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Warrensburg is Libs’ first postseason target

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Brant Meredith warms up his throwing arm before the Liberators’ game against Camdenton on Friday, Sept. 25.

A week-and-a-half ago, Bolivar football upset the No. 2 team in the state to finish its regular season out with a win, beating previously undefeated West Plains 42-21 on Friday, Oct. 23. 

Now, the Liberators need another win against a strong program.

Bolivar will play Warrensburg in the Class 4 District 6 semifinal at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6, in Bolivar. 

Warrensburg entered the tournament last week seeded third and knocked out fourth-seeded Marshall in the quarterfinals. Warrensburg is the No. 8 team in the state. 

Following its loss last month, West Plains dropped from second to tying for fifth in the rankings. 

Bolivar is ranked fourth in the state. 

As the district’s No. 2 seed, Bolivar received a bye last Friday, along with No. 1 seed Helias Catholic. 

A win by both programs this week would set up a game between Bolivar and the undefeated Crusaders for the district title. Helias Catholic is ranked first in the state. 

As the district’s top seed, it’s a contest Helias Catholic would host. 

And, while it’s hard not to let a potential district title shot overshadow this week’s postseason matchup, the Liberators will first have to topple Warrensburg to reach the championship bout. 

Warrensburg is 7-1 after a 58-14 district quarterfinal win over Marshall and will bring some statistical strengths to its game at Southwest Baptist University’s Plaster Stadium this Friday. 

The Tigers have allowed opponents to average just 11.5 points per game this year. Bolivar, the top defense in the Ozark Conference, allowed opponents to average 15.6. 

On the other side of the ball, Warrensburg’s offense is churning out a 42.1-point average per contest, while Bolivar is averaging 31.2. 

A look at Warrensburg’s regular season schedule could show why. 

Warrensburg has played just three opponents this year that own 2020 seasons with winning records — Oak Grove, Harrisonville and Center. 

Oak Grove beat the Tigers 24-14. 

To contrast, Warrensburg will be Bolivar’s sixth opponent with a 2020 record at or over .500. 

Additionally, the Tigers’ scheduled contest against 8-0 Odessa was scrapped, according to the Missouri State High School Activities Association website, and Warrensburg indefinitely postponed a game against Excelsior Springs, leaving it two games short of a full nine-game regular season. 

Bolivar owns wins in all previous matchups, too. 

The Liberators last won over Warrensburg 53-6 in 2013 — a year Bolivar went undefeated and won its last district championship. 

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