- #4 Northwest (4-5) at #1 Greenfield (9-0)
- After Greenfield traveled north to defeat Northwest earlier this year 88-20, this didn't figure to be much of a game. Apparently Northwest agreed so they have forfeited. There may be a perfectly good reason for this, but it smacks of them not wanting to make the 2 & 1/2 hour drive just to repeat their earlier result. And Greenfield has to sit out for a 2nd straight week.
- #4 Sarcoxie (6-3) at #1 Ash Grove (7-3)
- The Bears can score some points as evidenced by them breaking 40 3 times this year, but they can also be shut down as they average 27.5 points per game. And while they did beat Diamond on the road, they are 1-2 otherwise with their only other win coming over Miller. Ash Grove has had their offensive struggles, but their defense is solid. And I think they are benefiting from playing a good schedule now.
- Prediction: I see this one being close all the way, but I think the Pirates take it.
- #3 Pierce City (5-3) at #2 Thayer (5-5)
- I think everyone can now see that Pierce City is pretty good. Their 3 losses are to teams that are still playing. And they seem to be at their peak right now. But they face a 3 hour bus ride to play in hostile territory. Thayer got a needed shot in the arm last week breaking a 3 game losing streak, but they're always dangerous. This is a true toss up.
- Prediction: The win over Sarcoxie has the Eagles believing. This is a tall order but I think they pull it off.
- #4 Drexel (7-3) at #1 Cass-Midway (9-1)
- When these two met earlier this year it was an offense fest with the Vikings winning 48-37. It was neck & neck until a pair of second half turnovers gave Midway the lead they wouldn't give up. Drexel showed some good adjustments last week from their earlier game with Archie. If they make the same progress against Midway and keep the turnovers down, they should win.
- Prediction: Logically, I think Drexel should be the pick. But I'm going with my gut & taking Midway.
- #3 Adrian (6-4) at #2 Lockwood (7-2)
- Which Lockwood team is going to show up? The one who's won 7 games, or the one who got beat by Jasper and dominated by Diamond? Adrian has been very good defensively against strong running attacks, but have been gouged by teams that can present a good multi-faceted attack (Fair Grove & Appleton City).
- Prediction: Lockwood should put up a solid defensive effort and present enough of a passing threat to take this one.
- #4 Appleton City (8-2) at #1 Lincoln (10-0)
- The Bulldogs have had a great season. And the Billy Prater/Tyler Foley QB/RB combination is a great one. But we still haven't seen the full extent of the Lincoln assault. And I honestly don't think we'll get to here.
- Prediction: Lincoln moves on.
- #3 Crest Ridge (8-2) at #2 Skyline (7-3)
- The Tigers took their lumps early but man is it paying off now. A 5 game winning streak that includes quality wins over Ash Grove and El Dorado Springs. The El Do game is the one that is telling for me. They probably weren't expecting the game to be as tough as it was, but they didn't fold. They sucked it up & won. Now they get Crest Ridge who has a nice 8-2 record, but none of the teams they've beat are still alive, and they averaged less than 4 wins apiece.
- Prediction: Skyline should move on.
- #4 Diamond (8-2) at #1 Mt. View-Liberty (10-0)
- The easy way to look at this is that the Eagles will roll. But Diamond has weapons with Tristan Shepard, Carter Prewitt, and Hunter Renfro. And they have good speed which you need to beat Mt. View. And while the Eagles have played some close games in the semis in the past, their record against lower seeds is perfect. In fact, going back to 2008, you can't find a district game in which they were the clear favorite that they lost.
- Prediction: Liberty is the clear favorite. They'll win.
- #3 Ava (8-2) at #2 Mountain Grove (9-1)
- Their first meeting back in week 3 produced a 26-0 shutout win for the Panthers. And that was before Mountain Grove started playing angry like they have been lately. But if history has taught us anything, it's that you should never overlook the Bears. They have more upset wins in the last decade than any SCA team. If the Panthers are looking forward to a rematch with Liberty, they could go down.
- Prediction: I wouldn't be shocked by an Ava win, but I think Mountain Grove gets it done.
- #4 Stockton (6-4) at #1 Lamar (9-0)
- Stockton has had a solid season, but they only average 25.8 points per game even with scoring 74 against Pleasant Hope. Lamar may average more than that in the first quarter this year.
- Prediction: Lamar easily moves on.
- #6 El Dorado Springs (4-6) at #2 Fair Grove (10-0)
- What a difference a few weeks can make. 3 weeks ago, El Do had 1 win on the field and had lost a tough game to East Newton. since then they've racked up 2 high quality wins and nearly knocked off one of the areas hottest teams in Skyline. And while Fair Grove has been smoothly rolling along, this game has a big red flashing neon sign that says TRAP GAME on it. The Eagles have nearly been ambushed twice this year by Catholic and Strafford. And with a possible matchup with Lamar looming next week, their eyes may not be where they need to be.
