Geneseo (3-3) at Quincy High School (2-4), 7:30 p.m.
Lutheran St. Charles (4-2) at Quincy Notre Dame (4-2), 7 p.m.
Hannibal (6-0) at Moberly (2-4), 7 p.m.
Beardstown (3-3) at Central (5-1), 7 p.m.
Brown County (5-1) at Unity-Payson (4-2), 7 p.m.
Athens (5-1) at Pittsfield (3-3), 7 p.m.
Pleasant Hill (1-5) at Greenfield-Northwestern (4-2), 7 p.m.
Macon (3-3) at Monroe City (5-1), 7 p.m.
Palmyra (3-3) at Highland (4-2), 7 p.m.
Montgomery County (4-2) at Mark Twain (5-1), 7 p.m.
First and 10
Here are 10 tidbits about this week’s slate of games:
• Quincy High School remains in the playoff hunt, and if it can find a way to beat Geneseo, it would create a path to a monumental Week 9 showdown. The Blue Devils follow this week’s matchup with another home game against Rock Island Alleman, which is 0-6 and has been shut out in five of its six games. Win both of those to get to 4-4 and the Blue Devils travel to Rock Island in Week 9 needing to win to get in the postseason.
• Lutheran St. Charles is the third straight QND opponent to enter with four or more victories, and the Cougars are an offensive dynamo. They have scored 46 or more points in each of their four victories and have four players with four or more touchdowns overall. Arlen Harris Jr., a 5-foot-11 senior who has verbally committed to Stanford, has rushed for 574 yards and 11 touchdowns, while quarterback Aaron Coffey has thrown for 983 yards and 10 touchdowns.
• QND is one victory shy of qualifying for the playoffs, and the schedule sets up favorably for the Raiders to reach at least six victories. In the final two weeks of the regular season, QND faces Granite City and Alton Marquette. Both teams are winless through six games.
• Hannibal is one of six undefeated teams in Missouri Class 4. One of the others is MICDS, which is coached by former Palmyra and Culver-Stockton College skipper Fred Bouchard and knocked the Pirates out in the state quarterfinals last fall. The two likely wouldn’t meet until a state title game this season based on Missouri’s districts. Hannibal is in District 5, while MICDS is in District 3. That suggests they will be on opposite sides of the bracket.
• The Pirates are on pace to break the single-season scoring record. Through six weeks, they have racked up 301 points — or nearly 50.2 points per game. In 2015, the Pirates finished with 566 points as they went 12-1 and reached the Class 4 state quarterfinals. At the current pace, Hannibal will score 652 points if it reaches the state quarterfinals.
• The Western Illinois Valley Conference North Division championship will be decided Friday night. Three teams sit tied at 3-1 — Central, Brown County and Beardstown — with one of the three guaranteed a loss as Central and Beardstown go head-to-head. Brown County and Central already have reached the five-victory plateau necessary to qualify for the playoffs, but the conference champion should get a better seed in the postseason. So it does matter.
• Unity-Payson’s closing kick won’t be easy. The Mustangs need one victory to qualify for the playoffs, but heading into Friday night, Unity-Payson’s final three opponents — Brown County, Carrollton and Winchester West Central — are each 5-1.
• Pittsfield remains in the playoff hunt, needing to win two of its final three games to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2009. However, this week’s opponent (Athens) and the Week 9 foe (Williamsville) are both 5-1. Week 8 opponent Petersburg PORTA is 0-6, so one upset should be enough to give the Saukees a boost.
• It’s a bounce-back week for Monroe City. The Panthers, who were ranked No. 2 in Class 1 prior to last week’s 14-6 loss to Brookfield, fell to No. 7 in the state poll.
• Highland has the chance to prove it belongs in the upper half of the Clarence Cannon Conference as it finishes the regular season with a four-game stretch against the CCC elite. It started last week with a 40-6 loss at Centralia, but the Cougars now face Palmyra, Brookfield and Monroe City in succession. Being more competitive getting into position to win in the fourth quarter is progress that needs to be made for a program that already has made monumental strides the last few seasons.
Game Night Grub
• When a sports bar goes by the name “The Dugout,” you know you’re in for a good time. What sets the Dugout Bar and Grill in Monroe City apart is the care given to the menu. Hand-cut and breaded wings are ample and flavorful. The steaks and pasta you can get on Friday and Saturday nights are mouth-watering. The daily specials will fill you up for a great price, and the conversation you’ll find will make you feel at home. Sports on TV is the clincher. If you stop in before the game, you’ll want to come back afterward.
• When you think about barbeque, you automatically think about ribs, brisket and pulled pork. But smoke and slow cooking can enhance the flavor of a variety of entrees. That’s where Black Market Barbeque in Moberly sets itself apart. Have you ever tried BBQ meatloaf? The flavor is dynamite. Does a rib meat sandwich sound delightful? You can get one here. Try the whiskey bites and the pickle fries before heading to the North Central Missouri Conference clash.
• Skip the meal and go straight to dessert. It’s not a bad idea. Maybe all you want before heading to Glenn Smith Field in Pittsfield is an ice cream cone, a milkshake or sundae. Maybe strawberry shortcake with vanilla ice cream hits the spot. Or maybe you just want to scream “Tally Ho” and pick up a delightful ice cream sandwich cookie, this one featuring soft serve between chocolate wafers. There’s no way you can leave the Dari Ripple unhappy. I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!