Coach Glen Johnson’s Liberators didn’t get to 6-0 this season by underestimating opponents.
Bolivar, which has outscored its foes by an average of 44-8.5 in 2019, will face 0-6 Clinton at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, in Clinton.
Bolivar won 60-0 last year.
Johnson, though, said he takes nothing for granted.
“Clinton is a well-coached team and plays a tough schedule,” he said. “It will be important that we don’t judge them based on their record and show up for a four-quarter fight.”
Clinton’s offense is averaging just 3 points per game, while its defense has surrendered an average of 56 points. The team went 0-10 last year.
Looking over this week’s opponents, Johnson said Clinton brings a young team to the game.
(They) have a lot to prove,” he said. “We expect to get their best effort in front of their home crowd.”
The Liberators are undefeated after six games for the first time since 2013, when the team went 12-1 for the season, claimed a Class 4 district championship and fought to the fourth round of the state tournament.
“We remind our players often that it doesn’t matter who we play, it is how we play,” Johnson said.
Bolivar heads into the week following a 60-14 homecoming win over Union Friday, Oct. 4. The Cardinals enter Friday’s matchup off a 47-0 loss to Kansas City’s Center High School.
Earlier this season, Bolivar beat Center on the road 28-12.
It’s on the road that Johnson said the Liberators are continuing to work to improve. Where Bolivar has dominated opponents both home and away this season, the rigors of an independent schedule saw the team winless in road games last year.
“We have to focus on getting better on the road again this week,” Johnson said.
Bolivar had three touchdowns before Union got its first Friday, Oct. 4, as the Liberators charged ahead and never looked back for a 60-14 win on homecoming.
The Liberators avenged a 21-13 loss last year.
Hunter Berry chalked his name in on the first two scores, grabbing a pass from quarterback Hayden Burks to put the Liberators up 7-0 before completing a trick toss to Bo Banner to give the team a 14-0 advantage by the end of the first quarter. Bolivar led 26-7 by the end of the half, with additional scores from Eathen Dinwiddie and Blade Hancock.
On defense, Hancock and lineman Drayton Huchteman mixed it up in the backfield, with the former forcing a Union fumble and Huchteman recovering to set up a Bolivar touchdown.
The Liberators kept up the scoring after the half, with Dinwiddie and Hancock each earning second touchdowns on the night before Burks exploded in for a rushing score.
Andrew Bunn and Dylan Hall also garnered touchdowns before time expired.
While the team has seen significant success from its senior class, Johnson pointed to Hall after the game as one to keep an eye on.
“He’s going to do big things,” the coach said.
Overall, Johnson told the BH-FP, the team accomplished its goal Friday. The Liberators currently have the best record in Class 4 District 6.
“Our kids played extremely well,” he said. “You never know with homecoming and all the distractions that are built in. We worked on that.”