Statistically, Matt Burnett represents 54 percent of Dexter's offense in the 2002 season. The senior has rushed for 1,373 yards and scored 148 points, making the Bearcats one of the top teams in the SEMO Conference this year. But with one of the biggest games in school history looming, his status is uncertain.
Last week he injured his knee against New Madrid County Central and may not start Friday's district championship game against Fredericktown. While that is a tough blow, I think the Bearcats will win, with or without him.
Led by linebackers Drew Wethington and Jon Guite, and Willie Dooley in the secondary, the Bearcats are nails on the defensive side of the ball, allowing just 36 points in their last seven games.
The Blackcats' methodical offense plays right into Dexter's hands.
Final score: Dexter 29, Fredericktown 14
Scott City finally broke the 14-point barrier in last week's overtime win against Crystal City. The Rams ditched their caveman offense, putting the ball in the air 18 times. Now, believe it or not, the lowly Rams find themselves in a position to win Class 2, District 2.
Like always, all it takes is a win over Charleston on Friday night. It's the fourth time in five years the district has come down to these two teams in Week 10.
Mark the Bluejays down for their third straight over Scott City.
Final score: Charleston 20, Scott City 8
What's the story with Portageville's defense? The Bulldogs gave up 330 yards and 27 points to ho-hum Caruthersville last week. I guess every team is allowed one letdown per season. On Friday night, Portageville will clobber East Prairie and take home the SEMO South and Class 2, District 1 titles. Fans should gear up for a rematch against Charleston in the playoffs. This year, I suspect that thing will have a different outcome.
Final score: Portageville 42, East Prairie 8
In a Thursday game, Sikeston hits the road to take on Perryville. The Pirates are better than they have been the last couple of years, but they're not a serious threat to the Bulldogs.
Sikeston showed all of its potential last week, playing its best game of the season against Poplar Bluff. Unfortunately for the fans, they happen to be in the same district with Cape Central, a state contender.
The Bulldogs have a team good enough to win several districts in Class 4 this year, just not District 1.
Final score: Sikeston 27, Perryville 7
In another Thursday matchup, Kennett travels to NMCC for a game with only conference ramifications. If the Indians win, they take second in the SEMO Central. If they lose, the Eagles tie for second with a 2-2 mark.
Will Tyree Goolsby end his high school football career with a bang or a whimper?
Final score: NMCC 28, Kennett 21
In yet another Thursday game, Cape Central plays host to Poplar Bluff. Monroe Hicks, Seth Hudson, and the rest of Cape's secondary have to be licking their chops at this one. The Mules are averaging 30 passes a game.
Final score: Cape Central 30, Poplar Bluff 7
Is somebody throwing a party on Friday night or something? Even Hayti and Chaffee are playing on Thursday this week. The Red Devils have allowed 125 points in the last three weeks. The explosive Indians could probably match that total if they leave the starters in, which they have done on occasion this year.
Final score: Hayti 49, Chaffee 6
This might turn out to be the best game in the area on Friday night, even though not much is on the line. Both teams have athletes all over the field, offenses that can score early and often, and defenses that can give up the big play.
Turnovers will be the difference in this one.
Final score: Malden 28, Caruthersville 27
You think your hometown football team has had it tough? Get a load of Jackson. The Indians face another powerhouse this week when they host Francis Howell on Friday.
The Vikings are 7-2, with wins over Fort Zumwalt West and Parkway West. They've thrown the ball just 28 times all season.
Final score: Francis Howell 20, Jackson 10