Bullpups celebrate Homecoming.
Rose Hill at McPherson
Homecoming this week for McPherson in more ways than one. They finally come home for three of the last four games of the regular season after playing four of five on the road, and they will have their annual Homecoming celebration as well. The Bullpups come into this game riding a three-game winning streak, including the 62-7 blasting of Circle last Friday night. Rose Hill comes in 1-4, with their only victory over El Dorado 21-14 last week after opening the season with four straight losses.
Under normal circumstances you could expect this to be another walk in the park for Mac but with the impending rain and storms these are not normal circumstances. McPherson has spent the week practicing outside, wetting the footballs and preparing for whatever conditions present themselves. I would still expect an easy victory for the Pups, just maybe not by the margin it might be on a dry night.
Smoky Valley at Lyons
LYONS — This week's Great Plains Federal Credit Union Team of the Week, Smoky Valley, has what they call a trap game. With district play starting next week and the Vikings coming of an emotional, Homecoming victory over Hesston, the biggest concern for Vikes fans has to be a let down. Smoky Valley is 4-1 while Lyons is 0-5.
Smoky Valley is the vanilla ice cream of high school football teams this year. Their offense and defense are pretty plain, they occasionally throw some sprinkles on top but at the end of the day you know exactly what you're going to get and Vikings fans end up leaving with a smile. Smoky Valley is also a team built for rainy weather so I'd expect the Lions to be no match for them as they move to 5-1.
Inman at Moundridge
MOUNDRIDGE — A one-win team playing an 0-5 team. Sounds like a game to skip but not so fast my friends. First of all, this is Inman versus Moundridge, the rivalry that is better than 'Bedlam'. When these two long time rivals meet, for what could be the last time for a while as the Wildcats move to 8-man next year, records and statistics mean nothing. The Hatfields and McCoys pull out all stops to try to beat each other.
Both teams played the same, tough non-district schedule with equal results. The Wildcats then won their district opener last week over Remington while the Teutons fell to Medicine Lodge, a game most pundits think was their best shot at a win this season. On a dry night the Cats runaway with this one but on a wet, muddy field anything can happen. Expect this one to be a fight to the end.
Central Plains at Little River
LITTLE RIVER — This is probably the best match up on paper in McPherson County this week. Both teams come in at 4-1 overall and 1-0 in district play. And both are likely to make the playoffs, so this game could determine who is the higher seed barring a catastrophic collapse by either team down the stretch.
If you want to be the best you have to beat the best and the Oilers have proven to be the best year in and year out. After winning the state title in 2014 the Central Plains' season has ended with losses to Spearville in each of the past two years, both considered disappointing in the eyes of Oilers' nation. This will be a good test to see just how the Redskins measure up as they look to return to the playoffs in 2017. As with the other games Friday night, weather could play a part, which on the surface favors the Oilers.
Canton-Galva at St. John
ST. JOHN — The Eagles are looking to get back into the win column after two crushing defeats to Wakefield and Central Plains. Tough losses but good experience for a young team learning what it takes to get better and become an elite program. Canton-Galva is 2-3 overall and 0-1 in district play while the Tigers are 2-3, 1-0.
I like what coach Shelby Hoppes and his ball club have done so far this year, especially when you consider all the late changes that were made. I think this game could go either way and the Eagles are well suited if this game is effected by rain. More than anything, this game is another stepping-stone for a program that will be one to beat in just a couple more years.
Contact Matt Cole by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @MacSentinel