Week 5 preview: Lansing, Leavenworth meet in Battle of Eisenhower

Jason Brown
The Leavenworth Times

We've pushed past the halfway point in the Kansas high school football season and are getting closer to the postseason. With Basehor-Linwood standing as the lone undefeated team in Class 4A East, the Bobcats are among the top of the class in the entire state. 

Lansing and Leavenworth will look to avenge losses last week but only one can come out with a win as the two rivals meet Friday. 

Here are the previews of each local high school football game for this week:

Jason Brown

Leavenworth (2-2) at Lansing (2-2)

Shown is Lansing wide receiver Lexton Grafke attempting to evade a De Soto defender in the Lions' 41-7 loss to the Wildcats Friday.

The Lions and Pioneers are set to renew their Battle of Eisenhower rivalry Friday during Lansing's homecoming festivities after last season's matchup was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns. Lansing is 4-1 in the rivalry over the past five matchups but both teams come into this game with identical records and tough losses in Week 4. The Lions were blown out 41-7 by a De Soto team that was still recovering from its COVID-19 outbreak and was missing many of its starters and reserves. The Pioneers were in the mix to take down Blue Valley Southwest Friday but a handful of turnovers and penalties resulted in a 28-21 loss. 

Both teams sport strong running offenses with dual-threat quarterbacks but the advantage will likely go to whoever can have more success in the passing game between Pioneer junior Eddie McLaughlin and Lions senior Caden Crawford. 

On defense, the Lions surrendered nearly 500 total yards of offense to the Wildcats last week while Leavenworth gave up just 350 to the Timberwolves –  and also outgained them on offense with nearly 400 yards. 

While this matchup hasn't always bode well for the Pioneers, this might be their best chance to move past Lansing and join the top teams in the United Kansas Conference. 

Kickoff between the Pioneers and Lions is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at Lansing High School. The game will be streamed on the NFHS Network

Shown is Leavenworth junior quarterback Eddie McLaughlin.

Basehor-Linwood (4-0) vs. Shawnee Heights (1-3)

Shown is Basehor-Linwood senior linebacker Tucker Dixon attempting to get around a block.

The No. 2 team in Class 4A will look to move to 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the UKC with a win against Shawnee Heights.

The Bobcats made quick work of Turner last week, winning 57-6, and used many of their backups in the second half to rest up their starters. Senior quarterback Brady Garrison went 6-of-6 for 110 yards and a touchdown while running back Zack Sisemore saw just seven carries but totaled 51 yards.

The Thunderbirds picked up their first win of the season Friday against Schlagle but had suffered losses to Leavenworth, Lansing and Bonner Springs in previous weeks. 

A win for the Bobcats would give them a 4-0 record in the UKC and put them in solid position to dethrone the reigning champions in De Soto. 

Kickoff between the Bobcats and Thunderbirds is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday. The game will be streamed on the NFHS Network

Pleasant Ridge (3-1) at McLouth (0-2)

Shown is Pleasant Ridge senior wide receiver Devin Stutz extending the football for the game-winning touchdown in the Rams' 32-28 win against Mission Valley Friday.

Pleasant Ridge appeared to be facing another loss when Mission Valley took a late lead in Friday's contest but sophomore quarterback Cooper Beying took the Rams down the field in the final minutes before finding senior receiver Devin Stutz to steal the win with just eight seconds on the clock. It wasn't easy for Stutz to find the end zone as he had to beat his defender after the catch and dove across the goal line while being tackled to seal the 32-28 win. 

The Rams pushed their record to 3-1 and will have another tough task on the road against a winless McLouth team. The Bulldogs didn't get their season started until Week 3 and have suffered two losses since. I mentioned last week how difficult it can be to take down a team looking for its first win and adding in a road atmosphere won't make it any easier. While beating an 0-2 team doesn't necessarily shine on paper, the Rams can further bolster their resume in Class 2A with a convincing win. 

Kickoff between the Rams and the Bulldogs is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at McLouth High School.

Jason Brown is the sports editor of the Leavenworth Times. Contact him at jbrown@leavenworthtimes.com