The Neosho Wildcats and the Webb City Cardinals are two of the six teams in the Central Ozark Conference with a 1-1 record after the first two weeks of the season.
Under legendary Webb City head coach John Roderique, the Cardinals have won 23 of their 24 meetings against the Wildcats. Neosho last defeated Webb City in the 1999 season. The Cardinals won both games against Neosho last season, including the district championship.
Neosho defeated Branson 21-14 last week at historic Bob Anderson Stadium — Branson had a missed field goal and two red zone turnovers in the second half and Neosho senior Gage Kelley enjoyed a huge night on the ground behind an offensive line that performed dramatically better from the season opener. One play after Branson threw an interception on a pass near the end zone, Kelley scored the winning points on a 69-yard touchdown run.
Webb City took a 35-28 loss against Joplin last week, as the Eagles soared to a 28-7 halftime lead. The Cardinals’ comeback fell short.
Eli Goddard completed 8 of 11 passes for 104 yards and one touchdown. Senior backs Terrell Kabala and Sergio Perez both found the end zone — Kabala rushed for 80 yards and one TD on 11 carries, Perez 23 yards and one TD on three carries. Devrin Weathers added 67 yards on 14 carries. Kabala — who played wide receiver his first three seasons — and Weathers are both capable of breaking a big play every single time they touch the football.
Zach Westmoreland’s 84-yard interception return for a touchdown proved to be one of the biggest plays for Joplin.
Webb City’s defense will surely be motivated for a return to form on Friday night at Bob Anderson.
The Cardinals are definitely capable of dominating Neosho — they did so the last time they played in the regular season. In that game a year ago, Webb City scored on every offensive possession in the first half for a 27-0 halftime lead and the Cardinals’ defense limited Neosho to 62 yards in the first half and 144 for the game.
The Cardinals especially thwarted Neosho on the ground, as the Wildcats averaged a mere 2.7 yards per carry.
Notable stat this season: Webb City outscored Carl Junction and Joplin 42-7 after halftime.
— Three Daily News coverage area teams (Diamond, East Newton, McDonald County) remain in search of their first wins, and two of them face each other in Week 3.
In their first two weeks, the East Newton Patriots came (real) close to achieving their first victory since 2016 (23-16 loss to Hollister, 18-13 to Aurora) and ending a losing streak that stands at 24 games.
Meanwhile, McDonald County took a 53-20 loss last week against Logan-Rogersville. Logan-Rogersville snapped a 12-game losing streak that dated back to 2017.
Will the third time prove a charm for East Newton head coach Kyle Wood and the Patriots? Will the Mustangs end their own seven-game drought and win their first game on their new field turf?
It has been a rough start to the season for the Diamond Wildcats, who have been outscored 88-12 the first two weeks against Ash Grove (44-12) and Pierce City (44-0).
The Wildcats host a 1-1 Jasper squad that will always be fired up to play any of the former Spring River Valley Conference schools that left Jasper behind for the new Southwest Conference.
Last season, Diamond and Jasper did not play, but the Eagles did lambaste former SRVC and current SWC member Lockwood 58-20.
— The Seneca Indians overcame a 16-0 deficit last week to come away with a 28-16 victory over Reeds Spring.
Trey Wilson scored a pair of rushing touchdowns (14, 39 yards) and he put Seneca on the scoreboard with a 24-yard touchdown on a halfback pass to Preston Armstrong. Jaxson Graham closed out the scoring with a 56-yard TD run.
The Indians slowed down a Reeds Spring team that produced 61 points in their season opener against Nevada.
Speaking of Nevada, Seneca faces the winless Tigers in Week 3, who have been outscored 104-28 this season, including a 61-6 loss to Reeds Spring.
The Indians will need to build some momentum headed into a four-week stretch of Cassville, Lamar, Monett, and Mount Vernon.
Week 3 Games
Ash Grove at Pleasant Hope
Aurora at Lamar
Carthage at Joplin
East Newton at McDonald County
Hollister at Springfield Catholic
Jasper at Diamond
Marionville at Lockwood
Marshfield at Mount Vernon
Monett at Cassville
Ozark at Branson
Reeds Spring at Logan-Rogersville
Republic at Carl Junction
Sarcoxie at Pierce City
Seneca at Nevada
Strafford at Miller
Webb City at Neosho
Willard at Nixa