By RICK PETERSON
Washburn Rural in Class 6A, Shawnee Heights in 5A, Hayden in 3A and Rossville in 2A all kept their state championship hopes alive with Friday night victories in the opening round of the state playoffs.
Washburn Rural advanced with a 36-0 victory over Dodge City, while Shawnee Heights took a 28-21 decision over Lansing, Hayden rolled to a 63-8 win over Baldwin and Rossville routed Minneapolis, 57-6.
All four Shawnee County winners last Friday were at home but all four will be on the road Friday, with Washburn Rural traveling to Garden City, Shawnee Heights playing at Mill Valley, Hayden at Wellsville and Rossville at Nemaha Central.
Here's a game-by-game look at last week's Shawnee County Games and this Friday's matchups:
WASHBURN RURAL 36, DODGE CITY 0 -- Washburn Rural fought through a disheartening injury to senior leader Lukas Hanks early in the game to turn in a dominating opening-round performance in the Class 6A playoffs, the Junior Blues' fourth straight victory.
The Junior Blues, now 7-2, advanced to a second-round clash at Garden City, also 7-2, with the Buffaloes taking a 35-14 first-round win over Campus.
Washburn Rural junior quarterback Branton DeWeese threw for 214 yards and four touchdowns, including three TD strikes to junior Titan Osburn.
DeWeese was 11 of 15 on the night while Osburn had three catches for 117 yards.
Rural also rushed for 328 yards as a team, including 193 yards on 24 carries from senior Ma'Kenttis Adams and 83 yards on 18 attempts from freshman TJ Minikwu.
Defensively, Rural came up with a huge goal-line stand while nursing a 2-0 lead late in the opening quarter and the Junior Blues held Dodge City (4-5) in check the rest of the night, holding the Red Demons to 80 total yards, including minus-10 rushing as seniors Wyatt Conklin and Ty Weber came up with several big plays to lead the charge.
HAYDEN 63, BALDWIN 8 -- Hayden improved to 8-1 with last Friday's 3A playoff romp past 3-6 Baldwin, advancing to a second-round playoff game at 9-0 Wellsville, which is coming off a 41-8 win over Royal Valley.
The Wilcats opened up a commanding 27-0 lead by the end of the opening quarter, with junior Finn Dunshee scoring a pair of touchdowns and sophomore Jett Wahlmeier throwing for two TDs.
Dunshee added a third score on a 44-yard run early in the third quarter and unofficially finished with 85 rushing yards on four carries. Senior JC Cummings gained 92 yards on five carries unofficially while Wahlmier was 5 of 10 passing for 76 yards and two TDs.
With the big lead Hayden's reserves got extensive playing time.
SHAWNEE HEIGHTS 28, LANSING 21 -- Shawnee Heights beat Lansing for the second time on the season, using last Friday's win to advance to the second round of the 5A playoffs.
With the win Shawnee Heights advanced to a Friday night second-round game at 8-1 Mill Valley, a 69-0 winner over Kansas City-Harmon last week.
Junior running back Allen Baughman carried the ball 32 times for 147 yards and three touchdowns against Lansing while senior quarterback Nick Freeland went 7 of 9 passing for 122 yards and a TD.
Baughman has 1,432 rushing yards and 20 TDs on 207 carries for the season while Freeland has completed 45 of 83 passes for 417 yards and a touchdown.
ROSSVILLE 57, MINNEAPOLIS 6 -- Rossville, the two-time defending 2A state champs, routed Minneapolis 57-6 to advance to a second-round playoff game at 9-0 Nemaha Central Friday night.
Nemaha Central remained unbeaten with a 74-6 win over Pleasant Ridge.
Rossville, which improved to 5-4, built a 9-0 first-quarter lead over Minneapolis and put the game out of reach with a 28-point second quarter. The Bulldawgs added 20 points in the third quarter to end their scoring.
Senior Braiden Hensley scored three touchdowns, scoring on a 14-yard pass from junior Camden Horak and 9 and 44-yard runs.
C. Horak threw for three TDs on the night, including two to senior Ayron Klesath, and also ran for a score.
Sophomore Tayson Horak ran for a pair of touchdowns while junior Cedric Leistenschneider kicked seven extra points.
DERBY 69, TOPEKA HIGH 12 -- Topeka High finished a 1-8 season with a loss to perennial 6A power Derby, but Trojan standouts Peyton Wheat, Jayden Norman and Elijah Kincade all had big games against the Panthers.
Wheat, a senior quarterback, completed 24 of 43 passes for 309 yards and a touchown in Friday's loss while sophomore receiver Norman had six receptions for 123 yards and senior Kincade caught seven passes for 114 yards and a TD.
Wheat finished the season with 1,718 passing yards and eight TD passes while Norman caught 61 passes on the year for 879 yards and five TDs.
EMPORIA 83, HIGHLAND PARK 64 -- Emporia picked up its second win of the season in a 147-point scorefest, upsetting the No. 3-seeded Scots.
Highland Park senior star Tre Richardson scored six touchdowns in his final high school game, turning in a 249-yard rushing game and a 114-yard receiving night. Richardson rushed for three touchdowns, caught two TD passes and also returned a kickoff for a TD against the Spartans.
Scot senior quarterback Kei'Juan Johnson threw for 218 yards and four TDs in the loss to Emporia.
KC-SUMNER 47, TOPEKA WEST 42 -- Topeka West challenged No. 4 5A East seed Kansas City-Sumner, but the Sabres survived to improve to 7-2.
Topeka West ended a tough 2022 season with a 1-8 record.
RILEY COUNTY 23, SILVER LAKE 21 -- Riley County played Silver Lake to a 7-point loss in the season-opener and the Falcons turned the tables in the first round of the 2A playoffs, taking a two-point road win over the Eagles.
Silver Lake finished a solid season under first-year Eagles head coach Logan Pegram with a 6-3 record.
BLUE VALLEY SOUTHWEST 42, SEAMAN 14 -- Blue Valley Southwest ended Seaman's season for the third straight season, rolling to a 5A playoff win over the Vikings.
Southwest improved to 4-5 while Seaman finished 4-4.