SCOTT CITY (5-1) AT COLBY (6-0)
After allowing just 10 points and posting three shutouts in its first five games, Scott City was upset by Beloit 28-13 last week. The loss likely will deny the Beavers a district title, but they can still clinch a Great Western Activities Conference title with a win over Colby this week. Colby nipped Beloit 21-20 to start district play and half of its six wins are by eight or fewer points. The Eagles rely heavily on a ground game led by Calvin Stapp, who averages around 100 yards per game. Scott City is averaging 274 yards per game on the ground with 22 touchdowns and also has thrown for 85 yards per game. Scott City has won 18 straight league games.
Prediction: Scott City over ColbySM NORTHWEST (5-1) AT GARDNER-EDGERTON (5-1)
Northwest and Gardner have more in common than just sharing 5-1 records. Both suffered their only loss of the season to Lawrence — Gardner falling 35-34 to the Lions in Week 3 and Northwest dropping a 51-20 decision two weeks ago. From there, however, the similarities end. Gardner relies almost exclusively on a ground game that averages 374.3 yards per game. Seven different backs have at least 130 yards rushing led by quarterback Teven McKelvey (582 yards, 14 TDs) and Tayezhan Crough (547 yards, 5 TDs). Northwest, meanwhile, has one of the top passing attacks in the state led by quarterback Ty Black (1,545 yards, 13 TDs passing, 456 yards, 13 TDs rushing) and receiver Ty Lindenman (851 yards, 11 TDs).
Prediction: Gardner-Edgerton over SM Northwest
AQUINAS (6-0) AT MIEGE (5-1)
When Miege was upset 28-27 by St. James Academy in Week 4, the prospects of a potential four-game losing streak for the Stags was very real with a three-game stretch against Rockhurst (Mo.), Blue Valley and Aquinas. Miege quickly put an end to those thoughts with a 34-7 rout of Rockhurst and followed with a convincing 41-23 win over Blue Valley last week, outscoring the Tigers 27-0 in the second and third quarters. Brison Cobbins ran for 118 yards and five touchdowns and Timothy Dorsey threw for 216 yards and a score. Aquinas can wrap up the Eastern Kansas League title with a win and is coming off a 28-21 win over St. James, its third straight win by 14 or less points. Tank Young ran for 199 yards and two touchdowns against St. James and had 940 yards and 16 touchdowns this season. Blake Anderosn has added 691 yards and 11 TDs passing for the 6-0 Saints. Both teams are ranked No. 1 in their respective class — Aquinas in 5A and Miege in 4A — and both were state champions last year.
Prediction: Aquinas over Miege
ANDERSON COUNTY (4-2) AT PRAIRIE VIEW (6-0)
Anderson County has already doubled last year's win total and won nearly as many games as it had in the previous three years combined (5) for first-year coach Logan Pegram. Quarterback Bo Dilliner has had a breakout season for the Bulldogs, rushing for 947 yards and 12 touchdowns and throwing for another 665 yards and six TDs. Anderson County's two losses came to Pioneer League rivals Wellsville and Santa Fe Trail and this week's clash will be the biggest test of the season. Prairie View has only had two games decided by less than 20 points, a 22-6 win over Burlington and last week's 41-27 win over Girard. The Buffaloes average 287 yards per game on the ground, led by senior back Hunter Boone (706 yards, 10 TDs), who is also one of the state's top linebackers.
Prediction: Prairie View over Anderson County
BELLE PLAINE (6-0) AT EUREKA (4-2)
Belle Plaine is having a season for the ages for its program, one that endured three straight winless seasons as recently as 2013-15. The Dragons pulled out a tough 13-6 win over Fredonia last week, recording a pair of safeties after falling behind 6-0 and then kicking a field goal before a late touchdown sealed the win and kept the unbeaten season alive. A trip to Eureka could be the only thing standing between Belle Plaine and a perfect regular season, and it will be a big-time test. Eureka blasted Fredonia 42-7 in Week 4 and has only lost to Caney Valley and Class 2A No. 2 Humboldt this season, the latter a game the Tornadoes let a big fourth-quarter lead get away. Eureka boasts a strong passing game led by Cade Larcom (1,201 yards, 15 TDs) and receiver Zach Hare (379 yards, 5 TDs).
Prediction: Eureka over Belle Plaine
MINNEOLA (5-1) AT INGALLS (4-2)
If this year's clash is anything like last year's, buckle up. The SPIAA rivals played one of the highest scoring games in state history with Minneola prevailing 92-80. Yes, 92-80. Jeremy Pfaff ran for 502 yards and nine touchdowns for Minneola in the win and Brayton Dewell added three rushing TDs. Pfaff has graduated, but Dewell is back and he's one of four Wildcat backs who have at least 233 rushing yards this season. Minneola, which has won five straight after a season-opening loss to Kiowa County, is led by senior Tuck Lang, who has run for 1,180 yards and 20 touchdowns this season. Ingalls' losses have come to South Gray and Spearville. Tate Davis has run for 1,133 yards and Timothy Gillen has added 650 yards rushing and another 350 passing.
Prediction: Minneola over Ingalls
HAYS HIGH, TMP ON THE ROAD
The Hays High Indians (2-4) were set to play on the road at Buhler on Thursday night while Thomas More Prep-Marian (1-5) will continue district play at Minneapolis on Friday.