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    Springfield Catholic players jog during warm ups prior to the game between Springfield Catholic High School and Fair Grove High School at Springfield Catholic High School in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 9, 2016. The game was postponed due to severe weather in the area.

    Springfield Catholic players jog during warm ups prior to the game between Springfield Catholic High School and Fair Grove High School at Springfield Catholic High School in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 9, 2016. The game was postponed due to severe weather in the area.

    The Sun sets in between storm clouds to the West of a scheduled game between Springfield Catholic High School and Fair Grove High School at Springfield Catholic High School in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 9, 2016. The game was postponed due to severe weather in the area.

    The Sun sets in between storm clouds to the West of a scheduled game between Springfield Catholic High School and Fair Grove High School at Springfield Catholic High School in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 9, 2016. The game was postponed due to severe weather in the area.

    Fair Grove fans wait in the stands during a weather delay of a game between Springfield Catholic High School and Fair Grove High School at Springfield Catholic High School in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 9, 2016. The game was postponed due to severe weather in the area.

    Fair Grove fans wait in the stands during a weather delay of a game between Springfield Catholic High School and Fair Grove High School at Springfield Catholic High School in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 9, 2016. The game was postponed due to severe weather in the area.

    Lightning caused delays in a multitude of Springfield area high school football games Friday night.

    Coaches in two games opted to postpone their games to Saturday. Parkview and Waynesville are postponed to Saturday at 3 p.m. at JFK Stadium in Springfield, while Fair Grove and Springfield Catholic will now play Saturday at 7 p.m.

    Fair Grove High School coaching staff watches clouds on the horizon before a scheduled game between Springfield Catholic High School and Fair Grove High School at Springfield Catholic High School in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 9, 2016. The game was postponed due to severe weather in the area.

    Fair Grove High School coaching staff watches clouds on the horizon before a scheduled game between Springfield Catholic High School and Fair Grove High School at Springfield Catholic High School in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 9, 2016. The game was postponed due to severe weather in the area.

    Catholic coach Steve Hancock and Fair Grove coach Bill Voorhis sat through a one-hour lightning delay followed by 10 minutes of discussion on what to do between the two coaching staffs.

    “Neither one of us wanted to get started and then have to stop in the middle of the ballgame,” Hancock said. “It looked like it was going to be 9 o’clock before we got started, and they just said there is another front coming through at 10.”

    Hancock said attempting to complete the game on Friday night with lightning in the area and more storms on the way would be a risk he wasn’t willing to take.

    “I’ve been through this before. I’ve been through it where you get started and then you play 30 minutes, then you’d be down 30 minutes, and then you end up having to go home after that,” Hancock said.

    Voorhis agreed with Hancock.

    “We felt like it was the best decision to get the game done in its entirety of time, to make sure (Saturday),” Voorhis said. “It seemed like the best decision at the time.”

    Voorhis said delays in the middle of play can impact the outcome of the game, which he didn’t want to happen.

    “You want to make sure the kids decide the game, not outside circumstances like weather,” Voorhis said.

    Springfield Catholic quarterback Tyson Riley (8) warms up prior to the scheduled game between Springfield Catholic High School and Fair Grove High School at Springfield Catholic High School in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 9, 2016. The game was postponed due to severe weather in the area.

    Springfield Catholic quarterback Tyson Riley (8) warms up prior to the scheduled game between Springfield Catholic High School and Fair Grove High School at Springfield Catholic High School in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 9, 2016. The game was postponed due to severe weather in the area.

    Fair Grove (3-0) and Catholic (2-1) are the Springfield News-Leader Game of the Week presented by Murney Associates, Realtors.

    Missouri State High School Activities Association rules for all outdoor sports state that if any official spots lightning, athletes must clear the playing area and play may not resume until at least 30 minutes after lightning was last spotted.

    “There’s not much you can do,” Hancock said.

    Thunderstorms also caused delays for Camdenton at Kickapoo Carthage at Central, Buffalo at Marshfield, Nixa at Republic, East Newton at Aurora, Marionville at Ash Grove, Houston at Cabool and Reeds Spring at Rogersville. Other games saw their kickoffs moved back.

    Fair Grove’s players spent their hour of delay time in the locker room with a stereo blaring. Voorhis said this was to keep up a pregame atmosphere.

    “I think we’ve got a pretty mentally tough team, a lot of seniors, so I wasn’t worried about our kids not being focused, but it can be tough, especially for some of those young kids having to get geared up and having to wait,” Voorhis said.


    tmp1473476933888.jpgtdunhamusatodaySpringfield Catholic players jog during warm ups prior to the game between Springfield Catholic High School and Fair Grove High School at Springfield Catholic High School in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 9, 2016. The game was postponed due to severe weather in the area.The Sun sets in between storm clouds to the West of a scheduled game between Springfield Catholic High School and Fair Grove High School at Springfield Catholic High School in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 9, 2016. The game was postponed due to severe weather in the area.Fair Grove fans wait in the stands during a weather delay of a game between Springfield Catholic High School and Fair Grove High School at Springfield Catholic High School in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 9, 2016. The game was postponed due to severe weather in the area.Fair Grove High School coaching staff watches clouds on the horizon before a scheduled game between Springfield Catholic High School and Fair Grove High School at Springfield Catholic High School in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 9, 2016. The game was postponed due to severe weather in the area.Springfield Catholic quarterback Tyson Riley (8) warms up prior to the scheduled game between Springfield Catholic High School and Fair Grove High School at Springfield Catholic High School in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 9, 2016. The game was postponed due to severe weather in the area.tmp1473476933888.jpgtdunhamusatodaySpringfield Catholic players jog during warm ups prior to the game between Springfield Catholic High School and Fair Grove High School at Springfield Catholic High School in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 9, 2016. The game was postponed due to severe weather in the area.The Sun sets in between storm clouds to the West of a scheduled game between Springfield Catholic High School and Fair Grove High School at Springfield Catholic High School in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 9, 2016. The game was postponed due to severe weather in the area.Fair Grove fans wait in the stands during a weather delay of a game between Springfield Catholic High School and Fair Grove High School at Springfield Catholic High School in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 9, 2016. The game was postponed due to severe weather in the area.Fair Grove High School coaching staff watches clouds on the horizon before a scheduled game between Springfield Catholic High School and Fair Grove High School at Springfield Catholic High School in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 9, 2016. The game was postponed due to severe weather in the area.Springfield Catholic quarterback Tyson Riley (8) warms up prior to the scheduled game between Springfield Catholic High School and Fair Grove High School at Springfield Catholic High School in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 9, 2016. The game was postponed due to severe weather in the area.

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    Week 4 high school football scoreboard

    tmp1473457385451.jpgtdunhamusatodayNews-Leader Game of the Week brought to you by Murney Associates, Realtorstmp1473457385451.jpgtdunhamusatodayNews-Leader Game of the Week brought to you by Murney Associates, Realtors

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    Fair Grove quarterback Jayden Kensinger threw one pass from scrimmage Saturday night, but he certainly made it matter.

    Fair Grove (4-0) football players debrief with their coaches moments after squeaking past Springfield Catholic 21-20 on Saturday, Sept. 10 at Swisshelm Field.

    Fair Grove (4-0) football players debrief with their coaches moments after squeaking past Springfield Catholic 21-20 on Saturday, Sept. 10 at Swisshelm Field.

    Kensinger’s lone attempt was a 46-yard touchdown pass to Isaac Mauldin that proved to be the game winner in a 21-20 Eagles win at Springfield Catholic. Fair Grove, the No. 8-ranked Class 2 team in Missouri, improved to 4-0 with the win.

    Kensinger came on as a substitute for senior starter Brayden Lumley to throw one pass. The junior described his thought as the ball left his hand and sailed down the right sideline with just more than two minutes to play.

    “’Go get it, Isaac,’” Kensinger said to himself. “I’ve been playing with that kid since Mighty Mites. I knew if I threw it out there, (Mauldin) would adjust to it and go get it, and that’s what he did.”

    News-Leader Game of the Week brought to you by Murney Associates, Realtors

    News-Leader Game of the Week brought to you by Murney Associates, Realtors

    Lumley went 6-of-7 passing for 45 yards, but Fair Grove coach Bill Voorhis decided to turn to a secret weapon of sorts.

    “Jayden throws the deep ball well all the time in practice, and Brayden had been throwing the ball well this game too,” Voorhis said. “We had that play in our back pocket for about four months now. It’s the first time we’ve ran it all year.”

    The Springfield News-Leader Game of the Week presented by Murney Associates, Realtors was delayed 24 hours due to thunderstorms in Springfield on Friday night. For those in attendance, it proved worth waiting for.

    Kensinger also completed a pass on a two-point conversion when Fair Grove faked trying an extra point kick. He found Joshua Thompson open and appeared poised in doing so.

    “Being a backup is hard. You’ve got to go out, you’ve got to play Monday on JV, and you’ve got to come back and play scout team on Tuesday,” Kensinger said. “You’ve just got to be ready no matter what. When your time comes, you’ve got to step up and do your job for what they need you for.”

