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 – 6-0 – LW: 1)
The Eagles were up 49-13 at the half on the way to a 56-21 win over Neosho. Blake Tash completed 19 of 22 passes for 259 yards and four touchdowns. Zach Westmoreland caught 11 of those balls for 118 yards and three touchdowns. Nathan Glades also did great work in the passing game with five catches for 106 yards. Isaiah Davis is up to 880 yards and 17 rushing touchdowns after a 128-yards, two-touchdown game. Right now Joplin sit at No. 2 in the district standings behind fellow unbeaten Marquette. The Eagles need to just keep stacking wins and by a minimum two-touchdown margin and they should work their way to No. 1.
2. Webb City (C4 – 5-1 – LW: 2)
Webb City tallied 325 yards and six touchdowns on the ground on 47 carries in a 49-21 win over Willard. Four different players scored touchdowns on the ground. The Cardinals are currently No. 1 in the district standings ahead of unbeaten Bolivar. As long as the Cardinals keep winning by a wide margin, they should secure that top seed.
3. Lincoln (C1– 6-0 – LW: 3)
Parker Engles led the Cardinals on the ground this week with six carries for 108 yards. Jackson Beaman still got his with 244 yards passing for five touchdowns and 81 yards rushing for another two touchdowns. He is up to 39 total touchdowns between running and passing. Engles has been everywhere defensively with 84 total tackles this season.
4. Mt. Vernon (C3 – 6-0 – LW: 4)
Mt. Vernon has really hit its stride defensively these past three weeks. The Mountaineers beat Rogersville 32-7 this week. They have won their last three games by a margin of 108-7. This week a trip to face a dangerous Seneca squad awaits.
5. Carthage (C5 – 4-2 – LW: 5)
A dinged up Carthage squad survived against Branson in a 16-7 victory. The Tigers had 235 yards rushing and 46 passing. The defense was dominant on a night when the offense struggled allowing just 50 yards rushing and 72 yards passing. They held Branson’s Jay Hill to 55 yards rushing in his return to the field. In the first three weeks of the season Hill posted rushing totals of 203, 137 and 151.
6. Thayer (C1 – 6-0 – LW: 6)
Thayer posted its third consecutive shutout in a 27-0 win over a now 4-2 Cabool squad. Everything has been leading up to this week. The Bobcats hit the road to face another unbeaten squad in Ava. For all intents and purposes, this is the SCA title game. Every other squad in the SCA has at least two losses. Thayer has not won an SCA title since 1981 when current coach Billy Webber was blocking for southwest Missouri coaching legend Steve Ary who was a running back on that squad.
7. Pierce City (C1 – 6-0 – LW: 7)
Pierce City now has not allowed a point since Aug. 30. The Eagles beat Marionville 40-0 last week week. The Eagles have a good chance of extending that streak to six games against St. Michael this week at home. St. Michael has been shut out three times this year and is 2-4 overall with the wins coming over teams with a combined 1-11 record.
8. Camdenton (C4 – 6-0 – LW: 8)
Camdenton picked up a huge 28-0 win over Lebanon this week. In addition to being a traditional rivalry, the win also has a huge bearing on conference and district standings. The Lakers are now the odds-on favorite to win the conference. They also should lock up the No. 1 seed in the district with three more wins. This week, Camdenton travels to face Glendale.
9. Ava (C2 – 6-0 – LW: 9)
Ava moved to 6-0 after beating Houston 46-8. As mentioned above, everything has been leading to this week. Fellow unbeaten Thayer comes to town. The Bears are riding a 19-game conference winning streak. On paper, this is the best game in southwest Missouri this week and the O-Zone Game of the Week.
10. Lamar (C2 – 4-2 – LW: 10)
Lamar picked up a bounce-back 49-14 win over East Newton on Friday. The Tigers will face McDonald County this week.
Knocking on the Door: Miller (C1 – 6-0), West Plains (5-1), Fair Grove (C2 – 6-0), Bolivar (C4 – 6-0), Lebanon (C4 – 4-2)