Southwest Livingston/Hale/Tina-Avalon, Braymer/Breckenridge 8-man co-op programs, Marceline will have their annual celebrations, as will three Midland Empire Conference schools, in Sept. 28 play
By PAUL STURM, C-T Sports Editor
Week 6 play of the C-T-area high school football season tonight lacks any marquee matchups of significant, head-to-head importance to conference or district races, but is spiced by a few Homecoming observances that the home teams hope will bring celebrations.
Three of the eight non-Chillicothe area teams – Southwest Livingston, Braymer, and Marceline – will play their Homecoming contests and an identical number of Midland Empire Conference clubs – including Chillicothe’s opponent St. Joseph: Lafayette – will do likewise.
The Wildcats of the Southwest Livingston/Hale/Tina-Avalon co-op will welcome South Nodaway and Conception Junction: Jefferson’s combined club. The hosts enter 4-1 overall and in Highway 275 Conference play after whipping Stewartsville/Osborn 62-14 on the road a week ago. South Nodaway/Jefferson’s mark is just the opposite – 1-4, although its 42-2 week five loss to North Shelby was its non-conference outing of the regular season.
South Nodaway/Jefferson lost by 48 points to South Holt/Nodaway-Holt two weeks ago. Southwest clubbed that same foe by 46 in week two.
In addition to still contending for a conference crown, Southwest Livingston also is locked in a 3-teams duel for first with strong Pattonsburg/Gilman City/North Harrison and North Shelby in its District 3 race. Less than a point separates the three.
The C-T-area’s other 8-man program – a Braymer/Breckenridge cooperative – hopes to blend Homecoming with its initial 2018 triumph tonight as it welcomes the Albany Warriors (2-3, 1-3 conf.) in Grand River Conference-West play.
The Warriors enter off a 68-38 league victory over St. Joseph Christian. Their other win was in the opener against Lawrence, Kan.: Veritas Christian.
The BHS Bobcats, 0-3 in the GRC-W, had their best offensive success to date this fall last week, but still dropped a second-straight non-conference outing to Norborne/Hardin-Central, 44-32. A victory tonight would provide reasonable hope of at least two regular-season wins, since Braymer/Breckenridge will go to St. Joseph Christian in two weeks.
On the 11-man front, Marceline’s Homecoming encounter will be with Lewis and Clark Conference foe Schuyler County. The host Tigers (4-1, 3-1 conf.) returned to form last week by dominating Paris. Schuyler County (2-3, 1-3 conf.) earned its second win in week five, besting Louisiana 34-18, but has lost to a couple of teams MHS already has conquered.
On the district front, Marceline currently is second to unbeaten Milan in tough Class 1 District 8, but Gallatin and South Harrison also are 4-1 entering their head-to-head meeting tonight. Gallatin is not quite two ratings points behind the Tigers.
Speaking of Milan, the Wildcats will be the guest of Trenton (1-4, 1-2 conf.) tonight. Defeated at Princeton last week, Trenton likely out of Grand River Conference-East title contention and now likely will turn its focus to improving its district lot. The Bulldogs currently are seventh in Class 2 District 8, ahead of only winless Richmond. However, THS is only 0.2 points behind Brookfield and, with a strong finish, might have a chance to overtake Carrollton for fifth place.
Mentioning Carrollton and Richmond, those two historic Missouri River Valley Conference rivals – now in the east half of that loop – will tangle at Richmond tonight. CHS’ Trojans (2-3, 0-1 conf.) have won two of their last three, but lost their MRVC-E opener to Knob Noster big last week. Each of Carrollton’s games thus far has seen the losing team shut out, but that doesn’t seem likely tonight. Richmond desperately needs this one if it hopes to escape the District 8 cellar.
Another Class 1 District 8 team, Hamilton (3-2, 1-2 conf.) barely eked out a 29-27 overtime victory over Mid-Buchanan last week to snap a 2-games skid. Currently fifth in the district, but with the potential to move either up or down over the final four weeks of the regular season, the Hornets encounter a foe feeling better about itself. Plattsburg (1-4, 0-3 conf.) engaged in a fireworks show with East Buchanan last week before losing by only 16 points, 70-54.
Polo’s pursuit of its first 2018 victory will take it north to Maysville/Winston tonight. PHS’ Panthers (0-5, 0-3 conf.) likely have their best remaining chance at winning in this one as they clash with a Wolverines team with identical marks. Regardless of which gets victory No. 1 tonight, neither looks to have much promise of avoiding the No. 8 seeding in their respective districts at season’s end. Polo is in Class 1 District 7 this year.
The area’s other still-winless squad, Brookfield (0-5, 0-3 conf.) somehow stands sixth in Class 2 District 8 despite that O-and status. Scott Stevens’ Bulldogs can enhance that standing by claiming tonight’s clash of winless teams when they call on Ewing: Highland in Clarence Cannon Conference action. Brookfield gave a decent account of itself against strong Lexington two weeks back, but then receded offensively in losing to Centralia last week. A return to their level against Lexington likely would spell win No. 1.
In the Midland Empire Conference, the clash of the league’s two Catholic schools will occur at St. Joseph as Bishop LeBlond (0-5, 0-3 conf.) hosts MEC newcomer Kansas City: St. Pius X (3-2, 2-1 conf.). The visiting Warriors should have gotten a lift from their comeback victory over Chillicothe last week and likely will have top tailback Ben Wade back to torment the Golden Eagles, who now have less than 20 healthy players on their roster.
The MEC’s current co-leaders have very winnable home games tonight.
Maryville (4-1, 3-0 conf.) will put out the “welcome” mat for St. Joseph: Benton (0-4, 1-2 conf.), whose only triumph thus far has been over winless Bishop LeBlond two weeks back. The host ’Hounds can’t have everything go as well as it did last week when repeated takeaways from Cameron led to MHS holding an incomprehensible 52-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. Maryville scored 24 points in the very first minute.
Savannah (3-2, 3-0 conf.) continued its bludgeoning of conference competition by whipping Benton 47-10 in week five. The Savages, with 195 combined points in their last three contests, will have Homecoming against shell-shocked Cameron (2-3, 0-3 conf.).