This weekend could give us a glimpse of which teams will be the last ones standing come championship team. Rockhurst, CBC and Staley all face formidable foes while Jefferson City is out to prove its 4-0 is no fluke.
Francis Howell (3-1) at No. 2 CBC (4-0)
No team has found an answer for CBC's explosive offense so far this season. Quarterback Dalton Demos is nearing the 1,000-yard mark and the tailback duo of Antonio Brown and Jonathan Parker has scored 15 touchdowns. But the Cadets could find themselves in a shootout against a tough Howell squad. The Vikings lost but were able to hang with the high-scoring Fort Zumwalt West last week, as quarterback Eric Siebenshuh has found a chemistry with wideout Corey King. In other words, defense will be the key. The Cadets gave up 49 points to Fort Zumwalt West while Howell surrendered 34, but CBC has shown its mettle in a win against DeSmet.
My Pick: CBC 35, Howell 28
Kearney (3-1) at No. 3 Staley (4-0)
Running — and running well — has become a habit for Staley, which is averaging more than 400 rushing yards per game. Morgan Steward and Trent Hosick account for most of that production, presenting quite the task for the Bulldog defense. Kearney isn't as explosive on offense, and quarterback Cole Davis will have lineman Nathaneal Lohn pursuing him all night. The key for Kearney is if it can dictate the flow of the game.
My pick: Staley 31, Kearney 21
Rock Bridge (3-1) at No. 1 Rockhurst (4-0)
Rock Bridge will look to bounce back from last week's loss to Jefferson City, but Rockhurst isn't exactly the team you want to be facing after defeat. Especially now. The Hawklets welcome back offensive lineman Christian Eatherly, who missed the last two games with injury, and Jordan Walker is ready to go after sitting out part of last week's win. Plus, their experienced defense is coming around, giving up just 17 points in the last two games. Rock Bridge will have to execute early and often to have a chance here, but yes, I'm saying there's a chance.
My pick: Rockhurst 28, Rock Bridge 14
No. 8 Jefferson City (4-0) at Park Hill (3-1)
It's been quite the start for Jefferson City, outscoring opponents by the count of 140-35. Much of the credit goes to running back Devon Moore, who reached paydirt four times last week and has been on a tear this season. Park Hill's defense is solid, giving up just 23 points through four games, but the Trojans offense must capitalize on stops if they want to pull off the upset.
My pick: Jefferson City 24, Park Hill 10
Brandon Parker covers Missouri for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.