Camdenton Lakers, Osage Indians, Eldon Mustangs and Versailles Tigers

Camdenton aiming for seventh straight win over Hillcrest

From the first drive, it was clear that Camdenton was in full control versus the Central Bulldogs Friday night. Almost everything went perfectly for Camdenton throughout the contest and they ended up the victors with a dominating score of 77-0.

Central opened the game with the ball and immediately went three and out. Following the return, Camdenton breezed past the defense to an easy touchdown. This would be the narrative for much of the game, as it seemed that the Bulldogs had no answer to the passing or ground attack being used by the Lakers.

Throughout the first half, Camdenton was able to move the ball and score in almost all phases of the game. Multiple punt returns for touchdowns, rushing touchdowns, passing touchdowns- it was all on display and in full force.

In quarter one, Camdenton was able to put up 49 points, 35 of which came from passing touchdowns from junior Quarterback Paxton DeLaurent. Two punts were brought to the house by senior Gabe Kurtz, who would also end the night with 22 receiving yards, a receiving touchdown, and a defensive interception.

The second quarter saw much of the same, with DeLaurent capping off his night with his sixth touchdown pass before being pulled out for sophomore quarterback Mason Draper. Draper had no problems with filling in the role, as he would go on to throw for 57 total yards, rush for 19 yards, and complete one passing touchdown. DeLaurent finished his brilliant night with 130 passing yards. Camdenton would move into halftime with a 70-0 lead.

Moving into the second half, teams agreed to move the game clock to six minute quarters and running clock, clearing up the remaining time quickly. Even with the limited time, Camdenton would go on to score one final time on a 6-yard touchdown run by Morgan Montgomery.

“We really needed a bounce back week and this will be good for momentum going forward,” DeLaurent said after the team’s first defeat at state-ranked West Plains the previous week.

Camdenton (3-1, 3-1 Ozark Conference) will visit Hillcrest (1-3, 1-3 Ozark Conference) on Friday at 7 p.m.

The series has been kind to the Lakers who will be searching for their seventh straight win over the Hornets dating back to 2013 after outscoring the foe 74 to 25 in the regular season and playoffs last year. Hillcrest is coming off two straight shutout losses to Rolla and Waynesville where it has been outscored 67 to nothing. Camdenton is currently averaging 44.2 points and giving up 11.8 points per game while Hillcrest is putting up eight points and giving up 34 points per outing.

This was a good rebound for Camdenton. If the Lakers replicates anything remotely to what they did against Springfield Central, it should not be too much trouble to pick up that eighth straight win and pick up some momentum heading into the Highway 5 showdown with Lebanon next week.

Osage hoping to rebound against conference newcomer Boonville

Turnovers can be tough for any team to overcome.

Osage coughed up six of them in a Tri-County Conference game at Hallsville Friday night and it spelled a rough 40-15 defeat for the visitors.

Although it was a lopsided finish, it was only a 14-7 game at halftime and the Indians nearly tied it up at the break, too, before a fumble near the goal line led to a Hallsville touchback. It was one of three fumbles on the evening and Osage was also plagued with three interceptions. By the end of the third quarter, the Hallsville lead extended to 28-9 as Osage could not find a way to recover.

Senior quarterback Dalton Depeé completed 11 of his 23 passes for 207 yards and senior tight end Garrett Sutherland was on the receiving end of that touchdown pass as he led the receiving corps with four receptions for 111 yards. Junior wide receiver Logan Havner also pulled down four catches for 63 yards and junior tight end Drew Edwards added two receptions for 31 yards respectively.

On the ground, Depeé also rushed for a touchdown as he led the rushing attack with 139 yards and junior tailback Matt Hans churned for 41 yards on 10 carries as the Indians finished the night with 232 rushing yards as a team.

On the defensive end, Depeé led the unit with 12 total tackles at defensive back while junior linebacker James Hutchcraft and junior defensive lineman Rudy Escobar finished the night with 11 each. Junior linebacker Drew Edwards added seven tackles to the effort while forcing a fumble and recording a sack.

Osage (2-2, 1-1 Tri-County Conference) will come back home after a three-game road trip to host conference newcomer Boonville (2-2, 1-1 Tri-County Conference) on Friday at 7 p.m. The Pirates were given a rough 31-0 introduction to the conference from Blair Oaks, but bounced back with a 43-0 shutout over California last week. Boonville is currently putting up 23 points and giving up 21.8 points per outing while Osage is averaging 17.5 points and allowing 27 points through the first four games.

