Sept. 16, 2016

LAKE OZARK, Mo. --- The battle for the top of the Tri-County will be settled --- fittingly --- between three teams from three different counties.

Let the battles begin.

The round-robin started Friday night when two of the three unbeatens --- Southern Boone and Osage ---squared off on a soggy night in the Lake of the Ozarks.

Advantage, Osage.

For now, at least.

Jason Edwards returned two interceptions for touchdowns, caught a touchdown pass and also kicked two field goals as the Osage Indians turned back the Eagles 32-17.

The other unbeaten heading into Friday night, Blair Oaks (5-0), stayed that way with a 61-20 rout of Hallsville in Wardsville.

The first possession of the game ended in a turnover --- and that would certainly be the rule, not the exception, on this night.

This was a game of giveaway, as Osage finished with seven turnovers and Southern Boone had six. A whopping total of unlucky 13.

The early Southern Boone pick led to a 3-yard run by Tanner Smith to give the Eagles (4-1) --- who had enjoyed the first 4-0 start in school history --- a 7-0 lead with eight minutes left in the first quarter.

Osage (5-0, No. 10 Class 3) answered, thanks to a botched snap on a punt attempt, which Jason Mason covered for a touchdown early in the second quarter to tie it.

After 24-yard field goal by Parker Boyce gave the Eagles a 10-7 lead, Edwards pulled in a 27-yard from pass from Zach Wheeler with 4:35 left in the opening half. Rest assured, Edwards was only getting started.

That made it 13-10 and that's where it stayed at the break, and the Indians led the rest of the way.

Then came the second half, which was Jason Returns ... literally.

Edwards, a 6-2, 185-pound senior, had a pair Pick Sixes, returning interceptions 45 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter and 35 yards for a score in the fourth.

The one-man wrecking crew also booted field goals of 30 and 35 yards for the Indians, who host Versailles next week before heading to Wardsville to meet Blair Oaks on Sept. 30 in the game that will likely decide the conference championship.

The other part of this round-robin comes next week, when Southern Boone hosts Blair Oaks, which is ranked No. 2 in Class 3.

The lone score for the Eagles in the second half was highlight-worthy, indeed, on a double-pass play from Spencer Taggart to Sam Stichnote to Clay Jeffrey that covered 72 yards.

That pulled Southern Boone within 22-17 after three quarters, before Osage --- especially Edwards --- put this one away.

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The Osage Indians improved to 5-0 with a 32-17 win over Southern Boone on Friday night.

Loeffler's Link

Jason Returns: Edwards sparks

Osage past Southern Boone