LOUISBURG (6-3) @ CHANUTE (8-1)
Rewind to 2013. “Ganganam Style” was…in style. Humans understood “What The Fox Says”. “Drunk In Love” from Beyonce ft. Jay-Z topped the charts. And everyone felt the “Harlem Shake”. The Chanute Blue Comets defeated the Louisburg Wildcats in the 2nd round of the playoffs. Fast forward to 2019 and the Wildcats of Louisburg will meet the Chanute Blue Comets again in the playoffs…in the “2nd round”.
The Comets hosted and defeated, Louisburg on November 5th, 2013 to a score of 28-14. They lost to Coffeyville 42-21 in the Sectional round. In 2017, Chanute lost to FortScott 50-14 in the Regional Round of the playoffs. Those sophomores in that loss to Fort Scott are now Seniors for Chanute.
The Blue Comets are lead by now Seniors Briley Peavy and Ty Bowman. Bowman, who visited K-State and Pittsburg State recently, has play-called a Chanute offense to almost 30 points per game. Peavy, one of the most dominant defensive presence for the Blue Comets, along with the rest of the defense has held teams to only 17 points per game.
The Wildcats of Louisburg started the season 0-2 against the likes of Spring Hill and Tonganxie, who are a combined 14-4, average 24 points per game and giving up 15 points per game. Louisburg’s strength of schedule is 37-44, or .457. While Frontier League opponents seemingly have had the SEK League school’s numbers lately the league is just 3-3 in the last 3 years against teams in the SEK League. The Blue Comets look to break that tie and put the SEK League back in front.
This is the rematch from last year’s Sectional game that was played in Galena. This year, it will be held in Frontenac. Defense wins championships and Frontenac’s defense arguably is one of the best in the region. The Raiders D has 3 shut outs so far this season, including last week’s 34-0 win over Girard. They have not given up more than 2 scores in a game. In fact, the defense played a critical role in the season opener against Richmond, MO, where the Raiders trailed 14-0 going into the 4th quarter and rallied back to win. On the other side for Frontenac, the offense is averaging 34 points per game.
This is also the second match-up between Galena and Frontenac this year. The first meeting was in week 4, the start of districts, with the Raiders handling the Galena Bulldogs 27-14. Galena is 2-2 this season on the road, with the offense being shut out in both losses on the road. Since losing to Frontenac the Bulldogs are 4-1, with a loss to Columbus, and averaging 36 points per game while giving up 20 points per game.
Prairie View, out of the Pioneer League, is one having an impressive year that no one is talking about. This offense is averaging 37 points per game while the defense has pitched an impressive 4 shutouts. The Buffaloes have put up over 2,600 yards of rushing so far as a collective unit, averaging close to 300 yards of offense.
They are led by senior Hunter Boone, who has 1,120 yards on the ground with 6 100+ yard games and 17 touchdowns. Junior Otis Jacobs is approaching 600 yards rushing with 3 touchdowns and sophomore Damien Kline is over the 500-yard mark with 5 touchdowns himself.
Quarterback Justin Scott, who was highlighted earlier this season in a Eastern Kansas Sports Senior Showcase, is throwing for 661 yards this season with 10 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions. He’s also a threat to run with 124 yards and 7 touchdowns on the ground.
One word to describe this Buffalo defense could easily be “opportunistic”. As a collective whole, they have 11 interceptions and 10 fumble recoveries. Senior Chase Bloodgood leads the team with 4 sacks and is 2nd on the team in tackles with 60; only Boone has more with 71.
Prairie View is looking for their Regional round win in over 10 years while Columbus is just 4 years removed from their last appearance in the next round of the playoffs.
What an impressive 1st year for Columbus Titans head coach Blake Burns. After finishing last year 1-8, the Titans find themselves in the Regional round of the playoffs at 8-1; they are easily the “Cinderella” story of the Eastern Kansas Sports coverage area. The Titan offense is led by senior Patrick Cassidy at quarterback. He has 848 yards passing on 55 completions in 103 attempts with 13 touchdowns and 4 interceptions thrown. Columbus’s offense also features 4 ballcarriers over 100 yards of rushing this season: Cassidy with 433 and 9 touchdowns, sophomore Gabe Martin with 464 yards and 4 touchdowns, senior Grayson Waled with 251 yards and 4 touchdowns and sophomore Jaxson Haraughty with 195 yards and 3 touchdowns.
While the Titans defense on paper looks like they’ve been gashed this season, with 8 interceptions, 10 fumbles caused and 9 recovered, this will be an equalizer against a high powered, multi-strike offense of Prairie View. The Titans are only giving up 13 points per game and with sophomore Kody Schalk and junior Sylas Stone, who are tied with a team-high 3 sacks this season, it could spell some trouble and disruption for the Buffaloes. Columbus will also have the 1 day of extra rest advantage as they played on Thursday night while Prairie View played on Friday.