By NICK SLOAN, NJSloan212@gmail.com
One regular season week down, eight more to go.
Thoughts from the Kaw Valley League games this week:
1. Note to the Kaw Valley League - you can't overlook Tonganoxie anymore. The Chieftains pulled off one of the biggest Kaw Valley League upsets in the last five years by defeating Lansing 22-20. After winning just one game last year and getting blown out in most of their remaining games, many KVL fans were just hoping for baby-steps in coach Al Troyer's first year. One game in, the Chieftains took a huge step. Congratulations to that program. After the turmoil there at the beginning of the season last year, this is a good win for the program.
2. A star is born in the Tonganoxie win. Running back Cole Holloway finished with 200 yards and three rushing touchdowns yesterday. He had touchdown runs of 61, 3 and 49 yards in the victory. Holloway missed most of the season last year, but he immediately put himself into contention for a spot on the KVL All-League team. Great start for Holloway's season.
3. Don't make too much of Mill Valley's loss 43-21 to Manhattan. While it may not look good for the Jaguars, Manhattan is on a 28-game regular season winning streak and are one of the top 6A programs in the state. As a matter of fact, Manhattan was the first 6A team Mill Valley has faced in its football history. It was a tough night for the Jaguars, but they'll still be there in the Kaw Valley League hunt.
4. Bonner Springs' program takes another step in the right direction with win against Turner. It was an ugly win. It was not a fun one. However, that's exactly why Bonner fans should be celebrating even more. As fun as last year's Bonner Springs team was, last year's squad doesn't win this nasty game Friday night. This team competed hard and won a physical game against a team that pushed them around last year. Bonner Springs presevered in the win and the Braves are off to a 1-0 start. Great win for the Braves.
5. Basehor's offense has transformed itself well as the season begins. Last year, Basehor-Linwood's offense was all about quarterback Colin Murphy finding Ben Johnson and Ryan Murphy in what was one of the most dynamic passing attacks in the metro area. Against Ward, it was the Bobcats rushing attack that shined. Basehor-Linwood finished with over 400 yards rushing, led by Drew Potter's 170 yards on just 8 carries. Tanner Garver and Zac Hevel also did a nice job managing the offense as they split the quarterback duties. Garver hit Ben Johnson on a nice touchdown in what was his first pass attempt on the season. Yes, it was against Ward - but I think Ward will improve as the year continues. Basehor's win was nice and a reminder that until someone knocks them off, they're the kings of the KVL.
6. Until his injury, Paul Berry was the best player on the field in the Bonner Springs-Turner game. Making his debut as quarterback, Berry looked awesome in the first half. He had over 100 rushing yards before his injury happened in the first half. Our best wishes to Paul as he recovers. There's a lot of speculation out there, both positive and negative. However, it's not worth reporting on until it's official one way or another.
1. Basehor-Linwood - The Bobcats flattened an overmatched Ward team. Rushing for 400 yards was a plus and the team shutdown the Cyclones on defense.
2. Mill Valley - I still like Mill Valley a whole lot, but I have to flip them and Basehor this week. This is still a really good team that I think can go places.
3a. Piper - I'm going the coward's route and putting both Piper and Bonner Springs in the third spot. Piper lost their game, but they hung in there and was leading well into the third quarter against the 4A state runner-up last year in Eudora.
3b. Bonner Springs - Again, Bonner showed me something yesterday. They won a gritty, tough game that programs need once in a while. They showed great character in the win.
5. Tonganoxie - This may seem a little low, but they need to do it again before cracking the Top 4. Perhaps Lansing was overlooking them? We know for sure Tonganoxie is already an improved football team. How good can they be? That question should be answered really soon.
6. Lansing - It's not time to bury Lansing yet, but the loss should wake the program up. That may have been the biggest upset in the metro area yesterday and you never want to be on the wrong side of a game like that.
7. Turner - This is unfair, but I'm assuming Turner could be without Paul Berry for a while. Paul Berry was pretty much the only offense on the touchdown drive from the Golden Bears and they did not do too much offensively after his injury. Without Berry, a lot of Turner players will have to step it up in his absence.
8. Bishop Ward - Rome was not built in a day. However, I heard some encouraging information from Basehor broadcastor Rodney White. He's a Basehor fan, but he thinks Ward is on the right track under first year head coach Tim Dorian. That's good to hear!
By NICK SLOAN, NJSloan212@gmail.com