Week 7 preview: Bobcats look to even all-time series with Lions
With just two weeks left in the high school football regular season, there is still much to be decided in the United Kansas Conference as well as in playoff seeding for local Class 2A, 4A and 5A schools.
Undefeated Basehor-Linwood is looking for its first UKC title in two seasons while Leavenworth can secure its highest win total in six seasons. Lansing is currently on a three-game losing streak but a solid showing in the final two weeks could rally momentum for a playoff push. In 2A, Pleasant Ridge is coming off a tough loss to the class favorites in Rossville but has a winless program coming to town this week with hopes of a bounce-back performance.
Read about each of the local football matchups scheduled for this week below:
Lansing (2-4) at Basehor-Linwood (6-0)
While Basehor-Linwood has been rolling this season to the tune of an undefeated record, the same cannot be said of Lansing. The Lions enter their rivalry game with the Bobcats having lost their last three games.
Lansing leads the all-time series against Basehor-Linwood 17-16 but the Bobcats have made up plenty of ground since head coach Rod Stallbaumer took over in 2014. The Bobcats have won six of the seven matchups with Stallbaumer at the helm and he said this game means a lot to the team.
"Lansing is always a good game," he said. "It has been a tight game every time we played them outside of one year so we're expecting a good game from them."
Stallbaumer noted the different style of offense used by Lansing as head coach Dylan Brown employs a Wing-T formation, with University of Iowa commit Caden Crawford under center. Crawford also lines up at middle linebacker for the Lions, meaning the Bobcat offense will have to be aware of his presence.
"They've got some really good players over there so we need to be focused," he said. "It's a different style of offense from what we've seen this year so we'll need to be ready for that as well."
The Bobcats have some more experience on both sides of the ball with 10 of their 11 defensive players being seniors while the Lions do not bring nearly as many seniors this season.
If quarterback Brady Garrison can continue his efficient season throwing the ball and running back Zack Sisemore has his way on the ground, it's hard to imagine the Bobcats come out of Friday night with their first loss.
The Lions and Bobcats are scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. at Kiester Field.
Leavenworth (4-2) vs. De Soto (2-3)
The Pioneers are riding a two-game winning streak and will face one of their toughest tests of the season with De Soto set to visit Pioneer Field Friday. Leavenworth has yet to beat De Soto since entering the United Kansas Conference but this might be their best chance to knock off one of the league's top teams.
It is rare to see the Wildcats with a losing record but a COVID-19 outbreak in Week 3 led to a missed game against Basehor-Linwood. After returning from the outbreak, the Wildcats appeared to be back on track with a 41-14 defeat of Lansing but dropped their next two games against Spring Hill and Shawnee Heights.
The Pioneers have been on a solid run since their Week 4 loss to Blue Valley Southwest with strong efforts on both sides of the ball. Leavenworth prevailed in a defensive battle with Lansing in Week 5, then blew out Turner 49-0.
A win against De Soto would put Leavenworth in position for a strong finish in the UKC and favorable seeding in the playoffs but the Wildcats will be doing everything they can to avoid a third-straight loss.
The Pioneers and Wildcats are scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. at Pioneer Field.
Pleasant Ridge (4-2) vs. Oskaloosa (0-6)
The Rams will have a solid shot at a bounce-back game Friday as they host a winless Oskaloosa team after being blown out by Class 2A No. 1 Rossville 66-6 last week.
The Rams were shut out by the Bulldogs until late in the fourth quarter of the Week 6 matchup but shouldn't have too much trouble righting the ship against a Bears team that is allowing 45 points per game to its opponents.
Pleasant Ridge has won its last three matchups against Oskaloosa with the Bears' last win against the Rams coming in 2016.
The Rams and Bears are scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. at Pleasant Ridge High School.