The Neosho Wildcats experienced their first loss of the season last week at the hands of the Carl Junction Bulldogs, who rebounded from their first loss with a 35-20 win over the Wildcats at Bulldog Stadium.

The Neosho Wildcats experienced their first loss of the season last week at the hands of the Carl Junction Bulldogs, who rebounded from their first loss with a 35-20 win over the Wildcats at Bulldog Stadium.
Carl Junction scored the game's first 15 points and led 25-7 at halftime, with sophomore running back Rayquion Weston and senior defensive back Zay'Shawn Weston both enjoying huge games for the Bulldogs.
Rayquion Weston rushed for 130 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries and caught three passes for 58 yards and his third TD of the contest.
Zay'Shawn Weston intercepted Neosho senior quarterback Coleman Scott three times, an unusually high number for Scott. Weston dogged Neosho's Bryce Murphy and kept him out of the end zone for the first time this season.
Neosho returns to action tonight against No. 5 in Class 5 Nixa, a week after playing No. 4 in Class 4 Carl Junction.
"I thought they were ready to play," Neosho head coach Dustin Baldwin said after the game. "Give credit to them. Great job by their coaches and players. I didn't feel like it was our best game. We can play better than we did. We're going to go back to work.
"We knew they're good players (Carl Junction's Westons), all three of them. We just didn't do a very good job tackling. We didn't do a good job in a lot of areas tonight.
"They did a great job coming off that loss at Ozark. They were just a more hungry team. They played with more urgency than we did from the beginning. They flew around the field, just did a great job, very impressive.
"We've got to go up to Nixa. Nobody cares, nobody's feeling sorry for us. We're going to have to show up and play an undefeated team."
Nixa defeated Republic 24-6 last week to improve to 4-0 overall and 3-0 in a Central Ozark Conference Large division where the top six teams are all bunched together with Nixa at the top as the lone unbeaten standing.
The Eagles have similar wins this season as Neosho, both teams defeating Willard and Branson by similar scores. Neosho defeated Branson 42-21, Nixa beat their rival 40-28. Nixa held off Willard 19-13 in the season opener, then Neosho edged Willard 34-30 two weeks later at the start of three straight road games for the Wildcats.
Last week, in a game delayed over a hour by lightning in the area, Nixa generated 250 yards of total offense and 185 rushing on a muddy field. The Eagles were efficient, with no play gaining more than 10 yards.
Running back Nicos Oropeza and quarterback Andrew Rivera scored touchdown runs and Sean Sample's 38-yard field goal provided Nixa a 17-6 halftime score.
Last season, Neosho earned a 35-28 win over Nixa at Bob Anderson Stadium, in arguably the defining win for the Wildcats during Baldwin's tenure as head coach.
The Wildcats, on their Homecoming, trailed No. 6-ranked Nixa 28-27 with 76 seconds remaining on the clock and 81 yards to go. Well, a false start penalty made it 86 yards in 76 seconds.
Neosho drove that 86 yards in 55 seconds and Scott hit Ethan Siler for a go-ahead 15-yard touchdown pass with 21 seconds remaining in regulation. Devin Hames scored on a conversion run and the Wildcats preserved their 35-28 win by forcing a Nixa fumble.
"Ethan and Coleman made plays down the stretch there," Baldwin said after the game. "They worked and they've put in a lot of time together and it's showing and paying off. I'm just proud of everybody.
"The line did a great job. We had spurts when we really ran the ball well and we had spurts where we got stuck a little bit. Overall, just a great job. That last drive, we had no pressure. They did a great job of blocking and giving us time to throw.
"And the defense, man, the defense had a couple stops tonight inside the 10 and I'm just really proud of Coach Nelson (defensive coordinator Zac Nelson) and the defensive staff. They work a lot of hours and glad to see it pay off for them."

DIAMOND (3-1) at LOCKWOOD (4-0)
After venturing outside the Spring River Valley Conference the past two weeks, the Wildcats return to conference play to meet unbeaten and No. 5-ranked in Class 1 Lockwood, whose only conference win was 50-21 over Liberal in the season opener.
The Wildcats are a single point away from a 4-0 start themselves and last Saturday, Diamond's Triston Shepherd powered the Wildcats to victory with four touchdown runs, including a 3-yard run with 30 seconds remaining in the contest. Diamond earned a 27-20 over a Cedar Ridge (Arkansas) team that employs an interesting offensive strategy, the double handoff featuring a quarterback and two running backs.
"We stepped up big time," Diamond head coach Ben Glidewell said after the game. "Handled some adversity. We started out with some turnovers, a few penalties, but persevered and found a way to win. We stayed together, cleaned it up there at the end and we had to have a drive to win it. We put some points on the board and we had to get a stop defensively. We moved some people around and they did a great job.
"We haven't seen it (the double handoff). It's hard to simulate in practice, with our younger guys. We did the best that we could. I think it helped having an extra day to practice. Playing on a Saturday was nice. Joked around with the kids and told them that I liked it so much I might start bringing them in on the weekend and get Monday's practice out of the way. Their offense is not something that we see on a typical basis. They had some good skill kids and they play hard. Excited to come out with a win."
The Wildcats rebounded from a heartbreaking 34-33 loss the week before to Buffalo, a game where Diamond seemingly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
"That's why you play the game," Glidewell said. "Like I told them, 'We're getting ready to go share a table with these guys. That's a part of competition. You can't have the thrill of victory without the agony of defeat.' It all comes with it. You can't get too high with the wins or too low with losses. I was proud of their perseverance. It started with the turnover and a couple penalties, but we could have went down the same road as before and the kids showed some mental toughness. For me, that's probably more satisfying than anything, seeing them being resilient and staying together."
Lockwood will present Diamond with a few challenges of their own, for example big running back Ethan Bates. Bates, listed at 6-foot-2 and 260 pounds, rushed for 217 yards and two scores last week against Archie.
Josh Osterdyk added 191 yards and two scores against Archie, as the Tigers have not skipped a beat in the absence of senior Kyle Bouldin.
Last season, Lockwood blanked Diamond 41-0.
The SRVC picture will become a lot clearer in the next couple weeks, especially for Diamond, as the Wildcats play Lockwood and Sarcoxie.

