Last week: Central idle; Jackson 14, North County 7
Last year: Central 41, Jackson 6
Outlook: Central coach Nathan Norman will be leading the Tigers against his alma mater for the first time.
"I don't know, it'll be different, but I'll have my mind on other things," said Norman, who played in two Class 4 state championship games with the Indians as an all-state linebacker. "I've always enjoyed the rivalry game. It's something to look forward to. You don't have to worry about getting your kids pumped up to play. I like it."
The Tigers will be playing for the first time since a 21-20 victory against Festus in Week 2. Central gave up 336 yards rushing to Festus, which averaged more than 6 yards per attempt.
"We watched the film and pointed out the mistakes. The kids were responsive," Norman said. "We're trying to change some things and play with a little better technique. Not to take anything away from Festus -- they had a good football team -- but at times we did things that made them look better than what they were."
Central's offense has averaged 306 yards a game, with the production balanced between passing and rushing. Senior quarterback Christian Cavaness has completed 19 of 29 attempts for 289 yards. He's also the Tigers' leading rusher with 100 yards on 17 carries. Sophomore Mikey Jones is next with 74 yards on 10 carries. Juniors Jacob Campbell and Garan Evans are the top receivers.
"They have an excellent quarterback and their receivers run disciplined routes. They catch the football," Jackson coach Van Hitt said. "And their running backs run hard. They're a good, solid football team right now."
Norman said juniors Chris Martin and Campbell are questionable for the game.
Jackson continued to struggle on offense last week but picked up its first win. The Indians collected 110 yards against North County after posting negative yardage in a Week 2 loss to Parkway South.
"We started moving the ball in the second half last week, and I think some of our kids kind of woke up as far as blocking and taking care of their assignments," Hitt said. "Hopefully that carries into this week."
Sophomore Colten Proffer is the Indians' leading rusher with 201 yards on 33 carries.
"I think we're both very similar," Norman said. "We're both very young. We've made foolish mistakes throughout the year. I think that's what the game will come down to -- who can eliminate the mental mistakes and eliminate the turnover. I think that will be the difference in the game."
Last week: Hayti 26, Chaffee 6; Grandview 28, St. Pius 15
Last year: Chaffee 20, St. Pius 6
Outlook: Chaffee broke an 11-game losing streak with last year's win.
St. Pius will be looking to break an 11-game losing streak tonight.
The Lancers' losing streak was extended last week with a 15-point loss to Grandview, a team Chaffee beat by 35 points in Week 1.
"Don't look at their record. We went up there two years ago and they totally embarrassed us," Chaffee coach Charlie Vickery said about a 41-0 loss. "They beat the tar out of us. So we have to go up there and play our game. If we do that, I think we'll be fine."
Chaffee fell short of its first 3-0 start in 42 years with last week's loss.
The Red Devils were tied with unbeaten Hayti 6-6 late in the third quarter last week but saw the Indians reel off 20 unanswered points.
"I thought we played a pretty good overall game," Vickery said. "They got some big plays right there at the end. We tell our team we need to get better every week, and I felt like we got better even though we lost last week."
Chaffee is averaging 221 yards rushing per game. Senior Tyson Estes averages more than 6 yards per carry and leads the Red Devils with 379 yards rushing. Sophomore Charlie Montgomery averages 11.7 yards a carry and has 164 yards.
The Lancers were vulnerable to the run in their season opener, yielding 400 yards rushing in a 53-6 loss to Soldan.
Senior quarterback Jordan Yahn has completed 22 of 44 passes for 286 yards. Montgomery is his top target with 11 catches for 138 yards.
St. Pius has moved junior running back Talon Cook to quarterback. The Lancers, who have seniors Nick Early and Jake Woods in the backfield, will try to run the ball behind a good-sized line.
"[Cook]'s got some speed and is a pretty good runner," Vickery said. "They're not as big on the line as last year, buy they've got pretty good size again. I think they're going to try to control the ball and eat up the clock."
Last week: Sikeston 57, Dexter 30; Scott City 28, East Prairie 0
Last year: Dexter 43, Scott City 7
Outlook: Scott City is seeking it first three-game winning streak since opening the 2007 season with three straight wins.
Scott City last picked up back-to-back wins when it defeated Chaffee and Confluence Prep Academy in 2009.
Junior running back Travis Phillips rushed for a career-high 218 yards last week and has 442 yards this season.
"We've been pretty physical the last couple of weeks," Scott City coach Jim May said. "We've had good defense, and we've been able to run the football."
