For the second week in a row, the Neosho Wildcats face an opponent coming off its first loss to unbeaten and Class 6 state-ranked Joplin.
Last week at Bob Anderson Stadium, Webb City scored on its first three possessions en route to a 21-0 lead and 34-6 final score. The Cardinals have not lost to Neosho since 1999.
This week, Neosho (1-2) makes a trip to David Haffner Stadium to face a Carthage team coming off a 56-55 loss. Carthage and Joplin combined for over 1,000 yards of total offense, but ironically enough, it was a defensive play on a two-point conversion that preserved victory for the Eagles. Neosho has not beaten Carthage since 2008.
The Tigers are welcoming the Wildcats for their annual Homecoming contest, so there will be a lot of emotion in the air right from the start for this one.
Carthage totaled over 600 yards of total offense and 36 first downs in that shootout against Joplin, led by quarterback Patrick Carlton and running back Tyler Mueller. Carlton gained 251 yards with five touchdowns and Mueller rushed for 218 yards and scored three TDs. The Tigers feature one of the best offensive lines in the area.
Neosho ran into a Webb City defense last week that held the Wildcats to 14 yards of total offense and one first down in the first 24 minutes. The Wildcats finished with 135 yards — 87 rushing, 48 passing — on the night, most of them on a 89-yard and 17-play scoring drive in the fourth quarter. By comparison, Neosho ran 18 offensive plays in the first half.
Last week, Carthage surrendered 56 points, a number eight times greater than what the Tigers gave up in their wins against Nixa (35-0) and Carl Junction (35-7) the first two weeks.
Last season, Carthage defeated Neosho 49-7 at Bob Anderson, giving the Wildcats one of their four losses on the season.
— The Seneca Indians (2-1) welcome the Cassville Wildcats (3-0) and these Big 8 Conference West opponents have already been introduced after many, many years of playing each other.
The Indians won consecutive road games against Reeds Spring (28-16) and Nevada (39-18) after losing their opener against Springfield Catholic, 41-26, despite having a 20-0 lead at one point.
The Wildcats, meanwhile, have not been defeated in the regular season since Seneca beat Cassville in Week 7 in 2017.
The overwhelming majority of football games are decided in the trenches and Seneca-Cassville will definitely not be an exception.
— Will that losing streak finally bite the dust for the East Newton Patriots, who have been tantalizingly close to nipping it in the bud the first three weeks?
The Patriots have lost 25 straight games overall dating back to the 2016 season and they welcome a winless Nevada team to Don Johnston Stadium.
East Newton has definitely been closer to victory this season than Nevada — opponents have outscored the Patriots 66-51, whereas it’s been 143-46 for Nevada.
The Patriots’ schedule will dramatically increase in difficulty soon — last five regular season games against Cassville, Lamar, Monett, Seneca, and Springfield Catholic.
— The McDonald County Mustangs (1-2) earned their first victory on the final play against East Newton and the Mustangs return home for the third time in four games this season, as they welcome a 1-2 Hollister team with its only victory against East Newton.
— The Diamond Wildcats (1-2) defeated Jasper 28-13 last week and they face an unbeaten Miller team that outscored its first three opponents 149-42.
WEEK 4 GAMES
Ash Grove at Pierce City
Branson at Webb City
Carl Junction at Willard
Cassville at Seneca
Diamond at Miller
Hollister at McDonald County
Joplin at Republic
Lamar at Monett
Lockwood at Jasper
Logan-Rogersville at Aurora
Marionville at Greenfield
Mount Vernon at Reeds Spring
Neosho at Carthage
Nevada at East Newton
Nixa at Ozark
Pleasant Hope at Sarcoxie
Springfield Catholic at Marshfield