Last week: Valle 48, St. Vincent 7; Cleveland NJROTC 49, Chaffee 29
Last year: Valle 49, Chaffee 10
Class 1 District 2: Chaffee, Valle, St. Vincent (4-5, 0-2), Cleveland NJROTC (6-3, 1-1)
Outlook: Defending Class 1 state champion Valle is the only team in the district that has secured a playoff spot, having accumulated enough points to win a three-team tiebreaker.
Chaffee has not beaten Valle since a 14-7 win in 1966.
Chaffee finds its season in precarious position after committing seven turnovers in a 49-29 loss to Cleveland on Saturday.
"It was as tough a loss as I've had in a long time," Chaffee coach Charlie Vickery said. "I thought we were a better team that what we showed. Seven or eight turnovers, you can't expect to beat anybody by doing that.
"We probably have the best 1A team in the state this week. The thing is, we have to take care of ourselves, No. 1, and correct our own mistakes to even have a chance. I think that's the big key.
"I think we can right the ship. ... We need to come out and play as good as we can play. That's been our goal and that's going to continue to be the goal."
Chaffee senior Tyson Estes is among the region's top running backs, having rushed for 1,340 yards this season. He averages 7.2 yards per carry.
Chaffee senior quarterback Jordan Yahn has thrown for 1,139 yards and rushed for 135 yards. Sophomore Charlie Montgomery leads the receivers with 463 yards on 28 catches. He also averages 8 yards per carry and is second on the team with 321 yards rushing. Senior Zach Dannenmueller is second on the team in receiving with 19 catches for 287 yards.
Valle owns 10 Class 1 state championships and has a history of lopsided wins. The Warriors defeated Chaffee's district runner-up team by 39 points last season. That has been a typical score in the meetings between the two schools, with Valle winning the last 19 district meetings by an average score of 40-9.
The Warriors' lone loss this season came in Week 2, a 38-27 setback to Class 3 rival Ste. Genevieve. Valle has been thrashing teams early this season. The Warriors built a 48-0 lead on St. Vincent last week and have outscored opponents 359-38 in the first half.
"They're just a typical Valle team," Vickery said. "They're very fundamentally sound. Good athletes. Good size. But they block and tackle extremely well."
Valle has a veteran offensive line that averages 222 pounds, helping smooth the transition for new players at skill positions this season. Senior quarterback Michael Wehner, a first-year starter, directs the spread offense and is a threat to pass and run. He's thrown for more than 1,300 yards and is the team's second leading rusher. Senior Cory Kertz is Valle's leading rusher in his first year as the featured running back.
Last week: Cleveland NJROTC 49, Chaffee 29; Valle 48, St. Vincent 7
Last year: St. Vincent 15, Cleveland NJROTC 6
Class 1 District 2: Cleveland NJROTC, St. Vincent, Chaffee (5-4, 1-1), Valle (8-1, 2-0)
St. Vincent needs a 10-point victory and a Chaffee loss by at least five points to navigate successfully a tiebreaker among three teams (Chaffee, Cleveland and St. Vincent) that all would be 1-2 in district play.
St. Vincent received a reprieve on its season when Cleveland prevented Chaffee from moving to 2-0 in the district.
"Not too many teams get a second chance," St. Vincent coach Paul Sauer said. "We've got to go out and take care of business if we want to play in the playoffs."
The Commanders forced seven Chaffee turnovers in a surprising 20-point win Saturday. The victory was the first time Cleveland defeated a team with more than two wins this season.
"Chaffee could have played with them and could have beat them, but the fumbles and turnovers was just too much to overcome," Sauer said. "[Cleveland is] very aggressive. They blitz a lot of people and they go after the football a lot. At times they try to tackle the football and strip it out. We're hoping we can hang onto the football, play a good game of field position, drive the ball and avoid the big play. Hopefully if we can do that, we can come out with a 10-point win, at least."
Cleveland gained more than 400 yards last week with senior quarterback Brandon Harrell passing for 298 yards on 11 completions in 25 attempts.
"Their quarterback can throw the ball a country mile," Sauer said. "He threw one against Chaffee that I think was over 50 yards in the air. They have a number of kids that can run and go catch it. We're going to have to make sure we don't give up the big play."
The Commanders displayed a variety of weapons against Chaffee. Montey Dickerson had four catches -- two for touchdowns -- for 105 yards. Monteze Latimore added two catches for 86 yards, including a 76-yard touchdown reception. Dominic Ball led the Commanders' running attack with 19 carries for 67 yards.
St. Vincent senior quarterback Tim Schumer has been one of the top passers in the region. He had a hand in 259 yards of offense against a stout Valle Catholic defense. He completed 22 of 38 passes for 184 yards and was the Indians' leading rusher with 75 yards. Schumer has 1,625 yards passing and 323 yards rushing, second on the team, this season. Senior Derek Joggerst leads the Indians in rushing with more than 400 yards.
Senior Sean Martin remains available only for kicking duties after suffering a concussion earlier this season.
Last week: Crystal City 39, Scott City 20; Herculaneum 42, St. Pius 6
Last year: Scott City 38, St. Pius 0
Class 2 District 2: Scott City, St. Pius, Crystal City (6-3, 2-0), Herculaneum (5-4, 2-0)
Scott City has lost three consecutive games, which pales to St. Pius' current streak of futility that stretches 17 games.
