Missouri S&T Miners, Rolla Bulldogs, St. James Tigers and Waynesville Tigers
This weekend three area football teams will be at home while the St. James Tigers will be on the road. Rolla will host two games and Waynesville will host the Lebanon Yellowjackets.
Missouri S&T Miners 0-1 (0-0 GLVC) vs. Azusa Pacific 0-1 (0-0 GNAC)
The Miners are hosting Azusa Pacific on Saturday at 7 p.m. APU fell to West Texas A&M in Texas last week 16-25 while the S&T Miners fell in a close game to Eastern New Mexico 28-35.
It was not the start Miner Head Coach Todd Drury was looking for, but he liked the effort.
“The team competed for 60 minutes,” he said, and now Missouri S&T gets to come home.
“It's always great to play in front of our home fans.”
The Miners are looking for big games this week from Tershawn Wharton and Deshawn Jones in order for the team to be successful.
Drury also had an idea of what it would take to nab the first win of the year.
“We need to win the takeaways and win with explosive plays. We must win the line of scrimmage and win the takeaway battle,” he noted. “We also need to stop the run.”
Rolla Bulldogs 1-1 (1-1 OC) vs. Hillcrest Hornets 0-2 (0-2 OC)
The Bulldogs are hosting the Hornets from Hillcrest High School in Springfield this Friday at 7 p.m.. This will be the Community Pride Night for the team.
“Good to be in the ‘DOG POUND,’” Rolla coach Jon Franks said about playing on Bulldogs Pride Night.”
Hillcrest Hornets coach Justin Gerald spoke about the challenges his team will face.
“With a big crowd comes a big stage. Big time players, making big time plays, in big time games,” he noted. “With a big crowd it can be easy for a player to make big plays. And that’s what I’m hoping for.”
Gerald is also hoping to see the things worked on in practice on display beneath the Friday night lights.
“Our offense must learn to take advantage of turnovers and put points on the board. They are trying to focus on themselves and improving what we do,” he stated.
Hillcrest has lost to West Plains and Glendale this season while the Bulldogs defeated Glendale, but fell to the Zizzers at West Plains.
“We need to execute, take care of the ball, block and run harder. We will have to tackle, have good stance, alignment, and communicate,” Franks said about the keys to success.
“This week will come down to execution of ourselves. If we can execute at a high level I feel we’ll come out on top,” Gerald noted from the other side. “We will have to match their physicality up front. We want to be able to control the clock and limit the home team’s possessions.”
The Bulldogs are sitting at fifth in their district while the Hornets are seventh in their Class 4 district.
“We have an opportunity to compete against a team that is well-respected within our conference. Let’s see how we do,” Gerald added about his respect for the Bulldogs.
St. James Tigers 0-2 (0-0 Four Rivers) at Hermann Bearcats 2-0 (0-0 Four Rivers)
St. James heads to Hermann coming off a loss to the Perryville Pirates.
“A lot of our young kids got experience they normally wouldn't have. Although we didn't score we did a much better job of sustaining drives that we can build on,” St. James coach Josh Rodriguez said about last week.
“We will continue to focus on getting better at the little things. There isn't much we can add but we can give plenty of repetitions to the things that are hurting us.”
Hermann coach Andrew Emmons was also looking for his club to improve after a solid 2-0 start.
“We can be more consistent in our fundamentals (blocking and tackling). We have graded all of our players and are working hard at improving individual flaws,” he said.
This is the first Four Rivers Conference game for both teams and Rodriguez would like nothing more than to flip the script and get conference play off to a good start.
“This is week one of conference ball. It is important to get momentum rolling early,” he remarked. “Every year there seems to be at least one team that makes a perfect run or have one conference loss. So, if you fall early in the conference part of the schedule it will be difficult to challenge for the league title.”
The Bearcats defeated the South Callaway Bulldogs 40-27 in Callaway County last week.
“We must establish our run game early and get on the board. We have shown we will struggle when we have to play from behind,” Rodriguez stated. “If we can start with a decent showing on the line we have a good chance to stay in the ball game, We have to do a good job of controlling their offensive line and making good reads on their option game.”
As for Hermann, Emmons said his team needs to be sound.
“Make sure we are aligned properly and tackle well,” he noted. “We need to control the line of scrimmage and take care of the ball.”
Herman is ranked second in its Class 2 district tournament behind Christian High School. The Tigers are sitting in eighth in their district.
Waynesville Tigers 1-1 (1-1 OC) vs. Lebanon Yellowjackets 2-0 (2-0 OC)
The Tigers are hosting the Lebanon Yellowjackets at Tiger Stadium. The Tigers beat Kickapoo last week after hey fell in week one to a tough Camdenton Lakers team.
The Lebanon squad has wins over Kickapoo and Springfield Central and are one of the three teams in the top of the Ozark Conference.
Lebanon is sitting in second place behind the Camdenton Lakers in their district. They are also in the same district at the Rolla Bulldogs. Meanwhile, the Tigers are leading their Class 5 district that includes three Springfield schools.