Week 9 Football Rewind

By Jordan Burton (For OzarksSportsZone.com)

What were some of the biggest stories from Week 9 of the football season? Jordan Burton takes a look back at last night’s action with the things that stood out the most to him. 

WEEK 9 FOOTBALL ROUND UP – CLICK HERE

TOP 100 Photos of Week 9 – CLICK HERE
PHOTOS: Best Fans of Week 9 – CLICK HERE

Making a STATEment

We began hyping this game up in the preseason and Carthage made sure the game didn’t live up to that hype. The Tigers dominated both sides of the ball and again made a strong case for why they might be the best team in Class 5. This might be Coach Guidie’s most complete team; the offensively explosive groups we’ve seen for the last decade mixed with arguably his best defense ever. The return of Hudson Moore – whose touchdown just before halftime ignited 21 unanswered points for Carthage – gives the Tigers yet another weapon. Luke Gall should be both the offensive and defensive POY but the league probably won’t let him take both honors. Carthage rushed for 300+ on the ground and he had nearly 200 of it, putting him over 1,500 for the season. Just know he’s the most productive player on both sides of the ball. Carthage has now won 10 straight over Nixa. The Eagles have scored more than 14 points in just one of those games. As long as they continue to own the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball – Garrett Lilienkamp, Malachi Housh and company – Carthage will be a tough out… Nevada lost a tough one at home last week to Mac County, so naturally the Tigers responded by blasting Class 3 state-ranked Aurora. The Dawgs had allowed just 30 points in a game twice this season but Nevada managed to put 41 on the board. Class 4 appears to be wide open and Nevada continues to make its case as a strong contender…

The Champs are Here!!!

COC Champion – Carthage (9-0)

Carthage has been the area’s most dominant team in terms of signature wins. They also have the area’s best two-way player in Luke Gall.

Co-Ozark Conference Champions – Lebanon (8-1) & West Plains (7-1)

Lebanon won head-to-head but Rolla played the role of spoiler last week due to the OC not having a tiebreaker. Lebanon beat the league’s three best teams – Glendale, West Plains and Camdenton – in consecutive weeks. West Plains allowed 113 points in nine games and 44 of that came against the Jackets. Both teams will be state championship contenders.

Big 8 West Champion – Lamar (9-0)

It’s hard to believe this is Lamar’s first unbeaten regular season since 2017. The Tigers were brilliant on both sides of the ball, averaging 46.4 PPG (most since 2016) and allowing just 8.1 PPG (best since 2017). The Tigers are in position to win their 12th straight district championship and ninth state title in the last 11 seasons. Wow.

Big 8 East Champion – Aurora (7-2)

Don’t be fooled by Friday’s loss. Aurora still went unbeaten in conference play, beating everyone by double digits. The Dawgs two losses (Mac County and Nevada) were separated by seven consecutive wins.

Mid-Lakes Champion – Fair Grove (9-0)

The Eagles are only No. 2 in Class 2 because Lamar exists. Grove has done nothing but go Wreck It Ralph on the conference and really everyone they’ve seen, posting six straight games of 55 or more points and turbo-clocking the majority of their schedule. Grove cares about winning a conference championship but this group is focused on being the one that gets over the hump against Lamar.

SCA Champion – Ava (9-0)

For the fourth time in the last five seasons, Ava is walking away with an undefeated conference championship. The Bears have allowed just one team (Liberty) to score more than 20 points in a game and they still mercy-ruled them.

Southwest Conference Champion – Marionville (9-0)

At one point this season, Marionville didn’t allow a point for four straight games. The Bears shutout four opponents and held three more to just one score. The teams that managed to score more – Pierce City and Sarcoxie – were boat raced to the tune of 112-38 and those both came on the road. The Comets are again for real and have won 18 straight regular season games.

This and That

Hollister (6-3) finished the season over .500 for the first time in program history, scoring more points than any team in program history as well. And – for the first time in program history – they’ll host a playoff game. Coach Johnson and company killed it this year… Speaking of history, McDonald County won as many games this year alone than any two-year period the program has seen over the last two decades. The Mustangs (8-1) will also host at least one playoff game for the second consecutive year, something that hasn’t happened in ages… Rogersville started the season 0-3 but finished with six straight wins. The crazy part is none of them were really that close. The Cats have flipped a switch, putting together back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since the 2011 state championship group…  Rolla started just 1-2 but rebounded by winning five of their last six to end the season, including an upset of previously unbeaten Lebanon. The Bulldogs were one possession away from upsetting Glendale in Week 2. This is yet another sleeper in Class 5… Skyline is rare in that all three of its losses – Valle Catholic, Fair Grove and Warsaw – came to teams that were unbeaten at the time of the game. The Tigers have righted the ship, with wins in five of their last six games and two of their three losses this year came by one point each. The record won’t wow you, but with context, it’s easy to see why this is yet another team that could make a deep run in Class 1.

Week 10 Upset Alert (if seeds hold)

No. 6 Branson (3-6) at No. 3 Rolla (6-3)
What to Know: What makes this a dangerous one for Rolla is the fact that Branson has gone through the COC all year, which is a better league than the Ozark Conference top to bottom. Branson played within a possession of Joplin, but has also seen Nixa, Webb City and Carthage. They won’t be overwhelmed by what they see (physically) from Rolla. I love the Bulldogs this year but this is a sneaky tough game.

No. 7 Reeds Spring (3-6) at No. 2 Hollister (6-3)
The Story: Hollister won the regular-season meeting (26-20). Reeds Spring won the previous 13 meetings.
What to Know: These two played just a month ago and it was a one-possession game. Prior to that Hollister had never (ever) beaten Reeds Spring. It’s a rivalry game and a season-ender, which feels a little different. This has been a historical run for Hollister, can they continue it on the biggest stage? .

 

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