The final week of the regular season has arrived. We name our teams and players of Week 8 and break down which games will impact district seeding below.
Team of the Week: Ozark
Chad Depee’s job at Ozark has been nothing short of masterful. After going 1-9 in his first year at Ozark, Depee’s Tigers now sit at 6-2 coming off of two massive wins back-to-back.
The latest was a double-overtime win over rival Nixa in the Backyard Brawl. It was Ozark’s first win over its rival since 2012, and it was the first time this game was within 10 points in several years.
Jack Hulse carried the day for Ozark on offense with 53 yards passing and a touchdown to go with 23 carries for 91 yards and two touchdowns. As a team, the Tigers rushed for 220 total yards.
The Ozark defense yielded just 88 passing yards to Nixa while giving up 132 on the ground. Its biggest stand came at the end of the game on a pass break up in the end zone to secure the win.
Ozark now sits as the No. 2 seed in its district by just .10 of a point. That is a very important standing because the difference between second and third in that district is a bye week and a home game.
Five others that stood out
The Chiefs have likely lost their star running back Maverick McGee for the season due to a broken foot, but Kickapoo still rolled over a top four team in the Ozark Conference in Lebanon by a score of 41-8
Chris Lawson is the most indispensable player in Southwest Missouri in my opinion. He showed that on Friday by stepping up as Kickapoo’s No. 1 rushing option. He carried the ball 20 times for 159 yards and three touchdowns. He also threw for 142 yards and two touchdowns through the air. Now has 1,379 yards passing and 563 yards rushing with 24 total touchdowns.
Replacing McGee is a very capable Devin Kruse. Click here and watch his run right off the top of the Lebanon game Hudl highlight. He show cases some quick decision making and explosive running. Kickapoo will be just fine on offense with him and Lawson.
Defensively, Kickapoo held Lebanon to 163 yards of offense. The Chiefs will be the No. 1 seed in their district, so no road trips to Kansas City this year.
Congratulations to Fair Grove on rolling through the Mid-Lakes for the program’s first conference title since 2011. Ash Grove came in undefeated in conference as well, but the Eagles pitched a shut out to win 29-0 and leave no doubt about who the best team in the conference is.
This week the Eagles step outside of the Mid-Lakes for a low-stress game against Adrian that doesn’t mean too much outside of trying to stay undefeated.
Congratulations to Hollister on pulling out a big win over Strafford to move to 4-4 on the season. The Tigers won 25-21 thanks in large part to Jackson Bekemeier. The quarterback thre for 150 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 101 yards and a touchdown. Derek Morris caught five balls for 100 yards and two touchdowns.
We all doubted the Bears on Friday picking Thayer to win the game. That didn’t bother Willow Springs which shut Thayer out 19-0 to move to 4-4 on the season.
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Player of the Week: Shawn Bryan – Skyline
This one was very difficult, but you cannot ignore an eight touchdown game. In a win over Marionville, the senior back had 26 carries, 338 yards and eight touchdowns. If you had him in your fantasy lineup on Friday, you probably won.
10 Others that stood out
Chance Barbe – Mountain Grove
Mountain Grove shut out its second consecutive opponent. Chance Barbe has spearheaded the defensive effort. He had a team-high nine tackles, two sacks and a fumble force and recovery on defense. He also rushed 10 times for 56 yards and a touchdown.
Ethan Dubois – El Dorado Springs
El Dorado Springs rolled past Pierce City and Dubois was a big reason why. He had a team-high 143 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries while tallying up 22 total tackles on defense.
Jobe Edwards – Lockwood
Lockwood continues to roll and Jobe Edwards is at the middle of that. He carried the ball 11 times for 193 yards and three touchdowns in Lockwood’s win on Friday.
Keegan Hoopes – West Plains
This man was my 1B for Player of the Week. He rewrote the West Plains record book with a 351-yard, seven-touchdown night. He is the most productive back in Southwest Missouri with 1,768 rushing yards and 32 touchdowns this season.
Lane Loomer – Bolivar
Another game, another big time stat line from Lane Loomer. The Bolivar back rushed for 256 yards and three touchdowns in Friday’s win.
Cooper Lucas – Lamar
Lamar continues to roll and Lucas is a cog in that machine. He broke a 14-14 tie with a touchdown run to put the Tigers ahead for good against Mount Vernon. Lucas finished with 10 carries for 159 yards and four touchdowns.
Billy Prater – Appleton City
We don’t talk about Appleton City much, but Billy Prater has been very good at quarterback for them. He carried the ball 20 times for 191 yards and three touchdowns in a win on Friday. He also threw for another touchdown and had a fumble recovery.
Carter Prewitt – Diamond
It isn’t just Triston Shepherd getting it done for the Wildcats. Prewitt was 9-for-12 for 196 yards and four touchdowns through the air in Friday’s win over Liberal.
Bryant Taylor – Lighthouse Christian
Another solid week for Taylor with 382 passing yards and four touchdowns in the air. He also added a rushing touchdown.
