Bolivar football crossed another barrier in its first season in the Ozark Conference on Friday, Sept. 11.
The Liberators pushed back a powerful Lebanon offense to win 20-7 on senior night.
Their next test comes Friday, Sept. 18, at Glendale High School.
The Springfield program is 1-2, with losses to West Plains and Rolla and a win last week over Hillcrest.
Unlike Bolivar’s defensive showdowns, each of Glendale’s outings has been a high scoring affair.
The Falcons are averaging 37 points per game, while Bolivar’s offense has been limited to just 26.
Also unlike 3-0 Bolivar, Glendale has been outscored in two of its three contests. Opponents have averaged 40 points against Glendale, while all of Bolivar’s foes have combined for nearly half of that, averaging just 7.3.
The two teams have shared a common opponent this year, too.
Glendale fell to Rolla 42-29, while Bolivar’s defense suffocated that program to win 16-8 in its season opener.
Kickoff is 7 p.m. Friday at Glendale High School.
In the first half of Bolivar’s win over Lebanon, both programs drove the ball back and forth across the field several times before anything stuck.
Pinned several times by a brutal ground game, Bolivar’s defense kept finding ways to shut the door.
Darrin Fugit put the Liberators on the board, dashing in for a touchdown, and the Bolivar line held to keep Lebanon from evening the score.
Signal caller Bo Banner, who has relied on his feet several times this season, turned to the air, throwing long to Jace Krueger.
The quarterback himself then escorted the ball into the end zone for a 13-0 lead.
Lebanon scored on a 95-yard kickoff return, but Banner returned the favor, running the ball in for a 20-7 lead.
The Yellowjackets seemed to pick up momentum on a clock-draining steady ground drive nearly to the end zone, but with 6:30 left in the game, Bolivar’s Drayton Huchteman checked in and stood up a runner at the goal line, putting an end to Lebanon’s hopes of a comeback.
Just three teams remain unbeaten in the Ozark Conference — Bolivar, West Plains and Kickapoo.
West Plains beat Rolla 43-7 last week, while Kickapoo won 38-18 over Waynesville.
Looming in the near future is a Bolivar showdown with 2-1 2019 Class 4 District 5 champion Camdenton on Friday, Sept. 25. The Lakers’ lone loss is to Kickapoo.