Sep. 8—Another week, another signature prep football matchup on tap.
Carthage and Nixa headlines Week 3's action-packed slate. The Tigers play host to the Eagles on Friday night in what's expected to be a giant Central Ozark Conference showdown.
Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. from David Haffner Stadium.
Carthage and Nixa are two of three undefeated squads remaining in the COC. The Eagles are ranked fourth in Class 6, while the Tigers are the top-ranked team in Class 5.
There should be no shortage of offense. Both squads are averaging over 50 points per game.
And it's a matchup pitting two of the top players in the COC — Carthage's two-way standout Luke Gall and Nixa running back sensation Ramone Green. So far this season, Gall and Green have put up jaw-dropping numbers.
Gall's scored 11 touchdowns in four quarters of football this season (Tigers blew out Republic 56-26 in Week 1 and Branson 49-0 in Week 2). The Division I Air Force Academy commit has rushed for 309 yards on 29 carries (10.7 ypc) and caught three passes for 146 yards.
But Green has returned from a broken collarbone that sidelined him for the majority of 2021 with a vengeance.
Green has amassed five TDs with 431 yards (38 carries, 11.3 ypc) on the ground with one passing TD (13-yarder) that came against Webb City. In Nixa's 42-19 win over the Cardinals two weeks ago, the senior ran wild for 231 yards on 26 carries.
The stakes are high for this contest. For one, Carthage cruised to a 49-14 victory on Nixa's home turf last year to claim the outright COC championship in the final week of the regular season.
In addition, the Eagles have not defeated the Tigers since 2014. Carthage enters the game with a 23-game regular season win streak on the line.
Last year's matchup saw the Tigers' offensive line dominate, churning for 317 yards rushing. Carthage scored on all five of its first-half possessions, with Gall going for 141 of his game-high 172 yards (on 18 carries) before halftime — when the Tigers led 35-14.
CARL JUNCTION AT NEOSHO
The Wildcats (1-1) host the Bulldogs (1-1) at Bob Anderson Stadium.
Both squads are coming off their first losses of the season last week. Neosho fell at Nixa 65-21, while Carl Junction dropped a 47-7 decision to Webb City at home.
Despite the loss, the Wildcats had a big silver lining. Running back Jared Siler ran the ball for over 200 yards (287), making it back-to-back 200-yard performances for the senior to begin the campaign.
Siler also scored three TDs for the second straight game.
For the Bulldogs, Carl Junction found some success on the ground. Sophomore Tony Stewart rushed for 37 yards on 10 carries with one TD, giving him 130 yards (24 carries) with two TDs for the season.
Teammate and junior, Johnny Starks, is averaging 9.1 yards per carry.
REPUBLIC AT WEBB CITY
In other COC action, the Cardinals (1-1) tangle with the Tigers (1-1) at Cardinal Stadium.
Both teams' losses came in Week 1 (Webb City to Nixa and Republic to Carthage). But the results were favorable in Week 2 — the Cardinals cruised past Carl Junction while the Tigers trounced Ozark 51-13.
Republic, led by second-year coach Ryan Cornelsen, has amassed 539 of its 802 total yards of offense on the ground. A dual-threat QB, junior Wyatt Woods has ran the ball 26 times for 202 yards and three scores while completing 12 of 16 passes for 263 yards and four TDs.
Seniors Connor Sandridge and Gunner Ellison have added over 100 yards on the ground each with a combined three TDs. Junior James Rexroat leads the receiving corps with six catches for 168 yards and two TDs.
Against the Bulldogs, Webb City received a standout showing from athlete Dante Washington. He scored in three different ways — TDs on an 83-yard punt return, 37-yard run and kicked three extra points.
Six different Cardinals scored a TD in last week's game as well.
GREENFIELD AT COLLEGE HEIGHTS
In 8-man action, the Cougars (0-2) ready for their first home football game with Greenfield (co-ops with Dadeville, 0-2) at Joplin High School.
College Heights looks to pick up its first win in program history after road setbacks by scores of 72-56 to North Shelby and 82-30 to Orrick. The Wildcats lost to Appleton City (co-ops with Montrose and Ballard) 44-20 in Week 1 and Liberal (co-ops with Bronaugh) 36-12 in Week 2.
Greenfield relies heavily on its run game. Sophomore Austin Pickett and junior Alex Pickett have combined for 371 of the Wildcats' 403 yards on the ground.
Alex Pickett paces the team with three TDs. Austin Pickett, the team's QB, has completed 14 of 43 passes for 43 yards, one TD and two picks.
The Cougars, led by first-year coach Travis Burk, received another big performance from QB Logan Decker last week. The sophomore recorded four TDs (one rushing).
Decker's accounted for 11 of College Heights' TDs this season. Two of those have come via rush.