Rayquion Weston – Carl Junction
We haven’t talked about him much lately, but the sophomore back had his best game of the year on Friday. He carried the ball 28 times for 221 yards and three touchdowns in a blowout win over Pittsburg (Kan.). The Bulldog back now has 1,138 yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground this year.
What did Glendale do?
Glendale rolled by Waynesville 58-7 to move to 8-0.
Alex Huston is now over 3,500 passing yards this season after a 426-yard, six-touchdown performance. Six different Glendale receivers caught touchdowns with Luke Montgomery leading the way with 130 yards on five catches.
11 different Falcons caught a ball with no player getting more than five receptions.
All that stands between Glendale and an undefeated regular season is Camdenton this Friday.
Games of the Week/Games with district implications
There are several games with massive implications for district standings. How a team does this week could be the difference between hitting the road for a title game or getting an opening round bye. I will go through them one-by-one below.
Class 6 – District 4
Kickapoo has a comfortable lead and barring massive upset will be the No. 1 seed.
Class 5 – District 4
Glendale has the No. 1 seed locked up, but Bolivar at Ozark and Parkview at Lebanon are big time games in this district.
Ozark leads Lebanon by 0.10 for the second seed in the district that comes with a bye next week and the right to host in the district semifinals which will be the difference between a 90 minute drive and playing at home.
If one team wins and the other loses, the winner will get the two seed. If they both win, this could come down to point differential. Ozark should basically be able to control its own destiny by beating Bolivar by 13 points or more.
Class 5 – District 5
There is a lot to be decided and no game is bigger than Carthage at Neosho. On the line in this game is the No. 1 seed in the district and the COC Large title for Carthage.
Right now, Carthage has a comfortable point lead on Neosho and Nixa. Neosho is eight points behind Carthage and less than a point in front of Nixa. This means Carl Junction at Nixa is another game that is important.
Let’s go through the scenarios.
- Carthage wins and Nixa wins
Carthage wins the COC Large and district No. 1 seed. Nixa moves to the No. 2 seed and a bye while Neosho falls to the three seed and has to play a dangerous Republic or Parkview in the first round.
- Carthage wins and Nixa loses
Things should stay as is with Carthage and Neosho getting byes.
- Neosho wins
It doesn’t matter what Nixa does at this point as they will stay at the three seed with a Neosho win. Neosho wouldn’t have nearly enough points to pass Carthage outright, but in the MSHSAA rules you can automatically switch seeds to move up one spot if you beat the team directly in front of you in the district standings. Neosho would do this and likely get the one seed despite having one more loss and not as many points as Carthage.
Class 4 – District 5
Carl Junction sits at the No. 1 seed and Camdenton is the No. 2 seed which means Camdenton at Glendale and Carl Junction at Nixa are the big games. If they both win or both lose, nothing should change. If one wins and one loses, that would likely mean the winner gets the No. 1 seed and avoids a resurgent Webb City until the district title game.
Class 3 – District 3
Catholic looks to be locked into the three seed no matter its result.
Class 3 – District 4
Reeds Spring looks like it will be the No. 1 seed, but here is where things get interesting and you need to watch the results on the Mount Vernon at Cassville and East Newton at Monett games.
Monett is in front of Cassville and nothing can be done if they win, however, if Cassville wins and Monett loses, things could get wild. That would bump Cassville to the No. 2 spot ahead of Monett. At this point Cassville would be behind Reeds Spring (a team they beat) and ahead of Monett (a team they lost to).
In this scenario, Cassville would move up to the No. 1 seed, Reeds would move down to the No. 2 seed and Monett would get the No. 3 seed under the MSHSAA reseeding rules. If Cassville loses, they would move down to the No. 4 seed.
On the line for Cassville this week is anything from a No. 1 to No. 4 seed. If you are a Reeds Spring fan, you are pulling for the Cubs and Mountaineers. If you are a Cassville fan, you are pulling for East Newton.
Class 2- District 3
This one is pretty settled. Liberty and Mountain Grove will be the No. 1 and 2 seeds.
Class 2 – District 4
Lamar will hold the No. 1 seed and Fair Grove should hold No. 2
Class 1 – District 2
The games to watch here are Mountain Grove at Thayer and Sarcoxie at Pierce City.
Ash Grove and Thayer will get bonus points for playing up while Sarcoxie will not. Ash Grove looks to be locked into the No. 1 seed.
Thayer is likely looking at a loss to 7-1 Mountain Grove barring an upset. This would open the door for Sarcoxie to pass Thayer for the No. 2 seed. If Sarcoxie loses, they would slip behind Pierce City to the No. 4 seed.
Class 1 – District 3
Midway and Lockwood are basically locked in at Nos. 1 and 2.
Class 1 – District 4
Lincoln should stay at No. 1 and Skyline at No. 3
8-Man – District 4
Greenfield is the top seed and will get a bye.