By Chris Parker
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 last week’s football games in the video above.
1. Joplin (C6 – 3-0 – LW: 2)
The Eagles held off Carthage in a 56-55 thriller on Friday. The game featured more than 1,100 yards of total offense from the two teams. It ended with defense, as Joplin stopped Carthage on a potential game-winning two-point conversion. Isaiah Davis rushed for 248 yards and five touchdowns. Blake Tash threw for 245 yards and two touchdowns. The Eagles are up to No. 3 in the latest state rankings. There is a good chance they will hold down this top spot for the rest of the regular season with their two toughest opponents in their rearview mirror.
2. Lamar (C2 – 3-0 – LW: 3)
Lamar took care of business in a 48-21 win over Aurora. The combined record of the Tigers’ opponents so far is 3-6. This week they go on the road to face another 1-2 squad in Monett, but the Cubs are far better than their 1-2 record indicates. They have losses to state-ranked Mt. Vernon (by one) and Cassville (by seven). We will learn a lot about Lamar this week.
3. Carthage (C5 – 2-1 – LW: 1)
It is hard for me to drop Carthage too far after losing by a single point to Joplin, which is the No. 3 team in Class 6. These rankings are based on dominance by class and Carthage has a clear path to the Class 5 semifinals this year. Patrick Carlton and Tyler Mueller were again brilliant on the ground. Carlton had 251 yards rushing and five scores while Mueller added in 218 yards and three scores. As a team, the Tigers rushed for 503 yards as a team. Carthage slipped one spot to No. 3 in the state rankings this week. A home date with Neosho is up next.
4. Webb City (C4 – 2-1 – LW: 4)
Webb City bounced back from its loss to Joplin with a 34-6 win over Neosho. Seven different players carried the ball 41 total times for 249 yards and four touchdowns, which were scored by four different players. The Cardinals stay one spot behind Carthage for two reasons. First, Carthage went on the road and lost to Joplin by a point while Webb City hosted the Eagles and lost by a touchdown. Second, Webb City’s path to a deep postseason run in Class 4 is much more difficult than the Tigers in Class 5. The two teams will settle it on the field in Week 5.
5. Mt. Vernon (C3 – 3-0 – LW: 5)
It wasn’t pretty but it was a win. The Mountaineers held off upset-minded Marshfield 18-13 on Friday. Running back Carson Bowman went out with an injury, but the Mountaineers rallied with their defense holding down Marshfield. This week, Mt. Vernon travels to Reeds Spring.
6. Lincoln (C1– 3-0 – LW: 6)
Lincoln faced its first state-ranked team of the year on Friday. Lincoln also picked up its first shutout of the year on Friday. The Cardinals beat then No. 7 Adrian 36-0. I type his name a lot, but Jackson Beaman was again the offense for the Cardinals with 20 carries for 179 yards and four touchdowns while throwing for 113 yards and another touchdown. Defensively, Tanner Bays lived in the Adrian backfield with four tackles for a loss. As a team, Lincoln had eight tackles for a loss.
7. Pierce City (C1 – 3-0 – LW: 7)
Another week, another shutout. Pierce City romped by Sarcoxie 39-0 at home for a second-straight shutout. The Eagles have now beaten their first three opponents by a 110-14 margin. Ash Grove awaits this week at home for Pierce City.
8. Ava (C2 – 3-0 – LW: 8)
Ava started out SCA play with a 20-6 win over Mountain Grove. The Bears get winless MV-BT Liberty on the road this week.
9. Camdenton (C4 – 3-0 – LW: 9)
This week was littered with great games, but only one may have been better than No. 2 Camdenton hosting No. 5 West Plains. Last year, the Zizzers bottled up Camdenton’s potent offensive attack in a 41-7 romp. This year, the Lakers took revenge at home with a 37-34 win. Paxton DeLaurent threw for 365 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Lakers. Jase Nicklas caught eight of those balls for 176 yards and a touchdown. Camdenton travels to Central this week and hosts Hillcrest next week before heading to Lebanon for a showdown with the Yellowjackets.
10. Thayer (C1 – 3-0 – LW: NR)
This final spot was a tough decision between Cassville and the Bobcats. I went with Thayer due to the Bobcats having the tougher schedule thus far. They opened the season by beating defending state champion Hayti 30-12. Hayti has won its other two games 36-7 and 74-0. Thayer dominated a winless Doniphan team 50-19 in Week 2 before dispatching MV-BT/Liberty 47-20 to move to 3-0. Things don’t get any easier this week with a road trip to face an undefeated Class 3 Salem team that has yet to yield more than eight points in a game.
Knocking on the Door: Cassville (C3 – 3-0) Miller (C1 – 3-0), West Plains (2-1), Lebanon (C4 – 3-0), Fair Grove (C2 – 3-0),