Kansas Pregame takes a look at a few noteworthy stories from recent high school sports action
Here's a quick rundown of a few noteworthy sports stories in our Subway Sports Spotlight:
Little River controls its own destiny in District 5
Little River High School continues to fly under the radar, but it may not be long before people take notice.
Friday night, Little River gave previously undefeated Skyline its first loss of the season in emphatic fashion. The two teams went into the second quarter tied at eight, but Little River exploded for 50 unanswered points to close the game.
Jayden Garrison had six touchdowns with five of them coming on the ground.
Garrison rushed for 142 yards on 17 attempts and caught Graham Stephens’ lone touchdown pass. Stephens rushed for two touchdowns and 101 yards as well.
Little River is now 4-1 on the season with its only loss coming in Week 1 to top-ranked Canton-Galva. While the score in that game was lopsided ‒ 70-23 ‒ it’s worth noting, Canton-Galva has given up a combined eight points to its four other opponents.
It’s also worth noting Little River is under first-year head coach Kevin Ayers, who has state championships with Jetmore and Wallace County-Sharon Springs in his career. Little River appears to be getting better each week, and is sitting in first place in 8-Man Division I, District 5.
Little River already has a district win over Central Plains, and now with a win over Skyline, the Redskins turn their attention to perhaps the last obstacle on the schedule.
Macksville is also 2-0 in the district, with wins over St. John and Moundridge.The Mustangs are 3-2 with uncompetitive losses to Ness City (5-0) and Victoria (4-1).
If Little River gets past Macksville, all that remains are Moundridge and St. John ‒ a combined 2-8 and 0-4 in district.
Clifton-Clyde shows strength of schedule at Rock Hills Invitational
At a tournament that featured the third and seventh-ranked teams in 1A, it was unranked Clifton-Clyde who went 4-0 and won the Rock Hills Invitational on Saturday.
Clifton-Clyde defeated No. 7 St. John’s/Tipton, twice ‒ once in pool play, then again in the championship.
The Eagles closed out pool play by defeating Rock Hills in straight sets; Clifton-Clyde did the same to Osborne in the semifinals.
The match between Clifton-Clyde and St. John’s/Tipton went three sets in pool play, but only two sets were necessary in the finals. However, the championship was still close, with the Eagles on top 25-21, 27-25.
St. John’s/Tipton defeated No. 3 Thunder Ridge in the semifinals to advance to the championship.
Don't sleep on the Eagles, who are now 18-8.
Of their eight losses, three have come against second-ranked Centralia (1A), one to No. 6 Smith Center (2A), one to No. 5 Valley Heights (2A), and two to Thayer Central of Nebraska (21-4 overall).
Clifton-Clyde heads to Frankfort for regionals starting on Oct. 22. Other teams in attendance include Frankfort, Hanover, Linn, Blue Valley, Pike Valley, and Washington County.
Jack and Drew Caudle, Maur Hill-Mount Academy football
Last week, Maur Hill improved to 4-1 with a 61-0 victory at Horton, a week after a last-second 28-27 loss to Riverside. Jack, a senior quarterback and four-year starter, enjoyed one of the best games of his career.
The left-hander completed 14 of 18 passes for 236 yards with five touchdowns against zero interceptions. He posted a 158.6 passer rating. Drew, a sophomore, had one carry for a 97-yard touchdown run, along with three catches for 52 yards.
Jack had five receivers with between two and four catches. Senior Dylan Smith paced with four catches for 62 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Maur Hill led 35-0 after the first quarter. The game had several superlatives for the Caudle brothers.
Since 2011, it tied for the most passing touchdowns by Maur Hill in a game, according to MaxPreps archives. MH also tossed five on Sept. 13 against Oskaloosa and Missouri Military Academy on Sept. 29, 2017.
It marked Caudle’s second-highest single game passer rating – and best since the second contest of his career. On Sept. 9, 2016, Maur Hill defeated McLouth, 31-13, as Caudle posted a 161.9 rating.
Drew’s 97-yard run marked the longest play from scrimmage for the Ravens since at least ’11. The rush was Drew’s first attempt of the season. He has 15 catches for 306 yards and three scores.
Maur Hill has averaged 40.4 points per contest and ranks sixth in 2A in scoring offense.
