It's simple, kind of. Newton needs a win to make the playoffs, and if they beat Kapaun-Mt. Carmel by more than 12 they claim a district title. With anything else, math takes over in the Railers' quest for a post season spot.

The mathematics of the Newton High School—Kapaun-Mt. Carmel football game at 7 p.m. Friday at Cessna Stadium in Wichita are simple.

If Newton wins by more than seven points, the Railers are the district champion. If Newton wins by two to six points, Kapaun is the district champion and the Railers are runners-up.

If Newton loses and Winfield beats Arkansas City, Kapaun is district champions and Winfield is the district runner-up. If Newton loses by fewer than 12 points and Arkansas City wins by two or more points, Newton is the district runner-up.

The situation will be clearer after tonight when Arkansas City and Winfield play.

Once kickoff starts, all of that will be out the window.

“We’ll worry about all that after the game,” Newton coach Brent Glann said. “We’re going out there to try and play well and win the game. We just have to control what we can.”

Newton enters the game 6-2 while Kapaun is 3-5. After an 0-4 start, the Crusaders have won three of the last four. The only loss in that span is 36-28 loss to rival Bishop Carroll.

“They started the year pretty inexperienced,” Glann said. “They played a brutal schedule in the first five games. They were competitive in all of those games. It was just their inexperience was getting to them. The last couple of weeks, they have played pretty well.”

After a 26-19 win over Arkansas City in the first week of district play, the Crusaders clinched a playoff spot with a 30-14 win over Winfield.

Kapaun is led by Dylan Knox with 689 yards rushing on 98 carries, followed by Ben Vinzant with 321 yards on 75 carries. Vinzant has hit 63 of 120 passes for 750 yards with seven interceptions and five touchdowns. Chris Hayes has 13 catches for 195 yards. Adam Sawyer has 11 catches for 120 yards. Knox has six touchdowns this season. Hayes and Vinzant each have four.

“Their offense does a lot of the same things out of different formations,” Glann said. “Their running back is quite good. Their quarterback, who torched us last year throwing the ball, is a much improved runner this season. They are very quick on offense. We have to understand our defensive responsibilities and get lined up on them quickly.”

Newton counters with quarterback Nathaniel Martens, who has 917 yards rushing with 13 touchdowns, and has hit 60 of 101 passes for 1,145 yards with 11 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Chris Smith has 253 yards rushing with five touchdowns. Miguel Johns has 220 yards rushing with four touchdowns.

The Railers have used 16 different rushers this season. Nine have scored at least one touchdown.

Johns leads the receivers with 475 yards and three touchdowns, followed by Evan Gilbert with 371 yards and five touchdowns.

“Their defense is a much different look for us,” Glann said. “They run out of a three-man front. They run a lot of 3-5. They are very fast. They are not very big, but they are the fastest team we’ve faced this season. They sometimes go into a four-man or five-man front. We have to keep our eyes up and see where they are coming from. They blitz from about anywhere. We’re going to have to be diverse on offense.”

Newton was upended by Winfield 27-20 to open district play. Newton followed last week with a 49-0 win over Arkansas City, a game where several of the Bulldogs’ top players were benched for disciplinary reasons.

“Last week, I wish we would have faced their best players,” Glann said. “I think we still would have won. I think our guys knew what the situation was. They came out, played well and did what they had to do. After we lost to Winfield, our guys knew we had to win the rest of the games.”

Friday’s game marks the Railers’ return to Cessna Stadium, a venue where the Railers have struggled in the past.

“Games have not gone well for us there,” Glann said. “It’s like a vacuum for us. We’re on the side where there are no fans. It’s like a huge expanse. Our guys are mature and experienced, so I don’t think it’s going to bother them as much. We just have to be focused and ready to play.”

AROUND THE AV-CTL II: Arkansas City (3-5) at Winfield (4-4) (Thursday night): Winfield still has a shot at a Class 5A playoff spot. A win coupled with a Kapaun win over Newton ensures the Vikings a spot. The Bulldogs are out of the playoff picture. The best the Bulldogs can do is -7 on tie-breaking points with a 13-point win. The worst Newton could do is -7 with a 13-point loss and the Railers hold the head-to-head tie-breaker over Ark City. Hays (4-4) at McPherson (7-1): McPherson earns a playoff spot with a win and a Hutchinson win over Great Bend. McPherson downed Great Bend 45-14 last week while Hays, on a three-game losing streak, lost to Hutchinson 69-0. Valley Center (1-7) at Wichita West (1-7): Valley Center lost to Bishop Carroll 59-14 last week while West lost to Liberal 63-0. West has scored just 39 points all season and just 19 in the last six weeks. Valley Center is on a three-game losing streak. Both teams are eliminated from playoff contention. Wichita North (1-7) at Campus (2-6): North downed Wichita Southeast three weeks ago, but hasn’t scored in district play, falling to Wichita Northwest 34-0. Campus beat Wichita South 20-7 last week. Campus can earn a playoff spot outright is Northwest beats South Thursday and Campus wins on Friday.

KSHSAA Districts

Class 5A, District 7

district overall


Kapaun-MC 2 0 3 5

Newton 1 1 6 2

Winfield 1 1 4 4

Ark City 0 2 3 5

Tie-breaker — Kapaun-Mt. Carmel +20, Newton +6, Winfield -6, Arkansas City -20.