    Mauldin also did his part.

    “Isaac is the fastest kid in our conference, so if anybody is going to run it down, it’s going to be that guy,” Voorhis said.

    Catholic (2-2) took a 20-15 lead just three plays before Kensinger’s bomb to Mauldin sealed the win. The Fightin’ Irish went on a five-play, 50-yard drive that ended on an eight-yard touchdown run by quarterback Tyson Riley. The sophomore rushed 21 times for 79 yards and two touchdowns. The Irish got 100 yards on 20 carries from fullback Ramilo Avila.

    Coach Steve Hancock said the loss was hard to stomach for an improving Catholic team.

    “Our kids really believe in themselves. They went into the ballgame thinking and knowing that they had an opportunity to win, and so when you get so close and don’t get it done, it’s heartbreaking,” Hancock said.

    Catholic’s defense held back a Fair Grove offense that had been putting up an average of 58 points per game going into the fourth game of the season.

    “We hadn’t really hadn’t faced much adversity this year,” Fair Grove senior running back Dalton Cloyd said. “We got a little frustrated, but we handled it pretty well, I thought. We didn’t ever stop.”

    Cloyd was limited to 74 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries, and 60 of those yards were on one play. Cloyd also returned the game’s opening kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown and had an interception on defense.

    “Dalton is a special player. We are blessed. Dalton has worked and earned and become this guy,” Voorhis said. “He has made himself into the player that he is.”

    Both Game of the Week teams go on the road for their next games Friday, Sept. 16 at 7 p.m.

    Catholic visits Bolivar (1-3), which picked up its first win of the season Friday at Hollister. Hancock expects his team to dust off the loss.

    “I’m very proud of our kids, the way they battle. I think our kids are physical, I think they play the game the right way,” Hancock said.

    Fair Grove goes to Stockton (2-2), recent winners over Strafford 20-12. The Eagles aim to keep their momentum going.

    “That’s just us going forward to our goals. That’s where we want to be, that’s where we’re going to keep heading. Just keep winning one game at a time,” Cloyd said.

    Fair Grove 21, Springfield Catholic 20

    At Swisshelm Field, Catholic

    Fair Grove 7-0-8-6—21

    Catholic 0-6-8-6—20

    First quarter

    Fair Grove—Dalton Cloyd 94-yard kickoff return (Anthony Guynn kick)

    Second quarter

    Catholic—Ryan Miller 24-yard field goal

    Catholic—Miller 20-yard field goal

    Third quarter

    Catholic—Tyson Riley 6-yard run (Riley run)

    Fair Grove—Dalton Cloyd 3-yard run (Joshua Thompson pass from Jayden Kensinger)

    Fourth quarter

    Catholic—Tyson Riley 8-yard run (run failed)

    Fair Grove—Isaac Mauldin 46-yard pass from Kensinger (pass failed)


    tmp1473564908556.jpgtdunhamusatodayFair Grove (4-0) football players debrief with their coaches moments after squeaking past Springfield Catholic 21-20 on Saturday, Sept. 10 at Swisshelm Field.News-Leader Game of the Week brought to you by Murney Associates, Realtorstmp1473564908556.jpgtdunhamusatodayFair Grove (4-0) football players debrief with their coaches moments after squeaking past Springfield Catholic 21-20 on Saturday, Sept. 10 at Swisshelm Field.News-Leader Game of the Week brought to you by Murney Associates, Realtors

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    If you want any chance of sitting in the grandstand, you’d better plan to come early.

    News-Leader Game of the Week brought to you by Murney Associates, Realtors

    News-Leader Game of the Week brought to you by Murney Associates, Realtors

    Undefeated Kickapoo and undefeated Glendale play out the next chapter of a football rivalry that started in 1971 Thursday night at Glendale’s Lowe Stadium. The “Southside Showdown” as it is nicknamed was a no-brainer to be named Springfield News-Leader Game of the Week presented by Murney Associates, Realtors.

    Both teams are 4-0, both hold state rankings in their classes, and both should want nothing more than to hang a defeat on their south Springfield rival.

    As he began preparing his team to take on the Falcons, Kickapoo coach Kurt Thompson did his best to stress to his players that adequate preparation is more important than the hype surrounding a rivalry game.

    “I know our kids are excited about it, but they better be excited every time. Our season is halfway over after Thursday night’s game,” Thompson said.

    Kickapoo quarterback Chris Lawson enters the game with a 69.4 percent completion percentage, 698 passing yards and 10 touchdown passes in four games. Senior wide receiver Robbie Merced has 16 receptions for 218 yards and four touchdowns.

    Kickapoo’s statistics are impressive, but they aren’t quite the video game-like numbers produced from a Glendale offense that scores an average of 52.5 points per game and has put up 532.5 passing yards per game.

    “We know they are very well coached. We know their schemes create problems for us,” Thompson said.

    Junior quarterback Alex Huston completed 132 of his 190 passing attempts for 2,091 yards, 25 touchdowns and three interceptions. Senior Luke Montgomery owns nine of those touchdowns with 646 receiving yards.

    Glendale High School quarterback Alex Houston (7) gets ready to throw the ball during second quarter action of the Falcons game against West Plains High School at Lowe Stadium in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 2, 2016.

    Glendale High School quarterback Alex Houston (7) gets ready to throw the ball during second quarter action of the Falcons game against West Plains High School at Lowe Stadium in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 2, 2016.

    Even with that much firepower, coach Mike Mauk isn’t taking the Kickapoo defense lightly.

    “You look at (Kickapoo’s) defense, they have very good athletes. You don’t see any weakness. They have big, strong linemen, linebackers that run like defensive backs, and very athletic corners in their secondary,” Mauk said.

    Kickapoo went 9-0 in the Ozark Conference last season.

    “I thought they were very good last year, I think they’re even better this year,” Mauk said of Kickapoo.

    Kickapoo holds an advantage of 25-22 in the all-time history of the Southside Showdown. The rivalry began when Kickapoo High School opened in 1971, drawing over more than 80 percent of its early population from Glendale.

    News-Leader Game of the Week

    Presented by Murney Associates, Realtors

    Kickapoo (4-0) at Glendale (4-0)

    Thursday, Sept. 15, 7 p.m.

    Lowe Stadium, Glendale High School


    tmp1473886559072.jpgtdunhamusatodayNews-Leader Game of the Week brought to you by Murney Associates, RealtorsGlendale High School quarterback Alex Houston (7) gets ready to throw the ball during second quarter action of the Falcons game against West Plains High School at Lowe Stadium in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 2, 2016.tmp1473886559072.jpgtdunhamusatodayNews-Leader Game of the Week brought to you by Murney Associates, RealtorsGlendale High School quarterback Alex Houston (7) gets ready to throw the ball during second quarter action of the Falcons game against West Plains High School at Lowe Stadium in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 2, 2016.

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    Kickapoo received a first place vote in the latest round of state high school football rankings.

    Fair Grove fans wait in the stands during a weather delay of a game between Springfield Catholic High School and Fair Grove High School at Springfield Catholic High School in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 9, 2016. The game was postponed due to severe weather in the area.

    Fair Grove fans wait in the stands during a weather delay of a game between Springfield Catholic High School and Fair Grove High School at Springfield Catholic High School in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 9, 2016. The game was postponed due to severe weather in the area.

    The Chiefs remain No. 4 in the Missouri Media Rankings for Class 6 for another week, but one of the 14 reporters polled chose the Chiefs (4-0) as No. 1.

    Kickapoo plays at Glendale (4-0) Thursday at 7 p.m. in the News-Leader Game of the Week presented by Murney Associates, Realtors. The Falcons were selected as the No. 7 team in Class 5 for a second consecutive week.

    Unbeaten Nixa is the No. 5 team in Class 5 behind Chaminade, Battle, Staley and Liberty.

    A loss to Class 2 No. 1 Lamar did little damage to Monett’s standing in the Class 3 poll, but the Cubs do slide down one position to No. 5.

    Sticking with the theme of staying put, the Class 2 votes placed Mountain Grove at No. 4 and Fair Grove at No. 8. Fair Grove got a scare Saturday night at Springfield Catholic, but the Eagles prevailed with a 21-20 win in the News-Leader Game of the Week to improve to 4-0.

    Missouri Media Rankings after Week 4

    The Missouri Media Rankings are decided by the polling of 14 sports reporters from across Missouri. First-place votes are in parenthesis.