Boonville junior quarterback Nick Ferrari has thrown for 453 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions and junior running back Avian Thomas is the biggest ground threat with 424 yards and four touchdowns while junior Tramell Coleman (159 yards, two touchdowns) and senior Malik Brazil (111 yards, two touchdowns) are the biggest threats in the air. It is enough to keep Depeé (44 tackles, one interception, one fumble recovery), Edwards (39 tackles, two sacks, one forced fumble), Hutchcraft (41 tackles) and senior defensive lineman Mason Etter (22 tackles, one sack, three forced fumbles and one interception) on their toes, but Osage will be glad to know that the Pirates have coughed up the ball seven times.

Offensively, Osage would love to get back on track and get back to utilizing all the weapons at their disposal. Depeé has put up 280 passing yards with two touchdowns and four interceptions, but still has plenty of dual-threat ability as the team’s leading rusher with 334 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. The Indians also have a trio of rushers in junior Jack Dulle (163 yards), Hans (110 yards, one touchdown) and senior Hunter Neiman (105) yards who can do some damage. Sutherland has emerged as Osage’s biggest receiving threat with five receptions for 125 yards and a score while Havner has added four receptions for 63 yards and Hans has contributed four receptions for 39. Overall, six different receivers have logged at least one catch. The offensive line will need to be strong up front as well against a Boonville defense that has recorded nine sacks and six turnovers.

Time will soon tell who gets the upper hand on Friday night.

Eldon looking for rebound against unbeaten Blair Oaks

Eldon took its unbeaten 3-0 record on the road to Southern Boone Friday night and that record would not leave intact as the Mustangs fell to the Eagles 39-7 in a battle of state-ranked teams.

It was just a 7-7 game at halftime, but four turnovers from Eldon, ranked No. 6 in the Class 3 Missouri Media Poll, opened the door for the Class 3 No. 10 Eagles to run away with it.

Eldon’s first drive of the night showed promise as the Mustangs took the opening possession and marched to the Southern Boone 36-yard line before turning the ball over on downs. Then, Southern Boone responded with a 64-yard touchdown pass on its first play from scrimmage to take an early 7-0 lead the Eagles would preserve through the end of the first quarter.

Once again, Eldon’s offense was moving early in the second quarter but senior quarterback Dawson Brandt’s throw would be picked off on a 4th-and-8 play at the Eagle 19-yard line. However, an empty Southern Boone drive on the ensuing possession led to a muffed punt that the Mustangs recovered at the Eagle 33 and Brandt made up for his errant throw with a 33-yard touchdown run to tie the game with 4:56 remaining before halftime.

Another empty Southern Boone drive gave the Mustangs a chance to capture the lead, but Brandt would throw his second interception of the night that gave the Eagles the ball back on their own three-yard line with 40 seconds remaining before the break.

It was all Eagles the rest of the way.

Southern Boone carried their momentum to the second half as a 10-yard touchdown run, another short touchdown run and an 89-yard scamper to the house put the Eagles ahead 26-7 by the end of the third quarter. Things did not get any better for the Mustangs as a fumble on 4th-and-1 at their own 29-yard line led Southern Boone to a 10-yard touchdown run. History repeated itself not long after as another fumble at the Eagle 49-yard line resulted in a 5-yard touchdown pass to finish up the scoring.

Brandt completed four of his 11 pass attempts for 22 yards and led the Mustangs with 105 rushing yards as well. Senior running back Isaiah Parsons added 98 rushing yards, junior tailback Logan Hall added 69 and freshman running back Ethan Wood contributed 23 to a unit that rushed for 299 yards on the night. Hall also added three receptions for 15 yards and Parsons had one catch for seven.

Eldon (3-1, 1-1 Tri-County Conference) will take on another state-ranked team on Friday when the Mustangs host unbeaten conference foe Blair Oaks for Homecoming. Last season, Blair Oaks took down Eldon 32-12.

The Falcons are currently ranked No. 2 in the Class 2 Missouri Media Poll and are coming off three straight shutouts including a 37-0 win over Versailles last week. So far in 2018, Blair Oaks is putting up 38.5 points per game and the defense is only allowing an impressive 8.8 points per outing respectively. Meanwhile, Eldon is averaging 22.3 points and allowing 17.8 points through its first four games.

The Mustang defense has a tough challenge ahead facing potent quarterback Nolan Hair and his complimentary group of targets including Ben Thomas who recently surpassed 2,000 career receiving yards to go with 35 touchdown receptions- both school records. Getting back in the turnover business can help as Eldon currently has four interceptions with Brandt, the All-State safety, having three of them, while the team has also recovered eight fumbles. Brandt (17 tackles) will be called upon to anchor the secondary while Parsons (14 tackles) and senior Kaden Dillon (five tackles) will need to be on their toes at linebacker and senior defensive lineman Jakob Krantz (six tackles) will need to generate some push up front in the trenches.

