Cowboy’s Sixshooter 10/17/18

This is a tough week for fans looking for competitive games.  I’m sure there will be a few upsets and surprises, but most games are likely to be lopsided.

1. New Mexico
Grady-San Jon (3-4) at Floyd (2-4)
3:00 PM Friday Oct 19

Grady-San Jon is the favorite, but only by 0.30 point.  Basically, this should be the best match-up this week.  With an average of 42 points per game, Grady-San Jon has shown that their strength is on the offensive side of the ball.  Unfortunately, they are allowing an average of 60 points per game.
Floyd’s averages are 45 points allowed, but only 26 scored.  At first glance it looks like Floyd should be the underdog, but I looked past the surface.  They have several mutual opponents, and Floyd’s defense has held them to lower scores.  I’m going with the underdog in this one.

2. Texas
O’Donnell at Grady
7:30 PM Friday Oct 19

Some will see this as the game to determine third place in Division I District 6, but it could be more than that.  Winning this game will keep playoff hopes alive.  O’Donnell is a one point favorite, but they play at Grady.  I’m expecting a barn-burner, and mistakes could make the difference.  This is a tough call, but I think Grady will get the win.

3. Colorado
Briggsdale at North Park
1:00 PM Saturday Oct 20

North Park is a four point underdog, but there are things we can’t figure into the spreads.  This game has an important variable that will likely prove our spreads wrong- it’s North Park’s Homecoming.  This should be a fun one to watch.

4. Kansas
Pawnee Heights at Rolla
7:00 PM Friday Oct 19

This isn’t a game to watch if you’re looking for a hard-fought game.  However, Pawnee Heights is the favorite to win it all in Kansas, so it is a game to watch if you want to see one of the best six-man teams in Kansas.

5. Wyoming
Guernsey-Sunrise at HEM
3:00 PM Friday Oct 19

Undefeated HEM is a fourteen point favorite, but Guernsey-Sunrise isn’t a pushover.  The Vikings of Guernsey-Sunrise have only lost two games this season- both losses were to highly ranked teams.  With it being late in the season, both will be hungry for a big win, so fans should be in for an exciting game.  I’ll take HEM in this one.

6. Texas
Wellman-Union at Meadow
7:30 PM Friday Oct 19

Meadow is a three point dog, but they play at home and this game could have playoff implications.  If our rankings are accurate, the winner of this one will likely take second place in district.  That gives both teams a huge reason to win, so this one should be great for fans.  Wellman-Union gets are hard earned win.

Wildcats Outrun Greyhounds in District Game

By Garrett Ross

The spreads aren’t always right, and on Friday they proved to be wrong. Crowell (6-1,1-0) entered district 3 DI play as 8-point underdogs to Knox City (3-4,0-1), but the Wildcats came away with the victory 95-73.

While there were plenty of positives for the Wildcats to point to on film, one area of improvement will stick out and that’s penalties.

Crowell finished the games with nine penalties for 100-yards, while Knox City had just one penalty for 15-yards.

Crowell never trailed in the game and their offense put up 703-yards on 51-plays.

Seth Bearden was phenomenal in the passing attack for the Wildcats.  The sophomore sensation was 14-18, 366-yards and 8-TD’s.

Knox City had plenty of success in the passing games as well.

Abraham Nevarez picked the Wildcats defense apart, but it wasn’t enough to secure the victory.

Nevarez was 18-31, 210-yards, 5TD’s and 2INT’s in the passing game, while carrying the ball 26 times for 217-yards and 4TD’s.

While both defenses struggled to make a stop, it was the keen playmaking ability of Michael Reeves that set the Wildcats apart.

Reeves was able to pick off Nevarez twice to help set up Wildcat scores.  Those two interceptions ultimately won the game for Crowell.

Knox City won the time of possession and the Greyhounds converted 50% of their third and fourth down conversions.

Knox City will be on the road Friday for a district matchup with Northside.  Crowell will have a bye this week.

Cowboy’s Sixshooter- Games to Consider

There are several games that have piqued my interest, but I’ll give you six that you should consider watching if you can.

1. Texas
Bronte at Eden
7:30 PM Friday Oct 12

Eden starts district play as a five point favorite with home field advantage.  Bronte will be looking to redeem themselves for last week’s loss.  This should be a slobber-knocker.

2. Alabama
Clay County Christian at Victory Millbrook
7:00 PM Friday Oct 12

Victory Millbrook is averaging 62 points per game, and they have not been scored on.  Clay County is number two, but they are still 35 point underdogs.  It will be interesting to see if Victory can dominate once again.