    CLASS 6

    Rank, team, Rec., Pts., LW

    1. CBC (11), 3-1, 137, 1

    2. Blue Springs (2), 3-1, 127, 2

    3. Kirkwood, 3-1, 98, 5 3

    4. Kickapoo (1), 4-0, 95, 4 

    5. Rockhurst, 4-0, 71, T7 

    6. Jefferson City, 3-1, 68, 3

    7. Hazelwood Central, 4-0, 64, 6   

    8. Eureka, 4-0, 41, T7

    9. SLUH, 3-1, 33, 9

    10. Lee’s Summit, 3-1, 17, NR

    Dropped out: No. 10 Raymore-Peculiar

    Also receiving votes:  Raymore-Peculiar (3-1), 16; Park Hill (2-2), 2; Blue Springs South (2-2), 1  

    CLASS 5

    Rank, team, Rec., Pts., LW

    1. Chaminade (12), 3-1, 136, 1

    2. Battle (2), 4-0, 124, 3

    3. Staley, 3-1, 110, 2

    4. Liberty, 4-0, 97, 5

    5. Nixa, 4-0, 85, 5   

    6. Fort Zumwalt North, 3-1, 67, 6

    7. Glendale, 4-0, 62, 7

    8. Liberty North, 2-2, 38, 8

    T9. Park Hill South, 3-1, 19, NR  

    T9. Timberland, 4-0, 19, NR

    Dropped out: No. 9 Jackson, No. 10 Vianney

    Also receiving votes:  Vianney (1-3), 8; Pattonville (1-3), 3; Jackson (3-1), 2

    CLASS 4

    Rank, team, Rec., Pts., LW

    1. Kearney (14), 4-0, 140, 1 

    2. Parkway North, 4-0, 115, 3

    3. Platte County, 3-1, 110, 6

    4. Carl Junction, 3-1, 100, 4

    5. St. Dominic, 4-0, 77, 5

    6. Harrisonville, 3-1, 64, 2 

    7. Hannibal, 3-1, 56, 7 

    8. Webb City, 2-2, 49, 8

    9. Ladue, 3-1, 32, 9

    10. Hillsboro, 4-0, 14, NR

    Dropped out: No. 10 Raytown South

    Also receiving votes: Raytown South (2-2), 7; St. Joseph Lafayette (4-0), 6 

    CLASS 3

    Rank, team, Rec., Pts., LW

    1. Maryville (12), 4-0, 138, 1

    2. Blair Oaks (2), 4-0, 126, 2

    3. John Burroughs, 3-1, 111, 3 

    4. Center, 4-0, 90, 5 

    5. Monett, 3-1, 80, 4

    6. McCluer South-Berkley, 4-0, 70, 6

    7. Park Hills Central, 4-0, 52, 8

    8. Richmond, 4-0, 46, 9

    9. Mexico, 2-2, 26, 7

    10. Osage, 4-0, 22, 10

    Also receiving votes: Odessa (3-1), 5; Southern Boone (4-0), 4   

    CLASS 2

    Rank, team, Rec., Pts., LW

    1. Lamar (14), 4-0, 140, 1

    2. Mt. View-Liberty, 4-0, 123, 2

    3. Centralia, 4-0, 114, 3

    4. Mountain Grove, 4-0, 94, 4

    5. Trinity, 4-0, 78, 6

    6. Malden, 4-0, 70, 7

    7. Lutheran North, 3-1, 48, 5

    8. Fair Grove, 4-0, 43, 8

    9. Macon, 4-0, 29, 10

    10. Lawson, 3-1, 15, NR

    Dropped out: No. 9 Brookfield

    Also receiving votes:  South Callaway (4-0), 10; Brookfield (2-2), 6

    CLASS 1

    Rank, team, Rec., Pts., LW

    1. Valle Catholic (14), 4-0, 140, 1

    2. Marceline, 4-0, 123, 2

    3. Hamilton-Penney, 4-0, 114, 3

    4. Lincoln, 4-0, 98, 4

    5. Lockwood, 4-0, 82, 5

    6. Polo, 4-0, 67, 6 

    7. Hayti, 4-0, 48, 8

    8. Cass-Midway, 4-0, 47, 7

    9. Westran, 4-0, 33, 9

    10. East Buchanan, 3-1, 17, 10

    Also receiving votes:  Monroe City (3-1), 1 


    tmp1473886467545.jpgtdunhamusatodayFair Grove fans wait in the stands during a weather delay of a game between Springfield Catholic High School and Fair Grove High School at Springfield Catholic High School in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 9, 2016. The game was postponed due to severe weather in the area.tmp1473886467545.jpgtdunhamusatodayFair Grove fans wait in the stands during a weather delay of a game between Springfield Catholic High School and Fair Grove High School at Springfield Catholic High School in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 9, 2016. The game was postponed due to severe weather in the area.

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    American Family Insurance ALL-USA Ozarks Performers of the Week

    American Family Insurance ALL-USA Ozarks Performers of the Week

    Here are the high school varsity American Family Insurance ALL-USA Ozarks Performers of the Week for the week of Sept. 5-10.

    The football team defense from Springfield Catholic High School was named an American Family Insurance ALL-USA Ozarks Performer of the Week for Sept. 5-10, 2016.

    The football team defense from Springfield Catholic High School was named an American Family Insurance ALL-USA Ozarks Performer of the Week for Sept. 5-10, 2016.

    Samantha Hall

    Hurley volleyball

    Hurley’s defensive machine had 29 digs in a three-set win over Sparta. The Tigers’ libero also had 30 digs in a 32-30, 25-11 win over Crane. Hall has consistently put up big numbers all season for a Hurley team that plays in Class 1 District 7.

    Charlotte Waddelow

    Bolivar softball

    Waddelow hit four singles and a double in Bolivar’s absolutely wild 17-16 marathon win over Buffalo on Sept. 6. The two teams combined for 31 hits with a total of eight players logging multi-hit games. Bolivar trailed by as many as six runs at one point but pulled off a comeback win.

    Bella Drennan

    Republic volleyball

    Drennan set for 22 assists on Thursday night in a 25-19, 25-14 win over Marshfield. Republic improved to 8-3 on the season and hopes to repeat as Class 4 District 12 champions, but that won’t be easy with the likes of Carl Junction, Carthage and Webb City in the field.

    Birdie Hendrickson

    Rogersville volleyball

    Hendrickson contributed on the attack and on defense as Rogersville’s volleyball team continues rolling. Hendrickson had 11 digs and 11 kills in a 25-14, 25-16 win over Branson that boosted the Wildcats to an overall mark of 10-2 on the season.

    Fightin’ Irish defense

    Springfield Catholic football

    Catholic recorded 11 tackles for loss, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in a 21-20 loss to Fair Grove on Saturday night. What’s more impressive is that the Irish defense limited a Fair Grove offense that had been posting 52.5 points per game to just 14 points from scrimmage.

    Varsity sports coaches, would you like to nominate one of your players to be an American Family Insurance ALL-USA Ozarks Performer of the Week? Email your nomination to News-Leader high school sports reporter Rance Burger (rburger@news-leader.com) by 5 p.m. each Monday.


    tmp1473886376283.jpgtdunhamusatodayAmerican Family Insurance ALL-USA Ozarks Performers of the WeekThe football team defense from Springfield Catholic High School was named an American Family Insurance ALL-USA Ozarks Performer of the Week for Sept. 5-10, 2016.tmp1473886376283.jpgtdunhamusatodayAmerican Family Insurance ALL-USA Ozarks Performers of the WeekThe football team defense from Springfield Catholic High School was named an American Family Insurance ALL-USA Ozarks Performer of the Week for Sept. 5-10, 2016.

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    Kickapoo’s leading rusher has a call sign.

    tmp1473886335794.jpgtdunhamusatodayGame of the WeekKickapoo senior running back Maverick McGee has scored 22 touchdowns in his varsity football career.News-Leader Game of the Week brought to you by Murney Associates, RealtorsKickapoo running back Maverick McGee has 11 rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown through the first four games of 2016.tmp1473886335794.jpgtdunhamusatodayGame of the WeekKickapoo senior running back Maverick McGee has scored 22 touchdowns in his varsity football career.News-Leader Game of the Week brought to you by Murney Associates, RealtorsKickapoo running back Maverick McGee has 11 rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown through the first four games of 2016.

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    At the midway point of the 2016 high school football season, some teams are beginning to distance themselves from their competition in the district standings.

    Kickapoo High School linebacker Travis Vokolek (2) and safety Cole McCarville (22) celebrate after the Chiefs defense forced a turnover during a 2016 game against Parkview. The Chiefs are 4-0 and hold the top spot in Class 6 District 4.

    Kickapoo High School linebacker Travis Vokolek (2) and safety Cole McCarville (22) celebrate after the Chiefs defense forced a turnover during a 2016 game against Parkview. The Chiefs are 4-0 and hold the top spot in Class 6 District 4.

    Teams are assigned a point total based on a Missouri State High School Activities Association formula that factors wins and losses, strength of schedule and point differentials. The point system and standings are used to seed district playoffs at the conclusion of the ninth week of the season. In Class 5 districts with six teams, the teams with No. 1 and No. 2 seeds receive opening-round byes in the playoffs.

