Herald-Whig

How will local Missouri football districts shake out?

1 | Monroe City football
Monroe City, coached by David Kirby, hopes to repeat last year's postseason run that ended in the Class 1 state championship game. | H-W Photo/Jake Shane
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Oct. 16, 2017 10:25 am Updated: Oct. 16, 2017 10:38 am

The Missouri State High School Activities Association released the football playoff brackets Saturday evening.

With the bracket unveiled there are some interesting first-round games and intriguing potential matchups as the postseason progresses.

Here's a breakdown of the brackets involving local teams.

Class 1

All eyes will be on Monroe City, the top-ranked team in Class 1, as it tries to reach a second straight state championship game. Last season's run to the final day of the season was surprising, as Monroe City finished the regular season 6-3. The Panthers went 9-0 this fall and won the Clarence Cannon Conference outright, and there's an expectation for another deep postseason run.

Monroe City should comfortably make its way to the Class 1 District 5 title game, where it will likely see South Shelby. The Panthers beat the Cardinals 38-6 in Week 3.

Past the district title game, Monroe City is likely to get a quarterfinal rematch against Marceline, which also went 9-0. Westran (7-1) and Fayette (7-2), however, could knock off Marceline in a district title game.

If Monroe City reaches another semifinal, it could have another rematch -- this time against the defending state champs in Penney. The Hornets went 8-1 this season and earned the second seed in District 8. They also return all-state wide receiver LaTroy Harper. Princeton is the top-seed after going undefeated in the regular season.

What about the other side of the bracket?

Prennenial Class 1 power Ste. Genevieve Valle -- which had won five of the last six state titles before losing to Penney in last year's semifinals -- sits there. The Warriors went 8-1 this season, with the only loss to Lamar, the defending Class 2 champions.

Lincoln -- Monroe City's semifinal opponent last year -- went 9-0 and could also be in the mix. Keep an eye out for Pierce City (9-0) and Adrian (8-1).

Class 2

After losing the season opener to Macon, Palmyra rolled to seven straight victories before falling in a thriller to Monroe City in the season finale.

That should have the Panthers primed to make a deep run like they did a few years ago when it made consecutive trips to the state semifinals.

Macon is the top seed in District 6, and Palmyra grabbed the second seed. A potential second-round matchup against Centralia is intriguing for Palmyra, which thumped Centralia 35-0 in Week 6. Centralia also lost four straight games to close the regular season, but it still should not be taken lightly.

That should set up a district title game against Macon, and Palmyra will be eager to snap a three-game losing streak to its CCC rivals. Clark County, however, has a shot of beating Macon in the second round. The Indians may be one of the hottest teams in Class 2. They won their last four regular season games by a combined 149-12. Clark County only lost to Macon 22-20 in Week 3 while also losing by single digits to undefeated Monroe City and West Hancock.

If Palmyra rolls to a district championship, North Callaway looms in the quarterfinals. The Thunderbirds dropped their season opener, only to rattle off eight straight victories to close the season. Its closest game in that run was a 33-29 contest over South Callaway. It's not difficult to believe South Callaway could win the district, too.

A potential semifinal opponent will be Lafayette County, which rolled to a 9-0 regular season and was ranked No. 6 in Class 2A.

The top five teams in the most recent Class 2A poll -- Lamar, Trinity, Lutheran North, Ava and Cardinal Ritter -- are all on the other side of the Class 2A bracket.

Class 4

Hannibal's 5-4 record was a down year in terms of its program standards. But any team coached by Mark St. Clair expects to be a tough out.

The Pirates drew the third seed in District 7 behind Warrenton (8-1) and Moberly (7-2). Hannibal has an opening-round game against Warrensburg (5-4). A second-round game likely will be against Moberly, which defeated the Pirates 18-13 in Week 7. A district title game, if Hannibal can reach it, is probably against top-seeded Warrenton.

The District 7 winner is likely to see Kearney (6-2), which has ended the Pirates season the last two years. Looming in the semifinals would be No. 1-ranked and undefeated Webb City.