Varsity Football

Week 7 preview: District title on the line in Varsity Kansas Game of the Week

Week 7 is upon the Wichita area. With two weeks of the 2019 Kansas high school football season to go, there is a district title on the line as Belle Plaine goes to Eureka in the Varsity Kansas Game of the Week.

Here is a preview of the week ahead:

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Belle Plaine at Eureka

2018 meeting: Belle Plaine 27, Eureka 26 (OT)

Preview: In 2016, these teams combined for two wins.

Eureka finished that season 0-9. Belle Plaine was 2-7. Friday, they will play in the Varsity Kansas Game of the Week.

Belle Plaine is 6-0 for the first time since the early 1990s. The Dragons are the No. 1 seed in Class 2A-District 5, and Eureka is just behind them. This week’s game will almost without doubt decide the district title.

Eureka enters 4-2 but undefeated in district play, like Belle Plaine. Although the Tornadoes have a worse record, there is reason to believe Friday could see Belle Plaine’s first loss.

Belle Plaine beat Fredonia 13-6 last week. Eureka beat Fredonia 42-7.

But last year, Belle Plaine pulled out one of the most entertaining games of its season with a 27-26 overtime victory over Eureka on senior night.

Prediction: Eureka 35, Belle Plaine 28


Maize at Central

2018 meeting: Maize 48, Salina Central 26

Preview: Since the schedule came out, Maize fans have had this game circled.

Goddard was a feared opponent, but that game had no bearing on league play and wouldn’t come postseason time. That left Salina Central and Derby, the Eagles’ final two opponents, as the biggest targets.

Maize has outscored opponents 288-40 this season. Its closest game was decided by 37 points against winless Campus.

Salina Central started 0-2 with losses to Eisenhower and Derby. Since then, the Mustangs are 4-0, but those wins have come against teams with a 4-20 combined record.

Last year, Maize ran away from Central 48-26 at home to set up the biggest game of the year in the Wichita area against Derby. A win Thursday night on the road would do the same thing in 2019.

Prediction: Maize 42, Salina Central 21


Clearwater at Andale

2018 meeting: Andale 55, Clearwater 6


The path is getting tougher for Andale.

It starts this week at home against one-loss Clearwater before the regular season finishes with a senior night against one-loss Cheney.

Andale has had another runaway season. The Indians have won every game by an average of 48.5 points. They have beaten teams by 78, 63 and 46. But Clearwater could be a different story.

Clearwater has been without standout quarterback Tanner Cash and has still put together its best season since 2011. Clearwater’s only loss came at 5-1 Cheney.

Clearwater’s opponents in its five wins have a combined seven wins through six weeks, but the Indians have proven they are much improved from their 4-5 team of last season.

Prediction: Andale 45, Clearwater 14


Southeast at East

2018 meeting: Wichita East 41, Wichita Southeast 0

Preview: Wichita East has a chance to finish the regular season 6-2; it would be the Aces’ best regular season since 2008.

East has won four straight after losing two straight to start the season, including a 75-8 loss at Northwest. The Blue Aces have put up incredible highlights during the win streak.

Southeast is on a bit of a run, too. The Buffaloes have won three of their past four.

This game will have a massive impact on postseason seeding for both teams.

Prediction: Wichita East 28, Wichita Southeast 16


Andover at Central

2018 meeting: Andover Central 16, Andover 14

Preview: Andover is coming off a tough 9-6 loss against Arkansas City, who earned its first win last week, but the Backyard Brawl always brings it.

Last year, Andover Central beat its crosstown rival 16-14 in a wild game where a safety decided the outcome. This season, Central looks to make it back-to-back against the Trojans for the first time since 2010-11.

Central has proven to be one of the best teams in Class 4A. The Jaguars are coming off a 41-7 win over Great Bend. Their only loss came on the road to undefeated rival Maize South.

Central has a high-flying offense, but Andover’s defense is one of the best in the Wichita area.

Prediction: Andover Central 21, Andover 10

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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.