For the second consecutive week, Joplin and Carl Junction came out on the wrong side of nail-biting finishes.
And elsewhere in the Central Ozark Conference, Carthage maintained a share of the conference lead by beating Neosho while Webb City handed Republic its first loss.
OZARK 51, JOPLIN 43
The host Eagles, who almost overcame a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit last week at Nixa, trailed Ozark 44-19 late in the third quarter before mounting another comeback.
Brian Glades, whose biggest night of the season produced 258 yards and four touchdowns on 33 carries, scored on a three-yard run and added the 2-point PAT as the Eagles climbed within eight points with less than three minutes left.
Ozark's Thomas Rushing ran past the first-down marker on an option pitch around left end, but he fumbled the ball and Jacob Prosser recovered near midfield to give Joplin a chance to tie. The Eagles advanced to the Ozark 25 before Always Wright's pass was intercepted by Rushing in the last minute.
Wright had a big night through the air, completing 23-of-35 passes for 340 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Keaton Renfro caught five passes for 101 yards.
BRANSON 21, CARL JUNCTION 20
BRANSON, Mo. — The Bulldogs trailed 21-0 at halftime, and despite a second-half surge, Carl Junction lost for the second straight week by the same score.
Kyler Perry, who was inserted at quarterback to start the second half, hit 9-of-20 passes for 177 yards, and his four-yard touchdown toss to Noah Southern pulled the Bulldogs within a point with 18 seconds left. However, the extra point missed to the left, and Branson recovered the onside kickoff.
The Bulldogs also scored on Brady Sims' six-yard run late in the third quarter and Perry's six-yard keeper with 7:52 remaining. Sims gained 69 yards on 15 carries, and Cole Stewart had six receptions for 106 yards.
WEBB CITY 49, REPUBLIC 28
REPUBLIC, Mo. — Webb City completed just one pass in each of its first two games, but the Cardinals used their aerial attack to provide an early spark.
Cohl Vaden, who missed the first two games with injury, caught a 37-yard touchdown strike from Cole Gayman two minutes into the game. Gayman finished 6-of-8 passing for 124 yards and two touchdowns.
Running back Devrin Weathers had another big night for the Cardinals — eight carries for 126 yards and three touchdowns (50, 4, 60 yards).
The Cardinals finished with 298 yards rushing and 422 total yards. Shane Noel, whose blocked punt gave an early spark against Neosho one week earlier, had another big special teams play with an 82-yard kickoff.
CARTHAGE 42, NEOSHO 7
CARTHAGE, Mo. — Quarterback Patrick Carlton accounted for 263 yards and five touchdowns as the Tigers remained unbeaten and tied with Nixa for the COC lead.
Carlton's four rushing touchdowns (12, 4, 2, 2 yards) helped the Tigers take a 28-0 halftime lead, and he added a 46-yard touchdown pass to Hudson Moore in the third quarter. Carlton ran for 65 yards on 12 carries and connected on 6-of-7 passes for 198 yards.
Neosho scored its first points of the season on Talon Mitchell's eight-yard run to cap an 18-yard drive that consumed most of the third quarter.