James Damon Blog – Week Eight – WEMO, ETC.

WEMO Blog and More MO HS Football Thoughts

Week eight has come and gone and most teams have a good handle now on their positioning as districts loom.  We also begin to have a pretty solid idea of the contenders and pretenders state-wide to make it through districts and beyond.  More on that in a moment.
With the conference race already completed, all seven WEMO teams ventured around the area and no surprises took place, as the top 4 conference teams won their affairs while the lower 3 squads all dropped games.  The Prepcasts-KCMW game of the week featured the Appleton City Bulldogs riding high after a homecoming win a week ago, and saw them host the Windsor Greyhounds from the Kaysinger Conference.  Appleton City took their opening drive down the field and scored on a Garrett Wade TD run to take an early 6-0 lead before Windsor answered several drives later.  Rain and cold temperatures affected play and ball handling as the teams exchanged turnovers with no more points amassed.  After a failed attempt at a fair catch on a punt, Windsor took over deep in Bulldog territory, punched in the first of Brett Rosebrough’s two scores, and made the two-point conversion to take the lead 8-6.  We would stay that way until AC mounted a drive late in the half to score and maintain a 12-8 advantage at the half.
The second half was a completely different story, though, as the Dogs took the opening kick, began to drive down the field as they had much of the first half, but then penalties pushed them backwards and they were forced to punt.  Much of the second half proved to be field position battling as Windsor drove inside the five for a first and goal opportunity only to have a near TD not credited and then be stopped four consecutive times.  They would dominate the field position war, though, and finally score the go ahead TD on a QB keeper from four yards out.  The conversion trailed but Windsor would never trail again, tacking up another score with four minutes remaining as the Sonic Drive-In Player of the Game, Brett Rosebrough, scored again for Windsor who evened their record at 4-4 with the 20-12 win.  Appleton City fell to 1-6.
The other two teams in the bottom half of the conference each lost as well.  Rich Hill traveled to the Sedalia area to battle Sacred Heart, and despite playing close throughout the entirety of the game, the Tigers fell 24-0 on the road, to drop their season record to 2-6.  The Gremlins advanced to a 5-2 mark on the season.  Archie hosted perennial power, Tipton, though the Cardinals are way down this year.  A dominating win for Tipton evened their season mark at 4-4 as well and kept the Whirlwinds winless, falling 48-8, and now to 0-8 on the year.
As several of the WEMO teams battled Kaysinger teams, Osceola, the #2 team in the WEMO, went on the road to face the Kaysinger champ, Cole Camp, and rolled to another big win, 46-6, over the Blue Birds.  It was the seventh win in a row for Osceola, who moved back into the state rankings last week and continue to look impressive as they fight for the #2 seed in the district as well, likely trailing only Midway after another Skyline Tigers loss.  Cole Camp falls to 5-3 with the loss.  Referencing Midway, they played up on the road taking on the class two Butler Bears, but dominated from start to finish rolling to a 40-7 victory.  The Bears TD came very late in the contest, otherwise thwarting the Viking effort to roll out a fifth shutout in 8 wins.  They settled on the decisive win and look to close out an undefeated regular season on the road against Sherwood in week nine.  Drexel hosted newcomer in football, Summit Christian Academy, from the Lee’s Summit area, and were rather rude in their greetings blasting the Eagles 60-0.  The loss dropped SCA to 1-7 on the season as Drexel moved to 6-2.  The best game of the week in the area came as Adrian faced a one-time WEMO foe from years ago, the Sherwood Marksmen.  Despite gaining an early lead, Adrian saw Sherwood fight back and come within one score as they punted away on the final play of the game.  The Marksmen, however, would return the punt all the way to the house to pull within a two-point conversion from the tie.  The conversion would fail, and Adrian held on for a tough road win against the class 2 Marksmen, 22-20.  Sherwood’s record drops to 1-6 as Adrian pushes to 5-3 on the season.
With just one week remaining in the regular season, the heavyweights around the state look strongly positioned to enter districts hot and ready to roll.  This includes class 6 powers Blue Springs and Hazelwood Central, and sets up a huge match next week for conference bragging rights as two undefeateds duke it out, Blue Springs and Lee’s Summit.  CBC, Liberty, and Rockhurst are all rolling along again after early season losses and the enigma of Rock Bridge continues, as they fall to 4-4 on the season, losing to Liberty this week by one point.  In class 5, rumbles abound as Kirkwood dropped a game loudly to Parkway Central, but the top two ranked teams cruised, Lee’s Summit West and Ft. Osage.  There are some other quality teams around the state, but the winner of the Titans-Indians game appears to be the easy frontrunner for a title.
In class 4, Webb City keeps on rolling, and Bolivar looks like they might be the only team to give them a serious shot.  Keep your eyes on Pleasant Hill, though, as the Roosters remain undefeated and are slowly sneaking up the rankings.  Helias will surely be in the mix as well when the fog clears.  Class 3 appears headed for a showdown repeat with Maryville and the Bombers of John Burroughs.  It would be the fourth year in a row the Bombers make the dome, if they get that far, and they are hungry for state title number nine.  Some other teams are having great seasons (O’Fallon Christian, Reeds Spring, and Duchesne, to name a few) but likely don’t have the playoff experience to really make some noise.  The Panthers of Oak Grove, though, could muddy up the west side of the state and make a run.
Class two develops interesting storylines, but it appears it might be Lamar’s to lose as the Tigers only loss has been to class four Carl Junction, and they have pounded all other comers.  The murderers district, though, in the state has to be class two, district three featuring #1 MV-Liberty, #3 Strafford, and #4 Mountain Grove (only loss coming to MV-Liberty).  An honorary state title might need to go to this district winner, as they likely meet Lamar in the quarters out of districts.  The winner of that game will have essentially already won state to get through that grind.  Blair Oaks and Lafayette County hold some intrigue on the lower half of the bracket, but the real meat is up top.
Class one saw undefeated East Buchanan get dumped by class two Lathrop in conference play, leaving only six undefeated teams.  Valle Catholic appears to be most people’s favorite, though Westran is very solid as well.  The battle between Midway and Valle, potentially in the semis, could be a game of the year candidate as both teams can score points and also possess very stingy defenses.  Valle’s offense may be a tad more prodigious, but Midway’s defense might get a slight edge.  That would be a game to circle on the calendar and make it a MUST SEE.

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