Andover at Salina Central
Andover was 6-4 last season, while Salina Central finished 0-9. Andover went two rounds in the Class 5A playoffs last season, falling to Great Bend 16-7. Andover debuts coach Cade Armstrong. Senior receiver Ben Smith is expected to lead the offense. Salina Central returns quarterback Brogen Richardson.
Arkansas City at Campus
Arkansas City was 3-6 last year, losing in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs to Maize 22-20. Campus was 3-6, losing in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs to Hutchinson 56-21. Arkansas City returns seven defensive starters and returns much of the offensive line and receiver Andrew Brautman. Campus started the season 3-1, but lost five straight. Campus will be led by quarterback Federico Harvey Jr., and returns nine other offensive starters.
Derby at Goddard Eisenhower
Goddard Eisenhower went 3-6 last season, falling to Andover 35-14 in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs. Derby finished the season 13-0, beating Blue Valley 17-14 in the Class 6A championship game. Eisenhower did finish the season winning two of its last three. Eisenhower does return nine offensive and six defensive starters. Derby lost 10 of 11 defensive starters. The offense is led by running back Brady Kooser, who rushed for 1,681 yards and 31 touchdowns.
Goddard at Olathe Northwest
Goddard went 11-2 last season, losing to Mill Valley 35-34 in double overtime in the Class 5A state championship game. Olathe Northwest finished 3-6 last season, falling to Gardner-Edgerton 23-16 in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs. Goddard returns quarterback Blake Sullivan, who passed for 1,629 yards and 28 touchdowns and rushed for 1,404 yards and 17 touchdowns. While only four defensive starters return, Ian McSwain had four interceptions.
Salina South at Valley Center
Valley Center finished 9-2 last season, while Salina South went 1-8, topping crosstown rival Salina Central for its sole win. Valley Center went three rounds into the Class 5A playoffs, losing to Great Bend 28-24 in the quarterfinals. South lost to Goddard 52-0 in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs. The Hornets graduated 25 seniors, including seven starters on each side of the ball. Kicker Aaron Coash hit eight of nine field goal attempts last season with a long of 47 yards. Caleb Rains rushed for 473 yards and five touchdowns. Salina South returns quarterback Casey Lanoue and running back Tanner Parret.