    Class 6 District 4

    1. Kickapoo 4-0, 48

    2. Rockhurst 4-0, 45

    3. Raymore-Peculiar 3-1, 38.33

    4. Lee’s Summit 3-1, 36.67

    5. Lee’s Summit West 2-2, 33

    6. Joplin 2-2, 31.67

    7. Park Hill 2-2, 29.33

    8. Lee’s Summit North 0-4, 12.42

    Class 5 District 4

    1. Glendale 4-0, 52.17

    2. Ozark 3-1, 39.92

    3. Lebanon 3-1, 37.17

    4. Central 0-4, 16.17

    5. Branson 0-4, 15

    6. Waynesville 0-4, 10.33

    Class 5 District 5

    1. Nixa 4-0, 42.67

    2. Carthage 3-1, 37.33

    3. Neosho 3-1, 34.75

    4. Parkview 2-2, 31.08

    5. Willard 1-3, 24.08

    6. Republic 1-3, 21.25

    Class 4 District 5

    1. Carl Junction 3-1, 50.67

    2. Camdenton 2-2, 38.42

    3. Webb City 2-2, 37.5

    4. Hillcrest 2-2, 35.92

    5. Bolivar 1-3, 29.08

    6. Marshfield 2-2, 26.33

    7. West Plains 1-3, 25.17

    8. McDonald County 0-4, 14

    Class 3 District 3

    1. Osage 4-0, 46.5

    2. Owensville 4-0, 44.92

    3. Springfield Catholic 2-2, 36.33

    4. Rogersville 2-2, 34.5

    5. Buffalo 2-2, 32.33

    6. St. James 2-2, 30.83

    7. Sullivan 0-4, 26.42

    8. Eldon 1-3, 25.83

    Class 3 District 4

    1. Reeds Spring 3-1, 42

    2. Cassville 3-1, 41

    3. Monett 3-1, 40.67

    4. Seneca 2-2, 32.67

    5. Mt. Vernon 2-2, 30.17

    6. Hollister 2-2, 29.25

    7. Aurora 1-3, 23.5

    8. East Newton 0-4, 12

    Class 2 District 3

    1. Mountain View-Liberty 4-0, 54.7

    2. Mountain Grove 4-0, 51.33

    3. Diamond 3-1, 41.69

    4. Ava 2-2, 39.58

    5. Willow Springs 3-1, 35.17

    6. Houston 1-3, 26

    7. Strafford 1-3, 25.75

    8. Cuba 0-4, 19.5

    Class 2 District 4

    1. Lamar 4-0, 58.83

    2. Fair Grove 4-0, 50

    3. Cole Camp 3-1, 37.42

    4. Versailles 2-2, 33.58

    5. Stockton 2-2, 28.92

    6. California 1-3, 26.58

    7. Warsaw 0-4, 17.83

    8. El Dorado Springs 0-4, 17

    Class 1 District 2

    1. Ash Grove 4-0, 51.58

    2. Thayer 1-2, 43.5

    3. Pierce City 2-1, 37.77

    4. Sarcoxie 3-1, 37.64

    5. Cabool 0-4, 29.42

    6. Marionville 1-3, 28.17

    7. Pleasant Hope 0-4, 24.5

    8. Miller 1-3, 22.67

    Class 1 District 3

    1. Cass-Midway 4-0, 44.33

    2. Lockwood 4-0, 42.61

    3. Drexel 3-1, 33.5

    4. Adrian 2-2, 32

    5. Archie 0-4, 24.42

    6. Liberal 1-3, 24.17

    7. Jasper 1-3, 23.95

    8. Rich Hill 0-4, 18.67

    Class 1 District 4

    1. Lincoln 4-0, 43.91

    2. Crest Ridge 4-0, 43

    3. Skyline 2-2, 39.17

    4. Tipton 1-3, 31.5

    5. Appleton City 2-2, 27.92

    6. Windsor 1-3, 18.42

    7. Lone Jack 0-4, 15.33

    8. Osceola 0-4, 14.5

    Week 5 schedule

    Thursday, Sept. 15

    Kickapoo at Glendale

    Friday, Sept. 16

    Reeds Spring at Central

    Parkview at Camdenton

    Lebanon at Hillcrest

    Ozark at Republic

    Neosho at Nixa

    Carthage at Willard

    Branson at Carl Junction

    Springfield Catholic at Bolivar

    Rogersville at Marshfield

    Fair Grove at Stockton

    Strafford at Pleasant Hope

    Ash Grove at Butler

    Lighthouse Christian at Jasper

    Buffalo at Hollister

    Ava at Salem

    Lincoln at Marionville

    Miller at Pierce City

    Rolla at Waynesville

    West Plains at Joplin

    McDonald County at Mt. Vernon

    Monett at Aurora

    Diamond at Lockwood

    Skyline at Summit Christian Academy

    Mountain Grove at Cabool

    St. James at Cassville

    Mountain View-Liberty at Willow Springs

    Seneca at East Newton

    Southeast (Cherokee, Kansas) at Sarcoxie

    Thayer at Houston

    Nevada at Smith-Cotton

    Slater at El Dorado Springs

    8-man

    Marmaton Valley (Moran, Kansas) at Greenfield


    tmp1473886300086.jpgtdunhamusatodayKickapoo High School linebacker Travis Vokolek (2) and safety Cole McCarville (22) celebrate after the Chiefs defense forced a turnover during a 2016 game against Parkview. The Chiefs are 4-0 and hold the top spot in Class 6 District 4.tmp1473886300086.jpgtdunhamusatodayKickapoo High School linebacker Travis Vokolek (2) and safety Cole McCarville (22) celebrate after the Chiefs defense forced a turnover during a 2016 game against Parkview. The Chiefs are 4-0 and hold the top spot in Class 6 District 4.

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    The Glendale Falcons are on the way to renaming their school “Wide Receiver High.”

    Glendale wide receiver Von Oeser (8) catches a touchdown pass between two Hillcrest defenders during the first quarter of a game at Lowe Stadium.

    Glendale wide receiver Von Oeser (8) catches a touchdown pass between two Hillcrest defenders during the first quarter of a game at Lowe Stadium.

    OK, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s no secret that wide receiver is one of the most coveted positions on a Glendale team in its third season of running a five-wide receiver, hurry up offense where receptions, yards and touchdowns are so bountiful it’s as if they came from a cornucopia of football statistics.

    Glendale hosts rival Kickapoo (4-0) Thursday in the News-Leader Game of the Week presented by Murney Associates, Realtors. Both teams are unbeaten and ranked in the state polls, but senior wide receiver Von Oeser is doing his best to keep a cool head.

    “There’s always going to be hype, but I just try to ignore it and play my best game like I do every week,” Oeser said.

    News-Leader Game of the Week brought to you by Murney Associates, Realtors

    News-Leader Game of the Week brought to you by Murney Associates, Realtors

    CBS Sports picked Glendale vs. Kickapoo as one of its MaxPreps Top 10 Games of the Week.

    “The hype makes for an exciting game, fun to play,” senior wideout Jeremy Almeida said. “The amount of people and knowing how big this game is gets me excited.”

    Oeser remembers when coach Mike Mauk first arrived at Glendale and explained his offensive, pass-heavy philosophy to the players.

    “I had started out as a quarterback, so immediately my thoughts were, ‘I’m going to love this offense,’” Oeser said.

    However, Oeser was a sophomore playing behind senior quarterback Alex Austin. The coaching staff moved Oeser to defense to play in the secondary. His offensive days weren’t done.

    “The next year I ended up at receiver and I just fell in love with it,” Oeser said. “It wasn’t hard at all, it’s a very simple scheme and process. Just run your route as hard as you can and catch the ball, that’s all you’ve got to do.”

    Oeser leads the Falcons in receptions with 32 and joins 2015 all-state award winner Luke Montgomery and Almeida in a trio of seniors who lead Glendale’s receiving corps in yardage and touchdowns.

    Game of the Week: Southside Showdown is a clash of unbeatens

    Montgomery leads the team with 646 yards and six touchdowns on 28 receptions. As a junior, Montgomery set single-season state records for receptions (123) and receiving touchdowns (27). Almeida is next with 17 receptions for 317 yards and four touchdowns.

    “I can’t even explain how fun it is when you catch the ball and run; that’s all I want to do,” Almeida said. “In middle school all we did was run the ball. When I found out we could throw, it was bread and butter. I’m a receiver, that’s all I wanted.”

    Glendale went 2-8 in 2014, the first season with the offense, and put up 4,129 passing yards. Junior quarterback Alex Huston arrived in 2015 and passed for 5,608 yards, and Glendale’s win total jumped to five.

    This season, Huston has 2,091 passing yards. Glendale is 4-0 and holds the No. 7 Class 5 ranking in the state. According to the website MaxPreps.com, Huston leads the nation in passing yards. The senior trio of wide receivers are more experienced in the concepts of the Glendale offense, and with more confidence in their scheme, Glendale’s scoring average climbed from 2015’s average of 48.72 to a four-game average of 52.5.

    Glendale High School quarterback Alex Huston (7) gets ready to throw in the Falcons' game against West Plains on Sept. 2.

    Glendale High School quarterback Alex Huston (7) gets ready to throw in the Falcons’ game against West Plains on Sept. 2.

