The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

October 29, 2012

Columbus, Girard highlight Southeast Kansas playoff matchups

By Mark Schremmer
Globe Sports Writer

— Typically when you play a team for the second time in a season, coaches have a good idea of what to

expect from the opponent.

As the Girard Trojans and the Columbus Titans get set for their rematch in the first round of the Kansas

Class 4A playoffs at 7 tonight at Girard’s Frank Jameson Field, that’s not exactly the case.

When the Trojans beat the Titans 19-14 in Week 3, the conditions were so rainy and wet that neither

team was able to play to its full abilities.

“It poured all day and all night,” Columbus coach Dan Grundy said. “The field was completely saturated.

It was just a sloppy mess. It will be a completely different game this time.”

Girard (8-1) fumbled twice in the first meeting, and Columbus was unable to stretch the field with the

passing game. The Titans’ longest completion of the night was 14 yards.

“Both teams were limited by the conditions somewhat,” Girard coach Leon Miller said. “Because of the

field conditions, we didn’t really see the true capabilities of either team.”

Another factor that could make this meeting different is the health of Girard running back and strong

safety Anthony Scholes. The senior left in the first quarter of last week’s 7-6 win against Frontenac after

being hit in the lower leg.

Miller said Sunday night that he was unsure on whether Scholes will be able to play.

Scholes has been a key contributor for the Trojans, rushing for 1,412 yards and 19 touchdowns on the

season. He registered 221 yards and all three of Girard’s touchdowns in the first game against Columbus

(4-5).

“We’re going to assume he’s going to play,” Grundy said. “You have to prepare and act like he is.”

Junior Taylor Lewis also has been an extremely effective runner for the Trojans, rushing for 768 yards

and five touchdowns on only 107 carries.

The Titans’ offense starts with quarterback Nate Bole. The sophomore is a dual threat, passing for 803

yards and nine touchdowns while rushing for 821 yards and nine touchdowns.

Galena (6-3) at Caney Valley (8-1)

The Galena Bulldogs are expecting a physical game when they travel to face the Caney Valley Bullpups at

7 tonight for the first round of the Class 3A playoffs.

Caney Valley is on a seven-game winning streak and have scored more than 40 points in five of those

seven games.

“We’re familiar with them,” Galena coach Beau Sawrinski said. “They’re going to line up in the double

tight wishbone and they’re going to try and go right at you. And they do a good job with it. They don’t

make a lot of mistakes. They’ll get after you. They’re physical. They’re a good football team.”

Girard is the only like opponent for the two teams. The Bullpups beat Girard 8-0 in the season opener,

while the Bulldogs fell 41-12 to Girard in Week 6.

Caney Valley running back Anthony Camper rushed for 100 yards and a touchdown in the win over the

Trojans.

Galena also has displayed the ability to run. The Bulldogs rushed for 404 yards in last week’s playoff-

clinching 42-12 win against Riverton. Trenton Little, Logan Johnson and Jacob Helton each rushed for

more than 100 yards.

Caney Valley and Galena each advanced to the 3A quarterfinals last season.

Neodesha (7-2) at St. Mary’s-Colgan (6-3)

The St. Mary’s-Colgan Panthers will host their first 3A playoff game in school history at 7 tonight at

Hutchinson Field.

Colgan should receive a test from a Neodesha Blue Streaks team that has scored more than 30 points

in each of its seven wins. Neodesha’s only losses are to Silver Lake and Caney Valley, two of the better

teams on the east side of 3A.

Neodesha boasts a strong running game, averaging about 300 yards per outing. The Bulldogs also do a

good job of spreading the ball around to running backs Jake Crawford and and Dierks Hayden, as well as

quarterback Justice Baird.

The Panthers have displayed the ability to be a balanced and explosive offense. Colgan quarterback

Dyson Dechant passed for about 250 yards, and running back Conner Dayton rushed for 236 yards in last

week’s 40-24 win against Southeast.

Colgan will be without senior fullback V.J. Piccini, who has a broken bone in his foot.

Frontenac (5-4) at Coffeyville (7-2)

The Frontenac Raiders will be playing in their first playoff game at the 4A level when they travel to

Coffeyville today for a 7 p.m. kickoff.

Frontenac was on a five-game winning streak before falling 7-6 on a missed 2-point conversion pass in

the final minutes last week against Girard. Raiders running back Bryce Burdette rushed for just under

100 yards in the loss.

Coffeyville brings a lot of speed and big-play capabilities.

Golden Tornado senior running back Wesley Collins has rushed for 1,200 yards and 18 touchdowns on

143 carries. Junior James Newton, the defending state champion in the 4A 100 meters, has caught 20

balls for 573 yards and eight touchdowns. Newton also has rushed for 154 yards and two touchdowns

on nine carries. He has five more touchdowns from kick and punt returns.