- Prediction: Ignoring my gut on this one. I think Fair Grove survives.
- #4 Mt. Vernon (6-4) at #1 Reeds Spring (8-2)
- These two had a great game in week 1 with the Mt. Vernon air assault just falling short of the Wolves huge night on the ground. Since then, the Mountaineers have found a rushing game that has made them an even tougher team to deal with. Will it be enough to get past the Wolves?
- Prediction: I think so. I like Mt. Vernon to win the rematch.
- #3 Cassville (8-2) at #2 Monett (9-1)
- Another rematch and you don't need me to rehash everything on this matchup. Monett rallied for a 4th quarter win in a great game. The Cubs do seem to be vulnerable to rushing attacks but only Lamar has taken them down.
- Prediction: This smells a lot like 2008 when the Wildcats won the 2nd meeting between the 2 after a close miss in the first game. But I think Monett knows that & it pushes them to the win.
- #6 Rolla (2-8) at #2 Union (7-3)
- Here's 4 reasons why Rolla could win. 1. Union is 7-3, but lost to St. James and barely got past Sullivan and St. Clair at home. 2. Rolla's schedule is worlds better than Union's this year. 3. The Bulldogs are on a roll and momentum counts in the playoffs. 4. Every year statewide at least 1 #6 seed has made a district championship game & Rolla fits the profile.
- Prediction: I think the Bulldogs are going to the 'ship.
- #5 Bolivar (6-4) at #1 Carl Junction (8-2)
- The Liberators already had a nice turnaround season going before waylaying Hillcrest last week. Brandon Emmert has had a great season but reminded everyone that he can be the big factor in a game last week. But Carl Junction's defense has been solid and their offense is on fire with Rayquion Weston leading the way.
- Prediction: The Bulldogs march keeps going.
- #6 West Plains (5-5) at #2 Webb City (7-3)
- If every the Zizzers were going to beat the Cardinals this year. A key turnover here or there could turn the tide. And they will most likely need them because the Cardinal defense is still strong. The Cardinals have to keep take care of the ball. It's really that simple for them with a West Plains defense that allows over 34 points per game. If they do that, they win.
- Prediction: I just don't think the Zizzers can score enough or stop Webb City enough to win.
- #5 Nevada (3-7) at #1 Harrisonville (7-3)
- This isn't the all-powerful Harrisonville we all know, but they're still pretty darn good. And they allow less that 15 points per game even with Platte County hanging 49 on them. So the Tigers will have to find some points in order to win, and they have scored just 150 points all year with 54 of them coming against Central.
- Prediction: Harrisonville eliminates Nevada.
- #4 Branson (3-7) at #1 Glendale (9-0)
- Nice late season push for Branson and head coach Dan Henderson (Get to feeling better soon Coach!). But nothing they have faced comes even close to what they're about to see tonight. The only question is how will the week off affect the Falcons?
- Prediction: Glendale advances to the title game.
- #3 Lebanon (7-3) at #2 Ozark (7-2)
- The tendency is to focus on Ozark's defense trying to take away Lebanon's running attack. But the bigger question is the turnover battle. Lebanon has a solid defense that will be dialed in for Ozark. I think the Tigers have to force some turnovers to put enough points on the board. Lebanon does a good job taking care of the rock, but may go to the air more tonight giving Ozark's D backs chances to make a difference.
- Prediction: The Yellowjackets could come up with a game-changing twist, but I think Ozark makes the plays they need to.
- #4 Willard (4-6) at #1 Carthage (8-1)
- Willard has to have a ton of confidence coming in riding a 3 game winning streak and giving up just 21 points in those 3 games. But those wins have come against teams that have won 7 games total. Keith Guest and company are proving that last year was no fluke for Carthage and that they may be the best bet from the area to go far in the playoffs. The key will be if Willard gets off to a hot start. They need to jump all over the Blue Tigers to have a chance.
- Prediction: Willard hangs for a while, but Carthage takes over.
- #3 Neosho (6-4) at #2 Nixa (5-4)
- The Eagles haven't won since beating Neosho on September 16th and have averaged only 14.5 points per game since then. But Neosho is only 3-2 since then with 2 of those wins coming over Republic and the other over Rogersville. They have to avoid the turnover bug and get their play makers some space if they want to get to the title game. Nixa wants to grind out a win by wearing down Neosho & keeping the Wildcats offense on the sidelines.
- Prediction: Neosho gets the breaks and advances.
- #4 Rockhurst (7-2) at #1 Kickapoo (9-1)
- Take away the Glendale game, and Kickapoo is giving up just 12.2 points per game and scoring 46.1. Rockhurst doesn't sound quite as impressive scoring 20.6 and giving up 10.8, but they held powerful CBC to just 10 points. That's 18 points better than anyone else has done, so they can shutdown any team. Can the Kickapoo defense contain the Hawklets enough for Chris Lawson and the defense to get it done?
- Prediction: I've gone back and forth on this one, But I think the Chiefs will be just good enough.