With one week of North Central Missouri Conference (NCMC) play wrapped up, three teams have 1-0 conference records, three teams are 0-1 and one team has yet to play a conference game.
That Hannibal and Moberly won their conference openers was no surprise, however, Mexico beating Marshal was.
Mexico did not win a single NCMC game last year. In fact, the Bulldogs' last conference win came on Oct. 28, 2011 when Mexico beat Kirksville. But that all changed this past Friday when Mexico beat Marshall 14-7, ending a streak of seven straight losses to NCMC opponents. The Bulldogs' prize for beating a conference foe is a date with Hannibal this Friday.
Hannibal (2-1) will be entering its home date with Mexico riding a two-game winning streak. The Pirates traveled to Boonville for the 2013 Pirate Bowl and beat their hosts 35-7. It was the fifth time (in six tries) Hannibal has beaten Boonville since Boonville joined the NCMC.
As for Mexico, the Pirates have not lost to the Bulldogs since 2004. In addition, the Pirates have shut the Bulldogs out in three of the past four meetings. Overall, Hannibal holds a 48-27-2 edge over Mexico in 77 meetings.
The Pirates also enter play this week as the No. 10 team in the Missouri state high school football ranking. Hannibal held its spot in the rankings after beating Boonville.
Also in the rankings is Moberly. The Spartans entered play last week as the No. 7 team in Class 4 and after winning, Moberly moved up one spot to No. 6.
Moberly, the one of two undefeated teams in the NCMC, opened its conference play with a 28-12 win over Kirksville. The other undefeated team in the NCMC is Fulton. The Hornets played a non-conference game against North Callaway on Friday and came away with a 54-14 win, after spotting the Thunderbirds a 14-0 lead.
This week one of those two teams will take a loss as the Hornets travel to Moberly for an NCMC showdown.
The third NCMC matchup this week features Kirksville at Marshall. After winning its season opener, Kirksville (1-2) dropped its next two games. Marshall (0-3) is not doing any better as the Owls have yet to win this season.
Following its third straight loss, Boonville (0-3) will be the one NCMC school not playing a conference game this week when the Pirates host Knob Nobster (1-2). This game could go one of two ways. It could be a shoot out or it could be a low scoring affair.
The Panthers of Knob Nobster have allowed 99 points this year while scoring only 62. With any luck, this game comes at the right time to change the fortunes of Boonville. The Boonville Pirates have scored just twice this season, a touchdown in their season opening loss and a touchdown against Hannibal in week three. Defensively, Boonville has allowed almost as many points (92) as the Panthers.