Local grades can improve

Local grades can improve
Report cards are out.
And there’s ample room for improvement.
With the regular season halfway over for Obion County’s three prep teams, mid-term grades have been issued for each respective entry.
Obion Central, South Fulton and Union City — all with records either one game below or one above .500 — receive marks in the “average” range.
Each can be encouraged, however, by the opportunity to move near the front of the class — without having to do extra credit.
Grades and evaluations are as follows:
Obion Central (C+)
The Rebels (2-3) do earn bonus points for playing a brutal schedule as all three of their losses have come vs. teams who’ve yet to lose a game.
Of those three foes, though, Crockett County is the lone club to have beaten more than one team with a .500 or better record. Of Central’s two unbeaten Missouri opponents — Cape Central and Sikeston — only Cape has beaten a team with a winning record.
Ironically, CC is the quality foe that Obion had the best chance of beating if not for several untimely penalties, including one that called back a touchdown and set the stage for the Cavs to tally a deciding score late.
Obion Central’s much-maligned defense showed unforeseen signs of life in the second half of the Union City game when they shut down the Tornadoes’ productive option attack. And the open date last week was likely the best thing that could’ve happened to the county locals in the aftermath of beating UC as it allowed them to refocus on the season’s second half.
OC’s second-half progress report would be enhanced greatly by a similar 4-1 finish to last year when the Rebs reached the six-win mark to make the playoffs for just the eighth time in school history.
South Fulton (C)
The Devils (3-2) are the only local team with a winning record and would be in the playoffs if the postseason began today.
Problem is, it doesn’t.
A one-point loss vs. District 14A rival Greenfield in Week 2 could prove costly to SF’s end-of-the-season status as a rigorous schedule remains with games vs. rugged league foes Lake County, Trenton and Union City, along with a trip across the Kentucky state line to currently 4-1 Reidland on the docket after this week’s winnable matchup vs. Halls.
Inconsistent effort and intensity have been the major minuses for the Redmen, who can count offensive playmakers and a balanced attack among their strengths.
While 5-5 will put SF on the borderline of making the postseason, the Big Red likely will need a surprise win or two down the stretch to make it to Week 11.
Union City (C-)
Be it growing pains of an inexperienced team or just a mediocre squad overall, the Tornadoes (2-3) have been the most inconsistent of the county’s three entries.
And UC will need at least three and possibly four wins in its final five games to even have the opportunity to defend its Class 1A state title won a year ago.
The Twisters seemingly can’t keep from beating themselves with inopportune penalties and turnovers — key factors in each of their three losses that have all come to larger classification foes and been by a TD or less.
There is hope, however.
The Union City defense has shown signs of improvement in two of the last three weeks, and an offense that has produced more than 350 yards in four of five games, has five times had 100-yard rushers in a game.
UC will be favored vs. Greenfield, Halls and South Fulton in Weeks 6, 8 and 10. Likely, games vs. Humboldt next week and Lake County in Week 9 will determine the Tornadoes’ final grade and playoff status.

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