In Week 5, the 1-3 Neosho Wildcats welcome the 1-3 Nixa Eagles to historic Bob Anderson Stadium for Homecoming.
Last week, both Neosho and Nixa were dominated more or less by Carthage and Ozark, respectively, in rivalry games.
In the Black and Blue Brawl, Carthage scored on its first offensive play from scrimmage and scored on all six possessions in the first half en route to a 42-0 halftime lead and 55-0 victory. Meanwhile, Neosho generated only two first downs, both helped out by Carthage offside penalties.
In the Backyard Brawl, Ozark controlled possession 39 of 48 minutes and put together 410 yards of total offense in a 20-14 victory. Nixa produced 95 yards of total offense, but the Eagles benefited from big plays like Steven Ward’s 52-yard blocked field goal return for a touchdown; Ward broke through Ozark’s line untouched, blocked the 48-yard attempt, and won the foot race to the end zone.
Neosho should watch out for Ward, who has blocked kicks in three straight games. Ward, in fact, preserved Nixa’s lone victory with a blocked field goal against Willard.
The Eagles’ lone offensive points against Ozark came on a 44-pass from Reid Potts to Evann Long.
Points have been a struggle for the Wildcats this season: 34 points in four games and they have been outscored 124-34, including 89-6 the last two weeks against state-ranked Webb City and state-ranked Carthage. Neosho’s losses have come against teams with a combined record of 9-3.
In recent seasons, Neosho and Nixa have played some very memorable football games.
On Homecoming 2015, Neosho defeated a state-ranked Nixa team 35-28. Late in regulation, the Wildcats drove 86 yards in 55 seconds and took the lead on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Coleman Scott to Ethan Siler, then Devin Hames scored on a two-point conversion run. Hames scored four rushing TDs. That 2015 Nixa squad went on to win a district title.
In 2016, Nixa beat Neosho twice in Nixa in games that came down to the wire: 31-28 in the regular season and 38-31 in two overtimes in the district playoffs. Nixa’s Sean Sample made a name for himself when he kicked a game-tying 50-yard field goal in that double overtime victory.
In 2017, head coach Leon Miller’s first season in Neosho, Sample caught a 4-yard touchdown pass from Jack Sanders with 16 seconds remaining in regulation for a 21-20 Nixa victory. Neosho senior Adrian Hitchcock returned a blocked field goal 91 yards for a touchdown.
Last season, Neosho ended a three-game losing streak against the Eagles with a 21-6 victory in Nixa. The Eagles jumped out to an early lead after a Neosho turnover, but the Wildcats’ defense kept Nixa off the scoreboard the final 47 minutes with the help of a dominant running attack.
Neosho and Nixa also seem to play Homecoming against each other every season.
— The Seneca Indians gave then state-ranked Cassville its first regular season loss since 2017 with a 28-21 victory last week at historic Earl Campbell Stadium.
Now, in Week 5, Seneca (3-1) hits the road to face Class 2 state-ranked Lamar (3-1), coming off a 28-7 loss against Monett.
The Indians have the opportunity to achieve a 3-0 start in Big 8 West play, and give Lamar a second loss in conference play … that’s not happened since the 2012 season.
— The East Newton Patriots achieved their first victory under new head coach Kyle Wood and nipped a 25-game losing streak dating back to 2016 in the bud, with their 35-8 victory last week at home against winless Nevada. The Patriots broke on through after three close defeats to start the season against Hollister (23-16), Aurora (18-13), and McDonald County (25-22), two of them on the last play.
East Newton travels to Cassville in Week 5, and the Wildcats welcome the Patriots for Homecoming. The Wildcats are coming off their first loss of the season.
East Newton’s Wyatt Moore enjoyed a huge game last week against Nevada with four touchdowns.
— The 1-3 McDonald County Mustangs make their second longest road trip of the regular season when they face winless Nevada in Week 5.
The Mustangs hope to avoid a repeat of their first road game this season, a 53-20 loss to Logan-Rogersville that snapped a 12-game losing streak for the Wildcats.
Nevada now owns the distinction of having the longest losing streak in the Big 8 — 10 straight losses.
— The 1-3 Diamond Wildcats strive to return to the win column after their 50-13 loss last week against unbeaten Miller.
The Wildcats hit the road for the second week in a row when they face 2-2 Marionville in Week 5. The Comets are coming off a 72-6 victory last week over winless Greenfield.
Marionville’s two wins came against winless teams and the Comets’ two losses have been against 3-1 Willow Springs and 3-1 Lockwood.
WEEK 5 GAMES
Aurora at Mount Vernon
Branson at Joplin
Diamond at Marionville
East Newton at Cassville
Lockwood at Pleasant Hope
Logan-Rogersville at Monett
Marshfield at Hollister
McDonald County at Nevada
Miller at Ash Grove
Nixa at Neosho
Ozark at Carl Junction
Pierce City at Forsyth
Reeds Spring at Springfield Catholic
Sarcoxie at Greenfield
Seneca at Lamar
Webb City at Carthage
Willard at Republic