    Oeser noted the improvement in Glendale’s crop of wide receivers.

    “It’s off the charts. We’ve all grown so much as players individually, and just as a team, our camaraderie and our team bonding has really improved a lot,” Oeser said.

    Some of the success, Mauk said, comes from the receivers working consistently on their coordination with Huston.

    “They’re always working on that chemistry and trying to make sure they understand what the other one is doing. I think that when you work at something as hard as they work it, then you continue to get better at it,” Mauk said.

    Due to the pedal-to-the-metal pace of Glendale’s offense, receivers are taught to read defenses on the fly.

    “All of our routes are based on what the defense does, so we’re continually recognizing — or at least trying to recognize — where (defenders) are at and what they’re doing,” Mauk said. “You don’t try to do too much, you just try to be good at what you do.”

    Glendale wide receiver Corbin Lukes catches a touchdown pass from quarterback Alex Huston (not pictured) against West Plains at Lowe Stadium in Springfield.

    Glendale wide receiver Corbin Lukes catches a touchdown pass from quarterback Alex Huston (not pictured) against West Plains at Lowe Stadium in Springfield.


    tmp1473893475219.jpgtdunhamusatodayGlendale wide receiver Von Oeser (8) catches a touchdown pass between two Hillcrest defenders during the first quarter of a game at Lowe Stadium.News-Leader Game of the Week brought to you by Murney Associates, RealtorsGlendale High School quarterback Alex Huston (7) gets ready to throw in the Falcons' game against West Plains on Sept. 2.Glendale wide receiver Corbin Lukes catches a touchdown pass from quarterback Alex Huston (not pictured) against West Plains at Lowe Stadium in Springfield.tmp1473893475219.jpgtdunhamusatodayGlendale wide receiver Von Oeser (8) catches a touchdown pass between two Hillcrest defenders during the first quarter of a game at Lowe Stadium.News-Leader Game of the Week brought to you by Murney Associates, RealtorsGlendale High School quarterback Alex Huston (7) gets ready to throw in the Falcons' game against West Plains on Sept. 2.Glendale wide receiver Corbin Lukes catches a touchdown pass from quarterback Alex Huston (not pictured) against West Plains at Lowe Stadium in Springfield.

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    Ozark junior running back Curt Gracey leads the 3-1 Tigers into Republic for a game Friday night.

    Ozark junior running back Curt Gracey leads the 3-1 Tigers into Republic for a game Friday night.

    We found a new way to look at the Friday night slate of high school football games, and it emphasizes the word “school.”

    Each Friday Sept. 16, 2016 game is plotted by taking the home's team MSHSAA point total along the horizonal axis and matching it with the visiting team's point total on the vertical axis.

    Each Friday Sept. 16, 2016 game is plotted by taking the home’s team MSHSAA point total along the horizonal axis and matching it with the visiting team’s point total on the vertical axis.

    The Missouri State High School Activities Association uses a point system to determine how teams are seeded for the district playoffs. The formula to assign each team’s score factors in wins and losses, strength of schedule (how many wins and losses each team’s opponents have), and point differential across all games played (capped at +/-13).

    Hooray for football and algebra coming together.

    We used a scatter plot to compare every Friday matchup on one interactive chart:

    So how do I read this thing?

    Each game is plotted by taking the home team’s MSHSAA point total along the horizontal axis and matching it with the visiting team’s point total on the vertical axis. Each dot on the graphic represents a game, and you can find your favorite team by hovering your cursor over the dots. Mobile users, tapping the graph will take you to an interactive version of the graph.

    First, take a look at the dotted line that runs through the chart. The line is used to illustrate how closely two teams match up in terms of their point total through four games. The closer a game is to the line, the closer the two team’s point totals are. If a game is plotted far away from the line, that means one team holds a lopsided advantage over its opponent in the point standings at this time.

    Second, check the upper right corner of the map. The closer two teams are to the upper right corner, the higher their cumulative point total will be. For example, Ash Grove (4-0) and Butler (4-0) combined for this week’s highest point total of 103.75 points, which is why their game is plotted closer to the upper right corner of the chart than any other game.

    Remember all that hype for the Thursday night game between Kickapoo and Glendale? The chart says it was justifiable, as the game has the second-highest cumulative point total of the week with 100.17 points, and it plots near the upper right corner. There you have it, mathematical reasoning behind why we made it the News-Leader Game of the Week presented by Murney Associates, Realtors.

    With a little help from the chart, we picked five Friday night games we are excited for:

    Ash Grove (4-0) at Butler (4-0)

    Fans of the unbeaten Ash Grove Pirates may not be excited about spending at least an hour and 45 minutes to get to Butler, but they should be rewarded with an exciting game upon arrival. The Pirates will try to be the first team to test a Butler Bears squad that has outscored opponents by an average of 34 points per game. Ash Grove will need big nights from linebacker Josh Pipkin, safety Parker Soper and the rest of the defense to prevail.

    Buffalo (2-2) at Hollister (2-2)

    Remember the 45-degree line? This game between Buffalo and Hollister falls right on it, which means there’s a lot of unpredictability to this matchup. Hollister started the season 2-0 and then took losses to Rogersville and Bolivar. Buffalo went 2-1 but suffered a narrow 18-13 defeat last week at Marshfield. Buffalo runs a spread that features quarterback Kyle Cooley, steady possession catches from Austin Starkey, the big play potential of Cody Gilette and Gage “spell check’s worst nightmare” Obernuefemann at running back.

    Lebanon (3-1) at Hillcrest (2-2)

    Hillcrest pulled off a 42-28 upset at West Plains that stunned the Zizzers and the Hornets equally, or at least that’s the way Hillcrest coach John Beckham told the story Monday at the Springfield Quarterback Club luncheon.

    “After the game when we were shaking the hands of the West Plains players, they had this look of shock on their faces like, ‘how did we lose to these guys?’” Beckham recounted. “When I got all of our kids huddled up I looked at them, they were just as surprised.”

    Lebanon comes off a loss to Glendale and will be without leading rusher John Berry for a second week due to a knee injury.

    Diamond (3-1) at Lockwood (4-0)

    Lockwood is unbeaten and putting up 44.25 points per game from its I-formation offense led by lightning quick running back Kyle Bouldin and the powerful fullback Ethan Bates running behind an offensive line anchored by the 5-foot-10, 260-pound guard Skylar Neill. Diamond’s games have not been for the faint of heart. Three have been decided by 10 points or less.

    Ozark (3-1) at Republic (1-3)

    Admittedly, we put down the chart for a second and picked up some non-mathematic human intervention. Republic looks to snap a three-game losing streak having lost three consecutive games to state-ranked teams in Carl Junction, Webb City and Nixa. Ozark is 3-1 with quality wins over Carthage, Carl Junction and Branson.

    Fans of the ground game will want to catch this one. Ozark runs the flexbone offense, while Republic runs a traditional single wing offense. This will be an old fashioned exchange that comes down to blocking, tackling and a few well-timed cutbacks.

    High school football schedule for Friday, Sept. 16

    Reeds Spring at Central

    Parkview at Camdenton

    Lebanon at Hillcrest

    Ozark at Republic

    Neosho at Nixa

    Carthage at Willard

    Branson at Carl Junction

    Springfield Catholic at Bolivar

    Rogersville at Marshfield

    Fair Grove at Stockton

    Strafford at Pleasant Hope

    Ash Grove at Butler

    Lighthouse Christian at Jasper

    Buffalo at Hollister

    Ava at Salem

    Lincoln at Marionville

    Miller at Pierce City

    Rolla at Waynesville

    West Plains at Joplin

    McDonald County at Mt. Vernon

    Monett at Aurora

    Diamond at Lockwood

    Skyline at Summit Christian Academy

    Mountain Grove at Cabool

    St. James at Cassville

    Mountain View-Liberty at Willow Springs

    Seneca at East Newton

    Southeast (Cherokee, Kansas) at Sarcoxie

    Thayer at Houston

    Nevada at Smith-Cotton

    Slater at El Dorado Springs

    8-man

    Marmaton Valley (Moran, Kansas) at Greenfield


    tmp1473974346037.jpgtdunhamusatodayOzark junior running back Curt Gracey leads the 3-1 Tigers into Republic for a game Friday night.Each Friday Sept. 16, 2016 game is plotted by taking the home's team MSHSAA point total along the horizonal axis and matching it with the visiting team's point total on the vertical axis.tmp1473974346037.jpgtdunhamusatodayOzark junior running back Curt Gracey leads the 3-1 Tigers into Republic for a game Friday night.Each Friday Sept. 16, 2016 game is plotted by taking the home's team MSHSAA point total along the horizonal axis and matching it with the visiting team's point total on the vertical axis.

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    Glendale’s flying Falcon air show is still unbeaten.

    tmp1473998838115.jpgtdunhamusatodayGlendale's Jeremy Almeida looks to get by Kickapoo's Adrian Davis at Glendale on September 15, 2016.tmp1473998838115.jpgtdunhamusatodayGlendale's Jeremy Almeida looks to get by Kickapoo's Adrian Davis at Glendale on September 15, 2016.

