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It’s sectional day and 17 Ozarks teams are still trying to make it to the Show-Me Bowl. Rain looks like it’s going to play a factor in a lot of games tonight so anything can happen. Here’s what we think will happen.
- Valle Catholic (10-1) at Thayer (9-2)
- These two have met twice in the last three years with the home team winning both times. And both times, the winner advanced to the Show-Me Bowl. The Thayer is perfect for taking down Valle. But Valle has been it’s usual offensive spread powerhouse losing only to Ste. Genevieve. That doesn’t bode well for the Bobcats. They have to limit Valle’s possessions.
- Prediction: I don’t think the Bobcats can completely contain the Warriors. Valle wins.
- Skyline (8-3) at Miller (10-1)
- The Cardinals beat Skyline just over two weeks ago 40-21, and it wasn’t even that close. The balanced Miller attack kept the Tiger defense off balance, and the speed of the Cardinal defense effectively contained the Skyline offense until late in the game. Skyline has to turn the tables and keep the Miller defense guessing, control the time of possession, and keep the Miller offense off the field.
- Prediction: Too much to ask of the Tigers. Miller wins.
- Archie (8-3) at Osceola (9-2)
- Osceola won the first game two weeks ago 27-21 by pounding out 239 yards on the ground to Archie’s 220 through the air. The Indian defense also held the Whirlwinds to less than 3 yards per carry. That’s exactly the formula the Indians have found success with, and conditions tonight should be favorable to that game plan.
- Prediction: The Indians dig in and get the win.
- Fair Grove (11-0) at Mt. View-Liberty (11-0)
- The only battle of unbeatens in the state tonight. There are more similarities than people think between these two teams. Strong running games, multiple threats, good speed, and good defenses. Fair Grove is giving up just 14 ppg. Liberty just 10. But Liberty definitely has the edge in the passing game. The rain might take some of that away, but I also think the Eagles are better prepared with the competition they’ve played.
- Prediction: Mt. View-Liberty gets a rematch with Lamar.
- El Dorado Springs (6-5) at Lamar (10-1)
- If you compare a couple of scores, you might feel El Dorado Springs has a chance in this game. They did beat Warsaw 53-22 and Sarcoxie 44-6, while Lamar downed Warsaw 61-0 and Sarcoxie 55-0. But in reality, Lamar is on another level than just about any other class 2 team in the state. And they’re playing with an edge.
- Prediction: Lamar rolls.
- Springfield Catholic (9-2) at Rogersville (10-1)
- After playing three times already in the last two years, I don’t think there’s anything else I can tell you about these two teams that won’t land me in jail. And I don’t think there’s anything that could happen in this game that would surprise me. I’ll just say that it feels like the Irish magic is depleted, but the rain may neutralize the Wildcats advantages.
- Prediction: Every logical way of looking at this says Rogersville, but I can’t shake thinking Catholic is going to find a way to win. I’ll take the Irish.
- Pleasant Hill (8-3) at Cassville (11-0)
- Those who remember Cassville’s 35-0 win over Pleasant Hill last year may not think too much of the Rooster’s chances. But this is a different squad that stayed within 2 touchdowns of Harrisonville. If the Wildcats defense can continue to play at their current level, and Ricky Nichols is still Ricky Nichols for Cassville, then the Roosters chances aren’t that great.
- Prediction: Cassville should advance without too much of a scare.
- Hillcrest (10-1) at Union (11-0)
- Both teams run the spread, but in very different ways. Union is more run focused put can certainly pass. They put up about a 60/40 or 55/45 splint in rushing to passing yards gained. Hillcrest is around a 75/25 pass to rush team. With a sloppy field, advantage Union right? Wrong. No power running for them. Zone reads, making cuts, speed. The slop will slow them down.
- Prediction: The Hornet defense gives Union trouble and Hillcrest wins.
- Helias (7-4) at Webb City (11-0)
- We’ve seen the last two games what you get with Helias. Speed, discipline, game smarts, a team that you don’t want to make mistakes against. But Webb has definite advantages in depth, athleticism, and size up front. And they match Helias in team speed. If the Cardinals don’t make the mistakes, they should be fine.
- Prediction: Webb City specializes in not making big mistakes. They win.
- Camdenton (6-5) at Ft. Zumwalt East (5-4)
- Who would have picked Camdenton in the sectionals when they were 1-4 and averaging 14 points per game? But now they’re 5-1 over their last six games and averaging 35.5. They have found their running game in a big way and that’s exactly what they’ll need against a speedy FZE defense. They big question is can the Lakers contain the Lions offense.
- Prediction: I just don’t like the defensive matchup for Camdenton. I’ll take FZE.
- Lee’s Summit West (10-1) at Glendale (8-2)
- Glendale should be healthy and rested. And they need that as they will be facing the best defense they have seen all year. The Titans have given up only 9 points total in the seven games since suffering their only loss of the year. And they bring an offense that averages just under 40 ppg, and has multiple playmakers.
- Prediction: I think the Falcons make it closer than people think, but ultimately the Titans take it.
- Branson (6-5) at Nixa (9-1)
- Branson has made a nice run back to the playoffs, and if it hadn’t been for that horrible 4 quarter stretch during the Kickapoo and Nixa games, they could have been the host here. But Nixa was playing their best football at the end of the season. And unless a lot of rust has accumulated in a short time, they still should be.
- Prediction: Just can’t see Nixa not taking this.
Tagged with: sectional football
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