The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on September 27, 1996 · Page 15
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 15

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Salina, Kansas
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Friday, September 27, 1996
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Page 15
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FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 27, 1996 THE SALINA JOURNAL TCOMMENT BOB DUTTON The Kansas City Star Grading Kansas State after 4 games MANHATTAN — Is that a door opening in the Big 12 North Division? Check out the list in the heretofore unsinkable S.S. Nebraska, which hit that unlikely iceberg last Saturday at Arizona State. Still afloat. But vulnerable? Maybe. And that very thought is taking root at No. 16 Kansas State, which has an open date Saturday to savor its 4-0 record before resuming action Oct. 5 against those very Huskers. "We know that now," receiver Kevin Lockett said, "that with a great game, we can do exactly what Arizona State did." Can they really? The very question begs an examination of the Wildcats' play to date. Offense • The line: There's good size and depth, but even senior center Jason Johnson contends, "Our pass protection is a big concern." That problem is magnified because quarterback Brian Kavanagh isn't the most mobile guy around. Grade: B-minus. • Receivers: Any corps that starts with Lockett (22 catches, 310 yards) has teeth. Jimmy Dean (10,128) caught three touchdown passes last Saturday at Rice, which he said "was important because we showed that teams can't just double- and triple-team Kevin Lockett." Tight end Jarrett Grosdidier also merits more action. Grade: B. • Running backs: Sophomore Marlon Charles is a pleasant breakthrough in the absence of Eric Hickson, last year's starter who suffered a season-ending injury in preseason workouts. Charles has 367 yards, a 5.5-yard average and six touchdowns. Junior Mike Lawrence still shows niore promise than production but remains a solid blocker on passing plays. Sophomore full- b'ack Brian Goolsby is a capable 245-pound horse. Grade: B. • Quarterback: Kavanagh leads the Big 12 in passing efficiency. Clearly, he's doing a lot of things well. Even so, the offense bogs down at times, and Kavanagh blames himself. "In the Rice game," he said, "we took the whole second quarter off. We just went to sleep." Grade: B. Defense « The line: Don't those preseason concerns seem silly? Senior end Nyle Wiren is again a terror. On the other side, redshirt freshman Darren Howard shows signs of becoming an impact player. Inside, junior transfer Jerome Evans is an absolute load at 6 feet 6 and 305 pounds. Fellow tackle Andrew Timmons is solid, and he needs to be to hold off redshirt freshman Damion Mclntosh. Grade: B-plus. . Linebackers: No player shows greater improvement over last year than middleman De- Shawn Fogle, of whom sophomore teammate Travis Ochs said, "He's been better than anybody we've ever had there." Ochs, himself, is one of those guys who quietly makes play after play. Redshirt freshman Mark Simoneau is good and getting better. Grade: B- plus. « Secondary: Even without two-time, all-conference senior cornerback Joe Gordon, this has been a superior unit. And Gordon, healed from a broken foot, should play against Nebraska. Junior Chris Canty is an All-America corner who plays like one. Senior free safety Mario Smith is devastating hitter who always finds the ball. Strong safety Clyde Johnson and backup corners Lamar Chapman and Demetric Denmark are all above average. Grade: A. Special teams « Kicking: Freshman Jamie Rheem found himself rushed into action when junior Martin Gramatica suffered a season-ending injury before the opener. Rheem is perfect in 20 extra-point attempts but just one for three on field goals. On kickoffs, he shows an increasing ability to pin opponents deep. Grade: C-plus. • Punting: Sophomore James Garcia said, "I could feel a lot better if I improved my hang time." That's a harsh self-assessment. Garcia ranks second in the nation with a 47.6-yard average. K-State's '• net per punt is 43.0. Grade: A. Sports BASEBALL/ C3 CHIEFS / C4 CLASSIFIED / C6 c Down the stretch The Associated Press Seattle's Mark Whiten tosses his bat after doubling off Oakland's Don Wengert in the fourth inning of Thursday's game in the Oakland Coliseum. The Mariners lost 7-5, further hindering their playoff chances. For the story, see Page C3. T ROYALS BASEBALL Brett • M * waiting to buy Royals VP not giving up on being a future owner of team By CRAIG HORST The Associated Press BRETT T HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL Central, JC to test perfect records Junction City already one victory better than last season's 2-7 mark By ARNE GREEN The Salina Journal In just three weeks, Junction City has gone a long way toward erasing the memories of last year's 2-7 record. An 1-70 League victory tonight against Class 5A power Salina Central would be an even bigger step for the Bluejays. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 at Al Simpler Stadium. "We're very pleased with the way we've been playing," said Junction City coach Randall Zimmerman, whose Bluejays are coming off a 2719 victory last week at Dodge City. "We have a lot of room for improvement, but I'm pleased that the kids have come out and worked hard. We've got a great group of seniors who have given us great leadership. "We need to improve tremen- Area Game of the Week dously to compete with the top teams in the 1-70 League and I just hope we're ready to compete with Salina Central. They have a great ballclub and a lot of tradition. We'll have to be at our best and play mistake-free football just to be able to compete." The Bluejays have been strong offensively all year, averaging more than 350 yards per game, but it is their defense that has caught Salina Central coach Marvin Diener's attention. "They are really greatly improved from a year ago," said Diener, whose Mustangs are ranked No. 2 in 5A with a 3-0 record. "I think where they've improved most is defensively. They really play very good team defense. They run to the football and tackle better than any team we've faced so far, and we've seen some good defensive teams." Central will attack Junction City's defense with a big, strong offensive line and a running game that features tailback Parker Wallace. Wallace, a 5-foot-8, 165-pound senior, has amassed 742 yards rushing in three games. Wallace suffered a sprained ankel in practice Wednesday. But Wallace practiced Thursday and Diener said he should be able to play tonight. "Our strong suit has been our running attack and we're going to try to establish that in every football game we play this year," Diener said. "But particularly in the (Salina) South game, when we chose to pass the football, it really gave us a lift. "We intend to do the same things, but I really think in our case if we can choose when we throw, rather than have the defense dictate when, it makes us much better. We are definitely a play-action type of team, and if you stay out of third- and-long situations, play-action is much more effective." Zimmerman said his biggest concern is Central's huge offensive line, which averages 279 pounds. "We're not very big, and their offensive line is not just big, but they're good technicians who come off the ball very well," Zimmerman said. "Our biggest concern is slowing their running game down, even though their quarterback (John Huseman) throws the ball well." The running game has also been a strength for Junction City, but quarterback David Hernandez threw for 152 yards against Dodge City. Junior running back Matt Jordan had 206 yards rushing and has 496 yards for the season. "Jordan is the real key to their offense," Diener said. "He's really a quality back. They're now in an offense that features him.. "Defensively, I think we've matured in the first three games, but I'm still disappointed that we've really let people move the ball around on us. It seems like it takes us half the game to really defend plays well." KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There were few answers from George Brett or anyone else Thursday about the future ownership of the Kansas City Royals as many of team's top officials sat down with some of its biggest boosters to commiserate about the impending last-place finish. Brett, whose $100 million offer last year was rejected, said he was still interested in buying the team, but has been told it is not for sale right now. The sale of the team, held in a charitable trust since the 1993 death of founder Ewing Kauffman, apparently has been held up by the lack of a labor agreement. Groups headed by Brett and David Glass, chairman of the board of directors running the team and the president of Wal- Mart, have been most often mentioned as the likely buyers. Glass' intentions are unknown. "When the team is for sale, we'll go through proper channels and make a bid," Brett said. "If someone came to my house right now and made me an offer, it's not for sale. But when the 'For Sale' sign goes up in the front yard, then I'll listen to offers. That's the situation this ballclub is in." Brett said one of the investors in his group called him two weeks ago and wondered whether the group should go after another team that may be available. "A major investor called me two weeks ago and said there was a team available," Brett said. "I said, 'Hold your horses. Let's wait.' When the Royals are available, we're going to make a bid." Brett declined to name the investors in his group. Brett, whose 20-year career defined the expansion Royals as he became one of the most prolific hitters ever, remains a favorite of the crowd, which demanded numerous autographs following the luncheon in the Stadium Club overlooking the field at Kauffman Stadium. See ROYALS, Page C3 SALINE COUNTY GAMEDAY Russell (0-3) at Southeast of Saline (3-0) Southeast of Saline puts its perfect record up against winless Russell tonight, but Southeast coach Phil Katzenmeier doesn't expect the final score to be as lopsided as the records indicate. Russell opened the season with a brutal schedule, as the Broncos' first