3. Colorado
Stratton-Liberty at Arickaree-Woodlin
7:30 PM Friday Oct 12

Another #1 vs #2 battle with a high point spread.  Stratton-Liberty is a 32 point favorite, but they haven’t allowed anyone to stay that close.  Arickaree-Woodlin may be the one team in Colorado that can hold them back.

4. Kansas
Moscow at Pawnee Heights
7:00 PM Friday Oct 12

Moscow is holding on to the #2 spot in Kansas, but they’ll have to work to keep it.  This week they are only eight point favorites over #5 Pawnee Heights.  I expect this one to be a barn-burner as both teams are hungry for the win.

5. Nebraska
South Platte at Creek Valley
7:00 PM Friday Oct 12

Expect a nail-biter with this one. These teams are so evenly matched that there is only a one point spread- in favor of Creek Valley.  However, if either team can find a way to win by 30 or more, it could be enough to propel them into the Nebraska top 10.

6. New Mexico
Vaughn at NM School for the Deaf
3:00 PM Thursday Oct 11

Neither of these teams are highly ranked, but we expect this game to be competitive.  Vaughn is an eleven point favorite, but six-man fans know that isn’t much of a spread in our version of football.  This one is intriguing to me for another reason as well.  I’m curious what type of signal the officials use to call a play dead.  The whistle won’t do it.  If you can help me out with this, please do.

Cowboy’s Sixshooter 10/10/18

Farson-Eden vs Meeteetse
Photo by Darin Scheer

Here are some things going on in the six-man world that I find interesting.

1. A few teams are dominant in their home state.  Stratton-Liberty CO, Victory Millbrook AL, and Farson-Eden WY are all at least 30 power rating points higher than the second place team in their state.  Animas NM and McLean TX are both more than twenty rating points higher than the teams below them.
I would love to see these teams play each other.

2. I’m always wondering how accurate our national rankings are. I know they are pretty close within each state, but what about state versus state?  I think I have finally found a way to answer that question.  I am setting up an event for Labor Day weekend of 2020.  Hopefully, I can get nine or ten games- all being other states vs Texas.  Several teams have been invited, including Farson-Eden WY, Paint Rock TX, Victory Millbrook AL, Jayton TX, Lake Author NM, Powers OR, Gordon TX, Harvard NE, Leakey TX, Pawnee Heights KS, and Borden County TX.  A few have given tentative verbal commitments, but I am still waiting to hear from others.  More teams will be invited soon- from North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, Montana, and Texas, so stay tuned.

3. In Kansas, less than ten rating points separate the number one team from the number five team.  It doesn’t look like anyone will have an easy road to a championship win.

4. Victory Millbrook (Alabama) hasn’t had an opponent good enough to test them this year.  Their coach badly wants to see how good they really are.  I’m not sure it’s a wise choice, but he wants to take on a highly ranked Texas team the weekend of November 10.  Is anyone willing?

5. No one has been talking about Sterling City (Texas), but they are now sitting in the state’s number eight spot.  If the Eagles continue winning, they won’t be flying under the radar much longer.

6. The Harvard Cardinals have worked their way to the top of the Nebraska rankings.  They are only three and a half points ahead of the number two team, but this week’s spreads won’t give anyone the ability to take the top spot away from them.

Shad’s – Shootin’ from the hip. Rankings

Shad Kline

10/4/2018

There have been a lot of questions about rankings lately.  Namely the question of “how can the team we beat be ranked higher than we are”.  Well, there are a couple of things that can cause that to happen.  I will try to explain the best that I can.

Injuries.  A team may lose power rating points if they have injuries and do not live up to the spread that their previous power rating gave them.  It would only make sense that if you have an injury or injuries that you are not as good without the player as you would be with him.  This is even more true when that player is a key player.  A prime example of this is Borden County and Union Hill.  Borden County beat Union Hill in week 1.  However, Borden County has since suffered several injuries to key players and are not as good without those players as they were in week 1.  Borden County has started dropping rating points and have found themselves with a lower power rating than Union Hill and therefore are ranked lower than Union Hill.  That’s not to say that Borden County can’t move back up when all of their players get healthy, they can and most likely will do just that.

