Andover Central (8-3) at Wamego (9-2) – B104.7 Carpet One of Manhattan Game of the Week, 6:30pm pregame
Wamego finds itself in the 4A State Semifinals for a second straight and will face a familiar foe on Friday night when it hosts Andover Central. The matchup is the “rubber game” of the series as the two have met in the two previous seasons, with the Jaguars ending Wamego’s season in 2021 and the Red Raiders handling the visitors in 2022.
Both teams are riding five game winning streaks to reach the sub-state round, both having dropped games to 5A teams just before getting hot.
Wamego has scored more than 40 points in each of its playoff tilts, including spinning a 49-0 shutout of Wellington a week ago. The Red Raider defense allowed just 20 rushing yards while forcing four turnovers, two that went for touchdowns in the the first quarter. That unit has been stingy against the run all season, having limited opponents to fewer than 100 yards.
Andover Central’s junior Maddox Archibald is a thousand yard rusher this season, but has been limited to under 100 yards in five of the last six. Junior quarterback Jace Jefferson has thrown for nearly 2,000 yards for the Jaguars, who come into Friday’s game after a 28-21 win over McPherson and beat Abilene in the second round by the same mark.
The other semifinal in 4A tonight pits St. Thomas Aquinas against Tonganoxie. The winners meet next Saturday in Topeka for the title.
Also tonight: 8-Man-II: Frankfort (9-2) at Axtell (11-0)
The Wildcats are decided underdogs in this semifinal, having lost to one of their Twin Valley League rivals by a 46-0 mark earlier this season. Since that matchup on October 13, Frankfort has won four straight, picking off road wins in the last two playoff matchups.
Axtell has won the last three in the series since Frankfort beat the Eagles in 2020. This is the first time during that stretch, however, that the teams have met in the playoffs. The host team is riding a 37 game winning streak.