The Neosho Wildcats have been knocking on the door the past two weeks for their first win of the season … OK, knocking might be an understatement. Pounding on the door with all their strength.

Please consider 21-20 and 20-19 losses to Nixa and Republic, respectively, in games at Bob Anderson and Tiger Stadium, respectively.

Also, please consider that 17.2 seconds — less than a quarter of a minute — separates Neosho from a 2-4 rather than 0-6 record.

The Wildcats have progressed in recent weeks — playing Class 2 No. 2-ranked Carl Junction strong for a quarter the week before the last two games.

Last week, James Renfro rushed for 84 yards and two touchdowns — 10 and 28 yards — on 13 carries, Gavin Kelley and Cade Lyerla each rushed for 61 yards on 13 attempts, and Jarvis Funk added 50 yards on 15 carries. Kelley completed 4 of 7 passes for 54 yards and Neosho’s first passing touchdown of the season, a 23-yard connection with tight end Tre Letts.

Neosho trailed Republic 14-0 entering the fourth quarter, but had a promising drive starting the fourth culminate in a Renfro 10-yard touchdown. Republic fumbled away its ensuing possession and three plays later, Renfro scored on a 28-yard run. Republic punted away on its second possession of the fourth and then Kelley hit Letts for the go-ahead score, Neosho 20-19 with 42 seconds remaining.

Sean Moran sacked Republic’s Riley Watkins for a 7-yard loss on first down, giving Republic 69 yards to go for the win. Two plays later, however, Republic did just that, as Watkins and favorite receiver Cam Flood connected on a 57-yard touchdown pass with 1.2 seconds left on the clock.

Neosho steps outside the Central Ozark Conference Large to face an improved Logan-Rogersville team 4-2 on the season. Bob Anderson should be rocking, since it’s Homecoming.

The Wildcats — a future Big 8 Conference member — come off a 24-23 COC Small win over Bolivar, once the power of the conference who’s fallen on hard times in the final season of the COC Small. Logan-Rogersville earned its first win over Bolivar since 2003.

Logan-Rogersville proved strong in two main areas last week against Bolivar — slowing down Bolivar’s run game and passing the football.

Running the football has been Neosho’s strength all season, with Kelley, Renfro, Lyerla, Funk, and bruising fullback Adrian Hitchcock all capable ball carriers.

Stopping teams — especially through the air — on third and fourth down this season, meanwhile, has been one of Neosho’s glaring weaknesses and Logan-Rogersville quarterback Bronson Tavenner and receiver Ryker Strong connected on a pair of touchdown passes last week against Bolivar, including the winning score in overtime. The Wildcats of Logan-Rogersville gashed Bolivar for 263 yards through the air.

Dating back to the 2014 season, Neosho has won all three games against Logan-Rogersville: 53-0 last season, 46-0 in 2015, and 38-14 in 2014.

WILDCATS (4-2) at INDIANS (6-0)
Unbeaten Seneca welcomes old Big 8 Conference and district rival Cassville to Earl Campbell Stadium in Week 7.

The Indians are tied with Lamar at the top of the Big 8 standings and lead Class 3, District 4.

In the Class 3 state rankings compiled by members of the Missouri media, Seneca moved up two spots this week to No. 4, as the Indians remain one of five unbeaten schools in the rankings. No. 1 McCluer South-Berkeley (5-0), No. 2 Blair Oaks (6-0), No. 3 Park Hills Central (6-0), and No. 10 Hogan Prep (6-0) are the other unbeaten Class 3 schools.

Chillicothe and Maryville each dropped in the rankings after last week.

Seneca has lost to Cassville the last three seasons, and the last time the Indians won against their rival was the 2013 district playoffs. That 2013 season, Seneca made a great playoff run and finished second in Class 3.

The Indians definitely have the home-field advantage, a fact alluded to by Cassville head coach Lance Parnell in the pages of the Cassville Democrat.

“Seneca is one of the places, as an opposing coach, I love to go,” Parnell said. “It’s the setting and fans and the intimacy of it all. It gets your heart pumping, and you’re glad to be a part of the game.”

With Seneca and Cassville, of course, the game will be decided within the trenches and the Indians have been winning that battle week after week for the first two-thirds of the regular season.

CUBS (2-4) at MUSTANGS (3-3)
McDonald County and Monett are teams desperate for a win in Week 7.

The Mustangs have lost three of their last four games, all three against state-ranked opponents in Seneca (41-13), Mount Vernon (43-21), and Lamar (50-8). Last week’s eight points are the most points scored against Lamar — the six-time defending Class 2 state champions and winners of 40 straight football games dating back to 2014 — this season.

The Cubs, defending Class 3 state champions, have lost four straight games since entering Big 8 Conference play — 25-20 to Mount Vernon, 51-0 to Lamar, 46-10 to Aurora, and 21-0 to Cassville last week in the “Barry County Brawl.”

McDonald County owns a win this season against Cassville, as the Mustangs came into enemy territory — on Homecoming no less — and left with a 21-14 victory.

Kellen Hoover, who coached at Monett from 2012-16, coaches against his former school for the first time and in his first game as head coach of the Mustangs, the school ended a 16-game losing streak dating back to the 2015 season.

The Mustangs have a chance against a Monett team that has scored only 77 points this season. The Cubs have won every time against the Mustangs since the latter began playing in the Big 8 in 2014.

BULLDOGS (3-3) at PATRIOTS (0-6)
East Newton steps outside the brutal Big 8 Conference this season with a Week 7 home contest against El Dorado Springs.

The Bulldogs enter Don Johnston Stadium on a two-game winning streak, after tearing through Slater (51-6) and Herculaneum (52-6). Slater and Herculaneum have a combined 2-10 mark this season.

El Dorado Springs won its season opener 51-6 over Stockton and then lost three straight games — Pembroke Hill 20-18 in overtime, Ash Grove 22-20, and Lafayette County 42-6 — before straightening the ship the last two weeks. Pembroke Hill, Ash Grove, and Lafayette County have a combined 16-2 record.

East Newton has faced its share of rugged opponents — Lighthouse Christian in Week 1, Lamar in Week 2, Cassville in Week 3, Seneca in Week 5, and Mount Vernon in Week 6, for example.

The Patriots look for their first win of the season and under new head coach Broc Wolfe. East Newton’s eight-game losing streak is the longest in the Daily News coverage area, just a game ahead of both Neosho and Diamond.

El Dorado Springs’ 103 points scored the last two weeks are 64 points more than East Newton’s generated all season.

The young Diamond Wildcats, like Neosho and East Newton, are looking for their first win of the season and they play at home in Week 7.

Both teams have struggled this season, under veteran coaches in their first year at their respective schools, Miller’s Jamie LaSalle (formerly at East Newton) and Diamond’s Curtis Horton (previously head coach at Fort Scott Community College).

The Cardinals defeated Willow Springs 54-39 in Week 1, but have since dropped five straight: 35-25 to Windsor, 59-7 to Sarcoxie, 69-31 to Jasper, 42-14 to Pierce City, and 27-14 to Liberal.

Meanwhile, opponents have outscored Diamond 310-97 this season, with the Wildcats closest to victory in a 47-40 overtime loss in Week 2 against Jasper. Diamond’s been shut out three times this season, against Pierce City (52-0), Buffalo (52-0), and Sarcoxie (62-0), teams a combined 15-3 with Pierce City and Sarcoxie possibly the teams battling for a Spring River Valley Conference title this season when they play in Week 9.

Diamond looks to end a seven-game losing streak.