The Spearville Royal Lancers host their third playoff game of the season tonight, when they host the Hoxie Indians in one of two 8-man Division I sub-state games.
At stake is a trip to Newton, Kansas Nov. 25 to take on the winner of Burlingame versus St. Paul.
Both Spearville and Hoxie narrowly beat their opponents last week.
Hoxie overcame a late deficit and beat South Central 30-25. Spearville drove down the field on the last drive of the game and scored a touchdown with one second left to slip by Central Plains 32-28.
Spearville head coach Matt Fowler said Central Plains made some blocking adjustments and in general executed their game plan well.
“It was a just a really well-played game and our kids just kept going out there, and I think they had fun,” Fowler said.
When Hoxie and Spearville take the field tonight, the Royal Lancers will have to contend with Hoxie’s size. They are one of the biggest teams Fowler said he’s see, in particular at the 8-man level.
“They’ll pose a lot of problems for us especially because of the difference in size,” Fowler said.
Among the embodiments of that size are Hoxie’s fullback, who is listed at 223 pounds, and their center, listed at 6 feet, 3 inches tall and 335 pounds.
Fowler said he hopes the team will utilize their speed and take good angles to help overcome the size difference between the two teams.
Blocking both in the run and pass will also be key he said. Lastly, getting off blocks, particularly on defense, will be vital to the team beating Hoxie tonight.
Tonight’s game takes place at the Spearville High School football stadium in Spearville, Kansas. The game is scheduled to start at 6 p.m., an hour earlier than most Friday-night games.