Inconsistency.  Some teams just are not consistent.  They may play very well one week and then follow the next week with a very bad performance.  This is a common occurrence.  It could be that the previous week was a rivalry game and the boys played to the best of their ability.  On the flip side, maybe the starting spread back broke up with his girlfriend and just didn’t play up to his potential for the game.  The team that best fits this description is Aquilla.  I’m not trying to pick on the Cougars here, but we know what they are capable of and they don’t always show it on the field.  It is very hard to find a teams true power rating if they don’t play with any sort of consistency at all.  I fully expect Aquilla to win over Jonesboro this week, however my ranking system has Jonesboro as the 45 point favorite.  This is causede by several reasons, but one of the biggest ones is Aquilla’s inconsistency on the field.

Inaccuracy.  This one is all on me.  I may have very well had a team completely wrong at the beginning of the season.  The system will eventually take care of it, but rating adjustments are capped by the 45 point rule and will not adjust more than that.  I choose to keep it this way so that a team doesn’t get “bonus” points for running the score up, or lose points for putting in their underclassmen when the game is close to the mercy rule.  I make adjustments to power rating during the off season based on information that I get out of DCTF magazine, calling the coaches or info found on message boards.  I have no doubt that I don’t have ALL of the information needed.  I make a guess based on what I have and let the system correct itself.  It always does.  At the end of the year, the state champion in each League and each division is always sitting at the #1 spot in that division.

Incomplete information.  The rating system is a living document.  It will change weekly.  I like to tell people that the games determine the ratings, not the spreads determine the games.  I’ve had people tell me after a game, “We showed you, you were WRONG”.  I usually let them have their fun with it, but in all actuality, it’s not that I was wrong, it’s that I didn’t have all of the information yet.  The score of a game is information that I need in order to get my rankings and rating more accurate.

The X factor.  I will never have my rating numbers 100% accurate.  How boring would that be anyway.  There will always be a team that wins regardless of how much of an underdog the system has them at.  Who knows what drives these kids on any given Friday?  I sure don’t.  If it were a perfect system, then I would get all of the games right.  I haven’t done it yet, (Well, except when there were very few games, such as semifinals week.), and I don’t expect to.  The X factor is just a part of the game and can bring excitement to the field that maybe some weren’t expecting.  Quite honestly, I don’t want to know the X factor, even if I could.  I want there to always be that “What if?” that can happen on any game any time anywhere.  Keep me on my toes and keep me excited to go to a game!

Rankings are not important.  They provide a platform to compare teams, give the local coffee shops and message boards something to argue over, and maybe sometimes can be used by the coach as a motivational tool.  Other than that, try not to read too much into them.  If you get too caught up in the rankings, you may very well be missing out on the best part of being a sixman fan, and that is the action on the field.  Not every player will be a superstar, but almost every player will have their special moment on that field.  Try not to miss it.

Cowboy’s Week 5 Travels

I rarely write about my travels to and from games, but this is a long, eventful, trip. I’ll mention the games, but this is more about the weekend than the games.
We intended to leave home at 9:00 AM on Friday, but I was called in to work. I made it back home at 11:30, and my wife and daughter still weren’t ready. An hour later, we finally got on the road. I had planned to take photos in every six-man town we passed through, but when you’re running three and a half hours behind schedule, that’s not really possible.
Photos, and shout-outs were done in Trent and Hermleigh, but we had to skip Borden County because we didn’t have time. We arrived in O’Donnell less than an hour before game time- just early enough to talk to the coaches for a few minutes.
I fired up my broadcast just before game time- and got a call from Bishop while I was on air. He was in May to broadcast their game with Zephyr, but cell towers were down so he was having a lot of problems. He managed to get the broadcast started, but less than ten minutes later he lost all service and he had to shut it down.
Things went smoothly for my broadcast of the O’Donnell vs Anton game. The Screamin Eagles got sent home early by Anton, but overall they are young and showed potential. On the other hand, Anton played a good game. The Bulldogs look to be capable of making a decent playoff run.
Saturday morning I was reminded why Allsups isn’t the greatest place to eat supper. We hit the road anyway because we had a four hour drive to Dell City. It seems strange, but the fastest way from O’Donnell Texas to Dell City Texas is through New Mexico.
I need to back up a little. My daughter usually drives a 4×4 pickup. Somewhere between Lamesa and Seminole, she straddled a dead hog- but we were in my wife’s car. Needless to say, that wasn’t a wise choice and the smell made it imperative to find an undercarriage wash in Hobbs NM. Luckily, we have friends there and they directed us to a good carwash. After visiting with our friends for a few minutes, we got back on the road.
After a few stops to take senior photos of my daughter, and one for my wife to pee in a concrete teepee, we rounded Guadalupe Peak and turned back North towards Dell City.
Dell City’s field isn’t fancy, but I’ve never seen a prettier background. When looking across the field from the home side, you can see Guadalupe Peak. The excitement of a game, and the peacefulness of the mountains is an interesting combination.
We received a very warm welcome from the home team players and coaches- and they gave me a helmet signed by the team.
Before the game, I interviewed the team captains. After the interview I told them to give me a show. It took them a while to build momentum, but when they did, they used it to earn a mercy rule win.
Places to stay the night are scarce in that area, so we decided on Odessa. Countless oil field vehicles, drill rigs, and four hours of road time after leaving Dell City, we were finally able to rest for the night.
The trip home on Sunday was reasonably calm. We took photos in Garden City, Sterling City, and Robert Lee. After 1217 miles, 56 hours, two football games, photos at five other schools, and senior photos along the way, we made it home safely.
I love weekends like this.

