Looking at Saturday’s small-college games

MIAA

Lincoln (0-4 overall, 0-4 MIAA) at Emporia State (4-0, 4-0), 1 p.m. – Emporia State quarterback Tyler Eckenrode leads the MIAA with 1,320 passing yards and 11 touchdowns and is seventh in the nation in total offense at 367.25 yards per game.

The Hornets haven’t started 5-0 since 2003, which was also the last year they won the MIAA. Emporia State’s best start was 8-0 in 1988, something they have a shot at matching if they can beat Lincoln as games against Southwest Baptist, Lindenwood and Truman await.

Fort Hays State (0-4, 0-4) at Truman (3-1, 2-1), 1 p.m. — An unthinkable loss for the Tigers a few years ago is now an upset win to avoid going 0-5. Things couldn’t be worse for second-year coach Chris Brown’s squad.

Southwest Baptist (1-3, 1-3) at No. 20 Washburn (3-1, 3-1), 1 p.m. — Ichabods should bounce back from last week’s loss to Central Oklahoma.

Missouri Southern (3-1, 3-1) at Central Missouri (3-1, 3-1), 1:30 p.m.

Nebraska-Kearney (0-4, 0-4) at Lindenwood (3-1, 3-1), 1:30 p.m.

Northeastern State (0-4, 0-4) at No. 11 Northwest Missouri (3-1, 2-1), 2;30 p.m.

Central Oklahoma (1-3, 1-3) at No. 7 Missouri Western (4-0, 3-0), 6 p.m.

KCAC

Friends (3-1, 2-0 KCAC) at No. 23 Kansas Wesleyan (3-1, 3-0), 6 p.m. – The Falcons have gone back and forth between quarterbacks this season in sophomore Derek Racette, a dual-threat with 193 rushing yards and 190 passing yards, and senior Jayme Bristow, who has passed for 305 yards. A win by Friends would likely propel them into the NAIA Top 25 and possible sole possession of first place in the KCAC, depending on the outcome of Ottawa’s game at Tabor.

Avila (0-4) at Bethany (2-2, 1-2), 2 p.m. — Into the heart of the season and Junior Allen’s absence is felt.

Saint Mary (0-4, 0-3) at Sterling (0-4, 0-3), 6 p.m. — Saint Mary best 0-4 NAIA team in the country. Seriously. They should pick up their first win right here.

Ottawa (1-2, 1-1) at Tabor (3-1, 2-0), 7 p.m. — Tabor playing inspired football right now, should be an emotional setting for this one in Hillsboro.

Southwestern (2-2, 2-1) at Haskell (0-4), 7 p.m.

McPherson (2-2, 2-1) at Bethel (0-3, 0-2), 7 p.m.

Heart of America

No. 13 Baker (4-1, 3-1 HOA) at No. 11 Midamerica Nazarene (2-1, 2-1), 2 p.m. – MidAmerica Nazarene quarterback Sean Ransburg is coming off a career game against Avila, where he threw for 167 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 105 yards and one touchdown.

Baker defensive backs Emmerson Clarke and Preston Schenck are tied for the league lead with three interceptions each.

Central Methodist (2-2, 2-2) at Lindenwood-Belleville (2-2), 1 pm.

Culver-Stockton (0-4, 0-4) at No. 4 Missouri Valley (4-0. 3-0), 1:30 p.m.

No. 6 Benedictine (4-0, 2-0) at Evangel (2-0, 1-1), 2 p.m.

Avila (0-4, 0-3) at Bethany (2-2), 2 p.m.

Graceland (2-2, 1-1) at Peru State (2-2, 1-2), 2 p.m.

Jayhawk

Air Force Prep (0-4) at No. 3 Butler (5-0, 4-0 Jayhawk), 7 p.m. – Based on the NJCAA’s new, computerized ranking system, this is a game that could hurt Butler, win or lose. Because Air Force Prep is not affiliated with the NJCAA, this game won’t count in the rankings and the Grizzlies dropped one spot in the rankings two weeks ago coming off a 77-point win.

Fort Scott (2-3, 2-2) at Garden City (3-1, 2-1), 7 p.m. — Every win is a big step for the Broncbusters, and this is another big test.

No. 13 Hutchinson (2-1, 2-0) at Highland (1-3, 1-2), 1 p.m. — Highland, in my opinion, is the most improved team in the Jayhawk.

Independence (2-3, 0-3) at Dodge City (0-5, 0-4), 7 p.m. — Somebody has to win.