The last unbeaten team in the Central Ozarks Conference Large Division will have to overcome a traditional powerhouse in order to stay atop the standings.
Nixa (5-0) hosts Webb City (3-2) Friday at 7 p.m. in the News-Leader Game of the Week presented by Murney Associates, Realtors.
Webb City won an eighth straight Central Ozark Conference title in 2015 with a 7-0 record against COC Large opponents. Since entering the COC in 2008 Webb City had not lost a single conference game, until this year when Carl Junction and Carthage picked up home wins over Webb City to start the season.
Nixa squeaked out a 31-28 win against Neosho to improve to 5-0 on Friday night. Eagles quarterback Andrew Rivera led a game-winning drive in the final three minutes to secure a comeback win.
In order to beat Webb City, Nixa’s defense will have to bog up a Webb City offense very similar to that of the Eagles’ own. Both teams rely on the split-back veer to sustain drives, control the game clock and keep the opposing offense off the field.
In the five games of 2016, Webb City rushed for an average of 259 yards per game with seniors Cameron Baker (81 carries, 495 yards and six touchdowns) and Hunter Vanlue (69 carries, 444 yards and three touchdowns) leading the ground game.
The Cardinals have won 16 straight outright conference championships dating back to 2000 and the defunct Southwest Conference and have won 87 straight conference games dating back to 1999.
From 2010 to 2014, Webb City won five consecutive Class 4 football state championships. The Cardinals reached the 2015 title game last November but fell 17-14 to Kearney at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.
Springfield News-Leader Game of the Week
Presented by Murney Associates, Realtors
Webb City (3-2) at Nixa (5-0)
Friday, Sept. 23, 7 p.m.
Eagle Stadium, 514 South Nicholas Road, Nixa