Collegiate is looking for a 5-0 record when it goes on the road to scorching-hot Cheney. Last year was their first meeting since 2006. Collegiate won 28-7.

The Spartans have started 5-0 nine times in the past 20 seasons, but only once since 2009.

Halstead Dragons

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Hayden Barber The Wichita Eagle

Halstead hasn’t started 5-0 since 2016 and 2015. Before that, its most recent 5-0 start was in 1993.

The Dragons have to beat undefeated Hesston in Week 5. Halstead lost 38-22 on the road to the Swathers last year.

Halstead reached the state semifinals in 2015, when it started 5-0, and the regional round in 2016.

Hesston Swathers

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Hayden Barber The Wichita Eagle

Hesston and Halstead have been back-and-forth for years, and the winner Friday goes to 5-0.

Hesston is seeking its first 5-0 start since 2014, when the Swathers finished 10-1. Hesston’s past ten 5-0 starts, dating to 1980, finished with 14 combined losses.

A win in Week 5 would set up a potential undefeated regular season; the Swathers’ remaining opponents are no better than 2-2.

Belle Plaine Dragons

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@EWiseman0/Twitter

Belle Plaine hasn’t started 5-0 in more than a decade.

In fact, the Dragons haven’t won five or more games in a row at any point in a season in the past decade.

A 5-0 start goes through Neodesha (1-3) on the road. It would be the third 5-0 start between the football and boys basketball teams in the past four tries.

Garden Plain Owls

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Garden Plain’s Matt Pauly Hayden Barber The Wichita Eagle

Garden Plains has eleven 5-0 starts since 2004, the most in the Wichita area.

The Owls have won eight regional titles, reached six semifinals and won a state championship during that time. This try for a 5-0 start goes through 2-2 Hutch Trinity on the road.

Garden Plain has finished the season with two losses each of the past three times it started 5-0, with one quarterfinal appearance.

Sedgwick Cardinals

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Sedgwick’s Lance Hoffsommer Kelley DeGraffenreid Courtesy of Sedgwick athletics

Sedgwick is fresh off one of its biggest victories in recent program history, beating rival Ell-Saline 31-13.

Ell-Saline hadn’t allowed a point all season. The Cardinals are now eyeing 5-0 for the first time since 2015, and the third time in a decade.

The Cardinals haven’t gotten past the regional round each of the past two times they started 5-0.

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Wichita Eagle preps reporter Hayden Barber brings the area updates on all high school sports while adding those hard-to-find human-interest stories on Wichita’s student-athletes.
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