By ISAAC DEER
One of the best rivalries in Kansas high school football will be on display Friday in Rossville, with Rossville and Silver Lake facing off in the War on 24 Part II, with a berth in the Class 2A state championship game on the line.
Here's a breakdown of what fans can expect in Friday's game:
These two schools went toe to toe on October 15th at CJ Hamilton Field in Silver Lake, with defending 2A champion Rossville receiving its first tough test of the season.
.Bulldawg star quarterback Torrey Horrak suffered an upper arm injury to end the first half, leaving starting running back Corey Catron to take snaps under center for the remainder of the game.
Catron would lead the Bulldawgs through the back and forth battle, running for 129 yards, throwing for 34 yards and totaling two touchdowns.
The Eagles went blow for blow with the Bulldawgs throughout the game, led by quarterback Daigan Kruger, who tallied 252 total yards along with three total touchdowns.
Silver Lake could’ve had one more shot to win the game but undefeated Rossville snatched the win from them by spoiling an onsides kick, holding on for a 24-19 win.
Both Rossville and Silver Lake have continued to roll since the earlier game, with the Bulldawgs now 11-0 and Silver Lake 9-2 entering Friday's clash.
In the last four games, Rossville has routed Mission Valley, Republic County, Nemaha Central and Riverton.
The Dawgs' defense has held the four schools to a combined 32 points while the Rossville offense has lit up the scoreboard with 195 points.
Horak has returned from his earlier injury, giving the Bulldawg offensve a spark against Riverton, and allowing Catron to return to running back.
Rossville's offensive line has been a strength all season, giving the Bulldawg offense room to operate.
Rossville will need all three phases of the game to be working excellently to beat a gritty Silver Lake team, which has continued to gain momentum since the five-point loss to the Bulldawgs with wins over Pleasant Ridge, Atchison County, St. Marys and Wellsville.
As Kruger told TopSports.news last week, “We are playing our best football.''
Silver Lake is coming off of a 33-27 win last week against a previously-undefeated Wellsville team.
The Eagles' air attack has been vital in Silver Lake’s success throughout the 2021 campaign, but the ground game has been established lately. Brogan Renfro is a dual-threat running back who can receive the ball as well as he run it. Renfro’s legs and Kruger’s arm have been leading the way for a very versatile Silver Lake offense.
Lake’s offensive line has been terrific. The Eagles notably did a stellar job against Wellsville, one of the toughest defenses in the state. The front five gave Kruger plenty of time to make magic happen in the pocket leading them to victory.
Defensively, the Eagles have been in a good rhythm, including a stellar performance against Wellsville last week. Wellsville running back Nash Money was held to 69 yards on 19 carries. Coming into the game, Money averaged 8 yards a carry and 132 yards per game.
Silver Lake’s vertical threats and defensive front will have to repeat the performance they had against Wellsville to be victorious against Rossville.
Passing: Horak, 65-98 967 yards, 9 TD, 1 INT.
Rushing: Catron, 155-1,075 22 TD.
Receiving: Perine, 22-405-1 TD.
All-Purpose: Catron, 1,388 yards.
Total Tackles: Catron, 78.
Tackles for loss: Lietz, 9.
Sacks: Hale, 5.
Interceptions: Brown, 3.
Silver Lake (9-2)
Passing: Kruger, 106-176 1750 yards, 22 TD, 7 INT.
Rushing: Kruger, 98-513 7 TD.
Receiving: Remer, 35-512 9 TD.
All-Purpose: Renfro, 746 yards.
Total Tackles: T. Vandevelde, 85.
TFL: T. Vandevelde, 8.
Sacks: T. Vandevelde, 2.
Interceptions: D. Vandevelde, Dultmeier, 2.