Week Five - Frontier League:

Paola (2-2) @ DeSoto (1-3)

The Panthers are in major re-group mode, having dropped their last two games. There’s nothing wrong with losing to Gardner, they’re by far the class of the league, and certainly one of the top teams in the state in Class 5-A, but the home loss to Eudora took a little luster off the Panthers season. Now Paola has to travel to DeSoto to play a Wildcat team that owns a three game winning streak over the Panthers. The ‘Cats ran the Frontier League “gauntlet” so to speak in the first three games of the season, falling to Gardner, Eudora and Louisburg before picking up their first win of the season against winless Baldwin, so we really don’t know what to expect out of the ‘Cats. I look for the Panthers to get back on track behind Skylar Hawkins and Seth Kern, and turn up the defensive pressure up on a DeSoto team that isn’t scoring a ton of points on the season.

Bill's Pick - Paola -- Jim's Pick - Paola

Louisburg (3-1) @ Eudora (4-0)

Both of these teams are coming off crossroads type games last week. The Wildcats were flying high when they cruised into Gardner at 3-0 but left with their tails between their legs so to speak after being slapped around by a Trailblazer team that was playing without Bubba Starling. The Cardinals rolled into Panther Stadium as a team which Head Coach Gregg Webb described as “trying to find its identity,” well, mission accomplished, as Eudora identified themselves as a team to be dealt with down the stretch as they left Paola with a still unblemished 4-0 record and a firm handle on their own destiny in the Frontier League. On paper, this match up appears to be a pickem’ game, and unfortunately for the Wildcats, they might have gotten the Cardinals at the wrong time on the schedule. This game should be close, but I give the nod to Eudora on the strength of their win at Paola and the fact that they’re playing at home.

Bill's Pick - Eudora -- Jim's Pick - Eudora

Gardner-Edgerton (4-0) @ Spring Hill (2-2)

This one could get ugly fast, kind of like last week against Louisburg. The Trailblazers are far and away the class of the Frontier League, with or without Bubba Starling. The Broncos get the ‘Blazers without Bubba from what we’ve heard, but it really won’t make any difference. Spring Hill is 2-2 with wins over Baldwin and Ottawa (0-8 collectively) and losses to Louisburg and Eudora (7-1 collectively) that’s about all you need to know about this game. Unless the Broncos can come up with some special teams plays or turnovers, this game will be another “whole lot for Gardner / not much for the opponent” scores. Gardner wins and sets up a Frontier League showdown with Eudora next Friday, which coincidentally is the scheduled return for Bubba.

Bill's Pick - Gardner -- Jim's Pick - Gardner

Ottawa (0-4) @ Baldwin (0-4)

This is a good news, bad news kind of game. The good news is one of these two teams will not be winless after Friday night. That is of course unless they play to about 15 overtimes and the game is tied and everybody gets tired and goes home. The bad news is, given the two teams records, regardless of the outcome someone’s going to be disappointed. Seriously though, this could actually be an entertaining game, the Cyclones are a much improved team over last year’s squad, and they will flat line up against you and knock you into next week. Just ask some of the Paola players about how hard the ‘Clones hit, plus Ottawa played the league’s only other unbeaten team Eudora to a 7-0 standoff.

Bill's Pick - Ottawa -- Jim's Pick - Baldwin

Week Five - Pioneer League:

Wellsville (3-1) @ Osawatomie (4-0)

This will be the deciding game in the Pioneer League, as the once beaten Wellsville Eagles travel to the unbeaten Osawatomie Trojans. This will be the Trojans last real test before heading to district play in two weeks against arch-rival Paola, and I really don’t know what to expect from this game. The Trojans, while sporting a perfect record, haven’t been perfect on the season, as they needed come from behind victories in the first to games of the season. They have settled down the last two games, for convincing victories over a good Iola team and a woeful Jayhawk Linn team. Wellsville bounced back after a season opening loss to Rossville to defeat Jayhawk Linn, Central Heights and Prairie View, but that’s really not saying much as the Jayhawks, Vikings and Buffalos are a combined 1-11. I really look for the Eagles to give the Trojans a game, but, it’s Homecoming, and I can’t remember the last time the Trojans opened the season with five straight victories.

Bill's Pick - Osawatomie -- Jim's Pick - Osawatomie

Anderson County (3-1) @ Jayhawk Linn (0-4)

There are a few “givens” in this world; death, taxes and a win over the Jayhawk Linn Jayhawks in football this year. To say the Jayhawks are “struggling” would be an understatement, but this is high school football, and we’re trying to be nice here. The Bulldogs are the second best team in the Pioneer League, and they’ve proved it so far, hanging 41 points on Santa Fe Trail, 42 points on Prairie View and 33 points on Central Heights in their victories on the season, heck, they put 34 points on Osawatomie and had the Trojans down heading into the fourth quarter, so I doubt they’ll have much trouble with the Jayhawks. This one falls into the “take the number of Bulldog offensive possessions times seven to zero for the Jayhawks category.."

Bill's Pick - Anderson County -- Jim's Pick - Anderson County

Central Heights (1-3) @ Prairie View (0-4)

Here’s another one of those games where you just don’t know how to pick. The Vikings picked up their lone win over Uniontown in the season opener, and have proceeded to get smoked in their next three games against Iola, Wellsville and Anderson County being outscored 112-6. The Buffalos on the other hand are in a tight race with Jayhawk Linn to see will finish the season in the cellar of the Pioneer League. The good news for Prairie View is they will face the Jayhawks next Friday night to settle that argument. Prairie View isn’t exactly a defensive juggernaut, as they are allowing an average of 47 points per game, but the good news here for the Buffs is that Central Heights has only scored 36 points on the season!

Bill's Pick - Prairie View -- Jim's Pick - Central Heights

Pigskin Picks of the Week
MCSportscom

Each week we're going to look into our "crystal ball" so to speak and try and give a quick overview of the games on tap in the Frontier League and Pioneer League. We'll quickly break down the game as we see it and go out on a limb and pick a winner. We're not going to be so bold as to predict a score, just looking for the winner may tax our brains to the limit. We hope you enjoy our "Pigskin Picks of the Week."

email comments to: Bill Hauldren -- bhauldren@hauldrenproductions.com or Jim Woods -- jdwoodsassoc@yahoo.com

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