The opening week of the high school football season was littered with big-time clashes — defending 4A champion Miege against defending 6A champion Blue Valley North; 5A No. 2 Aquinas vs. 6A No. 3 Blue Valley; 5A No. 1 Wichita Northwest vs. 5A No. 3 and defending champion Carroll.

And so on, and so on.

The matchups did not disappoint.

Miege and North were locked in a dandy until the Stags put the clamps down in the second half and rode talented junior back Brison Cobbins to a 33-21 win on Thursday night to get things kicked off. Fellow Eastern Kansas League powers Aquinas and Blue Valley played a scoreless first quarter and also held each other scoreless in the third quarter. In the even periods, Aquinas did just enough and got a big night from Tank Young to take a 30-14 win.

But the best of the bunch was the Northwest-Carroll dandy. In the 2017 season opener, Northwest led the bulk of the way before Carroll scored in the final 15 seconds to take a 40-35 vicotry. This year, the script was flipped as the Golden Eagles jumped out to an early lead and kept Northwest at arm’s length until the Grizzlies got a last-second field goal from Carson Arndt to pull out a 23-22 win.

Don’t be shocked if they meeet again in the playoffs.

Week One was also a chance for some recent also-rans to have their shining moment. Wichita North ended a 21-game losing streak with a 29-22 win over Wichita South. Atchison County snapped a 19-gam skid with a 46-0 blanking of Oskaloosa. And Gardner-Edgerton — after near-miss upsets of SM East in the 6A playoffs the past two years — made its Sunflower League debut a smashing one by knocking off the Lancers 28-23 in Ryan Cornelsen’s first game as head coach.



1. Miege (1);1-0

Stags ride Cobbins, three picks to win in clash of champions

2. Wichita Northwest (2);1-0

Northwest gets last-second FG to get past Carroll

3. Derby (3);1-0

Igo returns opening kickoff for TD to spark rout of Garden City

4. Free State (4);1-0

Firebirds welcome Olathe West to Sunflower League with 27-point 1st quarter

5. Aquinas (5);1-0

Saints’ Tank steamrolls Blue Valley for 256 yards, 2 TDs

6. Olathe North (9);1-0

Backfield duo of Bruce, Sanchez race past Olathe East

7. Manhattan (10);1-0

Indians cruise into big showdown with Topeka High

8. Carroll (8);0-1

New-look Carroll nearly upsets 5A No. 1 Wichita Northwest

9. Topeka High (NR);1-0

Trojans blow past former CL rival Shawnee Heights

10. Blue Valley (6);0-1

Tigers only score in second quarter against Aquinas



1. Derby (1);1-0

2. Free State (2);1-0

3. Olathe North (5);1-0

4. Manhattan (NR);1-0

5. Topeka High (NR);1-0

Others — Blue Valley 0-1, Blue Valley North 0-1, Campus 1-0, Garden City 0-1, Junction City 1-0, Washburn Rural 1-0.

Notes — The Centennial League replaces the Eastern Kansas League in the rankings as Manhattan and Topeka High move in following easy non-league routs ahead of their Week 2 showdown. The losses by Blue Valley and Blue Valley North were hardly damaging as both played highly ranked league foes Miege and Aquinas tough.



1. Wichita Northwest (1);1-0

2. Aquinas (2);1-0

3. Carroll (3);0-1

4. Mill Valley (4);1-0

5. Wichita Heights (5);1-0

Others — DeSoto 1-0, Great Bend 1-0, Kapaun 1-0, Liberal 1-0, Maize 1-0, Maize South 0-1, St. James Academy 1-0.

Notes — Northwest’s bid for a perfect season looked in jeopardy before it even really began as Carroll took control of their top-three matchup early. But the Grizzlies hung around and kept Carroll in check late, setting up Carson Arndt’s game-winning field goal as time expired.



1. Miege (1);1-0

2. McPherson (2);1-0

3. Goddard (3);1-0

4. Pittsburg (4);1-0

5. Basehor-Linwood (NR);1-0

Others — Andover Central 1-0, Fort Scott 1-0, KC Piper 1-0, Labette County 0-1, Louisburg 1-0, Paola 1-0, Wellington 1-0.

