Area football teams host semifinals
Big 8 Conference advances 2 teams to the final four for 4th consecutive year
Southwest Missouri will be a hotbed of football playoff action on Saturday, as four area teams are playing in semifinal games and two Big 8 teams will host.
Lamar, Class 2; Aurora, Class 3; Webb City, Class 4; and Carthage, Class 5, each advanced to the Final Four, three of them with nail-biting victories.
The Houn' Dawgs (9-4) host Odessa (12-1) at 1 p.m. on Saturday. The Bulldogs are the defending Class 3 champions and knocked off No. 1-ranked Maryville, 28-14, in the quarterfinal.
Aurora rallied from an early 6-0 hole and used a defensive stand with 1:57 on the Panthers' final drive to preserve a 14-12 win in the quarterfinal round.
The Aurora and Odessa victor plays the John Burroughs and Blair Oaks winner Nov. 28 for the State championship.
Lamar (13-0) hosts Lafayette County (12-1) at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Class 2 semifinal.
The Tigers scraped by Liberty-Mountain View, 14-6, in the quarterfinal. Lamar took an early 6-0 lead, but a Liberty-Mountain View hitch-and-pitch sent the Eagles into the intermission with a 7-6 edge.
The one-point lead stood until a desperate, 78-yard drive with 2:31 left in the game resulted in the go-ahead score with 45 seconds left in the game. The Tigers sealed the win after the Liberty-Mountain View failed to score on two cracks at the end zone from the 12-yard line.
Lafayette County squeezed by Brookfield, 38-36, in its quarterfinal contest.
The Lamar and Lafayette County winner entertains the victor of Malden and Palmyra in the state title on Nov. 27.
Lamar and Aurora's victories extended the Big 8 Conference's streak of sending two teams to the semifinal for the fourth consecutive year.
Carthage (12-1) travels to Chaminade (12-1) for a 1 p.m. tilt on Saturday.
Carthage, a team Monett fans saw at Burl Fowler Stadium during the jamboree in August, stopped Nixa's two-point attempt with 49 seconds left in the contest to preserve a 48-46 victory.
Chaminade defeated Rockwood Summit, 14-7, to advance into the semifinal round.
The Carthage and Chaminade winner awaits the Fort Osage and Battle winner in the state championship on Nov. 28.
Webb City (13-0) heads across the state to play Central-Cape Girardeau (9-4) at 1 p.m. Saturday.
The Cardinals, seeking their sixth consecutive state title, dismantled No. 2 Harrisonville, 45-7, in the quarterfinal round.
Central dominated Affton, 54-24, to arrange the semifinal matchup.
Webb City or Central will face the winner of Westminster Christian Academy and Kearney in the state championship on Nov. 27.