District plays has begun so every game counts from here on out.

McPherson at Hays

HAYS — The preseason is over with and now the only games that matter out of nine begin. McPherson is on the road at Hays with the Pups coming in at 6-1 and the Indians at 2-4. The game is being played at Lewis Field Stadium on the campus of Fort Hays State University, which is always thrilling for high school athletes.

McPherson is favored to get their seventh win in this game and the only thing that would likely stop that is underestimating Hays. The Indians have only scored more than one touchdown in their two wins over Great Bend and Liberal, scoring 21 and 20 respectively. While it seems their defense is their strength, so is Mac's. Final road game of the regular season should provide a happy bus ride home for the Bullpups.

Rock Creek at Smoky Valley

LINDSBORG — Smoky Valley gets their real season underway hosting Rock Creek. The Vikings are 5-1 while the Mustangs are 2-4. Smoky Valley is a team that plays the same every game; relaxed, confident, loose and having fun. Their as steady as an old plow mule in a Kansas cornfield and that is the way their coach Tim Lambert likes it.

The Vikes win with defense but have shown enough offensive fire power to score a lot of points off opponents mistakes. They will pound the ball down your throat until they've got you on your heels, then pound it some more. This is a team that looks to make a run in the playoffs and they're not likely to let Rock Creek spoil that in their district opener.

Moundridge at Sedgwick

SEDGWICK — This is the biggest game in Moundridge football history in quite some time. The Wildcats are 2-4 on the season but, 2-0 in district play. A win over Sedgwick virtually locks a playoff spot up and likely the number one seed as well. The Cardinals come into the game with an uncharacteristic 2-4 overall record, 1-0 in district play, with Jeff Werner returning to the sidelines after a one-year hiatus.

The key to this game for the Cats will be Mason Dyck at quarterback. While the Moundridge running games was outstanding last week, Sedgwick will likely key on Jerod Kaufman and force the Wildcats to beat them in the air. Key number two will be the Wildcats defense, shutting down a Cardinal offense that likes to open things up and go fast. As I have said before, I am not a betting man but, if I were I'd be putting my money on the Wildcats to get the upset and take control of the district.

Whitewater-Remington at Inman

INMAN — The good news is someone has to win. The bad news is someone has to lose. Whoever gets the W in this one will celebrate their first victory of the season, while the loser will fall to 0-7. It is not likely that either of these teams will vie for a playoff spot but they could still play spoiler depending on the Moundridge versus Sedgwick winner.

Inman has battled injuries for the past two seasons but, their coach Lance Sawyer knows there is not quit in the Teutons. Remington's best shot at victory was against Moundridge but instead of going for a tie with over three minutes left, the Broncos went for two and missed to fall a point short at 20-19. There was no guarantee they'd have won anyway but at least give your kids a chance. I'll be at this game and cheering for an orange and black win.

Little River at Canton-Galva

CANTON — The McPherson County game of the night takes place in Canton as Canton-Galva hosts Little River in a key district game. The Eagles enter the game 3-3 on the season and 1-1 in district while the Redskins are 4-2 and 1-1 in district. The winner of this game has an inside track to the postseason while the loser could be miss out because of this game.

Both teams have played well at times this season and both teams have played not so well at times too. Little River played district powerhouse Central Plains strong into the third quarter before the Oilers rolled 52-12. The Eagles got beat by the Oilers 60-0. But records and past results mean nothing in this game. Expect loud crowds on both sides and a good ole' 8-man football shootout in C-town.

Contact Matt Cole by email at mcole@mcphersonsentinel.com and follow him on Twitter @MacSentinel