Dexter fell out of the Class 3 top 10 after last week's loss to Sikeston. The Bearcats yielded 558 yards and a school-recorded 328 yards rushing to the Bulldogs' James Watson in the loss.
The Bearcats did total 394 yards on offense, averaging more than 6 yards per rush.
"They're probably the biggest and most physical team on our schedule," May said. "We want to come play hard and see where we stack up."
Quarterback Cody Stevens led Dexter with 96 yards rushing and threw for 147 yards last week. His top receiver this season has been Tyler Miller, who has 17 receptions for 216 yards. Josh Overall is the Bearcats' top rusher with 313 yards (8.5 yards per carry).
Scott City likely will be without junior middle linebacker/fullback Zach Haynes for a second consecutive game. Haynes injured his back in practice last week. Sophomore kicker Layne Spies broke his leg in a JV game Monday and probably will be out for the season.
"We're auditioning kickers right now," May said.
Last week: Valle 42, Herculaneum 7; St. Vincent 55, Missouri Military Academy 0
Last year: Herculaneum 48, St. Vincent 14
Outlook: Class 2 Herculaneum has won six of the last seven meetings with Class 1 St. Vincent.
St. Vincent broke into the win column for the second straight year with a Week 3 rout of Missouri Military Academy.
The Indians got their offense rolling after scoring just 19 points in their previous two game combined. Senior quarterback Tim Schumer rushed for three touchdowns and senior running back Derek Joggerst rushed for 109 yards on 11 carries.
"That helped us gain a little bit of confidence," St. Vincent coach Paul Sauer said. "We kind of got back on track executing, and hopefully that carries over to this week."
St. Vincent will face a much stiffer test in Herculaneum, which got thumped by defending Class 1 state champion Valle last week.
Herculaneum senior running back Frank Abate rushed for 404 yards in the first two games this season after running for 1,500 his junior year. Abate opened the season with a 222-yard performance against Perryville. He's rushed for five touchdowns, the shortest being 39 yards. His numbers were not available against Valle last week, but the Blackcats mustered only 127 yards on offense.
"He's a legit running back, and they do a nice job of getting him the football in a variety of ways," Sauer said. "They'll throw it to him and he'll probably run it out of the backfield 25 to 30 times [tonight]. He's got a little bit of speed, and we've got to get him before he gets started. Once he gets outside, he's hard to catch."
Abate had 200 yards rushing on 13 carries as the Blackcats rolled for 467 yards on 35 carries in last year's game.
"Our game plan is to stop their running attack and force them into passing situations," Sauer said. "I don't think they're quite as effective when they have to throw it."
Senior quarterback Blake Womacks directs the run-oriented offense, which operates out of the wishbone and spread.
St. Vincent has been gaining depth with the addition of three players. Juniors Dylan Richardet (RB/LB) and Lucas Carroll (OL/DL) are coming off injuries and both likely will make their first starts on defense tonight. Both also could see action on offense. Junior Dylan Helleman (OL/DL) also is eligible to play for the first time this season.
Last week: Maplewood 28, Potosi 14; Park Hills 42, Perryville 7
Last year: Potosi 56, Perryville 7
Outlook: Both teams are looking for their first win of the season. Perryville is looking for its first win since the 2009 season and trying to end a 15-game losing streak.
Potosi has won all seven meetings since the teams began meeting again in 2004. Perryville had won the previous meeting in 1997, when the two resided in the same district in Class 3.
Perryville trailed Park Hills 28-0 at halftime in last week's loss. The Pirates yielded 389 yards -- 342 rushing -- while accumulating 172 yards on offense. Senior quarterback Chris Zahner led the Pirates with 50 yards rushing on seven carries.
"It's been obvious the last couple of weeks we have a hard time stopping the run," Perryville coach Mike Wojtczuk said. "I'm sure they're going to try us out. They're not going to hesitate to pass if we shut down the run."
The Trojans were tied 6-6 against state-ranked Maplewood before getting outscored 16-0 in the third quarter last week. Trevor Cain, who started the first two games of the season at quarterback, was moved to receiver and accounted for both of Potosi's touchdowns on pass receptions. Six of the Trojans' nine completions went to Cain, who had 115 yards receiving.
"If they throw the ball, they're going to try to get it to him," Wojtczuk said. "They've been working a couple of kids at running back. I think they're kind of like us. They're trying every possible combination to find the right one that's going to click."
Potosi's Aaron Vinson got the start at quarterback and passed for 153 yards last week.
Dusty Wideman led Potosi with 94 yards rushing on 20 carries. He's averaging just less than 100 yards per game.
-- Jeff Breer