Crowell Gets By Claude

By Garrett Ross

 

After a promising start to their inaugural sixman campaign, the Claude Mustangs have lost two straight games; Claude (1-2) fell to Crowell (4-1) on the road Friday 36-22.

Crowell relied on the playmaking abilities of senior Michael Reeves to carry them to victory.  Reeves ran for two touchdowns and threw for two touchdowns, while adding an interception on the defensive side of the ball.

“Michael is a gamer, he does a great job for us,” said Crowell head coach Tom McVey.  “He just seems to know when he needs to rush for extra yards or throw the ball.”

The Wildcats held Claude scoreless in the first quarter and they only allowed one Mustang touchdown per quarter for the remainder of the game.

The first two scores of the game came on runs of 14-yards and 1-yard by Reeves, Seth Bearden connected on both PAT attempts.

The Mustangs scored their first touchdown of the game with 7:57 remaining in the second quarter.

Simon Rodriguez would fumble the ball, but his teammate Jakob Weinheimer was able to recover the loose ball for a touchdown; Weinheimer would connect on the PAT.

Crowell was able to get the last score of the first half, when Reeves connected with Russkin Turula on a 22-yard strike with :22 remaining in the second quarter.

Claude would block the Bearden PAT attempt, but they would head into halftime down 22-8.

The Mustangs would close the gap early in the third quarter on a 33-yard touchdown run from Nash Stapp; once again Weinheimer drilled the PAT.

Crowell was able to gather their composure and put together two touchdown drives that extend their lead to 36-16 with 2:55 remaining in the third quarter.

Reeves would hit Colt Gerhardt on a 6-yard touchdown pass and Turula would find the end zone on a 38-yard run.

The Mustangs got the lone touchdown of the fourth quarter, when Weinheimer found Travis Lowry on a 3-yard pass.

Claude will continue their outlaw schedule next week at Higgins (2-3), while Crowell travels to Bryson (2-3) for their final non-district game, both games begin at 7:30pm Friday.

Cowboy’s Sixshooter USA week of 9/28

I’m slowly gaining knowledge about the six-man teams across the nation.  I have done a lot of research and made a lot of calls, but I still have much to learn.  Based on our rankings, and my limited knowledge, here are six games that should be worth watching.
Time got away from me while researching teams so I was only able to list four games this time.  Hopefully I’ll be able to do better next week.

 

1. Colorado
Prairie at Otis
7:00 PM Friday Sept 28

#4 Prairie is a two point favorite over #5 Otis, but that’s on paper.  I have no personal knowledge of either team, so I contacted some people that do.  Ben Blecha, sports director at 105.7 KPMX, believes it will go the other way.  In his words- “Take out Bryce Miracle and Otis is a very different team. Prairie has been developing their team back to the top tier.  The coach at Prairie does a great job with those boys so there is no doubt they’ll have the game plan, but they’ve not shut a good team down this year.  Prairie will have to outscore Otis in a shootout.  I think Otis wins by 2 scores.”
Paul Griese, head coach of Otis, gave me a little more insight.  “Prairie is a power team.  They have two backs in the 200 pound range and a line that is bigger- their center is around 300 pounds.  We are fast and mainly run spread.  We can outrun them, but stopping their power will be a challenge.”
If you like a lot of scoring, this could be the game for you.

 

2. Wyoming
Meeteetse at Farson-Eden
2:00 PM Friday Sept 28

We have Meeteetse at #1 in Wyoming, and a 15 point favorite. Farson-Eden is #3 and plays at home.
Wyopreps.com coaches poll has Farson-Eden at #1 and Meeteetse at #2.  This game will justify, or correct our Wyoming rankings.  Meeteetse’s coach told me he hopes our prediction is correct, but he feels the game will be much closer and his team will need to play very well to get the win.

