Three area football teams will battle for their respective seasons Friday against familiar opponents.
Smith-Cotton (5-5) at Belton (6-3)
Smith-Cotton defeated Hickman 45-15 at home last week to earn another shot at the Belton Pirates, a team which delivered a bitter end to the Tigers’ then-undefeated season last year.
The Pirates are 5-1 since a loss to Liberty in week two, and average about 30 points per game behind senior running back Zach Willis.
In a 30-12 victory Friday, Oct. 14, over Grandview, Belton took the lead on a first-quarter safety and senior defensive lineman Will Baker plugged gaps with 10 tackles.
Last week’s district victory snapped a three-game Smith-Cotton losing streak. Hickman’s 14 points were scored on the Tigers’ second-team, and the team played with a running clock for a majority of the second half.
Kickoff in Belton is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday.
Appleton City with Montrose (8-2) at Lincoln (10-0)
The Appleton City Bulldogs are riding a six-game win streak entering a rematch with Lincoln in the Class 1, District 4 semifinals.
Last season, the Cardinals dismantled Appleton City 50-6 in the first round of the playoffs. A glance at common opponents give little reason to expect an Appleton City upset Friday.
While both teams claimed victories over Osceola, Rich Hill, Windsor and Tipton in 2016, Lincoln’s combined margin of victory is plus-177 to Appleton City’s plus-64.
Lincoln’s defense has held opponents to one score or less in every game but one, a 58-18 victory over Tipton. The Cardinals shutout Osceola 48-0 last week at home behind four Boone Kroenke passing touchdowns and 262 combined rushing yards between Derek Stephems and Dominic Simmons.
Friday’s kickoff is 7 p.m. in Lincoln.
Norborne with Hardin Central (5-4) at Sacred Heart (5-3)
Friday’s third rematch features fresher wounds. The Gremlins led by 50 at halftime Sept. 9 in Sedalia before Zac Smith put Norborne-Hardin on the board in a 58-30 Sacred Heart victory.
Since then, the Norborne-Hardin Pirates have gone 3-2 with losses to Rock Port and Southwest-Livingston County.
Sacred Heart is undefeated since a 70-12 road loss to North Andrew one week after the Norborne win. A victory Friday secures another matchup with Greenfield, which defeated the Gremlins in week two.
RaeQuan Williams, Trent Lyles, Micah Tanguay and the rest of the Sacred Heart offense look to build a similar lead Friday at Tiger Stadium and advance to the district final.
Friday’s kickoff is at 7 p.m. in Sedalia.
Alex Agueros can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @abagueros2