St. James hosts Pacific, Rolla visits Springfield Central and Missouri S&T heads to Indianapolis
St. James Tigers (0-8) vs. Pacific Indians (0-8)
The Tigers are hosting Pacific for their final home game of the year. Both teams are 0-8 coming in.
This is the final chance for either team to have a chance as the seventh seed in their respective district playoffs. St. James is facing a Class 4 team this week, however, and will receive bonus points in the game.
“It is Senior Night so there will be some emotion for that,” St. James coach Josh Rodriguez said of tonight’s game.
The Tigers fell last week 0-70 to Union. Their closest games this season were at home against Owenesville and Cuba. Both of those games were decided by a difference of 17 points.
The Tigers will need big games from both senior quarterback Nick Halbrook who has 243 yards on the season and Rustin Branum who has 246. Both are 7-16 on the season for completions.
“Rustin Branum has been pretty consistent most of the year on defense. We can usually count on him to be where he is supposed to be and make the routine play,” Rodriguez said about Branum and his consistency.
Halbrook is also the Tigers’ leading rusher with 436 yards on the ground. Senior Logan Saxbury is the other target for the ground game with his 98 yards. They have several threats on the receiving side as well with sophomore Logan Sparks leading the way with 166 yards through the air.. Sophomore Dakota Kurtti also has 117 yards of his own in just four games. Halbrook is the team leader in yards with his 868 yards between rushing, receiving and kick returns. He also had 243 yards passing to bring him over 1,000 total yards on the year.
“We will have a few guys in different spots to fill in for injuries and to see what some of the other young guys have to give,” Rodriguez added when asked about the changes this week.
“We need to block and tackle better. We have been getting beat in the physicality of ballgames. We have to continue to work towards being the more physical team. We have to play our assignments and trust the guy next to them to do theirs. Pacific is another option team and they do a good job to taking what they give you.”
The Indians are coming into the game off of a 14-24 loss to Hermann at home last week.
If districts were to begin this week, Pacific would face 7-0 Helias in the Class 4 District 5 Tournament. The Tigers would face the 8-0 Blair Oaks Falcons, also from Jefferson City next week.
The game will begin Friday at the Old City Park behind the high school in St. James at 7 p.m.
Rolla Bulldogs (3-5) vs Springfield Central Bulldogs (0-8)
Rolla will close its regular season out on the road in an Ozark Conference “Battle of the Bulldogs.” These are two very different teams, though, as Central has struggled with numbers and injuries this year. With Central joining the Ozark Conference, they have struggled to compete.
Last week Central fell to the 7-1 state-ranked West Plains ZIzzers 0-69, while Rolla lost to a state-ranked and unbeaten Camdenton side 24-49.
Rolla is led by senior quarterback Jack Hounsom who has 490 yards of passing offense on the season. Senior Issac Hunter had caught 333 of those yards and senior Elijah Cunningham also has 114 yards from the air for the Bulldogs this season.
Rolla has four rushers that are contributing to the team. Senior Colton Franks has 95 carries and 487 yards, junior Malichi Ray has rushed for 289 yards off 63 carries, Dewitt Pritchett has run for 265 yards and Hounsom has also run for 260 yarders this season. Hunter has the most total yards with 933 coming into the game. Franks is just behind him with 507.
If the playoffs began today, Central would travel to Waynesville and Rolla would travel to Camdenton for the first round.
The game will begin at 7 p.m. on Friday at Drury University.
Missouri S&T Miners (5-2) vs. University of Indianapolis Greyhounds (6-0)
The Miners are coming into the game off a 39-41 loss at Truman State last week while the Greyhounds picked up a 59-19 win over Quincy.
The Miners will be traveling to Indiana this year for the tough game that would have implications on the Great Lake Valley standings. S&T is third in the GLVC with 36 points per game.
Missouri S&T will need a good game from Deshawn Jones and Brennon Simms again this week. Logan Armontrout will also be key with 436 yards this year from the air.
The Greyhounds, ranked seventh nationally, are led by quarterback TJ Edwards who was the GLVC Player of the Year in 2016 when he was at Southwest Baptist. He has 1,337 yards on the season and has added 181 yards from the ground. Al McKeller was last years conference player of the year, and has 640 yards on the ground so far this season.
Indy’s defense is ranked fifth in NCAA DIvision II with allowing just 59 yards per game.
The game will begin at 6 p.m. eastern time on Saturday and will be broadcast live on the GLVC Sports network.