The O-Zone Football Power rankings will be released on every week throughout the football season. Rankings are a measurement of dominance within class and not a strictly head-to-head comparison. Coaches are encouraged to send any information, including stats, milestones and records to Chris Parker (email@example.com). See the top plays of the week in the video above.
1. Lamar (7-0 – LW: 1)
The winning streak is up to 56 games after beating McDonald County 45-13 in Week 7. The Tigers have yet to play a game inside of three touchdowns this year with Seneca giving Lamar its biggest push at 49-27 in Week 5. This week the Tigers host Nevada in a renewal of the “Silver Tiger” game before a Week 9 road showdown with Cassville.
2. Webb City (7-0 – LW: 2)
The Cardinals set a new season-high in points scored in their 51-12 win over Republic last Friday. Offensively, Webb City was balanced with five different players scoring their seven touchdowns. Terrell Kabala stood out in the passing game catching two balls for 115 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively, Webb City lived in Republic’s backfield with eight sacks. Dylan Walker led that group with three sacks by himself. This week Webb City will travel to face Ozark.
3. West Plains (7-0 – LW: 3)
Another week, another blowout. This week the Zizzers took care of an improved Waynesville team 44-13. Brayden Lidgard did his thing with 16 carries for 259 yards and three touchdowns. He now has 1,404 yards and 23 touchdowns on the season. Lidgard is up to 3,828 yards for his career. The Zizzers host winless Central for Senior Night this week.
4. Cassville (7-0 – LW: 4)
Cassville jumped all over Nevada taking a 43-0 lead into the half before ultimately winning 50-8. The Wildcats rolled up more than 300 yards of total offense in the first half. This week a matchup with two-loss Reeds Spring awaits before closing the season at home against Class 2 No. 1 Lamar.
5. Carthage (6-1 – LW: 5)
Carthage’s defense gave up the most points it has all season while the offense scored the most in a 50-24 win over Willard. The Tigers showed an expanded passing game with Patrick Carlton and Jayden Morgan showing some chemistry in that facet. Jayden Morgan hauled in six balls for 162 yards and two touchdowns from Carlton in the win. The Tigers didn’t forget the running game with 275 total yards on the ground for 441 total yards as a team. Carthage travels to face Republic this week.
6. Fair Grove (7-0– LW: 6)
Fair Grove dominated Butler to the tune of a 46-6 victory. It is probably time for the Eagles to be getting more notice in the state polls as they sit at 7-0 with a 282-26 scoring margin so far this season. They are receiving two votes this week. Right now the Eagles are sitting at No. 2 in the district standings behind one-loss Ava. Fair Grove faces a must-win game against Class 3 Buffalo this Friday if they want any shot at jumping Ava for No. 1. This week is also the final regular season game for Fair Grove, so it is their last chance to get bonus points for margin of victory or playing up.
7. Pierce City (7-0 – LW: 7)
Pierce City dispatched St. Michael the Archangel out of Kansas City 34-16 to get to the local regular season Class 1 game of the year will Miller this week. Two big things are at stake this week for the Eagles and Cardinals in the likely Southwest Conference title and a likely top seed in the district tournament. The two teams have four common opponents in Diamond, Ash Grove, Sarcoxie and Lockwood. Pierce City has beaten that group by a margin of 138-18 while Miller holds a 173-61 advantage. The margins of victory are within two points of each other, it will just come down to whether the Pierce City defense or Miller offense sets the pace.
8. Catholic (6-1 – LW: 8)
Catholic shut out Rogersville 31-0 in Week 7 to set up a showdown with Mt. Vernon with the Big 8 East Championship on the line. Both teams have one loss this season and both will be heavily favored in their Week 9 games which gives this a winner-take-all feel. These two teams are very close on paper and feature two of the area’s better two-way players in Catholic quarterback/defensive back Tyson Riley and Mt. Vernon running back/linebacker Will Boswell. Catholic’s defense has improved greatly this season, as the Irish have given up 41 total points in their last five games after yielding 76 in the first two games of the season.
9. Ava (6-1 – LW: NR)
The Bears climb back into these rankings and the state rankings this week after winning their sixth consecutive game and all but wrapping up a second straight SCA championship with a 33-0 win over Thayer last week. The Bears now have a two-game lead in the conference standings with games against the two teams currently at the bottom of the conference standings remaining. Ava has again gotten it done running the ball and with a strong defense. The Week 7 win was the third straight shutout for the Bears. Offensively, Ava has rushed for 2,083 yards and 24 touchdowns this season. Four different players have at least 385 yards rushing in Kayden Myers, Stephen Copeland, Nate Swofford and Caleb Johnson.
10. Joplin (5-2 – LW: 10)
Don’t look now, but the Joplin Eagles are third place in the district standings after a 49-9 win over Ozark last Friday. Quarterback Blake Tash was an efficient 14-for-16 passing for 202 yards and three touchdowns in the win. Zach Westmoreland continues to state his case for O-Zone Player of the Year by hauling in five catches for 107 yards and two touchdowns to go with a rushing touchdown and an interception on defense. Right now Kirkwood (5-2) sits in front of Joplin in the district standings by less than two points. Kirkwood faces Class 4 No. 2 Ladue Horton Watkins (7-0) this week. Joplin has a great chance to move into the No. 2 spot as long as the Eagles win out and can get the bonus points for margin of victory. I cannot overstate how important making Kirkwood come to Joplin versus a road trip to Kirkwood would be. A road trip to Nixa awaits this week.
Knocking on the door: Camdenton, Strafford, Mt. Vernon, Lincoln