The Rams mounted 381 yards on offense against Crystal City last week but came away pointless on four drives inside the Hornets' 20-yard line. Scott City committed six turnovers in the game, five on interceptions by junior quarterback Jonathan McFall, who passed for 254 yards.
Scott City has been burned by opposing teams' running attacks in recent weeks. The Rams yielded 298 yards rushing to Hayti and 386 to Crystal City. Opponents are averaging 217 yards rushing and 90 yards passing this season.
McFall has completed 51 percent of his passes for 1,270 yards. He's thrown 16 touchdown passes and 13 interceptions. A pair of seniors lead the Rams with nearly 1,100 yards receiving combined. Austin Atchley has 32 catches for 620 yards, while Zach Cotner has 30 catches for 475.
Sophomore Gordy Bradley is Scott City's top healthy rusher with 371 yards, averaging nearly 6 yards a carry.
Last week: Farmington 48, Perryville 0; Sikeston 47, Central 17
Last year: Central 52, Perryville 13
Class 4 District 1: Central, Perryville, Farmington (8-1, 2-0), Sikeston (8-1, 2-0)
Outlook: Both teams have been eliminated from postseason contention after they lost to Farmington and Sikeston.
Central has lost three of its last four games after opening the season 4-0. The Tigers' two district defeats are Central's first back-to-back losses since they closed the 2009 season with a 13-game losing streak.
"We tell them that it's their last home game, and for the seniors it's their last go-round," Central coach Nathan Norman said. "We want to send them out the right way. The kids have responded and have had good practices so far this week. They've worked too hard to not finish it the right way."
Perryville is in the throes of a five-game losing streak in which it has been shut out four times. The Pirates have been outscored 253-6 during the stretch.
"We're playing to send our seniors out on a good note," Perryville coach Mike Wojtczuk said. "We're playing for pride."
Central averages 230 yards rushing a game and 87 yards passing. Juniors Chris Martin and Jacob Campbell lead a balanced running attack with 450 yards apiece. Sophomore Mikey Jones also has more than 400 yards rushing.
Perryville has struggled on both sides of the ball, averaging about 170 yards of offense and yielding about 350.
Central quarterback Christian Cavaness is questionable after suffering a mild concussion against Sikeston.
Martin is probable after exiting last week's game after one carry. Martin sprained an ankle near the end of the previous game against Farmington.
"I don't know how long he'll last, but he's better than he was," Norman said.
Wojtczuk said there are no new injuries to report this week after his team sustained multiple injuries during the season.
"It's real frustrating," he said about the mounting injuries. "Amidst all the other things we've had to battle this year, it seems our game plan has had to change day to day."
Last week: Jackson 8, Seckman 7; Rockwood Summit 42, Poplar Bluff 7
Last year: Rockwood Summit 48, Jackson 24
Class 5 District 1: Jackson, Rockwood Summit, Poplar Bluff (2-7, 1-1), Seckman (2-6, 0-2)
Outlook: Defending district champion Rockwood Summit has secured one of the district's two playoff spots.
Jackson's only way to become the district's second playoff entry is with a victory tonight and a Poplar Bluff loss to Seckman. Jackson could not win any three-way tiebreaker scenario at either 2-1 or 1-2.
The Indians broke a five-game losing streak last week to keep a glimmer of hope alive to make the playoffs.
"To have something positive to build off of for this week's practices has been really big," Jackson coach Van Hitt said.
On the down side, Jackson will be facing the district favorite whose only three losses have been to top-notch competition. Summit's losses have been to Kirkwood, Webster Groves and Parkway Central, a trio of state-ranked teams in Class 5 that combine for a 23-2 record.
Summit received votes in the latest state poll and sits just outside the top 10 in Class 5. Summit held a 35-point lead at halftime against Poplar Bluff, a team that beat Seckman in the first week of district play.
"We're going to line up and play 'em," Hitt said. "They are probably the best football team that we're going to face this year."
Senior quarterback Tyler Karst directs Summit's offense. He has completed 58 percent of his passes for 1,526 yards. He's thrown for 16 touchdowns.
Ian McIntosh, a junior, has been the team's primary rusher with 939 yards. No other player has more than 200 yards rushing. McIntosh averages 6.2 yards a carry.
"From what we've seen from them on film, they have a really good running attack," Hitt said. "They have a good running back."
Hitt said the Falcons like to sweep and power run.
Summit averages 309 yards on offense, while Jackson has been yielding more than 300 yards a game.
Jackson still is hampered by injuries. Junior Lowgn Wren is questionable after missing the last three games with a sprained ankle. Wren will line up at running back if he is available after playing quarterback the first half of the season. Sophomore Ty Selsor has started at quarterback the last three games and will get the start against Summit.
Selsor had his most effective game last week, completing 15 of 23 passes for 199 yards. The Indians had been averaging 89 yards passing a game.
Jackson averages 91 yards rushing a game, with sophomore Colten Proffer leading the way with 457 yards.
Indians linebacker Jordan Jeffers is doubtful after missing the last couple weeks with a shoulder injury, while linebacker Matt Zeller is being used primarily as a long snapper on offense after suffering a shoulder injury.
Receivers Brannon Wright, who also plays cornerback, and Levi Rutherford both have returned from injuries.
"We're going to have to play our best game of the year and get some breaks to stay in the ballgame," Hitt said.
-- Jeff Breer