SENECA (2-2) at EAST NEWTON (0-4)
Both Big 8 Conference and Newton County schools are looking to rebound from losses, Seneca 42-13 against Mount Vernon and East Newton 27-7 against Aurora.
Having alternated wins and losses this season, the Indians are due for a win this week.
Sophomore quarterback Gavin Clouse rushed for 103 yards and two scores on 13 carries last week against the Mountaineers. He received praise from head coach Ryan McFarland after the game.
"He is getting better and better each week," McFarland said. "He is taking over the leadership role of the team. When he is running our offense, he is doing a good job."
Clouse has rushed for 100 yards in consecutive weeks.
Senior running back Spencer Brattin leads the Indians with 460 yards and five TDs on 62 carries. Brattin had over half of his yards in the first two games of the season, but he's rushed for at least 88 yards in every game this season.
It was a tale of two halves or a tale of two struggles for Seneca last week against Mount Vernon.
"In the first half, our defense kind of struggled," McFarland said, "and I felt that the offense were able to do some good things. Then we kind of reversed roles in the second half. We had three or four turnovers offensively, but our defense started to get some stops. For us to be a good football team, we have to put two good halves together, two good offensive halves and two defensive halves."
East Newton will certainly be tested in stopping Seneca's split veer offense that produces 305 yards rushing per game, with Clouse, Brattin, Cole Hatfield and Lance Hymer all legitimate threats.
Last week, the Patriots took a 7-6 lead on the Houn' Dawgs with a Brandon Jordon touchdown run, but Aurora scored the game's final 20 points, highlighted by three touchdown passes from Payton Evans to Clayton Dunning.
East Newton hopes to end a 21-game losing streak overall and 49 games in Big 8 play, a streak that dates back to the 2009 season and a win over Aurora. This is the Patriots' Homecoming tilt at Don Johnston Stadium.
Last season, Seneca blanked East Newton 44-0 on its Homecoming at Tom Hodge Field at Earl Campbell Stadium.
The Patriots received a heavy dose of Hymer and Brattin, as the duo rushed for 317 yards on 47 carries, Hymer good for 197 yards on 31 carries and Brattin 120 yards on 16 carries. Hymer rushed for a pair of scores and Brattin scored twice with his 78-yard fumble return field alongside his 2-yard TD run.
Seneca began last season 0-4 and their 44-0 win over East Newton gave the Indians their first taste of victory during a 2-8 season.
"It feels good to finally get a win, and to have it on Homecoming is even better," Brattin said. "It helps us get an idea of what we need to do to get a win."

MCDONALD COUNTY (0-4) at MOUNT VERNON (2-2)
The Mustangs look for their first win of the season, their first under new head coach John Diehl, and their first win since last season, a fact that stands at 10 straight losses.
McDonald County fell short 33-22 last week against Cassville and 33-26 the previous week against Seneca.
"The loss was tough," Diehl said after the Cassville game. "Every loss is tough. The thing is we probably wouldn't take it so hard if we didn't care so much and our kids didn't care as much as they do and play as hard as they play. These kids will never give up on you. They will give you everything they got until the final bell, every single play."
McDonald County quarterback Payton Barton completed 21 of 41 passes for 202 yards and rushed for 48 yards on 16 carries. Barton and the Mustangs have found much success in the passing game against both Seneca and Cassville.
Barton found Cole DeLosSantos 11 times for 105 yards and Oakley Roessler scored on a 35-yard touchdown run for the first points of the game.
The Mustangs are 0-3 this season when scoring first.
McDonald County and Mount Vernon will surely produce no shortage of passing yards or points tonight at Mountaineer Stadium.
During their 42-13 win last week over Seneca, the Mountaineers passed for over 300 yards and found success running the football to keep the Indians honest.
Senior quarterback Garrett Hadlock threw for 308 yards and five touchdowns on 17 of 23 accuracy, while Sammy Robinson ran the ball 20 times for 152 yards.
Last season, Mount Vernon defeated McDonald County 24-7 at Mountaineer Stadium.
In that contest, McDonald County generated more yards but Mount Vernon generated more points.
The Mustangs racked up over 350 yards of total offense, including 233 rushing yards from Issreal DeSantiago, but the Mustangs only found the end zone once on a DeSantiago 2-yard run. There's something about the Mustangs scoring first.
Mount Vernon scored all 17 points in the second half after earning a 7-all tie at halftime.