What now for the Falcons?
Blair Oaks 34 Versailles 14
The Blair Oaks football season changed Friday night with about seven minutes to play in the first quarter. What looked like a routine tackle on a routine play in a routine rout for Blair Oaks turned into a season changing injury for quarterback Nolan Hair. It looks like an ankle injury will keep the junior trigger man out for a while, almost certainly through next week's game against Eldon. How much longer? Who knows. But I would be in favor of a full recovery for Hair. The Falcons will need Hair healthy if they are going to make a run in the post season. The conference season? Doesn't mean much with the exception of positioning for district play. But with Hair at 100 percent, there's no one in this district with a chance to beat Blair Oaks...no matter where the game is played. The Falcons and Hair were in such a groove Friday night that there would have been a running clock in the second half without a doubt. It was a horrible mismatch. I say wait until Nolan is 100 percent healthy...able to run as fast as he ran on that 57 yard keeper...and see what Stockman and the rest of the kiddie corps can do until then. Will Blair Oaks suffer losses with Hair out of the line up? Likely. But they'll win their share of games too, and be that much better when Nolan comes back.
After Nolan went out, I thought the Falcons may have "freaked out" a little bit. It looked like the defense thought it needed to win the game on its own, and made several mistakes, especially on Versailles' scoring drive. Offsides, personal fouls, missed tackles. Those will cost you dearly against the conference's other best team, Eldon, which comes to the FAC on Friday night. The game also became frightfully sloppy. 13 fumbles, 9 by Blair Oaks, mostly on mishandled snaps, and 26 penalties? Oy. A pleasant night of football in great weather turned into a torture chamber of ineptitude. I'm sure the Falcon coaches will be hammering more than a few points home in practice this week.
Who knows? With more than a few practice sessions this week, I'm sure the Falcon coaching staff will come up with a more than a few plays the Falcons can run against Eldon. The big key will be the defense. They need to be patient and disciplined as they face the high scoring Mustangs, keyed by running back Isaiah Merida. Yes, the Falcons may have to rely on their defense more so than ever this week, but those same talented offensive kids are out there on defense too. We'll find out more about the Falcons this week for sure.
And have you noticed the officials calling more penalties than ever? Especially offensive holding. I know that the coaches sure have. It may be early days and the refs may be enforcing the rule to the T, but there sure have been a lot of yellow hankies hitting the turf in these first three weeks.
With Hair out of the line up Friday night, the Falcons turned to sophomore running back Riley Lentz more than they probably planned, and for the most part, he did not disappoint. 140 yards on 25 carries and 4 touchdowns. Looks like the start of a very promising career. Plan on seeing a lot more of Riley in the coming weeks.
JVR makes the team...
Exciting news for Blair Oaks fans...and the Van Ronzelen family. Comes word that Jake Van Ronzelen has made the team at Ol' Miss. He was a walk on at Oxford during the summer and fall pre season workouts, and he's been awarded with a spot on the team. He'll start practicing with the regulars this coming week. Not bad for a guy who didn't play running back full time until his senior year in high school!
Jefferson City 28, Hickman 9
A good win for the Jays against a Kewpie team that played them very well.
Belleville Althoff 21, Helias 15
Speaking of playing well against a superior team...Helias led most of the way against one of the better teams in Illinois. The Crusaders seem to be getting a little better every week.
Rock Bridge 9, Battle 0
Game of the week here. Coach Van Atta of Rock Bridge is a proven winner and he's proving it on South Providence this year.
Tolton 21, Fulton 14
Hello...Tolton's biggest win in program history as far as I'm concerned. Fulton came in with a TON of athletes.
Centralia 55, Louisiana 6
Mexico 55, Marshall 14
Eldon 29, Southern Boone 7
Wow...what a statement. The Mustangs finally seem to be able to keep their best kids healthy, and are scoring at a clip similar to three years ago when they averaged bout 40 points a game. The wing-T never dies.
South Callaway 48, Wright City 6
A big win for the Bulldogs against a team that can give you fits. This one was never close.
Osage 31, Hallsville 6
Osage wins the battle of the tribes, handing Hallsville its first loss of the year
California 12, Warsaw 8
A slugfest between two improved teams near the bottom of the Tri-County Conference.
Moberly 21, Kirksville 0
So maybe Kirksville wasn't so much improved over last year after all.
North Callaway 49, Mark Twain 0
Hannibal 26, Boonville 7
Smith-Cotton 34, Warrensburg 12
Camdenton 28, Lebanon 20
Rolla 52, Parkview 33
Owensville 61, Cuba 20
St. James 40, Hermann 8
Ouch...wonder when the last time this happened
Hillcrest 42 Waynesville 34
Just around the corner. The Fighting Drehles have had some tough losses this year