It wasn’t quite anarchy in the first weekend of Jayhawk Conference football.
(Hey how come Highland gets to win on the road? If they win on the road! Everyone will win on the road! It’ll be anarchy!)
But it sure was eventful. A head-turning win for Highland opened the season, followed by an eye-popping scoreless first half between Dodge City and Butler. Garden City smacked Independence, while Hutchinson’s 30-point win at Coffeyville didn’t feel like a 30-point win.
Does any of that mean anything? Let’s break it down.
1. Watch out for Highland. After years of searching for ways to be competitive, the search is over. Second-year coach Ryan Held took his Scotties to Fort Scott and they won 48-31. That’s a quality win. Highland will not be homecoming fodder in road games this year, and trips to the far reaches of northeast Kansas won’t be fun for visitors. I predicted Highland would go to the Region 6 playoffs. After one game, I look somewhat intelligent.
2. Hutchinson’s defense was sick. The defensive backfield might be the nation’s best. Coffeyville tried to pick on Christian Goodlett all night, and all he did was swat away six passes. Jaylon Myers picked off three passes and forced a fumble. If this group can play in single coverage against opposing receivers, this could end up being one nasty, stingy defense.
3. Scoreless in El Dorado? Everyone in the Coffeyville pressbox could not believe it when Dodge City was tied with Butler at halftime in El Dorado. What do we make of that? Two things – one, Dodge City will be competitive under new coach Gary Thomas. Two – coach Troy Morrell’s team will steadily improve throughout the year. The Grizzlies were scoreless at halftime and still posted 41 points.
4. Poor ol’ Independence. Garden City picked on Independence like Uncle Rico picked on Napoleon Dynamite. With just nine sophomores on the roster, it’s hard to think how Independence will get more than one win in the Jayhawk Conference this season.
5. Coffeyville’s offense needs upgrades. Other than a first-quarter touchdown drive, Coffeyville did little to nothing against Hutchinson’s defense. Even average offenses should be able to put up well more than 148 yards at home against anybody. Quarterback Dakota Collins looked as comfortable as Will Smith’s family was watching the VMAs on Sunday night. The running game had a few flashes but nothing great. Will quarterback Drew Davis, who arrived to Coffeyville late, be given a shot? With two nonconference games the next two weeks, Coffeyville needs to figure something out.