To the surprise of nobody, the Big 8 Conference is loaded with talented teams.

As the Missouri high school football season reaches the midway point tonight, Mount Vernon is the only team among 14 schools off to a 4-0 start.

After four games there is only one undefeated team among 14 schools — Mount Vernon in the East Division. And the Mountaineers certainly have had nail-biting moments along the way, scoring a touchdown and 2-point conversion as time expired to beat Monett 22-21 in the season opener and holding on to beat Marshfield 18-13 two weeks ago. Last week the Mountaineers blanked Reeds Spring 30-0 to avenge their only regular-season loss last season.

Cassville and Lamar fell from the undefeated ranks last week on the road.

Seneca defeated Cassville 28-21 as Marty Mailes scored on a one-yard run with 2:13 remaining to cap an eight-play, 80-yard drive. The Indians' other touchdowns came on Lance Stepkhens passes of 14 yards to Daythen Long and 39 yards to Preston Armstrong sandwiched around a Trey Wilson 40-yard run.

Cassville scored on Deven Bates' 48-yard pass to D.J. White, Drake Reese field goals of 21 and 43 yards and Zach Coenen's three-yard run.

At Monett, the Cubs rushed for 256 yards and held Lamar to 150 yards on the ground to earn a 28-7 victory — the first time that Monett has beaten Lamar in 10 years. The Cubs' defense limited Lamar to 36 yards and one first down in the second half.

After just two weeks of Big 8 division play, Seneca is 2-0 to lead the West Division, one-half game ahead of McDonald County (1-0). The Indians play tonight at Lamar while the Mustangs visit Nevada.

Mount Vernon and Springfield Catholic are 2-0 in the East Division. The Mountaineers entertain rival Aurora tonight while Catholic is at Hollister.

SOUTHWEST CONFERENCE

Pierce City and Miller are off to 4-0 starts overall. All of the Eagles' games have been against conference foes while Miller is 2-0 in league play.

Pierce City, which has won 23 consecutive regular-season games, has a nonleague game tonight at Forsyth. Miller is also on the road against Ash Grove in league play.

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