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 (firstname.lastname@example.org). See the top plays of last week’s football games in the video above.
1. Joplin (C6 – 5-0 – LW: 1)
Joplin handled Branson 48-7. The Blake Tash-to-Zach Westmoreland connection was on full display this week with Westmoreland catching 10 balls for 134 yards and two touchdowns. Tash finished with 205 yards passing for three touchdowns. Defensively, Jacob Prosser, Benjamin Williams, Donovahn Watkins and Cordae Carter all had sacks for the Eagles. A home date with Neosho awaits this week.
2. Webb City (C4 – 4-1 – LW: 3)
Statement victory. That is the only way to describe Webb City’s 32-7 win over Carthage in Week 5. Defense was the story for Webb City. The Cardinals held a Carthage team averaging 413.5 rushing yards per game through the first four games to just 212 in Week 5. Webb City hosts Willard this week.
3. Lincoln (C1– 5-0 – LW: 5)
Here is your weekly Jackson Beaman update. Last week, he did it with his legs rushing for 291 yards. This week, Beaman threw for 465 yards and seven touchdowns in a 49-12 win over Sweet Springs. Bo Kroenke caught 14 of those passes for 327 yards and five touchdowns. Lincoln hits the road to face 1-4 Tipton this week.
4. Mt. Vernon (C3 – 5-0 – LW: 4)
The Mt. Vernon defense has hit its stride in the last two weeks with a second consecutive shutout, this time was a 46-0 win over Aurora. A road trip to face Rogersville awaits this week before heading to Seneca to face the currently state-ranked Indians.
5. Carthage (C5 – 3-2 – LW: 2)
Carthage struggled with Webb City in a 32-7 loss. The Tigers drop a couple spots in these rankings, but they are still very clearly the area’s top Class 5 squad. They are a legitimate title contender in Class 5 with two losses to title contenders in Class 6 and Class 4.
6. Thayer (C1 – 5-0 – LW: 6)
Thayer had its second consecutive shutout victory in a 47-0 win over Houston. The Bobcats have compiled the second-most district points in the entire state with 60. A trip to fellow Class 1 District 2 resident Cabool (4-1) comes up this week before a state-ranked showdown with Ava in Week 7.
7. Pierce City (C1 – 5-0 – LW: 8)
185-0. That is the spread for Pierce City over its past four games. The Eagles have given up 14 points all season. The second-fewest points yielded by a southwest Missouri team is 41 by Fair Grove. Pierce City will try to extend its scoreless streak to five weeks in home matchup with Marionville this week.
8. Camdenton (C4 – 5-0 – LW: 9)
Camdenton rolled by Hillcrest 57-7 in Week 5. Paxton Delaurent threw for 333 yards and five touchdowns. The Lakers had 13 different players catch a pass against Hillcrest. Defensively, Camdenton lived in the Hillcrest backfield with 14.5 tackles for a loss.
9. Ava (C2 – 5-0 – LW: 10)
I had the chance to see Ava in person this week and came away impressed. The Bears raced out to a 44-0 lead on Salem at the half on the way to a 44-16 win. Nate Swofford threw five passes and completed all five for 154 yards and three touchdowns. He also had seven carries for 94 yards and one touchdown. The Bears rushed for 257 yards on 33 carries as a team. A road trip to Houston awaits this week before a home game against Thayer that will likely decide the champion of the SCA.
10. Lamar (C2 – 3-2 – LW: 7)
Lamar suffered a second-consecutive loss in a 15-11 setback to Class 3 Seneca. The Tigers haven’t been as dominant as we are accustomed to seeing, but they also are a Class 2 school in a Class 3 & 4 conference. The last loss to a local Class 2 squad that I could find came against Warsaw on Nov. 10, 2008. Fellow Class 2 squad East Newton is up this week for the Tigers.
Knocking on the Door: Miller (C1 – 5-0), West Plains (4-1), Fair Grove (C2 – 5-0), Lebanon (C4 – 4-1), Seneca (C3 – 4-1), Bolivar (C4 – 5-0)