We...and Nolan Hair...return
First of all...let me say thank you to all the folks from around the area who have asked about this column and this writer. It's truly humbling to think that people actually read, and looked forward to reading this collection of scores and words. I am sorry that I have been mostly absent from this space the last couple of weeks...but I have a new gig and an old gig that is taking up a lot of time lately, so I have been unable to update as often as I liked. The new gig? Morning host of the KWOS Morning Newswatch and Open Air programs on 950 am and 104-point-5 KWOS. Please give us a listen from time to time. I still do sports at 6:15, 6:45 and 7:15...plus you can hear some occasional witty banter between veteran news guy John Marsh and I. I also apologize to the fans and sponsors for the lack of podcasts lately. Again, bad scheduling has kept me away. They will resume this week. Now...as Kasey Kasim would say...on to the countdown.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 13
Blair Oaks 64, Warsaw 6
He's baaaack...and with a vengeance. Nolan Hair returns to the Falcons fold and looks intent to make up for lost time in one half. What can you say? Six touchdowns, 400 yards, five different receivers. With a run pass option on every play, the offense completely in Hair's hands during the two minute drill...what an offensive monster can be created here. In something like 11 quarters this season, Nolan has thrown for more yards than anybody in the area save for one. This was not your typical take-your-lumps-and-lay-down Warsaw team either. This team beat Hallsville, and was 4 and 4 coming into the game. This was racehorse, firewagon, hair on fire and Hair on fire football. And what a night for senior receiver Ethan Luebbering. His hands may still be sore...but it's a good sore. Coach Walker was right, this wasn't the defense's best night, but what the heck, the offense was a thing of beauty to watch.
I digress for a bit...looking back on the tenure of Cade Stockman. What a tremendous and gutty six weeks it was. Here's a 14 or 15 year old kid, running one of the best teams in the state of Missouri, with the whole world watching. He and the rest of this young ball club navigated some real traps and came through with another undefeated season. It wasn't always pretty, but I know other coaches marveled at what this kid and this team did. And I had a thought during the running clock time against California...with the top four running backs being three sophomores and a freshman, a freshman quarterback, with four or five freshman at least on defense, and the rest sophomores on the field at the end...my lord! We know Blair Oaks will be loaded next year...but how about three more years down the road? What a tribute to the Junior Falcons this program is. You guys involved are the unsung heroes of Blair Oaks football.
And another digression for our Blair Oaks audience...how about Sharon Buschjost and the Lady Falcons softball team? Another trip to the final four...and no Centralia in site. The success of this softball program rivals the football team's...and it seems there's no end in sight. It's hard to believe that one school can turn out so many dominant sports teams year after year. It's something to be very proud of.
Back to football for just a bit. Next up for the Falcons...MMA in the first round of districts...we think. MMA did not play districts last year, and probably shouldn't this year. They need to be dispatched quickly without injury. Not sure how much the first string will play, but the youngsters ought to see a lot of playing time this week.
Rockhurst 30, Jefferson City 12
Ted LePage has talked about making strides every week towards the district playoffs. It's hard to tell if this was a step forward or not. The Hawklets ground game was grueling...wearing out the undermanned Jays. Now it's time for the truth...the seventh seeded Jays will travel to Blue Springs seeking a huge upset in the first round of districts. We'll see if Dr. LePage's experiments will pay off
DeSmet 38, Helias 31
This was a head scratcher. I really thought Helias was making strides with a young, inexperienced, team. But they fell flat to a winless team...all be it a Class 5 team with a brutal schedule. Helias finishes 4 and 5 but third in its district. But...there was this curious bit of copy in the News Tribune. Helias finishes third with about a point more than Hannibal...but because Hannibal won the head-to-head with Helias...Hannibal gets the third seed. Okay, so much for the point system. If you score more points than the other team, that usually means you win, right? No...this is the MSHSAA where nothing is as it seems, ever. Next up for FOURTH seed Helias...Wentzville Liberty at Hentges Stadium Friday night. I still see a possibility that Helias could win this district.
Rock Bridge 33, Francis Howell 26
Rock Bridge wins the district. No offense to the former staff....but what a difference a coach can make in high school football. Rock Bridge opened the season with a win over Rockhurst and just kept going.
Battle 28, Hannibal 14
This game is usually a good one, and this was no different. I think Hannibal kept things a little closer than I expected. Hannibal gets Warrensburg in first round districts.
South Callaway 59, Van-Far 7
South Callaway has one site set...district finals and another meeting with North Callaway. They are two speeding trains heading toward a collision. Principia will be the next team in the cow-catcher.
North Callaway 55, Montgomery County 21
North Callaway is just wasting teams on its way to another match with South Callaway. This is a very good team with explosive athletes all over the field. The Thunderbirds open district with...Montgomery County...yes two weeks in a row. But, of course, the MSHSAA can't do anything about that.
Moberly 21, Mexico 20
What a great year for Moberly, but Mexico missed an extra point late that would have sent this game to overtime. Moberly finished second in the Helias district, hence the thinking that Helias could win that district. And Mexico finishes second behind Blair Oaks in its district. The Bulldogs could be a little salty.
Liberty North 48, Hickman 0
We've said it often of Hickman over the last several years...ooooff!
Eldon 35, Hallsville 14
This was a good game for a half, then the Jolly boys broke it open in the second.Eldon finishes third in its district behind Springfield Catholic and St. James. Blair Oaks wouldn't see Eldon again until Plaster Stadium in the Class 3 championship game. That wouldn't be a bad thing.
Osage 47, California 14
Osage is a hard team to figure...but this was not an unexpected result.
Southern Boone 47, Versailles 0
Versailles lost its two top running backs and some others to injury, and limped across the finish line. SoBoCo is getting its kids healthy. Next up for the Eagles...Fulton.
Fulton 28, Kirksville 7
The Hornets were pretty disappointing this year with just three wins...but they could be a tough out in the districts.
Tolton 54, St. Paul Lutheran 3
Tolton has the misfortune of playing in the same district with North and South Callaway, but the 'blazers gave South Callaway all they could handle in week 1.
Macon 26, Centralia 19
Centralia finishes 5 and 4, this constitutes a down year for this proud program. Their district looks much the same as their conference.
Tipton 36, Concordia 14
Boonville 36, Marshall 22
Smith-Cotton 43, Center 32
Camdenton 63, Glendale 36
West Plains 63, Rolla 28
Owensville 42, St. Clair 28
Hermann 10, Union 6
St. James 35, Pacific 20
Kickapoo 36 Waynesville 20
The fighting Drehles finish 0 and 9 and unfortunately face Ozark in Class 5 district play.