A win's a win...
Blair Oaks 18 Hallsville 6
...no matter how ugly.
Fumbles, flags, stumbles, staggers and slips. Burn the tape...forget it happened...take the win and move on. The Falcons get to 5 and 0 on the season with a tougher then expected win in northern Boone County. The defense, as usual, was stout, holding Hallsville under 100 yards of offense. I also thought the Falcons defense was aided by a glacially-paced Hallsville offense. The Indians had playmakers on the outside, and they made several good catches. They were the biggest plays Hallsville would get all night. But time and time again, Hallsville smashed their backs into the line...or tried to run wingback reverses that resulted in reverse yardage. The Indians managed a 15-play drive in the fourth quarter. That's fine, but they never really got close to scoring, and the drive took up most of the quarter. Hallsville was down two scores, but never showed any urgency. Even when a bad punt snap gave the Indians the ball inside the Falcons ten yard line with a little more than 2-minutes left...the Indians first two plays were smash the tailback into the line. They had a look of a team that didn't want to lose rather than a team that thought it could win. The Falcons will take it, but don't look for either of the Falcons next two opponents to be so tame.
On offense...I'm not a football coach and try to stay way from instant analysis...but it looked like the Falcons offensive line was having trouble with assignments as they faced a true 3-4 defense. The Indians blitzed from everywhere, and were seldom blocked. Their linebackers were fast, and seemed to be in the back field all night. Cade Stockman took some shots...but kept getting back up...thankfully. The Falcons offense, especially in the second half...suffered from poor snaps. My guess here is the nose guard was jamming the center at every opportunity, and causing problems.That also has to get cleaned up quickly.
And again...another messy night with the penalties. I'm not going to argue against what was called since we are a long way from the action. But do we need a five minute discussion every time a flag is thrown? Does the referee have to spend 30 seconds explaining every call to the team that will benefit from the call? Does he need to go to both benches to explain the call? I thought maybe for a while our "white hat" was going to start explaining penalties to the cheerleaders. We don't keep track of penalties in the broadcast booth, but I'm sure Greg "Action" Jackson will have a tally in the paper tomorrow. This is the second time in three games that officials have nearly thrown the game into reverse with their constant calls.
IN short, the Falcons will have to play MUCH better in the weeks to come, or see their district lead shrink drastically. Southern Boone is getting healthy and will have everybody except their number one quarterback in the line up Friday night. The Falcons will have a tough time holding their home field on homecoming. Then it's on to School of the Osage. The Indians can score...and in a lot of ways. Their quarterback is a senior who comes to the line with the ability to read and react. He'll change the play if he sees an advantage. We have not seen a loss to the Indians in the 17 seasons we have done play-by-play in the area, but Osage has beaten Blair Oaks a couple of times during that span. And we have also seen some bad things happen on that field. The Falcons simply need to keep improving. I think they will.
SLUH 38, Jefferson City 20
This was a bad one for the Jays. It looked like these two teams were pretty evenly matched coming in...but Mike Jones' return to Jeff. was a happy one as coach of the Junior Bills. The Jays needed this win to stay in the hunt for home field advantage in the district playoffs. Jeff. City has some serious soul searching ahead.
Battle 40, Helias 7
Kind of got the feeling this one wasn't going to be pleasant for the Crusaders coming in against a talented team that had lost two in a row to some quality opponents. Helias will need to beat Father Tolton next week.
Boonville 24, Mexico 21
Thank you very much Barry Blank. Former Falcon assistant's team gives Blair Oaks some breathing room at the top of the district by spoiling Mexico's homecoming.
Fulton 28, Marshall 15
Fulton stops the bleeding against the conference's worst team. Hornets trailed at halftime and changed quarterbacks. They went back to Cameron Vaughn...and outscored the Owls 11-0 in the second half.
Eldon 55, California 14
Blair Oaks frustrated the Mustangs last Friday night. Apparently really frustrated them.
Southern Boone 55, Osage 51
Holy track meet! Jackson Sartain returns for the Eagles...runs wild...and SoBoCo scores late in this shoot out. Again...help for the Falcons in the conference race...but guess who's next on the Blair Oaks schedule?
South Callaway 56, Montgomery County 21
Bounce back game for the Bulldogs after tough loss to South Callaway last week.
North Callaway 73, Clopton/Elsberry 8
North Callaway bounces a team that Blair Oaks once faced in the state playoffs.
Warsaw 28, Versailles 21
Good win for the Wildcats against a team that I don;t think is bad. It looks like Warsaw's program is back on better footing as they head out of the Tri-County.
Rock Bridge 41, Hickman 9
Hickman now a small Class 5 school will have a tough time hanging with big Class 6 schools for a while.
Centralia 49, South Shelby 14
Moberly 28, Macon 14
Tolton 25, Carnahan 8
Rolla 41, Waynesville 34
Again...one of these days the Fighting Drehles are going to catch a break.