four opponents have combined for a 12-0 record. Southeast will be the third state-ranked team Russell has faced in four weeks, including last week's 14-8 loss to Belleville. "They are improving week by week and have played a difficult schedule," Katzenmeier said. "One thing they will be looking at is coming in here and continuing to improve by trying to knock us off. That will be a motivating factor for them." Southeast is coming off an exciting 1714 victory last week at Chapman when Andy Thiel put the winning points on the board with a last-second, 29-yard field goal. "One of the players made the comment after the game that if we can win a game like this, we can win any game," Katzenmeier said. Tonight's game is the North Central Activities Association opener for Southeast. Russell is in its first year in the league. Moundridge (2-1) at Ell-Saline (3-0) The statistics being piled up by Ell- Saline in the early going are somewhat staggering. The Cardinals' offense is averaging 9.4 yards per carry, 28.1 yards per pass completion and 10.5 yards on every play from scrimmage. ronrs SCHEDULE Salina Central vs. Junction City at Junction City, 7:30 p.m. Topeka High vs. Salina South at Salina Stadium, 7:30 p.m. Sacred Heart vs. Council Grove at Council Grove (KSAL, 1150-AM), 7:30 p.m. Russell vs. Southeast of Saline at Southeast High School, 7:30 p.m. Moundridge vs. Ell-Saline at Brookvllle, 7:30 p.m. Wakefleld vs. St. John's Military at Perkins Field, 7 p.m. Ell-Saline quarterback Craig Augustine has rushed for six touchdowns and passed for six more. The six scoring passes match Augustine's total for all of 1995. Curtis Johnson leads the Cardinals receiving corps with five catches for 147 yards. While Augustine is the team's leading scorer with 36 points, James Anderes is a close second with 35 points (three rushing touchdowns and 17 extra-point kicks). Defensively, the Cardinals have outscored their opponents 131-0 in the first three quarters and 151-22 overall. Moundridge opened the year with back-to-back wins on the road over Fairfield and Herington, but lost 26-6 in its home opener with Conway Springs last week. Topeka High (1-2) at Salina South (2-1) Salina South attempts to get back on track after losing for the first time this year in last week's matchup with Salina Central. The Cougars will face a Topeka High team that has not won since its season-opening 21-16 victory over Highland Park. These two teams have played some close games in recent years, including last year's 22-14 victory for South. The Cougars led 22-0 after three quarters in that contest before the Trojans made things interesting in the fourth. Topeka High's standout wide receiver Termaine Fulton, who has already made a verbal commitment to the University of Kansas program, suffered a slight shoulder separation in last week's game against Manhattan and is questionable for tonight's contest. Trojan quarterback Robbie Watkins has completed 17 of 41 passes for 349 yards and four touchdowns, but 211 of those passing yards are to Fulton. Topeka High gave up 42 points and 377 yards total offense in the first half of last week's game with Manhattan and lost 4228. Sacred Heart (3-0) at Council Grove (1-2) Sacred Heart's drive toward the Cottonwood Valley League title goes on the road for a final time this season, as the Knights will be the visitors on the scoreboard for the third time in four games. Sacred Heart's final two league games against Marion and Herington will be played in Salina. "Council Grove is a pretty good ball club and they've played some tough teams so far," Sacred Heart coach Tony Canacari said. "It's going to be a good contest and we better be ready to play." The Knights are giving up 13 points a contest, but most of those points are coming late in the game. Sacred Heart has outscored its opponents 93-6 in the first three quarters of its three games this season. The two teams have one common opponent this season. The Braves' lone win was a 29-0 victory over Remington. Sacred Heart is coming off a 51-13 victory at Remington last week. Sacred Heart defeated Council Grove 37-6 last year in a game played at Salina. Wakefield (0-3) at St. John's Military (2-1) St. John's Military is off to its best start in five years, and the Muleskinners look to continue their solid early-season play tonight against Wakefield in what will be the first of two meetings between these teams this season. St. John's is coining off a lopsided victory over White City last week in a game that was stopped after three quarters by the 45-point rule. The Muleskinners are averaging 34 points a game and have gotten points on both sides of the ball. The defense has had three fumble recoveries go for touchdowns and also added a safety in last week's win. Wakefield has struggled in the early going as the Bombers have been outscored 150-12 during their 0-3 start. Wakefield defeated St. John's 32-8 when the two teams met a year ago. -— Larry M'oritz SUGGESTIONS? CALL BOB DAVIDSON, SPORTS EDITOR, AT (913) 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363

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