By NICK SLOAN, NJSloan212@gmail.com
As we get deeper into the season, there's more separation between teams in leagues.
The same can be said for the Kaw Valley League.
Here are my KVL Power Rankings after Week 3.
1. Mill Valley Jaguars (2-1): After a season opening loss against Manhattan on the road, Mill Valley has outscored two Kaw Valley League opponents 103-13. The win over Basehor-Linwood was particularly impressive, as the Jaguars won the battle of the big cats Friday night. Skyler Windmiller's six touchdowns are a pretty good season for some. Yet, he did it in one game. Mill Valley looks like a machine and after the week one hiccup, they are the strong favorites in the KVL.
2. Piper Pirates (2-1): Mill Valley can't overlook Piper, however. The Pirates did not have a let down after a big win against Basehor. They smashed Tonganoxie 61-13 in one of the more dominant performances I've ever seen in covering high school football. Paul Jones, Matt McDonald and Colton Beebe provide Piper a balanced and scary rushing attack. Beebe is a terrific lead blocker. And again - Keaton Cofield and his secondary have been impressive. Piper's front seven did a very nice job on Cole Holloway and play fundamentally sound football. While Mill Valley is the favorite, Piper has athletes to compete with them and the best of the KVL. Piper is also good at taking advantage of mistakes made by the other team.
3. Bonner Springs Braves (3-0): The Braves lost 37 touchdowns from last year's team - and yet, this year's squad may be better. Lucas Aslin is turning in an early candidacy for KCK Preps Coach of the Year. While Bonner's competition hasn't been great (a combined 1-8 record), you can see improvement in the way they play. This is a more physical team this season and the offense can click at any moment. A win against Piper could establish even more momentum for a school that's looking really good across all sports right now.
4. Basehor-Linwood Bobcats (1-2): While I expected some problems in the offense - losing a great quarterback like Colin Murphy and great wide receiver like Ryan Murphy will hurt - it's the defense that's been a bit disappointing for the Bobcats. They've given up 82 points in the last two weeks. Both Piper and Mill Valley hit the Bobcats for big plays, which is especially disappointing. For Basehor, the KVL race is over - now it's time to look at district play.
5. Turner Golden Bears (1-2): The Golden Bears got on the board this week with a 27-13 win, establishing themselves as a "middle of the pack" KVL team. Paul Berry was impressive, totaling 170 rushing yards on the ground and throwing a nice touchdown pass to DeAndre Fenrick. Berry coming back from his week one injury is one of the truly great stories in KCK so far this year.
6. Tonganoxie Chieftains (1-2): It was an ugly loss, but they still have that win against Lansing that keeps them from the bottom. I still like some of their key players - Cole Holloway continues to impress (he had two touchdowns against Piper) and Shane Levy played very well on all three sides of the ball.
7. Lansing Lions (0-3): Lansing's fall is one of the more surprising stories not only in the KVL, but in the Kansas City metro area. Here's hoping the Lions can get on the board with a win soon.
8. Bishop Ward (0-3): You have to hand it to Tim Dorian's squad this week. While moral victories make some players puke, the Cyclones played hard this week and only were down seven points at the half. When you're rebuilding a program, you have to make baby-steps sometimes. Bishop Ward's first half against Bonner was just that.
By NICK SLOAN, NJSloan212@gmail.com