Take-out, top performers of week 3

After three weeks, we start to see suitors emerging.

Hallsville is certainly there, as is Harrisburg in Class 1. But in the larger Boone County programs there is still work to be done and the jury is still out on programs like Battle and Rock Bridge.

Here are our takeaways and top performers after week 3 of the football season.

The battle is on a roller coaster from top to bottom

Helias defeats Battle 35-22 in a game where the Spartans couldn't get over their own mistakes.

Starting with a win over Fort Zumwalt North, classically nothing less, Battle was ranked in the Missouri media charts, sitting fat and pondering the possibilities.

That changed on Friday night.

Battle made mistakes, fell behind and couldn’t catch Helias. All of that early-season momentum has seemingly vaporized with every option of Crusader rushing into the game.

“When you ride a roller coaster, sometimes you’ll be at the top,” Battle coach Jonah Dubinski said. “But, you’re going to be at the back too.”

The highs came early against Helias when Rickie Dunn ran for 24 yards to take the lead. Dunn also grabbed an interception that led to a touchdown, which reduced the score to 21-14.

But, that wouldn’t last. Helias ‘hasty attack was too good and his defense sniffed out Battle’s fourth and short attempts, as well as the Spartans’ red zone moves.

Helias defeats Battle 35-22 in a game where the Spartans couldn't get over their own mistakes.

That threw a wrench in what was a pretty good game for quarterback Justin Goolsby, who threw two touchdowns and over 250 yards. He displayed a soft touch with a precise, deep ball that gave his receivers a chance with every play.

“He’s going to give it his all,” Dubinski said of Goolsby. “That’s why he’s going to keep improving.”

Yet the roller coaster continued. The battle struggled with nine penalties overnight, and it came to a head when the roller coaster bottomed out as the Spartans had a player sent off for unsportsmanlike conduct.

After the game, Dubinski said he told his team to pay more, that what the team was giving was not enough, especially against a team like Helias, who single-handedly depressed the momentum of the Spartans.

The next game, a city-to-city rivalry clash against Hickman, will be an opportunity to turn that roller coaster back up.

“If you’re not going to just be a flat line, you have to be linear growth,” Dubinski said. “You have to grow up, and by the end of the game you will be on top.”

The CMAC race begins to take shape

The Columbia trio of Battle, Rock Bridge and Hickman of the Central Missouri Activities Conference are starting to find out what their league run will be like.

Helias and Rock Bridge are both 2-0 in three-week conference, while the rest of the teams have suffered at least one loss at CMAC.

Helias’ victory over Hickman in Week 2 was a strong statement of his skills, but beating Battle was a statement of football’s IQ.

Helias made the plays he needed to win, forcing four turnovers, making key-point saves and making big plays on offense. At the end of the game, Helias gained 435 total yards and rushed for 281 yards.

Helias defeats Battle 35-22 in a game where the Spartans couldn't get over their own mistakes.

The Crusaders made two rushers travel more than 100 meters in the night.

After week 3, Hickman and Rock Bridge beat the teams they needed to beat. The question is still whether they can, Battle included, beat the team they need to make the playoffs?

Rock Bridge on September 24 will be the last Columbia Public Schools team to give Helias their best shot in the CMAC game.

Hallsville is now the team to beat

As a notorious rapper once said in the 1990s, “If you don’t know, now you know.”

Granted, if you didn’t know Hallsville until Friday, then watching the Indians score 52 points in the first half on Versailles will help.

The issues that plagued Hallsville last year – turnovers and inconsistent attacking play – are gone.

Tyger Cobb is one of the top athletes in Class 2, let alone Class 2 in District 6, and has become a double threat who has improved as a passer. The X factor is that simple as Cobb takes better care of football as a quarterback now. And, if Cobb makes a mistake, he corrects it with a big game to change momentum.

The Hallsville football captains retire for the pre-game draw on September 3, hand in hand.

Add to the fact that Cobbs is flanked by Harrison Fowler and Trenton Hobbs, who are two running backs who add another dimension to the rushed offense.

In playoff time, the Indians will be one of the toughest teams to play, with solid defense and experienced playmakers up front.

It all comes down to one simple equation: Hallsville is the team to beat.

Best Performances – Week 3

Centralia claimed their first victory of the season with a 30-12 victory over Brookfield.

Beau Gordon – QB, Centralia

Gordon went the extra mile on Friday, when he ran for 222 yards and four touchdowns as he led Centralia to his first win of the season.

Braden Willmeth – RB, Catholic of Tolton

Tolton recovered over 0.500 and Willmeth did his part to make it happen on Friday. He scored two rushing touchdowns and added a two-point conversion, while the Trallblazers did on the Missouri Military Academy.

Hallsville's Tyger Cobb runs the ball in a win over Centralia on September 3.

Tyger Cobb – QB, Hallsville

In an impressive offensive performance, Cobb ran 15 times for 277 yards and three touchdowns while throwing for 100 yards and two more scores. These are video game numbers. Enough said.

Rock Bridge's Payton Messer (5) hits a pass to set up a Bruin touchdown on Friday night.

Payton Messer – WR, stone bridge

Nathan Dent has totaled six touchdowns, but he can’t do it without Messer. The receiver was the main recipient of Dent’s throws, catching both of his entire quarterback’s touchdown passes, also returning the second-half opening kick for a touchdown.

Hickman's Deon Weston (21) drills a hole against Helias on September 3.

Deon Weston – RB, Hickman

The second week in a row, Weston made the list, and for good reason. His 170-yard, two-touchdown performance was one of the main factors the Kewpies reached the winning column this week against Capital City.

Harrisburg quarterback Tanner Lanes (12) searches the field for a receiver to throw the ball to as a Milan defender reads his eyes during the fourth quarter of a September 3 football game in Harrisburg.

Tanner Lanes – QB, Harrisburg

Lanes threw two touchdowns in the first half as the Bulldogs routed Salisbury, one to Jace Carr and another to Austin Darwent. Harrisburg pulls a bit of everything from Lanes, who can throw him deep but also has the ability to run. He also converted some conversions to two points.

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