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    Lebanon served up the blueprint for how to respond to a loss.

    tmp1474084025576.jpgtdunhamusatodaytmp1474084025576.jpgtdunhamusatoday

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    High school football scores for Friday, Sept. 16

    tmp1474063865374.jpgtdunhamusatodayPrep Sports sponsored by Murney Associatestmp1474063865374.jpgtdunhamusatodayPrep Sports sponsored by Murney Associates

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    Here are the high school varsity American Family Insurance ALL-USA Ozarks Performers of the Week for the week of Sept. 12-17:

    Glendale junior quarterback Alex Huston (7) threw five touchdown passes in the Falcons' 40-20 win over rival Kickapoo Thursday.

    Glendale junior quarterback Alex Huston (7) threw five touchdown passes in the Falcons’ 40-20 win over rival Kickapoo Thursday.

    Katie Hamilton

    Republic golf

    The 2015 state qualifier got around Greene Hills Country Club with a four-over par 74 to win the Willard Ladies Invitational on Sept. 15. Hamilton’s round of 74 was enough to win the individual standings by five strokes over runner-up Wriley Heibert of Glendale. Republic also won the team title with counted scores from Hamilton, Alexus Mitchell, Rylea Smith and Holly Casagrand for a cumulative score of 356.

    Jacob McCrackin

    West Plains cross country

    The Missouri Southern Stampede in Joplin serves as an excellent barometer for high school cross country runners who aspire to run in the state championship race. McCrackin was electric, blazing through five kilometers in 15:16.40 to finish first out of 372 competitors. He defeated the race runner-up by 4.4 seconds.

    Nathan Painter

    Bolivar cross country

    Painter defended his home turf with a first place finish at the Bolivar Invitational on the campus of Southwest Baptist University. What’s more, he crossed the finish line more than 21 seconds ahead of an impressive top four that included returning state qualifiers Shane Burns of Strafford, Dustin Shoemaker of Humansville and Easton Sabala of Hermitage. Painter’s time of 16:46.57 bodes well for the remainder of his senior season.

    Alex Huston

    Glendale football

    Huston connected on 47-of-70 passing attempts for 581 yards and five touchdowns in a 40-20 win over Kickapoo on Sept. 15. The Falcons improve to 5-0 and are the only unbeaten team remaining in the 10-team Ozark Conference. Three of the six receivers Huston completed passes to had more than 10 receptions and more than 100 yards in the game.

    Jaime Villegas

    Central soccer

    Central improved to 10-2 on the season and won its pool in Parkview’s Viking Showdown with victories over Liberty and Northland Christian. Villegas scored the game-winning goal in a 3-1 win over Liberty on Saturday. He followed that up with an avalanche of five goals in Central’s 10-0 dismantling of Northland Christian.

    Varsity sports coaches, would you like to nominate one of your players to be an American Family Insurance ALL-USA Ozarks Performer of the Week? Email your nomination to News-Leader high school sports reporter Rance Burger (rburger@news-leader.com) by 5 p.m. each Monday.

    American Family Insurance ALL-USA Ozarks Performers of the Week

    American Family Insurance ALL-USA Ozarks Performers of the Week


    tmp1474326426387.jpgtdunhamusatodayGlendale junior quarterback Alex Huston (7) threw five touchdown passes in the Falcons' 40-20 win over rival Kickapoo Thursday.American Family Insurance ALL-USA Ozarks Performers of the Weektmp1474326426387.jpgtdunhamusatodayGlendale junior quarterback Alex Huston (7) threw five touchdown passes in the Falcons' 40-20 win over rival Kickapoo Thursday.American Family Insurance ALL-USA Ozarks Performers of the Week

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    The last unbeaten team in the Central Ozarks Conference Large Division will have to overcome a traditional powerhouse in order to stay atop the standings.

    News-Leader Game of the Week brought to you by Murney Associates, Realtors

    News-Leader Game of the Week brought to you by Murney Associates, Realtors

    Nixa (5-0) hosts Webb City (3-2) Friday at 7 p.m. in the News-Leader Game of the Week presented by Murney Associates, Realtors.

    Webb City won an eighth straight Central Ozark Conference title in 2015 with a 7-0 record against COC Large opponents. Since entering the COC in 2008 Webb City had not lost a single conference game, until this year when Carl Junction and Carthage picked up home wins over Webb City to start the season.

    Nixa squeaked out a 31-28 win against Neosho to improve to 5-0 on Friday night. Eagles quarterback Andrew Rivera led a game-winning drive in the final three minutes to secure a comeback win.

    Nixa (5-0) hosts Webb City (3-2) Friday, Sept. 24 in the News-Leader Game of the Week.

    Nixa (5-0) hosts Webb City (3-2) Friday, Sept. 24 in the News-Leader Game of the Week.

    In order to beat Webb City, Nixa’s defense will have to bog up a Webb City offense very similar to that of the Eagles’ own. Both teams rely on the split-back veer to sustain drives, control the game clock and keep the opposing offense off the field.

    In the five games of 2016, Webb City rushed for an average of 259 yards per game with seniors Cameron Baker (81 carries, 495 yards and six touchdowns) and Hunter Vanlue (69 carries, 444 yards and three touchdowns) leading the ground game.

    The Cardinals have won 16 straight outright conference championships dating back to 2000 and the defunct Southwest Conference and have won 87 straight conference games dating back to 1999.

    From 2010 to 2014, Webb City won five consecutive Class 4 football state championships. The Cardinals reached the 2015 title game last November but fell 17-14 to Kearney at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.

    Springfield News-Leader Game of the Week

    Presented by Murney Associates, Realtors

    Webb City (3-2) at Nixa (5-0)

    Friday, Sept. 23, 7 p.m.

    Eagle Stadium,  514 South Nicholas Road, Nixa


    tmp1474327867876.jpgtdunhamusatodayNews-Leader Game of the Week brought to you by Murney Associates, RealtorsNixa (5-0) hosts Webb City (3-2) Friday, Sept. 24 in the News-Leader Game of the Week.tmp1474327867876.jpgtdunhamusatodayNews-Leader Game of the Week brought to you by Murney Associates, RealtorsNixa (5-0) hosts Webb City (3-2) Friday, Sept. 24 in the News-Leader Game of the Week.

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    High school football rankings after Week 5

    tmp1474348506017.jpgtdunhamusatodayLinebacker Kyle Doran (right) and the Glendale Falcons are now the No. 5-ranked Class 5 football team in Missouri after beating Kickapoo 40-20 and improving to 5-0.tmp1474348506017.jpgtdunhamusatodayLinebacker Kyle Doran (right) and the Glendale Falcons are now the No. 5-ranked Class 5 football team in Missouri after beating Kickapoo 40-20 and improving to 5-0.

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    Nixa has never beaten Webb City at football.

    tmp1474463225385.jpgtdunhamusatodayNixa senior Nicos Oropeza (32) rushed for 130 yards on 30 carries in a 2015 game against Webb City.News-Leader Game of the Week brought to you by Murney Associates, RealtorsFSU’s Logan Tyler punts the ball during a game against Ole Miss at Camping World Stadium on Monday, Sept. 5, 2016.tmp1474463225385.jpgtdunhamusatodayNixa senior Nicos Oropeza (32) rushed for 130 yards on 30 carries in a 2015 game against Webb City.News-Leader Game of the Week brought to you by Murney Associates, RealtorsFSU’s Logan Tyler punts the ball during a game against Ole Miss at Camping World Stadium on Monday, Sept. 5, 2016.

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    Week 6 of the high school football season offers up several exciting games and intriguing matchups, and the algebraic formulas back this claim.

    A scatter plot compares high school football games according to each team's district standings and state point total.

    A scatter plot compares high school football games according to each team’s district standings and state point total.

    For the second week in a row, we’re turning to data comparisons to evaluate the week’s slate of high school football games in the Ozarks.

    The Missouri State High School Activities Association uses a point system to determine how football teams are seeded for the district playoffs. The formula to assign each team’s score factors in wins and losses, strength of schedule (how many wins and losses each team’s opponents have), and point differential across all games played (capped at +/-13).

    Football and algebra have collided like a blitzing linebacker and a fullback at the goal line on fourth-and-1, forming a new and insightful way to examine each game. Using these point totals from MSHSAA, we developed a scatter plot to compare every Friday matchup on one interactive chart:


    So how do I read this thing?

    Games are plotted by taking the home team’s MSHSAA point total along the horizontal axis and matching it with the visiting team’s point total on the vertical axis. Each dot on the graphic represents a game, and you can find your favorite team by hovering your cursor over the dots or by tapping the screen on your mobile phone or tablet to pull up a mobile-friendly, interactive version of the graph.

    First, take a look at the dotted line that runs through the chart. The line is used to illustrate how closely two teams match up in terms of their point total through the first five weeks of the season. The closer a game falls in relation to the line, the closer the two teams’ point totals are for a given game.

