1. Chillicothe (7-1)
Impressive work, Hornets. Very impressive. Just when it looked like Smithville would finish its final tour through the MEC undefeated, Chillicothe used two second-half touchdowns from Josh Kile — the last coming in the game’s final minute — to knock off the Warriors on the road, 14-7. As we’ve said before here, if you beat the No. 1 team, you become the No. 1 team. Chillicothe should take care of Benton in week 9 to claim a share of the MEC title and head into the Class 3, District 8 tournament with serious momentum..
2. Smithville (7-1)
The Warriors have had a special year, and a 14-7 loss shouldn’t put a damper on what they have accomplished so far.
Smithville should defeat winless Cameron this week to claim at least a share of the MEC title as it bids farewell to the conference.
Ironically, the Warriors may not be done with MEC opponents, though, as they could face Savannah or Benton in the first round of the Class 4, District 8 tournament.
3. Lafayette (7-1)
The Fighting Irish crushed LeBlond 63-7 in week 8 to improve to 7-1 heading into this week’s game at Maryville, which is the big-class game of the week here in the Uclick TV area.
Lafayette can clinch a share of the MEC title with a win over the Spoofhounds.
4. Maryville (6-2)
The Spoofhounds trailed Savannah 3-0 at halftime in week 8 but scored twice after the break to take care of business and improve to 6-2.
Maryville hosts Lafayette to close out the regular season and needs a win to clinch the No. 2 seed in the Class 3, District 8 tournament.
A loss to the Fighting Irish might drop Maryville to the No. 3 seed, meaning it would have to go on the road in the second round, likely to Pembroke Hill.
With two MEC losses, the Spoofhounds are out of the conference race unless some extraordinary circumstances take place in week 9.
5. St. Joseph Central (3-5)
Central earned its third win of the season with a 42-41 overtime decision over a decent Raytown team (the Blue Jays beat Grain Valley by 35 earlier in the year).
The Indians have a good shot to close out the year with a win at North Kansas City, which features one of the top running backs in the metro in Clyde Price.
1. East Buchanan (7-1)
The ‘Dawgs clinched a share of the KCI title with their 34-26 win over Lathrop last week and set up a final week showdown with Hamilton.
Top the Hornets, and East Buchanan claims the conference title outright with a perfect 7-0 run through the KCI.
Head to Hamilton Friday for what looks to be the Uclick TV area small-class game of the year.
2. Hamilton (7-1)
Hamilton did what it was supposed to do in week 8 with a 53-18 win over West Platte to do its part in making this week’s game against East Buchanan as big a regular season game as possible.
The Hornets need to win to claim a share of the KCI title due to their loss to Lathrop earlier in the season as they enter the contest 5-1 in conference play.
Whatever the result, these teams have a chance to meet again a month from now in the Class 1 playoffs, but for now, enjoy this mammoth matchup.
3. Lathrop (6-2)
There’s no shame in losing 34-26 on the road to a good East Buchanan team.
Lathrop still owns the only win over Hamilton this season and is still probably kicking itself for a 7-2 loss to Lawson a few weeks ago.
The Mules should close out the regular season with a win at Mid-Buchanan to enter Class 2, District 8 play 7-2.
Due to MSHSAA’s goofy mathematical formula to determine district seeding, the Mules might play Lawson again in the first round.
We’ll find out after Friday.
4. Marceline (8-0)
Coach Greg Hough and the Tigers passed their toughest test of the year with a 25-22 win at Westran, a game which they led by two touchdowns at halftime.
To give you an idea of how dominant Marceline has been this season, it had only allowed 21 points all season entering the game.
The Tigers should end the regular season undefeated with a win at Harrisburg in week 9.
5. Lawson (4-4)
The Cardinals returned to .500 with a 33-18 win at Mid-Buchanan in week 8.
They should return to above .500 with a win over West Platte to close out the regular season.
One of my fellow media brethren mocked me for keeping Lawson in this poll, but we value strength of schedule here, and the Cardinals have lost to Class 3 Maryville (6-2), state-ranked Higginsville (8-0), and the top two teams in this poll, four teams who combined have a record of 28-4.
1. Worth County (with Northeast Nodaway) (8-0)
2. Stanberry (8-0)
3. Mound City (with Craig) (8-0)
4. Rock Port (8-0)
5. King City (with Union Star) (5-2)