CLOSE

Autoplay

Show Thumbnails

Show Captions

On nearly every team in southwest Missouri, you can identify the standouts who lead their teams to victory and keep games close in defeat. 

But what’s better than having one standout? Having two, of course.

We’ve been all around southwest Missouri watching athletes excel on a weekly basis, and the best teams always seem to have a duo leading their teams to victory. 

Here are those who have been our favorite duos this high school football season:

Ramone Green and Austin McCracken, Nixa

There were multiple combinations we could have gone with considering Nixa, but we went with the two sophomores that should have the Eagles looking like a threat to win state for the next several years.

Ramone Green and Austin McCracken have been incredible sophomores in the Nixa backfield.

At quarterback, McCracken is a threat to run the ball but he also knows how to run the John Perry run-pass-option system to perfection. His athleticism will get defenders to bite on a potential run and he’ll just throw it to the receiver that defender just left.

Autoplay

Show Thumbnails

Show Captions

For subscribers:  Here are the athletes who impressed us the most during Week 7 of the high school football season

When McCracken’s not making plays, Green is running all over everyone. 

Green is consistently putting up big numbers as the team’s tailback. He’s not the biggest or the fastest, but he might have the best vision and patience of any back in southwest Missouri. 

This duo is going to be one of the better ones in the area for seasons to come. 

Titus Seley and Connor Lair, West Plains

The Zizzers are still undefeated and it is thanks in large part to its great duo.

Titus Seley and Connor Lair have proven to be great football players on both sides of the ball. 

Both Seley and Lair carry the ball and are a load to bring down. Seley is a little faster but he’s strong enough to drag multiple defenders into the end zone. He has 1,245 rushing yards and two touchdowns, 10 catches for 289 yards and three touchdowns and 61 total tackles. 

Lair is a bigger, more punishing back. No one wants to get in his way when he’s running right at you, and he has eight sacks on the season defensively to go along with four forced fumbles. 

These two are just really good football players, and they have the Zizzers dominating right now. 

Wil Carlton and Dakota Wilson, Marionville

The breakout of sophomore quarterback Wil Carlton and junior tailback Dakota Wilson has Marionville on a turnaround, undefeated season. 

Carlton has proven why the Comets should be a team to be reckoned with for the next two seasons. He’s a 75% passer who has more than 1,000 yards through the air and 11 touchdowns. He’s also rushed for 407 yards and eight touchdowns.

More: Marionville’s one-two punch has the Comets undefeated and ready to make noise in postseason

To add on to that, Carlton also has two interceptions in each of the team’s last three games as a safety. He’s taller and more athletic than most kids you’ll find at the Class 1 level, and he continues to show why the Comets have a bright future. 

Next to him in the backfield is Wilson, the Comets’ star tailback. While he’s not the biggest, the powerlifter who squats over 400 pounds plays like it while running defenders over and dragging them into the end zone. 

Wilson’s great season has seen him run for nearly 1,000 yards to go along with his 20 touchdowns. 

Marionville is doing some special things this season, and this duo will be back for another year in 2021. 

Nathan Glades and Keaton Renfro, Joplin

Autoplay

Show Thumbnails

Show Captions

Joplin is 3-4 after finishing last season 13-1 as the Class 6 runner up, but the Eagles’ offense can compete with anyone — as shown by a 41-40 victory over Webb City in the season opener.

Running back Nathan Glades has been on a torrid pace this fall. The hard-running back has more than 1,000 total yards on the season and 18 touchdowns. He missed a game when Joplin lost to Willard 32-20 — the Tigers’ only win of the season.

Receiver Keaton Renfro is another option for Joplin quarterback Always Wright to target, and the senior has 467 receiving yards this year. He averages 13.3 yards per catch and has three touchdown catches this season.

Kody Stacye and Zeke Schaffitzel, Fair Grove

Autoplay

Show Thumbnails

Show Captions

The quarterback for Fair Grove’s spread system and a member of a good stable of running backs respectively, the duo has helped the Eagles average 34.5 points per game this season.

Kody Stacye is a tall, lengthy quarterback who has a decent arm and can make the option reads required in Fair Grove’s offense. His length helps him fall forward and pick up extra yards when tackled. In a 36-20 win over rival Strafford in Week 6, Stacye ran for 136 yards.

Zeke Schaffitzel is a sophomore in his first season playing football after being homeschooled prior to the start of the school year. His running style is the perfect pair for Stacye’s. While Stacye has a little bit of flair in his runs, Schaffitzel is all power.

Fair Grove has a few talented backs that could have made this list, but his game against Strafford where he rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns serves as a staple performance.

Gavyn Beckner and Aidan Gregory, Republic

Autoplay

Show Thumbnails

Show Captions

Two sophomores are building a strong foundation for the RepMo offense.

Sophomore Gavyn Beckner splits his time behind center with junior Avery Moody.

Moody gets most of the credit, according to head coach Dustin Baldwin, because he’s the quarterback the Tigers like in the red zone. But when Beckner combines with fellow sophomore tight end Aidan Gregory anywhere leading up to the end zone, it works out in favor of Republic.

In a Week 5 matchup against Ozark, the two had a huge completion for a first down that led up to a touchdown.

J.J.O’Neal and Zach Bergmann, Logan-Rogersville 

If there’s a pair of seniors that laid a foundation for their senior season, it’s J.J O’Neal and Zach Bergmann.

The two have played football for the Wildcats four straight years, and they’re finally seeing their season come together.

O’Neal is a player who never really leaves the field, playing special teams, defense and quarterback. Bergmann is also active on both sides of the ball but has found a new role this season.

Bergmann and O’Neal competed for the QB-1 spot up until this season. And while Bergmann is rostered as a quarterback and defensive back, his contributions as a running back and receiver have been appreciated.

In one instance in Week 3, O’Neal and Bergmann had a chance to be the quarterback. O’Neal received a snap, pitched it to Bergmann and got it right back for a touchdown.

Head coach Mark Talbert said the leadership from the two being on the field is one of the reasons the Wildcats have a better record this season than they’ve had in several years.

Week 8 area schedule

  • Kickapoo @ Bolivar
  • Glendale @ Camdenton
  • Parkview @ Hillcrest
  • Central @ Buffalo
  • Monett @ Catholic
  • Carl Junction @ Nixa
  • Webb City @ Ozark
  • Carthage @ Republic
  • Neosho @ Willard
  • Fair Grove @ Clever
  • Stockton @ Strafford
  • Marshfield @ Logan-Rogersville
  • Marionville @ Ash Grove
  • Rolla @ Lebanon
  • Waynesville @ West Plains
  • Reeds Spring @ Aurora
  • Branson @ Joplin
  • Hollister @ Mount Vernon
  • Lamar @ Seneca
  • Cassville @ East Newton
  • Miller @ Pierce City
  • Mountain View-Liberty @ Salem
  • Forsyth @ Pleasant Hope
  • El Dorado Springs @ Butler
  • Houston @ Mountain Grove
  • Nevada @ McDonald County
  • Diamond @ Sarcoxie
  • Lockwood @ Greenfield
  • Ava @ Cabool
  • Skyline @ Warsaw
  • Thayer @ St. Pius X (Festus)