This season, Jack, a returning first team all-state selection and subject of Kansas Pregame's #KSQBs feature, has completed 62 of 92 passes for 1,058 yards with 14 touchdowns against two interceptions. He has a 136.7 rating and is on pace for career bests in most every passing category.
On Sept. 20, he engineered an 18-14 comeback victory versus Jackson Heights. JH has been ranked in Class 1A much of the season. Caudle tallied 22 carries for 134 yards and a touchdown. It marked the first time Maur Hill had beaten Jackson Heights in his career – and the first time Caudle had exceeded 100 rushing yards.
Overall, the 6-foot-3, 200-pounder has thrown for 6,179 career yards with a 77/24 TD/INT ratio in his career.
The Caudle’s older brother, Nick, and father, Todd, both played football at University of Kansas.
Hayden Pauls stacks up the pancakes
Several teams track pancake blocks on MaxPreps, but perhaps no team is quite as vigilant as Emporia, which has enjoyed a great recent track record of outstanding Division I prospects, notably linemen.
Senior Hayden Pauls, an Iowa State commit and ranked seventh in the Class of 2020 recruits by 247 Sports, achieved his 100th career pancake block last Friday. Emporia lost, 35-12, to Manhattan and dropped to 3-2, but continue to look like a tough out in 5A.
The 6-foot-5, 260-pound Pauls delivered 27 pancake blocks as a sophomore, 30 as a junior and already has 44 in five games this year. He has helped Emporia average 5.2 yards per rush and 6.8 yards per pass attempt. The Spartans opened 2-3 against the same schedule last year.
Central Kansas cross country runners continue to shine
St. John's Beloit/Tipton junior Caleb Eilert recorded a dominant win at last Thursday's Beloit Invitational running the 5K varsity boys' race in 16:17.91, more than 45 seconds faster than second place finisher Reagan Bales of Osborne.
Bales, also a junior, ran 17:04.14 and his teammate, senior Cameron Delaney, ran 17:05.52 to finish in third place. Plainville junior Chayse McCullough was fourth in a time of 17:30.56 while Abilene freshman Grant Waite, a young runner to watch on the Kansas cross country scene, finished fifth in a time of 17:34.28.
Abilene also won the team competition with five runners finishing in the top 26, including three in the top 13.
The meet was a homecoming of sorts for the Waite family. Waite's father, Jarad, is originally from Osborne, and his mother, the former Jennifer Brummer, is from Tipton.
On the girls' side in Beloit, Lincoln junior Jaycee Vath continued her spectacular high school career with a first place finish in a time of 19:09.64, more than 20 seconds ahead of Bennington sophomore Ashlyn Harbaugh (19:32.30) and Beloit High senior twins Hanna (19:46.59) and Hayley (20:06.13) Burks.
Lincoln, which didn't have the five runners required in the varsity race to score team points, looks reasonably well positioned for a potential repeat as 1A state champions with three total runners in the top 13 and a fourth finishing 37th.
Lincoln sophomores Raegen Stewart and Shelbie Ford finished in 12th and 13th respectively in times of 22:07.16 and 22:28.42 while fellow sophomore Alex Biggs, new to the team this year, finished in 37th with at time of 25:51.37.
Just four runners are required to compete for a team championship in 1A and Vath, Stewart and Ford all return from last year's championship team that also featured Aubry Donley, now competing in cross country and track at Friends University.
Tuesday Waite ran to a fourth place finish on a windy day at a hilly Ellsworth course with a time of 19:07.17. Smoky Valley junior Ryan Heline won the meet in a time of 18:01.07, followed by Ell-Saline junior Gavin Brady (18:54.56) and Minneapolis senior Alex Kuder (19:00.34).
Smoky Valley won the team title with five runners in the top 12 followed by Abilene with three runners in the top 10.
On the girls' side Chapman junior Taylor Briggs continued her dominant run through high school with a first place finish in a time of 20:07.10, more than one minute, 20 seconds faster than second place finisher Hannah Burks (21:32.03), followed closely by sister Hayley in third (21:47.32).
The Beloit girls won the Ellsworth team title with five runners in the top 13.
Coaches and parents, are you aware of an interesting statistic, a cool tradition, or a heartwarming act of kindness by your team? Email us details for future releases of the Subway Sports Spotlight, and head to Subway for pre- or post-game meals, catering or Footlong Faves starting at $4.99. Order online at Subway.com.