Shore: Make the takeaways for the start of the football season | Local sports
Two weeks completed and the preparation for the football season has proceeded as announced.
There were tremendous performances. Offensive and defensive clinics. And a breathtaking kick at the expiration of time that will be talked about for years to come.
Here are some takeaways from what has stood out in the Show-Me State so far.
Joplin makes noise
Granted, we’re only getting into Week 3, but you’d be hard pressed to find a team with a better CV than Joplin at the start of this season.
The Eagles fly high with iconic wins over Webb City and Nixa to open the season at 2-0.
Always Wright was the driving force behind Joplin’s resurgence in one of the Central Ozark Conference’s top teams. The star of both sports should only get better as he becomes more comfortable with the Eagles offense which presents a “new flavor.”
Same old Carthage
Obviously, the Tigers haven’t taken a step back from graduating Patrick Carlton.
This just opened the scene for Luke Gall, who was a one-man show in Carthage’s 28-0 shutout win over Carl Junction last Friday. The junior running back used 19 carries to run for 263 yards and three scores.
And Caden Kabance has made the transition to quarterback seamless so far for the Tigers. With a two-way player like Gall and Kabance in the lead, a Week 7 showdown between Carthage and Joplin will be a must-see on October 8.
Webb City straightens the ship
Despite a heartbreaking loss to Joplin in Week 1, the Cardinals rebounded with a 49-20 win over Neosho last Friday.
And it’s a game that has seen Webb City do what they do best – wreak havoc with their ground game. In fact, seven players totaled 363 yards on 50 carries and five touchdowns to lead the Cardinals’ offense.
That group was punctuated by aspiring running back Dupree Jackson, who ran 170 yards on 18 carries and three scores. Get used to hearing that name this fall, and don’t be surprised to see Webb City back in the COC hunt before the season ends.
Lamar continues to dominate
About 30 miles from Joplin you will find Lamar playing as a team in the title defense.
Jared Beshore’s Tigers dominate their opponents 100-13 in the first two weeks of the season. Even though he had nine starters a year ago, Lamar has a number of players from all states on both sides of the ball and the Tigers enter the Big 8 West Conference game this week.
And revenge will be on Lamar’s mind as he welcomes McDonald County. Of course, the Mustangs knocked out the Tigers 42-41 after overcoming a 34-14 deficit in the third quarter last season.
Don’t sleep on Nevada
Another team with a dynamic attack is Nevada.
The Tigers totaled 106 points in the first two weeks and come off two unbalanced wins over Rogersville and Hollister.
Case Sanderson and Eli Cheaney have proven to be powerful weapons on the ground for Nevada. Look for these two to continue to be the gateway for the Tigers and make sure to have their home game against Lamar in Week 4 pinned on the schedule.
Not only is it a clash that renews the “Silver Tiger” rivalry, but the bragging rights of the Big 8 West will be up for grabs.