All offseason the Smith-Cotton football team has been focused on preparing to play Republic.
After taking care of the fellow Tigers in a 42-14 home win last week, S-C now has to get Republic out of its mind and get ready to head north on highway 65 to play Marshall.
“We’re just focused on this week,” said head coach Ryan Boyer. “Last week is over. We’re just preparing for Friday for Marshall and nothing else matters.”
Last week was the first time S-C has won a season opener since beating St. Pius X 16-14 in 2010. S-C then lost by one to Warrensburg in week 2 that season.
S-C will head into the second game of this season hoping to keep momentum and start 2-0.
“It was a great win, but there’s a lot of things that we need to clean up, offensively and defensively,” Boyer said. “Marshall is a good team and they are going to come out ready. This is kind of an old rival I guess. I know our big rival is Warrensburg, but Sedalia and Marshall have been playing for years and we know they are going to be hungry looking for their first win and playing at home.”
Marshall lost 41-13 against Chillicothe last week, but Boyer doesn’t want the team to overlook the Owls with Warrensburg on the schedule for week 3.
“We’ve talked to them about that,” Boyer said. “… If we hear anybody talking about it we just say, ‘hey, we’re playing Marshall.’ Our seniors and everybody has done a good job. I personally haven’t heard anybody mention anybody other than Marshall.”
To help prepare for the Owls, S-C is spending some practice time on the grass behind the high school after playing on its home turf last week.
“It’s actually something that as soon as we knew this stadium was going to be built, we talked that out a long time ago,” Boyer said about practicing on grass. “Then we were lucky enough throughout the summer getting all that rain so the field would be ready as far as the grass growing in. … They need to make sure they are prepared for it.”
S-C is also using Smith-Cotton girls basketball coach Zach Vandevender as the scout quarterback to get ready for Marshall.
“He comes out every now and then and gives them a look,” Boyer said. “I think in high school he did all the triple option stuff. He enjoys it and he does a pretty good job with it, so we don’t mind it.”
Boyer said he expects Marshall to show them a lot of different looks on offense, including the option.
“They have some good athletes,” he said. “Their quarterback plays quarterback, corner. He’s a pretty good basketball player too. He’s a pretty good athlete. They like to get the ball in his hands and let him do some things.”
Jason Strickland can be reached at 660-530-0147 or on Twitter @J_Strick_Sports.