Liberator football will hope to pull some positive momentum from its 41-0 blowout of Hillcrest on homecoming last Friday as it readies this week for Class 6 Kickapoo.
Bolivar faces the 3-3 Chiefs at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16, at Southwest Baptist University’s Plaster Stadium.
Kickapoo is looking to end a three-game losing streak that started Friday, Sept. 18, with a loss to Class 5 powerhouse Webb City.
Currently undefeated Ozark Conference leader West Plains dealt Kickapoo a 28-0 loss on Friday, Sept. 25, and the Chiefs lost a narrow contest to Glendale last week 20-17.
But, the program’s schedule so far still reads like a record of success against teams Bolivar has struggled against.
Kickapoo started the year strong, nearly blanking Camdenton 28-7. Bolivar held off the Lakers 38-26.
The Chiefs beat Waynesville 38-18, while Bolivar fell at home to a Tigers’ rally 37-33.
Kickapoo’s close loss to Glendale mirrors Bolivar’s own 20-15 loss to the team earlier this year.
Bolivar got to showcase nearly all of its talent on both sides of the ball Friday, Oct. 9.
Senior quarterback Bo Banner, used to using his legs to elude defenders, got to put his arm to work, too.
Banner opened scoring with an end zone pass to Kaden Degraffenreid. He also threw two touchdown passes to Parker Erickson.
Darrin Fugitt and Andrew Bunn rushed for scores, while Dreven Sharp claimed two interceptions on the night.
Bolivar’s linemen consistently won the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, netting multiple tackles for losses.
The postseason picture
This is a critical game for Bolivar.
A win Friday puts the team in good position heading into a season ending showdown with 7-0 West Plains on Friday, Oct. 23, which faces Waynesville this week.
The Zizzers are the only undefeated team left in the Ozark Conference. Bolivar’s 5-2 record is the league’s second best.
Depending on the next two weeks, Bolivar could soon face off with another undefeated program in the form of 7-0 Helias Catholic, which is currently leading Class 4 District 6.
The second-place Liberators have a sliver of a lead on Warrensburg but a strong gap to fourth-placed Harrisonville.
The top-three ranking indicates Bolivar will likely get to host at least one district opponent.