Concordia splits I-70 matches in Weeks 7 and 8
The Concordia High School Orioles football team hosted two I-70 Conference opponents over the past two weeks, and the teams they played — along with each game’s result — were polar opposites of each other.
The Orioles first welcomed Lone Jack High School to town for a Week 7 matchup, but the Mules probably didn’t stop at Cree-Me-Freez after the Orioles sent them home with a 42-10 loss.
The following week might have seen a few new faces slurping down milkshakes after the game, however, when the Crest Ridge High School Cougars doubled up on the Orioles, winning 56-28 and moving themselves one giant step closer to an I-70 Conference Championship.
The Orioles fell to 3-5 (3-3) after the Week 8 loss, but still find themselves with an opportunity to win their fourth game of the regular season in Week 9. If they can knock off Tipton HS on the road, they will match their win total for the past three years combined, so there is much on the line as Orioles wrap their campaign up and start preparing for the Class 1 District 4 Tournament.
The victory would more importantly set the tables for a decent seed, with Wellington-Napoleon HS (4-4 regular season record, 26.57 quality points), Concordia (3-5, 26.57), Midway HS (3-5, 32.13), and Archie HS (2-6, 22.51) all looking at Week 9 as an opportunity to get a fourth or fifth seed.
Districts are slated to begin the first week of November, most likely on Friday, Nov. 1.
Week 7: O’s silence Mules on both sides of the ball in victory
Week 7 — I-70 Conference — Concordia HS
Lone Jack 10
Coming off of a big I-70 Conference win over Wellington-Napoleon HS in Week 6, the Orioles were too much for the Lone Jack High School Mules to handle, routing the visitors 42-10.
Success started through the air for the O’s, as senior Brayden McGinnis connected on 10/24 passing attempts. Despite missing on nearly 60% of passes, he made the most of his completions, turning them into 143 yards and four touchdowns. He also busted off a 17-yard rush in one of his five carries, which resulted in 53 yards.
Senior Colby Stein cracked off a 68-yard rush in his 100-yard rushing performance, averaging a ridiculous 20 yards per carry over five carries. Believe it or not, Stein actually outdid his rushing performance with his contribution through the air, catching six passes for 105 yards and four touchdowns. Stein was so good in this matchup, he even found a way to catch a pass from the other team, taking his interception all the way back to the house for an 85-yard touchdown return.
Junior Troy Brandt also ran for 56 yards on 10 carries and turned three catches into 25 yards. Brandt joined Stein and senior Jose Bermudez as O’s to record an interception in the affair.
The Orioles move to 3-4 (3-2) with the victory - a big one for an Orioles squad that might be peaking at the perfect time for a Class 1 District 4 upset.
Week 8: Crest Ridge controls CHS in Conference clash
Week 8 — I-70 Conference — Concordia HS
Crest Ridge 56
After two straight I-70 Conference victories, the Concordia Orioles couldn’t keep the good times rolling through Week 8, as the visiting Crest Ridge High School Cougars were able to put the Orioles down 56-28.
Known for their tough defenses, the Cougars held senior Brayden McGinnis in check. McGinnis completed 10/23 passes for 88 yards and two touchdowns. Despite the inefficient completion percentage, McGinnis did well to not throw an interception. He would fumble twice in his seven carries, however.
Concordia was able to find success on the ground (nine yards per carry). Junior Troy Brandt received the most handoffs among all Orioles, converting the five attempts into 51 yards (47-yard long rush) and a touchdown.
Seniors Peyton Moore (two carries, 33 yards) and Colby Stein (four carries, 38 yards) also found success in their attempts. Stein and Brandt each scored on catches, with Stein’s coming from 18 yards out in his only catch and Brandt’s mixing itself in with five catches for 24 yards.
While the winning streak may have concluded with the loss, the Orioles did keep a few other streaks going: it was their fourth straight game with 28 or more points, and their seventh straight game with double-digit scoring. They have scored more than 26 points all but two weeks — a 41-7 loss to Cole Camp HS to open the season, and a 54-17 loss to Sweet Springs HS in Week 3 action. Since the SSHS game, they have scored 50 points twice and have put up no less than 28 points per game.
The O’s fall to 3-5 (3-3) with the loss. They will round out the regular season on the road against Tipton HS in Week 9.
With just two ugly losses on the ledge (Weeks 3 and 4), the Cougars almost certainly tied the knot on the I-70 Conference Championship with the victory, advancing to 6-2 (5-0). Unless their regular season finale goes way wrong (on the road against one-win Lone Jack HS), they will complete the I-70 Conference season undefeated and claim the crown.