MVP Sports Channel

12 Angry Stadiums

The lack of press coverage, detailed roster info, and statistics of High School teams is a source of frustration for The Geek. Some schools enjoy excellent local beat-writing, and manage to upload highlights on YouTube or Twitter. Others are lucky if their final scores are accurately posted in the newspaper.

Want to hear a secret? Lots of coaches are just fine with that.

Sure, opposing teams can look at game film. But that might not tell them much about a squad’s internal focus, trends and injuries come playoff time. If a program exists outside of the media’s watchful eye, and its self-scouting is up to snuff, then it has 5 basic weapons instead of 4 – size, speed, talent, tactics…and mystery.

A neat trick is to hold something back in the Quarterfinal round, if you can, and then unleash your team’s full potential in the Semis. The Hillsboro Hawks, a #1 District seed, let Micheal Keller sit out chunks of a 3-touchdown Quarterfinal win over DeSoto High last Friday. Why not? They’ll need their best athlete and ball-carrier for a tougher test this weekend.

But some MSHSAA contenders take a cockier approach, staying in high-gear all the time and daring opponents to beat them. Eureka brought that attitude against the Seckman Jaguars in the Q-finals, posting an impressive 70 points.

Very few underdogs were able to challenge top seeds in the 1st round. 6th-seeded East Prairie knocked off the Jefferson Blue Jays 36-21, but the hosts were missing star wing-back Andrew Graves to an injury. Sikeston fell flat against Cape Girardeau Central, and Fox High School couldn’t repeat the magic of its 2015 playoff run.

With the wheat and the chaff beginning to separate, here’s a quick look at all dozen Semifinal match-ups in District 1 this Friday – and predictions, just for kicks.


Class 6


#4 Lafayette Lancers at #1 Eureka Wildcats


The Fox Warriors committed a mortal game-management sin by going for 2 after a touchdown closed the gap to 7-6 in the 1st quarter last Friday. Fox wasn’t going to beat Lafayette 8-7, and a miss only handed the momentum back.

But in the bigger picture, Lafayette gave up an early score against a team Eureka would have likely shut-out for 4 quarters. Not much chance of the Wildcats blowing this one. PREDICTION: EUREKA 44, LAFAYETTE 12


#3 Kirkwood Pioneers at #2 Lindbergh Flyers


The most stunning score of the Quarterfinals wasn’t a final or even a halftime tally – it was Northwest 14, Kirkwood 7 after 1 frame. We’ve been saying for weeks that the defending 6A champs are in trouble. Last weekend did nothing to change that analysis. PREDICTION: LINDBERGH 35, KIRKWOOD 31


Class 5


#5 Rockwood Summit Falcons at #1 Vianney Golden Griffiths.


Murder. Pestilence. Carnage. PREDICTION: VIANNEY 72, SUMMIT 0


#3 Jackson Indians at #2 Poplar Bluff Mules


The conference-champion Mules are likely to have a hot start, buoyed by a home crowd and 2 weeks of rest. But Indian WRs will run wild in the 2nd half while catching passes from Cooper Callis. PREDICTION: JACKSON 41, POPLAR BLUFF 27


Class 4


#4 Farmington Black Knights at #1 Hillsboro Hawks


A battle of Flexbone teams, playing football the way God and Paul Johnson intended it. Tip: Never predict an odd point-total from the Hawks, who last attempted an extra-point kick in 1973. PREDICTION: HILLSBORO 36, FARMINGTON 21


#3 Cape Central Tigers at #2 North County Raiders


The Raiders looked like world-beaters against a down-trodden, lethargic Festus squad in Round 1. It won’t last against the Bootheel Bengals, who played like a complete team in last Friday’s 49-14 beat-down of Sikeston. PREDICTION: CHS 42, NORTH COUNTY 21


Class 3


#4 St. Genevieve Dragons at #1 Park Hills Central Rebels


St. Genevieve is a celebrated program in its neighborhood, and the Dragons are happy to be in the Semifinals. But the Rebels are 10-0, and posted 326 rushing yards along with 49 points in the 1st half against New Madrid last weekend. QB Jace Bland couldn’t be playing much better. PREDICTION: PARK HILLS CENTRAL 58, ST. GENEVIEVE 10


#3 Salem Tigers at #2 Kennett Indians


The Indians rely on a powerful offense which has looked inconsistent at times in ’17. But Salem can’t stop them. The Tigers gave up 30 points to woebegone Sumner High earlier this season. PREDICTION: KENNETT 64, SALEM 35


Class 2


#4 Charleston Blue Jays at #1 Caruthersville Tigers


Charleston lost to the #1 seed by 44 points in Week 5. But the Blue Jay offense is running hot enough to flicker in the 1st half. PREDICTION: CARUTHERSVILLE 42, CHARLESTON 18


#6 East Prairie Eagles at #2 Malden Green Wave


No catastrophic injury-situation will save the Eagles this week. PREDICTION: MALDEN 37, EAST PRAIRIE 9


Class 1


#4 Portageville Bulldogs at #1 Valle Catholic Warriors


The Bulldogs have looked competitive enough against big-time programs to feel hopeful going into this one. But Valle Catholic specializes in dashing hopes. PREDICTION: VALLE 52, PORTAGEVILLE 14


#3 Chaffee Red Devils at #2 Hayti Indians


The Pitchforks have played 3 pretty good teams in 2017 – Hayti, Jefferson and East Prairie – and lost by a combined score of 135-21. PREDICTION: HAYTI 34, CHAFFEE 0



The Geek is a contributing writer for MVP Sports Channel.  Follow The Geek on Facebook.


Facebook Twitter Email