Week 6 preview: Pioneers host Bears for homecoming, Rams face top 2A team
With just three weeks left in the high school football regular season, the matchups continue to gain intensity as teams prepare for runs in the playoffs that will begin later this month.
Three of the four northern Leavenworth County high schools sport winning records heading into Week 6 with one undefeated team remaining. A three-game winning streak is on the line against one the state's top teams while another team hopes to end a two-game skid.
Read about the four local high school football matchups below.
Leavenworth High School (3-2) vs. Turner High School (1-4)
The Pioneers pulled above .500 last week with a big 14-7 win against Lansing and will look to add another game to the win total at their homecoming matchup with Turner Friday.
Leavenworth got a big boost from its defense, which shut out Lansing for three quarters Friday and prevented the Lions from tying the game multiple times throughout the game. Sacks from Trenton Harper and Marquel Hudson, as well as an interception by Michael Mejia highlighted the defensive efforts for the Pioneers.
On the offensive side of the ball, quarterback Eddie McLaughlin used his legs to score one of the Pioneers' touchdowns and his arm for the other as he connected with wide receiver Alexander Finn. Running back Sam Curtis was having a solid game before an injury forced sophomore Xavier Strickland into full-time action.
Since Leavenworth's move to the United Kansas Conference, they have faced Turner three times and came out with wins of 83-21, 56-0 and 77-6, so the Pioneers will likely be looking to put points up throughout the game.
The Pioneers and Bears are scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. Friday at Pioneer Field. The game will be broadcasted on the NFHS Network.
Pleasant Ridge High School (4-1) at Rossville High School (5-0)
The Rams are riding a three-game winning streak after blowing out McLouth 50-0 Friday. If they want to make it four, they will have to take down Class 2A's top team in Rossville. The Bulldogs are undefeated this season and have allowed zero points in three of their five games. Rossville is averaging 53 points per game this season while averaging over 500 all-purpose yards per game. The Bulldogs won the 2A championship in 2020 and posted a 13-0 record so the Rams will have a tall task in attempting to end an 18-game winning streak.
Pleasant Ridge has seen solid production out of its core during the win streak with quarterback Cooper Beying connecting with senior wide receiver Devin Stutz for a game-winning touchdown in Week 4 against Mission Valley. In Week 5 against McLouth, the whole offense got involved with Stutz, running back Colten Potter and wide receiver Evan Slapper all finding the end zone. The Rams even got a boost on special teams as Stutz opened the scoring against McLouth with a 64-yard punt return touchdown.
Pleasant Ridge will need all cylinders firing to pull off an upset against the state title favorite.
The Rams and Bulldogs are scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. Friday at Rossville High School. The game will be broadcasted on the NFHS Network.
Lansing High School (2-3) vs. Pittsburg High School (3-2)
The Lions will be looking for a bounce-back win with Class 5A Pittsburg making the trip to Lansing Friday. The Lions are coming off the 14-7 loss to Leavenworth in Week 5 which saw their offense struggle to put points on the board outside of a quick second-quarter touchdown drive. That isn't to say that there were not opportunities but the Leavenworth defense forced a turnover on downs at the six-yard line and prevented a game-tying touchdown as time expired in the game.
After starting the season with a loss, the Lions grabbed wins in their next two contests, but have seen consecutive losses in the last two weeks. The Dragons sit at 3-2 and appear to be moving in the opposite direction. Pittsburg started the season 1-2 but has won its last two games and will be looking for a third-straight win Friday.
The Lions and Dragons are scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. Friday at Lansing for senior night. The game will be broadcasted on the NFHS Network.
Basehor-Linwood High School (5-0) vs. Kansas City - Washington High School (2-2)
The Bobcats are among just three undefeated teams in Class 4A and are the only one on the eastern side of the state. After a 42-7 defeat of Shawnee Heights on homecoming last week, the Bobcats are set to host Washington High School out of Kansas City, Kansas. The Wildcats missed their opening game due to COVID-19 concerns and have gone 2-2 in their first four games after. Washington opened the season with back-to-back wins against Sumner Academy and Schlagle but saw its progress erased over the past two weeks with losses to Wamego and Wyandotte.
With an unbeaten record, Basehor-Linwood will be getting every team's best effort for the rest of the season and the Wildcats are no exception. The Bobcat defense will likely dictate this game as they have through most of the season with seven-or-less points allowed in three of their five games. That doesn't mean that the offense isn't to be feared as quarterback Brady Garrison has found a solid balance between using his legs and arm to make plays while running back Zack Sisemore continues to dominate.
The Bobcats and Wildcats are scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. at Kiester Field in Basehor. The game will be broadcasted on the NFHS Network.