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Monday, Aug. 29, 2016

How can you top week 5?

Wednesday, October 3, 2001

Considering all that took place last Friday night, area high school football fans have to be extremely excited about the second half of the season.

The most obvious highlight was Mario Whitney's astronomical feat of 463 yards rushing in Jackson's 56-22 win over Parkway North.

"The Speedwagon" broke Brock Olivo's 1993 state record for most yards in a game, putting another exclamation point on his outstanding high school career.

Will we ever see a talent like this again?

Down south, resurgent Portageville added its most impressive victory of the year by upsetting Kennett, the largest school of the Bootheel, 14-7.

Portageville hasn't allowed a point in two conference games, and has outscored its opponents overall 184-48. The Bulldog faithful can remove the paper bags from last year and be proud of this team. They're the real thing.

Four other games in the SEMO Conference could've gone either way, with Poplar Bluff, Charleston and Scott City holding on for victories, and Cape Central dropping a heartbreaker in overtime.

Can this week even come close?

Two of the top athletes in Chaffee football history will lead their respective teams to the battlefield Friday when Sikeston travels to NMCC.

Former Red Devil quarterback Charlie Vickery hits the road with the Bulldogs to meet his former receiver Steve Rogers, who is in his first year as head coach of the Eagles.

Vickery brings a fundamentally-sound team with him that is much improved on defense and special teams. Rogers has a more explosive squad and more talent.

The Eagles are the safe pick.

Final score: NMCC 35, Sikeston 14

Dexter at Charleston might be the toughest one to call this week. Both teams are on the bubble with a lot to lose. A win could provide a shot in the arm, and propel one team to the next level. But the losing team drops to .500, and could lose its edge.

Charleston has the advantage in the skill department, while Dexter is more sound on the line. Jordy Mixon is questionable.

Final score: Dexter 21, Charleston 20

Jim McKay's current project will play his former project when Portageville travels to Hayti on Friday. The Bulldogs' dominant ground attack and solid defense has resulted in four straight victories, making them a favorite in the SEMO South Conference.

In fact, the only thing more impressive than Portageville in the conference up to this point has been Hayti. The Indians have lived up to the hype, beating all five of their opponents by a combined score of 176-14.

Portageville can't be better than Hayti, can they?

Final score: Hayti 28, Portageville 14

Cape Central continues to play teams close, but they just can't win. Since the season-opening victory over struggling St. Charles West, the Tigers have mustered just one victory -- and that was 20-19 over lowly Blytheville.

This week Cape Central will have a chance to drastically turn its season around by upsetting arch-rival Jackson at Houck Stadium. It won't happen, but I'm sure the Tigers will make things interesting like they seem to do every season.

Final score: Jackson 28, Cape Central 14

Are the Indians waiving the white flag already? Usually they at least wait until the district competition rolls around.

Kennett should end its two-game losing streak against Malden this Friday, but it isn't guaranteed. The Green Wave are looking better every week while the Indians continue to slide.

Final score: Kennett 28, Malden 13

The Mules aren't playing teams so they can set rushing records. They play teams like Columbia Hickman to make themselves better.

Hickman is usually a power in 5A, but they are vulnerable this year. Brian Perry and Josh Ransdell will be tough to stop, even for a quality defense like Poplar Bluff's.

Final score: Hickman 41, Poplar Bluff 21

Flip a coin. I'll take the hard-luck Red Devils in a barnburner.

Final score: Chaffee 14, East Prairie 13

Former Dexter coach Mike Gotto appears to have a solid team this year, guiding Park Hills Central to a 5-0 record. Elusive quarterback Dominique Conrad is a one-man show, leading the Rebels on offense and defense.

The Rams will have their hands full, even if Brad Glenn puts together another monster game.

Final score: Park Hills 28, Scott City 7

St. Vincent isn't the dominant team it was last year, but the Indians proved they can still manhandle struggling opponents, beating Brentwood (31-8), Lutheran South (18-7) and Grandview (34-6).

Winless Caruthersville shouldn't be a problem on Saturday.

Final score: St. Vincent 27, Caruthersville 14