Liberator football’s perfect season has, so far, extended into a perfect postseason.
No. 3 Bolivar throttled No. 6 Hillcrest 73-0 Friday, Nov. 1, in the quarterfinal round of the Class 4 District 6 playoffs.
Looking to put an end to Bolivar’s year is No. 2 West Plains, a defending district champion.
The two will face off at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, in West Plains.
“West Plains is 9-1 with an overtime loss to Camdenton,” Bolivar coach Glen Johnson said.
The Zizzers fell 37-34 Friday, Sept. 13, to the undefeated Class 4 Lakers, also a defending district champion.
On paper, Bolivar has the numbers to match West Plains.
According to MSHSAA’s stats, the Liberators have averaged 51.8 points per game. West Plains has scored 43.8.
The Liberators have allowed opponents to score just 8.5 points per game, while West Plains has limited foes to 14.3.
“They are a very talented football team with a lot of grit,” Johnson said. “This is a great opportunity for our team to go play the fourth-ranked team in the state.”
The two teams have shared an opponent this year, both with similar results. West Plains defeated Hillcrest 42-14 in its first game of the season Friday, Aug. 30.
The postseason picture
The winner of Friday’s game will face the victor of a matchup between No. 1 Webb City and No. 4 Willard in the district championship game Friday, Nov. 15. The higher seeded team will host the game.
Webb City, the defending district champion, has lost only to Class 6 Joplin this year after toppling the Eagles in 2018.
Webb City enters its game against Willard the likely favorite, averaging 42.3 points per game and allowing just 9.4, while Willard has put up 31.4 and allowed 20.2.
Bolivar was all over the ball Friday, Nov. 1.
The Liberators scored at will against Hillcrest, starting with a touchdown run from senior running back Eathen Dinwiddie just 40 seconds into the game.
Cooper Hitchcock grabbed an interception to set up Dinwiddie’s next score just two minutes later.
Quarterback Hayden Burks threw consecutive touchdown passes to receiver Hunter Berry, and Dinwiddie scored a third touchdown to give Bolivar a 35-0 lead by the end of the first quarter.
Parker Erickson, Bo Banner and Dinwiddie each earned touchdowns before halftime. Dinwiddie scored again on the first play of the second half.
Kicker Alex Maldonado nailed a field goal, and sophomore backup EJ Ingram put the cap on the game, darting into the end zone as the clock wound down in the fourth quarter.