The Indians, Lakers, Mustangs and Tigers will all try to stay undefeated in 2014 in contests tonight
As last week was the first time in nearly two years that all four schools - Camdenton, Eldon, Osage and Versailles – won in the same week, tonight also presents a rare opportunity: all four teams could be 2-0 come Saturday morning.
The likelihood of that happening is good. All four teams showed last week that not only can they win, but they can do so in sustainable ways. Their victories were earned by execution and avoiding mistakes while capitalizing on the errors committed by their opponents.
Following is a synopsis of each game and comments from the head coaches.
Camdenton at West Plains
Last week: Camdenton (1-0) won 35-14 at Hillcrest, West Plains (1-0) won at Waynesville 21-14
The Lakers have an “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” approach to the offense and it’s hard to argue when you churn out 350 yards on the ground leading to 35 points in your opener on the road. Incorporating more of the passing game is a work in progress but something tht Camdenton is working on.
The Lakers’ best bet will be to score early and often. Letting this Zizzers team hang around through the fourth quarter in front of a crowd that hasn’t seen a 1-0 team in years could be a recipe for disaster.
Coach’s take: “West Plains is a much-improved team from last year. We saw them at the jamboree and they were successful against us. They are a good team on offense and we will have to play solid defense. We want to force them to put the ball in the air and make them beat us doing something that they aren’t comfortable doing. On offense, we need to work our game plan with our fantastic offensive line and Josh Martin. We will throw the ball when we need to. I’d like to see us get at least one big pass play per quarter. It’s a rough three-hour bus ride down there, if you combine that with the heat and the fact that they just won their opener for the first time in a long time which will make them excited, it’s going to be a challenge. We’re still without offensive tackle Henry Brownell but there’s an outside chance that we may get him back next week. I plan to definitely have him back for the Kickapoo game.” – Jeff Shore
Eldon vs. Hogan Prep
Last week: Eldon (1-0) won 42-8 at home against Madison Prep, Hogan Prep (1-0) won at Central Academy 37-0
Similar to Camdenton, Eldon would prefer to run the ball on nearly every down. The passing game may have to be more of an element if the Mustangs want to defend their home turf against the Rams. It’s likely that Hogan Prep will load the box and dare Eldon to throw the ball.
On defense, don’t expect the Mustangs to come up with a load of takeaways this week like they did last week. However, winning the turnover battle will be key to setting the Eldon offense up with a short field to drive.
Coach’s take: “We are excited about facing a team as talented as Hogan Prep. Scheduling teams such as Hogan Prep will assist us in reaching our ultimate goal of being one of the top teams in class 3. Our kids have had a good week of practice leading up to this match up. We know the next three weeks will be challenging but our staff and team is looking forward to competing at a high level. Hogan Prep has some very explosive players on their roster, it will take a total team effort to put ourselves in a position to get a week two win.” – Shannon Jolley
Osage at Moberly
Last week: Osage (1-0) won 41-14 at home against Fulton, Moberly (0-1) lost at Blair Oaks 3-21
A balanced offense and a swarming defense. That’s what got the Indians a big win last week, and that’s what it’s going to take again this week. This Spartan team isn’t as bad as the score from their week one game may make them appear.
Moberly may have seen how blitzing the Osage offense created lots of open space for the receivers to work in and back off that, forcing the Indian receivers to deal with more coverage.
Coach’s take: “Moberly is always tough at home. They are physical and big up front. Their quarterback is more like a second running back. He often looks to keep the ball and run it himself. Their fullback is a big play threat, especially on the edge. If we can make them snap the ball again and not give up the big plays I think we’ll be all right. I think we can run the ball at them. They are big in the middle and have a good athlete at inside linebacker. If we can spread the ball around we should be able to exploit match-ups.” – Devon Johnson
Versailles at Fulton
Last week: Versailles (1-0) won 26-0 at Knob Noster, Fulton (0-1) lost 14-41 at Osage
Versailles’ defense was amazing last week. If the Tigers can put on a performance anywhere near that good again this week, with Fulton still missing its regular starting quarterback, they have a good chance to create a winning streak.
Fulton has a more varied and potentially explosive offense than Knob Noster’s simple triple option attack did, including a talented pair of running backs and a wide receiver that can hurt a defense.
Sound tackling and discipline will be necessary again this week for the Tigers.
Offensively, Versailles might be able to get away with a simple repeat performance of last week’s 281-yard, 26-point performance if the defense can put on another stellar show.
However, as the season progresses, the Tigers will need to take steps forward on that side of the ball. It’s never too early to start.
Versailles Coach Broc Silvers could not be reached for comment
If all four teams can execute at a high level in all three phases of the game, we’ll be talking about how they can extend their winning streaks to three games next week. The time to learn from mistakes has passed for the week. It’s game night.