Before I go any further, THESE ARE NOT A HEAD-TO-HEAD RANKING, BUT A RANKING OF DOMINANCE BY CLASS. I am not saying I think the Class 1 schools on this list could beat all the Class 4-6 teams ranked below them or not ranked.
1. Lamar (C2 – 3-0)
Lamar avenged its lone blemish from the 2020 season with a 31-7 win over McDonald County on Friday. The Tigers owned the line of scrimmage with 407 rushing yards on 32 carries for an average of nearly 13 yards per touch. Logan Crockett led the Lamar attack with 10 carries for 168 yards and 3 touchdowns. There is no time for Lamar to relax ahead of the annual Silver Tiger game against Nevada this Friday. Lamar will travel to face a resurgent Nevada team averaging almost 51 points per game. Last year, Lamar beat Nevada 44-28 while winning the past three matchups by a combined 129-34 margin.
2. Joplin (C6 – 3-0)
Joplin posted an easy 42-7 win over Ozark in Week 3 after back-to-back weeks of tight contests to open the season. Always Wright was again surgical for the Eagles at quarterback completing 17-of-20 passes for 230 yards and 4 touchdowns. Landen Atherton had 7 catches for 125 yards and 3 touchdowns. For the season, Wright has completed 74.4% of his passes for 703 yards and 10 touchdowns against just one interception. Up next is a home game against Carl Junction (2-1).
3. West Plains (C4 – 3-0)
West Plains shut out a Rolla team that came in averaging 31 points per game. Rolla managed just 12 yards through the air and 113 yards rushing on 38 carries against West Plains. The Zizzer offense posted a third consecutive game with at least 38 points by scoring 41. Dagen Kenslow threw for 122 yards and 3 touchdowns on just 7 completions. This week, West Plains hits the road to face Camdenton in one of the biggest games on the schedule for the Zizzers. West Plains has won four of the last five against the Lakers with the lone loss coming by three points on the road in 2019.
4. Webb City (C5 – 2-1)
Webb City handed Republic its first loss of the season and the Ryan Cornelsen era in a 56-20 decision. The Cardinals took 31 carries for 361 yards and 6 touchdowns as a team. Dupree Jackson had 9 carries for 157 yards and 3 touchdowns averaging 17.4 yards per carry. Cade Wilson took his 7 carries for 108 yards and 2 touchdowns. This week, Webb City has a huge matchup with Carthage that will be key for both the conference and district standings. The winner of Friday’s game will be almost assured to host throughout the Class 5 District 6 playoffs. A loss for Webb City on Friday would make earning a share of the conference title very difficult.
5. Marionville (C1 – 3-0)
Marionville picked up a statement 24-0 victory over then Class 1 No. 7 Westran on Friday in a neutral site game at Camdenton. The Comets held a Westran team that averaged 296 yards rushing through the first two weeks of the season to 120 rushing yards on Friday. Dakota Wilson posted his 15th career game with at least 100 yards rushing by taking 17 carries for 101 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Comets play up four classes this week with Class 5 Central coming to Marionville.
6. Nixa (C6 – 2-1)
Nixa bounced back from its first loss with a dominant 49-14 win over Willard. The Eagles showed their depth playing in their first game without star running back Ramone Green. They will travel to face a Republic team coming off its first loss of the season this week.
7. Carthage (C5 – 3-0)
Carthage put up 71 points in a win over Neosho on Friday. It was the most points Carthage has scored since scoring 80 on Marshfield on Oct. 31, 2013. Luke Gall carried the ball 11 times for 210 yards and 4 touchdowns averaging 19.1 yards per carry. The Tigers tallied 599 total yards of offense including 524 yards on the ground. Now the Tigers turn their attention to conference and district foe Webb City in the biggest game of the regular season with home field advantage in the district playoffs on the line.
8. Fair Grove (C2 – 3-0)
Fair Grove went on the road to face conference rival Skyline and escaped with a 34-33 win over the Tigers. Skyline went for two and the lead after a late touchdown, but the Eagle defense held strong to preserve the win. Fair Grove has the inside track to a Mid-Lakes Conference title. The Eagles are now ranked No. 2 in Class 2 behind Lamar in the state media poll.
9. Lebanon (C5 – 3-0)
It wasn’t easy, but Lebanon remained unbeaten with a 27-15 win over Bolivar. The Liberators scored the first touchdown of the game to take a 7-0 lead, but the Yellowjackets would answer with 27 straight points to take control of the game. Cade Muscia carried the ball 30 times for 131 yards and 2 touchdowns. Nathan Bartel also scored twice on 13 carries for 92 yards. They host Waynesville this week before a three-week gauntlet facing the other three unbeaten Ozark Conference teams in a row starting with a trip to Glendale followed by home games with West Plains and Camdenton.
10. Nevada (C4 – 3-0)
Nevada eclipsed 1,000 rushing yards as a team on the season in a 46-20 win over Cassville on Friday. The Tigers went for 265 yards on the ground as a team to push the season total to 1,126 yards. Avious Steadman led the rushing attack with 13 carries for 139 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground. He also hauled in a 40-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Cade Beshore. The victory snapped Nevada’s three-game losing streak to Cassville since the Tigers re-joined the Big 8. Up next is the biggest game of the regular season for Nevada with rival and defending state champion Lamar coming to town for the annual Silver Tiger game.