WEEK TWO SEMOBALL TOP 10: Dexter upset headlines major changes in local picture

After a wild week of big wins, upsets and narrow losses, the first slate of southeast Missouri football games has come to an end. While in some places little changed, many others saw much movement as a few intriguing decisions came across the ticker as Friday night unfolded.

Among the big winners, both New Madrid County Central and Dexter put together wins that jumped out on paper, and their ascent up the rankings reflects these. With some tough losses this week, a few teams found themselves on the falling end of the spectrum, including the Scott City Rams, St. Vincent Indians and Charleston Bluejays, the latter becoming the first team of the year to fall out of the top 10.

With this being said, the first week of football is finished, and the rankings have been updated to reflect this. Here are the Semoball Area Football Top 10 Rankings ahead of week two action.

The Jackson football team exits the pregame huddle and storms the field during an August 25, 2023 game against the Edwardsville Tigers in Edwardsville, Ill. The Tigers defeated Jackson, 30-21.
Cole Lee ~

No. 1: Jackson (0-1, LW No. 1)

For the second consecutive year, the Jackson Indians begin their season with a loss to the Edwardsville Tigers, this time crossing the river and taking a narrow nine-point loss. Jackson is the only team in the top three to lose in week one, but the quality of the competition plays a large part in the decision to keep them atop the rankings. With such a strong Edwardsville team, including a Divison-I quarterback and the No. 12 prospect in the junior class rushing the edge, Jackson’s narrow loss reflects well on the team. With another tough matchup against Howell on the docket, and Jackson entering as a heavy underdog, there’s a lot to be told in the upcoming matchup in Jackson’s home opener at “The Pit.”

No. 2: New Madrid County Central (1-0, LW No. 3)

The Eagles picked up a premier win for the region this past weekend, traveling all the way to Boonville, Missouri. A four-hour trek to mid-Missouri paid off for New Madrid County Central, defeating a high-quality Richmond team in a neutral-site game in which the Eagles entered as one-point underdogs, coming back from a late deficit and downing Richmond in a 50-38 win. Beginning the season at 1-0, New Madrid County Central vaults to the No. 2 position from its preseason ranking a spot below, and the Eagles are now favored in the remainder of their games this season.

No. 3: Cape Central (1-0, LW No. 2)

While defeating the St. Charles Pirates proved a strong start to the season for the Tigers, who look to rebound from a strong season in 2022, it wasn’t exactly all that Cape Central had hoped for. Winning at just 35-33 against the Pirates, whom the Tigers defeated 54-12 last year, it raised more questions than answers for Cape Central. Entering week two with a home game against one of the best teams in the state, the Hillsboro Hawks, the Tigers need to find some solutions to their problems before their match in order to avoid a lopsided outcome.

Cape Central coach Kent Gibbs talks with his team following a 35-33 win over St. Charles on Friday, August 25, at Cape Central High School.
Clay Herrell ~

No. 4: Poplar Bluff (0-1, LW No. 4)

The Poplar Bluff Mules didn’t do too much in the sense of “proving” in week one. While playing host to a much stronger Park Hills Central team, the Mules scored just 13 points en route to a 34-13 loss. Albeit to a great Rebels team, the Mules maintained an opportunity to cover the spread and move up the rankings, but couldn’t find much for points as the game progressed. While certainly earning a quality loss, the Mules look to their week two matchup against Valley View of Arkansas in order to grab their first win of the season.

No. 5: Portageville (0-1, LW No. 5)

The Portageville Bulldogs matched up against Savannah in week one looking to knock off a very strong team, and while falling just short of this, the 35-34 loss aged very well for Portageville. Entering the game as two-score underdogs, the Bulldogs covered the spread and then some, rallying to a one-point loss against Savannah, a team projected to be roughly as strong as New Madrid County Central or Cape Central. With this result, the tide turns for Portageville as the Class 1 club looks toward the future, particularly its week two matchup against Hayti.

No. 6: Kennett (1-0, LW No. 8)

There isn’t too much to say about Kennett other than this – the Indians took care of business on Friday night. Taking care of Hayti in a 49-20 win at home, Kennett proved many doubters wrong and rose two spots in accordance. With timely losses from Scott City and St. Vincent, the Indians of Kennett have proven to be one of the stronger teams in the area and, despite not facing the best team in southeast Missouri, did their job and sit just outside of the top five ahead of a road game against Doniphan.

The Dexter football team enters a huddle during an August 25, 2023 matchup between the Dexter Bearcats and the Scott City Rams. Dexter defeated Scott City, 26-14.
Tom Davis ~

No. 7: Dexter (1-0, LW No. 10)

The biggest riser of week one? It’s got to be the Dexter Bearcats. Entering the season ranked 10th in the area, Dexter has had potential but it wasn’t until a 26-14 win against Scott City that the potential had an opportunity to go on full display. Holding an explosive Rams offense to just two scores in the victory, Dexter’s defense has risen to the occasion and ranks among the best in the area. With any luck, the Bearcats could find themselves battling for a SEMO South Conference championship with New Madrid County Central.

No. 8: Scott City (0-1, LW No. 6)

Sitting just under the Bearcats, in direct contrast, are the Scott City Rams. With so much talent and potential, it’s hard to totally take the Rams out of the picture. However, with a two-score road loss in a game that the Rams entered as three-score favorites, there’s a lot left to prove for a Scott City team that came into the season so highly touted. With eight weeks remaining in the regular season, Scott City looks to rebound with a fairly light schedule. However, with their matchup with St. Vincent looming, there’s little time for the Rams to rest.

No. 9: St. Vincent (0-1, LW No. 7)

You can’t discount a loss at Thayer. While St. Vincent entered the game as the favorite on neutral field, the drive down to Thayer and a matchup against a historically-dominant Bobcats team brought quite the challenge for a St. Vincent team that is still looking to find its footing. With a 21-18 loss coming off of a three-hour drive, it’s understandable to drop the first game of the season to a team that the Indians matched up rather evenly with. Entering their week two bout at Scott City, however, St. Vincent has to pick up the pace as both teams enter the game searching for their first win of the season.

No. 10: Caruthersville (1-0, LW NR)

Caruthersville becomes the first team unranked in the preseason to enter the top 10, filling in for a Charleston team that descended following a loss to East Prairie. Similar to the Kennett Indians, Caruthersville matched up with a Malden team as heavy favorites and simply proved it. Winning in a 60-6 rout, the Tigers enter a week two matchup against Park Hills Central as a large underdog. With any luck, a scrappy Caruthersville club could give the unsuspecting Rebels a fight as the Tigers travel north this week.

The 2023 Week Two Semoball Area Football Top 10, first published on August 28, 2023 by Semoball. Jackson High School still remains as the first-ranked team, while New Madrid County Central climbs close behind after a big win.
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