    Two teams with high point totals and close comparisons will be plotted closer to the upper right corner of the graph.

    With the data in mind, here are five games we are keeping an eye on this week:

    Mountain Grove (5-0, 49.5
    ) at Mountain View-Liberty (5-0, 53.79
    )

    Running back Trystan Short and quarterback Carter Otwell are both rushing for more than 100 yards per game for Mountain Grove, which the Panthers will need against a Liberty defense that allows just 10.6 points per game. The Eagles will answer with an offense led by all-state dual-threat quarterback Josh Pruett, who passed for 2,543 yards, rushed for 1,015 yards and accounted for a total of 50 touchdowns last season.

    Cassville (4-1, 41.86) at Monett (4-1, 41.59
    )

    The “Barry County Brawl” has all the makings of a classic this season. Losses to Big 8 Conference powerhouse Lamar dot both teams’ otherwise perfect records. Burl Fowler Stadium should be jam-packed with people securing their seats early for a clash of two teams with potent ground games and the ability to sustain drives. The running back battle between Michael Branch of Monett and River Phelps of Cassville will be something to track as the game progresses. Both have shown themselves capable of handling heavy workloads.

    Webb City (3-2, 40.16
    ) at Nixa (5-0, 42.4
    )

    It is, after all, the Springfield News-Leader Game of the Week presented by Murney Associates, Realtors. Nixa puts its undefeated record on the line against the proverbial state championship contenders from Webb City. The Cardinals suffered a pair of regular season Central Ozark Conference defeats for the first time since joining the league in 2008. Nixa has never beaten Webb City in 14 attempts. Eagle Stadium could very well turn into a madhouse should the home team break the streak with a win.

    Can Nixa halt their 0-14 drought against Webb City?

    Hollister (3-2, 33.75
    ) at Reeds Spring (4-1, 46.95
    )

    In a battle of teams that installed AstroTurf for the first time this season, Reeds Spring hosts the Hollister Tigers on the revamped Carl Langley Field at Wolves Stadium. Korey Robinette leads a Wolves rushing attack from the flexbone formation that can give defenses trouble with equal parts power and sleight of hand. Hollister quarterback Jackson Bekemeier passed for 205 yards and two touchdowns to Derek Morris. Bekemeier is already closing in on his passing yardage totals from last season with four regular season games remaining.

    Bolivar (2-3, 33.7
    ) at Rogersville (3-2, 38.1
    )

    Bolivar’s Lane Loomer rushed for 260 yards against Springfield Catholic to bring his yardage total to 800 in five games. Liberators quarterback Connor Sechler needs 68 passing yards to become the program’s all-time leader. He already holds the Bolivar record for career touchdown passes with 52 and counting. Rogersville will try to stop Loomer with a defense led by linebacker Jaylin Gutierrez, who is also the Wildcats’ leading rusher.


    Week 6 high school football schedule

    All games at 7 p.m.

    Thursday, Sept. 22

    Hillcrest at Kickapoo

    Glendale at Parkview

    Friday, Sept. 23

    Central at Nevada

    Springfield Catholic at Buffalo

    Willard at Ozark

    Republic at Neosho

    Webb City at Nixa

    Bolivar at Rogersville

    Hollister at Reeds Spring

    Marshfield at Branson

    Strafford at Fair Grove

    Marionville at Pleasant Hope

    Carl Junction at Carthage

    Mt. Vernon at East Newton

    Aurora at Seneca

    Houston at Ava

    Sarcoxie at Diamond

    Mountain Grove at Mountain View-Liberty

    Lamar at McDonald County

    Liberal at Miller

    Cassville at Monett

    Lockwood at Pierce City

    Camdenton at Rolla

    West Plains at Lebanon

    Joplin at Waynesville

    Ash Grove at Skyline

    Jasper at Stockton

    Cabool at Thayer

    Salem at Willow Springs

    Lighthouse Christian at Tulsa NOAH

    District standings and point totals through five games:

    Class 6 District 4

    1. Rockhurst 5-0, 45.9

    2. Kickapoo 4-1, 42.3

    3. Raymore-Peculiar 4-1, 40.85

    4. Lee’s Summit 4-1, 39.04

    5. Lee’s Summit West 3-2, 37.67

    6. Joplin 3-2, 34.1

    7. Park Hill 3-2, 34.07

    8. Lee’s Summit North 1-4, 18.6

    Class 5 District 4

    1. Glendale 5-0, 54

    2. Lebanon 4-1, 40

    3. Ozark 3-2, 35.5

    4. Central 0-5, 16.5

    5. Branson 0-5, 14.4

    6. Waynesville 0-5, 9.5

    Class 5 District 5

    1. Nixa 5-0, 42.4

    2. Carthage 4-1, 38.4

    3. Neosho 3-2, 32.7

    4. Parkview 2-3, 27.6

    5. Republic 2-3, 25.85

    6. Willard 1-4 22.9

    Class 4 District 5

    1. Carl Junction 4-1, 50.8

    2. Camdenton 3-2, 41.5

    3. Webb City 3-2, 40.16

    4. Hillcrest 2-3, 33.8

    5. Bolivar 2-3, 33.7

    7. West Plains 1-4, 26.7

    6. Marshfield 2-3, 24.9

    8. McDonald County 0-5, 13.1

    Class 3 District 3

    1. Osage 5-0, 47.3
    2. Owensville 5-0, 44.59

    3. Rogersville 3-2, 38.1

    4. Springfield Catholic 2-3, 33.55

    5. Sullivan 1-4, 31.9

    6. Buffalo 2-3, 28.1

    7. St. James 2-3, 27.99

    8. Eldon 3-3, 27.9

    Class 3 District 4

    1. Reeds Spring 4-1, 46.95

    2. Cassville 4-1, 41.86

    3. Monett 4-1, 41.59

    4. Mt. Vernon 3-2, 34.4

    5. Hollister 3-2, 33.75

    6. Seneca 2-3, 27.7

    7. Aurora 1-4, 22.09

    8. East Newton 1-4, 19.46

    Class 2 District 3

    1. Mountain View-Liberty 5-0, 53.79

    2. Mountain Grove 5-0, 49.5

    3. Diamond 4-1, 44.28

    4. Ava 3-2, 43.6

    5. Willow Springs 3-3, 31.2

    6. Strafford 3-3, 28.7

    7. Houston 1-4, 22.41

    8. Cuba 0-4, 18.8

    Class 2 District 4

    1. Lamar 4-0, 59.25

    2. Fair Grove 5-0, 48.6

    3. Cole Camp 4-1, 38.78

    4. Versailles 3-2, 35.3

    5. Stockton 2-3, 27.2

    6. California 1-4, 27.2

    8. El Dorado Springs 1-4, 22.7

    7. Warsaw 0-5, 17

    Class 1 District 2

    1. Ash Grove 5-0, 52.7

    2. Thayer 2-2, 45.4

    3. Pierce City 3-1, 39.5

    4. Sarcoxie 4-1, 38.74

    5. Cabool 0-5, 29.1

    6. Marionville 1-4, 26.1

    7. Pleasant Hope 0-5, 23.5

    8. Miller 1-4, 20.41

    Class 1 District 3

    1. Cass-Midway 5-0, 45.5

    2. Lockwood 4-1, 39.72

    3. Adrian 3-2, 31.3

    4. Drexel 3-2, 31.1

    5. Rich Hill 1-4, 23.7

    6. Archie 0-5, 23

    7. Jasper 1-4, 21.99

    8. Liberal 1-4, 20.69

    Class 1 District 4

    1. Lincoln 5-0, 44.67

    2. Crest Ridge 4-1, 37.5

    3. Skyline 2-3, 35.9

    4. Tipton 2-3, 34.3

    5. Appleton City 3-2, 31.6

    6. Windsor 1-4, 17.8

    7. Lone Jack 0-5, 17.5

    8. Osceola 0-5, 13


    tmp1474500905041.jpgtdunhamusatodayA scatter plot compares high school football games according to each team's district standings and state point total.tmp1474500905041.jpgtdunhamusatodayA scatter plot compares high school football games according to each team's district standings and state point total.

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    Glendale High School wide receiver Hunter Alstrand (35) is stopped short of the goal line while attempting a two-point conversion during second quarter action of the football game between Glendale High School and Parkview High School at JFK Stadium in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 22, 2016.

    Glendale High School wide receiver Hunter Alstrand (35) is stopped short of the goal line while attempting a two-point conversion during second quarter action of the football game between Glendale High School and Parkview High School at JFK Stadium in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 22, 2016.

    Glendale High School linebacker Ian Marshall (9) and other Falcons defenders celebrate after the Glendale defense forced and recovered a fumble during second quarter action of the football game between Glendale High School and Parkview High School at JFK Stadium in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 22, 2016.

    Glendale High School linebacker Ian Marshall (9) and other Falcons defenders celebrate after the Glendale defense forced and recovered a fumble during second quarter action of the football game between Glendale High School and Parkview High School at JFK Stadium in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 22, 2016.