Notes — Former Southeast Kansas League rivals Pittsburg and Labette County hadn’t played in several years and never as ranked opponents. The Purple Dragon defense turned the highly anticipated matchup into a one-sided rout, holding Labette to minus-7 yards in the first quarter as Pittsburg rolled 43-8.



1. Sabetha (1);1-0

2. Andale (2);1-0

3. Hesston (3);1-0

4. Scott City (4);1-0

5. Hayden (5);1-0

Others — Burlington 1-0, Frontenac 1-0, Galena 1-0, Halstead 1-0, Holcomb 1-0, Perry-Lecompton 1-0, Pratt 1-0, Smoky Valley 1-0, Wellsville 1-0.

Notes — Sabetha hand’t beaten Nemaha Central in the regular season since 2008 and had just one win over its Big Seven League arch rival in its previous 11 meetings. But with a load of experience back off last year’s 3A championship team, the Bluejays took control early and rolled 33-7 to start the year with a convincing performance.



1. Conway Springs (1);1-0

2. Silver Lake (2);1-0

3. Phillipsburg (3);1-0

4. Garden Plain (NR);1-0

5. Nemaha Central (4);0-1

Others — Chaparral 1-0, Humboldt 1-0, Hutchinson Trinity 1-0, Maur Hill 1-0, Osage City 1-0, Riley County 1-0, Rossville 1-0, Southeast-Saline 1-0. 

Notes — Last season was a struggle for Rossville, which went 2-7 after capturing three straight Class 3A state titles. Wanting to prove the season was an aberration, the Bulldawgs got off to a good start, getting a big road 26-15 win over 1A No. 2 Centralia. Next up? A clash with arch rival and 2A No. 2 Silver Lake.



1. Smith Center (1);1-0

2. Colgan (3);1-0

3. Elkhart (4);1-0

4. Olpe (5);1-0

5. Plainville (NR);1-0

Others — Ell-Saline 1-0, Jackson Heights 1-0, LaCrosse 1-0, Lyndon 1-0, Oakley 1-0, Sedgwick 1-0, Troy 1-0, Valley Heights 0-1.

Notes — Sedgwick may have lost All-2-1A receiver Brayden Francis but the passing game is still in good shape. Really good shape. Returning quarterback Hooper Schroeder followed up a big junior campaign by throwing for 502 yards and two touchdowns in a rout of Remington with Kale Schroeder having six catches for 161 yards and a score.



1. Hoxie (1);1-0

2. Central Plains (2);1-0

3. Burlingame (3);1-0

4. Spearville (4);1-0

5. Clifton-Clyde (5);1-0

Others — Argonia-Attica 1-0, Caldwell 1-0, Hodgeman County 1-0, Sedan 1-0, Solomon 1-0, South Central 1-0, St. Francis 1-0, Victoria 1-0, West Elk 1-0.

Notes — Victoria’s season-opening performance was the most impressive by any team in Division I as the Knights jumped on Division II No. 3 Otis-Bison early for a 22-0 lead and held on for a 28-14 victory. Knight quarterback Cooper Windholz ran for two scores and threw for another to stake Victoria to its commanding lead, though the Cougars did make it a one-score game in the second half.



1. Hanover (1);1-0

2. Osborne (2);1-0

3. Rock Hills (4);1-0

4. South Barber (5);1-0

5. Axtell (NR);1-0

Others — Centre 1-0, Frankfort 1-0, Northern Valley 1-0, Otis-Bison 0-1, Sylvan-Lucas 1-0, Thunder Ridge 1-0, Waverly 1-0, Wheatland-Grinnell 1-0.

Notes — Everyone knew No. 2 Osborne’s offense had the potential to be explosive this season. The Bulldogs showed just how — and needed to — as they scored nearly 90 points in the opener, edging Hill City in a wild 88-76 shootout. Quarterback Darnell Holloway ran for 356 yards and seven scores and also threw for 94 yards and a touchdown. His Hill City counterpart, Connor Born, was even better, rushing for 396 yards and seven TDs and throwing for 80 yards and two scores.