By Richard Polen
Globe Sports Writer
The Jasper Eagles, winners of four of their last five games, travel to Lockwood for a Class 1 District 2 semifinal contest at 7 p.m. today.
The game serves as a rematch of the regular-season meeting between the two teams. Jasper’s 51-34 loss on Sept. 14 at Lockwood was the fourth of the Eagles’ five-game losing streak at the start of the season.
“It’s one of those deals where you keep your heads up and work hard,” said Jasper head coach Rich Adkins. “They’re starting to see the rewards from their hard work. It’s definitely a credit to those kids.”
Since then, the Eagles have averaged 24.4 points per game and last week ousted No. 2-seed McAuley Catholic 20-6. McAuley had defeated Jasper 42-6 in the second game of the season.
“Just like with McAuley, we’re excited about the opportunity to change things around and get better,” Adkins said. “The first time against Lockwood, we didn’t play well and get our defense aligned. We’ll have a better opportunity to slow Lockwood’s offense down a little bit.”
On defense, senior safety Landon Osborne leads the Eagles with 38 unassisted and 63 total tackles. Defensive back Colton Sweeney, a junior, has intercepted two passes.
Up front, the Eagles’ are led by lineman Jed Kaderly, a 6-foot-2, 315-pound senior who has a team-best four sacks, with help from sophomore linebacker Austin Gloodt.
Jasper’s balanced ground attack, which averages 214 yards per game, is led by Jordan Adams, a 170-pound senior who has rushed for 958 yards and 14 touchdowns. Matt Stump, a sophomore, and Payton Smith, a junior, share time at the other running back spot.
Quarterback Logan Johnston, a junior, has rushed for 593 yards and five TDs. He has completed 31 of 98 passes for 400 yards and two touchdowns. His leading receiver is Jaycee Helms, who has nine catches for 95 yards and a touchdown.
“That first game (against Lockwood), offensively we did have a little success,” Adkins said. “We found that we could put points on the board. Ever since then, we’ve had better games on offense. But I’m sure Lockwood will change some things around, too.”
Lockwood advanced to the semifinals by defeating Greenfield 18-7. The Tigers’ leaders on offense are quarterback Isaac Lasater, a 205-pound senior, and Brent Chambers, a 175-pound junior who has rushed for about 1,200 yards.
Lasater is the team’s second-leading rusher. His favorite receivers are Isaac Spain, a 160-pound junior, and Elijah Pitts, a 160-pound senior.
Defensive back Noah Sowell, a 155-pound sophomore, had four interceptions in the Tigers’ first eight games.
Marionville at Miller
Miller, 10-0, was ranked No. 3 in the final Class 1 regular-season poll by the Missouri Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association.
The Cardinals have outscored their opponents 410-91 and are averaging 295 yards rushing and 155 yards passing per game.
In their first meeting, a 53-10 Miller victory in the season opener, the Cardinals rushed for 368 yards and five TDs on 33 carries. Quarterback Dalton Gulick completed nine of 15 passes and threw for three touchdowns.
Gulick leads a diverse Cardinals attack on the ground with 963 yards and 14 TDs. Running back Derrick Estell has rushed for 901 yards and 17 TDs and averages 13.9 yards per carry. Brenden Richardson, a junior, has 589 yards and eight TDs.
Gulick, a 6-foot-2, 170-pound senior, has completed 92 of 173 passes for 1,517 yards and 16 TDs. He has thrown touchdown passes to five receivers, including Estell, who has 23 receptions for 393 yards, and Chris Collins, a senior who has 21 catches for 395 yards.
The Cardinals have been winning the turnover battle this season. Miller has lost just two fumbles, while the defense has forced 11 fumbles and recovered nine.
Richardson, a linebacker, is the team’s leader with 69 tackles and 40 assists. Senior defensive end John Nunez leads the team with seven sacks and four fumble recoveries, while defensive back Tevon Lee has four of the Cardinals’ 10 interceptions.
Marionville, 3-7, advanced to the district semifinals by defeating Pierce City 38-13. The Comets lost their first four games, then defeated Father Tolton Regional Catholic/Calvary Lutheran 50-14 and knocked off Stockton 44-21.