Just like prior seasons, Eldon’s running game remains lethal as the team has already eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark as a team with 1,184 through the first four games averaging 5.6 yards per carry. Brandt has acquired the majority of them with 467 yards (7.2 yards per carry) and four touchdowns while Parsons (374 yards, 5.6 yards per carry, six touchdowns) and Hall (237 yards, five yards per carry) have kept the ground game fresh. If Brandt (158 passing yards, one touchdown, three interceptions) can also get things going through the air, Hall (five receptions, 85 yards, one touchdown), senior tight end Charlie Mays (two receptions, 59 yards) and senior wideout Parker Dunham (two receptions, 46 yards) will be more than happy to move the chains.

Another battle of state-ranked teams will commence at 7 p.m.

Versailles in pursuit of third straight win over California

Versailles took a trip to Blair Oaks Friday night riding a two-game win streak with another opportunity to knock off a state-ranked team.

That opportunity would not be seized though as the Falcons showed why they may be deserving of a No. 2 ranking in the Class 2 Missouri Media Poll after posting their third shutout for a 37-0 win over the Tigers in Tri-County Conference action.

Quarterback Nolan Hair and the Blair Oaks offense ran like a finely-tuned machine as he started the night off with a 6-yard touchdown run on the first of five straight scoring drives. A 55-yard touchdown pass, a 2-yard touchdown pass, a 75-yard touchdown pass and a field goal with three seconds remaining gave the Falcons a 30-0 lead at the break. A 9-yard touchdown run from Ben Thomas early in the third quarter was the final blow as Blair Oaks racked up 451 total yards of offense.

Meanwhile, Versailles was held to just 171 total yards on its offensive possessions. Junior quarterback Coby Williams completed 11 of his 18 passes for 101 yards and two interceptions with one of those interceptions coming in the end zone to keep the Tigers off the scoreboard in the third quarter. Senior tailback Michael Trotter led the ground game with 52 rushing yards on 16 carries and junior wideout Dallas Waller hauled in eight receptions for 83 yards to lead the receiving corps. Versailles also suffered from the Blair Oaks pass rush as the Falcons piled up six sacks.

Trotter led the defense with 9.5 tackles with 3.5 of those resulting in a loss and senior defensive back Colbey Boicourt added 7.5 tackles of his own.

Versailles (2-2, 1-1 Tri-County Conference) will come home to host California on Friday in another conference battle at 7 p.m. The Tigers enter the game with two straight wins over the Pintos including a 13-6 win a season ago.

After a 1-9 season in 2017, this year has not fared much better for California so far as the team is still searching for its first win of the season at 0-4. The Pinto offense has mustered 7.3 points per game and the defensive unit is currently allowing 33.2 points per outing. Comparatively, Versailles is putting up 23.8 points and giving up 37 points per contest.

After a tough shutout against a formidable Blair Oaks defense that has a habit of not allowing teams to score, Versailles will be eager to get back in the end zone.

Williams remains a quick dual-threat quarterback in a balanced Tiger offense where he has put up 464 passing yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions to go with a team-leading 465 rushing yards (5.4 yards per carry) and another six touchdowns. Trotter has totaled 162 yards on the ground and a touchdown and junior running back Brycen Reynolds has provided fresh legs with 57 yards (two yards per carry).

Senior wideout Wyatt Espinosa remains Williams’ top target with 14 receptions for 192 yards and three touchdowns while Waller has emerged as a reliable target with 15 receptions for 131 yards. Meanwhile, senior receiver Colbey Boicourt is also a clear red zone target with two touchdowns on just three receptions for 23 yards.

Defensively, Trotter remains the team’s top tackler as the linebacker has put up an impressive 54 tackles (7.5 tackles for a loss) while Boicourt at defensive back has the second most with 20.5. As a team, Versailles has forced four turnovers with Williams leading the way with two interceptions and a fumble recovery at safety. Increasing that total will only stand to benefit a defensive unit that would like to bring down the 372.8 yards per game it is currently allowing including 7.4 rushing yards per carry.

Should the offense keep California guessing and the defense find a way to stand tall, Versailles stands a good chance of picking up that third straight win in this annual conference gathering. Add that to the fact that it is Homecoming Week at Versailles so there should be no lack of motivation on the part of the Tigers.

Time will soon tell if Versailles has what it takes to not only match their season win total from the past few years, but get back on a path to doing bigger things as the season progresses.