Round 2 football playoffs preview

Breaking down all the matchups in the west division


Kenna McNally

Quarterback Truman Juelsgaard, wide receiver Baylor Bowen, and corner back Zeric Avery lead the Lions onto the field versus Topeka High.

By Jack Ritter and Dom LaPoint

As Week 10 approaches for football players, there’s much to break down for the playoffs.

In the west, the remaining teams are Derby (1), Wichita-East (8), Topeka Washburn-Rural (4), Free State (5), Manhattan (2), Gardner-Edgerton (10), Junction City (3), and Lawrence High (6).

Derby (1) vs. Wichita-East (8)

The Panthers look to sustain their undefeated season against an underwhelming team.

A dominant Derby team continues to roll through the state of Kansas’ high school football teams after their 63-9 win against Wichita-Southeast. The Panthers are currently sitting at 9-0, with their closest win being against 5A 8-Seed Maize HS where they won by a close 42-41 score. Derby looks to continue their run against a 6-3 Wichita-East team who are coming off an impressive 24-7 win against 9-seed Garden-City.

The Budget’s Prediction: Derby. 810 Varisty said it best in their payoff predictions article, “It’s Derby. It’s the class 6A Playoffs.”

Topeka Washburn-Rural (4) vs. Free State (5)

Free State looks to upset 4-seed Washburn-Rural.

Another strong matchup, the Firebirds (7-2) are traveling to play Washburn Rural (8-1). With both teams coming off statement wins last week, with Free State dominating 12-seed Wichita South 49-22, and Washburn Rural taking down 13-seed Wichita West 52-7.

The Budget’s Prediction: Free State. This game definitely looks to be a shootout between two high-powered offenses but we’ve got Free State getting the win in this game due to their multitude of offensive threats.

Manhattan (2) vs. Gardner-Edgerton (10)

One of these things is not like the others.

Red-hot 10-seed Gardner-Edgerton, despite being 4-5, is looking to shock the state in this matchup. Last week, the Trailblazers handed 7-seeded Dodge City (6-3) just their 3rd loss of the season in a blowout, 41-20. However, Manhattan (8-1) isn’t to be underestimated. Manhattan decimated 15-seed Wichita-North (1-8) 64-6 last week, and they’re looking to continue their winning streak that started in Week 7.

The Budget’s Prediction: Gardner-Edgerton. A Centennial League team, Manhattan has had an underwhelming schedule, and we see Gardner as this season’s Cinderella story, at least for now. Gardner-Edgerton may seem like an odd pick, but 810 Varsity agrees with the prediction in the same article.

Junction City (3) vs. Lawrence High (6)

The third predicted upset in four games, the Lions look to take down the Jays.

Lawrence High (7-2) entered the playoffs with a surge of momentum coming off back-to-back last-second wins against East Division 4-seed Olathe North (7-2) and West division 5-seed Free State (7-2). Last week they continued their streak against Topeka High, with a dominant 37-7 win. The Lawrence High defense looks to contain Junction City’s offense, who’s exceeded the max point differential for the last 5 games.

The Budget’s Prediction: Lawrence High. The Chesty Lions defense has shown up in big moments week after week, and against another Centennial League team, the Lions look to edge this one out.