James Damon Blog – WEMO FB – Week 1

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Opening Week for Prepcasts-KCMW & MO HS Football

A good opening week of football in the state of Missouri saw numerous close games around the state as well as the inaugural broadcast on Prepcasts-KCMW covering the WEMO conference.

The Rich Hill Tigers ended a losing streak of more than a year and eleven games in a row traveling to WEMO rival Archie and controlling the contest from start to finish. The Tigers had much optimism last season after an incoming freshman class, having gone undefeated in junior high, swelled the team’s numbers, but a win-less season later left as many questions as answers. Now sophomores the Tigers entered the season with another new coach, this one hearkening back to more successful years and their last dominant run to a state title in 1999. Coach Heath Heckadon was optimistic about his squad, replete with speed and skill position talent, but not accustomed to winning at higher levels.

The first question, and the win-less monkey, are thrown aside now as the Tigers marched down on their second drive of the game to score en route to a 43-8 throttling of the Archie Whirlwinds. Archie head coach Michael Toschi had commented prior to the contest how important it was to be a better disciplined team than the Winds had been the previous year. That did not happen, though, as Archie committed penalties all night long stopping their own drives and supplementing the effective offensive efforts of Rich Hill.

The Tigers dual QB system posed numerous threats that Archie, missing several key starters who were ineligible for the game, never answered, and behind the strength of multiple TD’s the first three quarters, Rich Hill never found the game out of their hands. Sophomore QB Cole Heckadon was the Sonic Drive-In player of the game for Rich Hill accounting for a TD via his arm and another with his legs.

In other WEMO action, the Drexel Bobcats christened their new coach’s season with a blistering hot win over Appleton City 62-16. Steve Cozad, the Cats new coach, had been concerned about a very young offensive and defensive line, but after a slow start, the Bobcats kept their home crowd happy pulling away as the game progressed. The Bulldogs, optimistic as they begin a new era under coach Travis Basore, still have an uphill battle to become a contender in the top-heavy WEMO.

The game of the week in the conference happened near the lake as the #11 in class one, Osceola Indians, hosted the #6 state ranked and favorite to win the conference, Cass-Midway Vikings. Osceola opened the scoring with a field goal and kept the game tight throughout, but could not punch anymore points across and the Vikings got a hard fought crucial road win, 18-3. Larry Burchett’s Vikes, victors in the first ever high school game played at the Edward Jones Dome, have the swagger of a team that could make a deep run this year, boasting size up and down the roster, and enough skill position talent to handle most teams.

Adrian was the lone WEMO school not playing in conference in the opener and they hosted the class 2 rival, Butler Bears. The Bears took a shutout win last year in the opener, and the Blackhawks responded in kind drubbing the visiting Bears 39-0. George Bruto’s squad figures to be in contention for the league title as the year progresses.

Week two features match-ups in league as the Prepcasts-KCMW featured game of the week sees the Drexel Bobcats visit the Adrian Blackhawks in a tilt that might feature the team to take on Midway in conference. Speaking of Cass-Midway, they stay on the road in Cass County as they travel to Archie to battle the Whirlwinds. Appleton City battles at Osceola as one winless team looks to rebound, and the Rich Hill Tigers go out of league for their home opener, against a well-known foe, the Lockwood Tigers.

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