 

3. Kansas
Deerfield at Rolla
7:00 PM Friday Sept 28

These teams were playing 8-man last season, and the move to sixman hasn’t been good to them.  Both are winless coming into this game and will be looking forward to breaking that streak.  Deerfield is only a one point underdog, but it’s Rolla’s homecoming and that is something no ranking system can figure in.  This isn’t a high profile game, but it should be extremely competitive.

 

4. Wyoming
Lingle-Fort Laramie at Midwest
7:00 PM Friday Sept 28

Our rankings have Midwest as the predicted winner, but not by much.  Only two points separate these teams. Fortunately for Lingle- Fort Laramie, Midwest will be starting several freshman due to multiple reasons.  It will be interesting to see if these young and inexperienced players are up to the challenge.  The odds are in Lingle- Fort Laramie’s favor, and I expect an upset.

Cowboy’s Sixshooter Texas Week 5

It doesn’t look like this will be a good week for competitive games, but I found a few that should be good for fans that don’t care for mercy rule games.  If you haven’t decided where to go this week, consider one of these.

 

1. Blanket at Gordon
7:30 PM Friday Sept 28

Blanket is having a good season so far. The Tigers are 4-0 coming into this one, and their running back has been a big part of that.
Expectations for Gordon were low this year, but Coach Reed seems to be quickly turning things around.  The Longhorns are 2-2, but their losses were to Iredell and Aquilla.  Gordon is an eight point underdog, but I think playing on their own field will be enough to get the win.

 

2. Morgan at Bluff Dale
7:30 PM Friday Sept 28

Bluff Dale is undefeated, and I don’t see that ending this week.  They have been playing reasonably well and have the potential to improve.
Morgan comes in at 2-2, but both losses were nail-biters.  The Eagles will enter this game as five point underdogs, and I believe that will be pretty close.

 

3. Milford at Strawn
7:30 PM Friday Sept 28

The next step in Strawn’s unbelievable schedule, and a rematch of last season’s Division II East semifinal game.  The spreads have Strawn by 39, but I expect it to be closer than that.  Both teams have high-caliber players and top-notch coaches.  If both teams have all starters healthy, it could be a battle instead of a blowout- but expect Strawn to come out on top either way.

 

4. Claude at Crowell
7:30 PM Friday Sept 28

Crowell is hard for me to predict this year because in their first three games they seem to have played just well enough to get the win.  The loss to Motley County last week may have made them realize that they have to go all-out from start to finish.
The Claude Mustangs are newcomers to six-man, but they’re doing pretty well.  Their only loss of the season came at the hands of Paducah.
The spread on this one is zero, but I think Crowell’s experience will make a 20 point difference.

 

5. Robert Lee at Highland
7:30 PM Friday Sept 28

This isn’t a high profile game, but it should be drawing more attention.  Both teams are consistently above average, and Robert Lee is only a one point favorite.  Normally I would give the advantage to Highland since they play at home, but not this time.

 

6. Bryson at Knox City
7:30 PM Friday Sept 28

Both of these teams started the season strong but neither has done well in the last couple of weeks.  This should be a fun game to watch because both will be looking to break a losing streak.
Knox City is an 11 point favorite at home. Bryson will put up a fight, but I don’t think they will be able to get a win.

Cowboy’s Sixshooter Recap of USA Games to Consider

1. Wyoming
NSI Academy vs Guernsey-Sunrise

Guernsey-Sunrise beat the spread by 25, moving them to #76 in our national rankings.

2. New Mexico
Springer/Maxwell vs Animas

I thought Springer/Maxwell could beat the 45 point spread in this one, but I was wrong. Animas stays at #1 in New Mexico with a 58-6 win.

3. Nebraska
Arthur County vs Creek Valley

We predicted this game to be a nail-biter, and it didn’t disappoint. Arthur County was picked to win by one. Their 40-35 win was a testament to the system’s accuracy.

4. Colorado
Cheyenne Wells vs Granada

Granada must not have liked our predictions. We had them losing by 10 but they proved us wrong and won by 16.

5. Alabama
Chilton vs Conecuh Springs

The system was almost dead on once again. Conecuh Springs was a two point favorite- and won by four. With a 16-12 final, this would have been a great game for defensively minded fans.

6. Kansas
Ashland vs Pawnee Heights

This one showed me why you should never guess the outcome of a game with no knowledge of the teams. I picked Pawnee Heights by 30. Instead, Ashland dominated with a 67-21 victory.