    Glendale High School wide receiver Max Nichols (13) catches a long pass from quarterback Alex Houston (not pictured) for a touchdown during second quarter action of the football game between Glendale High School and Parkview High School at JFK Stadium in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 22, 2016.

    Glendale High School wide receiver Max Nichols (13) catches a long pass from quarterback Alex Houston (not pictured) for a touchdown during second quarter action of the football game between Glendale High School and Parkview High School at JFK Stadium in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 22, 2016.

    Glendale High School quarterback Alex Houston (7) warms up prior to the start of the football game between Glendale High School and Parkview High School at JFK Stadium in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 22, 2016.

    Glendale High School quarterback Alex Houston (7) warms up prior to the start of the football game between Glendale High School and Parkview High School at JFK Stadium in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 22, 2016.

    Glendale High School wide receiver Jeremy Almeida (88) is slammed to the ground short of the goal line by a Viking defender during first quarter action of the football game between Glendale High School and Parkview High School at JFK Stadium in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 22, 2016.

    Glendale High School wide receiver Jeremy Almeida (88) is slammed to the ground short of the goal line by a Viking defender during first quarter action of the football game between Glendale High School and Parkview High School at JFK Stadium in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 22, 2016.

    Glendale quarterback Alex Huston’s first half couldn’t have gone much better.

    Huston went 21-of-29 passing for 401 yards and six touchdown passes in the first half of the Falcons’ 55-28 win over Parkview Thursday night at JFK Stadium. The junior’s effort gave No. 5-ranked Glendale the early boost it needed to remain undefeated at 6-0.

    Huston’s passing totals for the season jump to 200-of-289 attempts for 3,073 yards, 36 touchdowns and just five interceptions. Huston took a sack from Parkview’s Scottie Davis in the third quarter and did not return. Coach Mike Mauk replaced Huston with senior Von Oeser.

    “We just wanted to give Von a little bit of work in a key game, in a situation to see what he could do,” Mauk said. “Just out of precaution, we wanted to get (Huston) off and give Von some work at quarterback.”

    Luke Montgomery had six receptions for 180 yards and three touchdowns. His fellow senior Jeremy Almeida caught six passes for 115 yards and two first-half touchdowns. Almeida hauled down a 30-yard pass on fourth-and-14 on Glendale’s first drive that Mauk felt was a key play in the game.

    “It was really important. Scoring on fourth down-and-long was pretty significant in the outcome of the game, I thought,” Mauk said. “We were able to make some plays that kept us ahead, but (Parkview’s) kids played really hard the whole game.”

    Glendale held a 30-0 lead when Parkview scored its first points on a 25-yard touchdown run from Blake Delacruz.

    Fumbles proved costly for the Vikings, who fumbled the ball to Glendale four times. Winning the turnover battle 4-1 was key, Mauk said. Glendale couldn’t do much to stop Parkview in a 56-44 Vikings win a year ago.

    “They’ve got a very difficult offense to defend and we did a little better job this year than we did last year, but I don’t think we stopped them. I thought we slowed them down enough to win the game,” Mauk said.

    Delacruz managed to finish the game with 163 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries.

    “(Delacruz) had a great game. What I like about him is he faced some adversity with some fumbles, and it made him more determined. He ran with determination almost every time he touched the ball,” Parkview coach Anthony Hays said.

    Glendale High School wide receiver Jeremy Almeida (88) runs past Viking defensive back Warren Atkins (9) to score a touchdown during first quarter action of the football game between Glendale High School and Parkview High School at JFK Stadium in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 22, 2016.

    Glendale High School wide receiver Jeremy Almeida (88) runs past Viking defensive back Warren Atkins (9) to score a touchdown during first quarter action of the football game between Glendale High School and Parkview High School at JFK Stadium in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 22, 2016.

    Hays agreed with Mauk’s assessment of the turnovers.

    “We wanted to control the clock and control the time of possession, but we got behind too early with turnovers,” Hays said. “We’re a pretty darn good football team when we don’t turn the ball over. We do a lot of positive things, and when we turn it over, we lose.”

    Huston passed for 631 yards earlier this season in a 48-28 win at Lebanon, which is believed to be a single-game state record for 11-man football. As a sophomore, Huston completed 65.7 percent of the 664 passes he threw for 5,608 yards and 69 touchdowns.

    Montgomery now leads Glendale in receiving with 979 yards on 47 receptions with 10 touchdowns.

    Huston should be able to return to the lineup when Glendale returns home and returns to Friday night football Sept. 30 with a game against Rolla (1-4) at Lowe Stadium. Parkview (2-4) plays one more Thursday night game Sept. 29 at Hillcrest (2-4), which will be homecoming for the Hornets.

    With the victory, Glendale takes sole possession of the lead in the Ozark Conference standings and in Class 5 District 4 with three regular season games remaining.

    Glendale 55, Parkview 28

    At JFK Stadium, Parkview

    Glendale 22-20-6-7—55

    Parkview 0-16-6-6—28

    First quarter
    Glendale—Jeremy Almeida 2-yard pass from Alex Huston (Huston run)

    Glendale—Luke Montgomery 65-yard pass from Huston (Max Nichols pass from Huston)

    Glendale—Almeida 52-yard pass from Huston (pass failed)

    Second quarter

    Glendale—Nichols 37-yards pass from Huston (Almeida pass from Huston)

    Parkview—Blake Delacruz 25-yard run (Delacruz run)

    Glendale—Montgomery 57-yard pass from Huston (pass failed)

    Parkview—Delacruz 58-yard run (Aerion Hawkins run)

    Glendale—Nader Leali 20-yard pass from Huston (pass failed)

    Third quarter

    Glendale—Luke Montgomery 29-yard pass from Von Oeser (pass failed)

    Parkview—Mario Sanchez 1-yard run (run failed)

    Fourth quarter

    Glendale—Oeser 1-yard run (Alex Locke kick)

    Parkview—Gage Clark 16-yard pass from Trevor Boice (no attempt)


    tmp1474604106204.jpgtdunhamusatodayGlendale High School wide receiver Hunter Alstrand (35) is stopped short of the goal line while attempting a two-point conversion during second quarter action of the football game between Glendale High School and Parkview High School at JFK Stadium in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 22, 2016.Glendale High School linebacker Ian Marshall (9) and other Falcons defenders celebrate after the Glendale defense forced and recovered a fumble during second quarter action of the football game between Glendale High School and Parkview High School at JFK Stadium in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 22, 2016.Glendale High School wide receiver Max Nichols (13) catches a long pass from quarterback Alex Houston (not pictured) for a touchdown during second quarter action of the football game between Glendale High School and Parkview High School at JFK Stadium in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 22, 2016.Glendale High School quarterback Alex Houston (7) warms up prior to the start of the football game between Glendale High School and Parkview High School at JFK Stadium in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 22, 2016.Glendale High School wide receiver Jeremy Almeida (88) is slammed to the ground short of the goal line by a Viking defender during first quarter action of the football game between Glendale High School and Parkview High School at JFK Stadium in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 22, 2016.Glendale High School wide receiver Jeremy Almeida (88) runs past Viking defensive back Warren Atkins (9) to score a touchdown during first quarter action of the football game between Glendale High School and Parkview High School at JFK Stadium in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 22, 2016.tmp1474604106204.jpgtdunhamusatodayGlendale High School wide receiver Hunter Alstrand (35) is stopped short of the goal line while attempting a two-point conversion during second quarter action of the football game between Glendale High School and Parkview High School at JFK Stadium in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 22, 2016.Glendale High School linebacker Ian Marshall (9) and other Falcons defenders celebrate after the Glendale defense forced and recovered a fumble during second quarter action of the football game between Glendale High School and Parkview High School at JFK Stadium in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 22, 2016.Glendale High School wide receiver Max Nichols (13) catches a long pass from quarterback Alex Houston (not pictured) for a touchdown during second quarter action of the football game between Glendale High School and Parkview High School at JFK Stadium in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 22, 2016.Glendale High School quarterback Alex Houston (7) warms up prior to the start of the football game between Glendale High School and Parkview High School at JFK Stadium in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 22, 2016.Glendale High School wide receiver Jeremy Almeida (88) is slammed to the ground short of the goal line by a Viking defender during first quarter action of the football game between Glendale High School and Parkview High School at JFK Stadium in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 22, 2016.Glendale High School wide receiver Jeremy Almeida (88) runs past Viking defensive back Warren Atkins (9) to score a touchdown during first quarter action of the football game between Glendale High School and Parkview High School at JFK Stadium in Springfield, Mo. on Sept. 22, 2016.

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    Week 6 high school football schedule and scores

    tmp1474678745198.jpgtdunhamusatodayPrep Sports sponsored by Murney AssociatesNews-Leader Game of the Week brought to you by Murney Associates, Realtorstmp1474678745198.jpgtdunhamusatodayPrep Sports sponsored by Murney AssociatesNews-Leader Game of the Week brought to you by Murney Associates, Realtors

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