By Fred Liggett
The Class 6 District 3 champion will be decided on a football field in Nixa, Missouri on Friday night when the Lee’s Summit North Broncos visit the host Nixa Eagles. There are eight teams in this district and the top two seeds have survived to reach this district title game. The #2 seeded Broncos have played the first two playoff games at home against familiar foes in Lee’s Summit and then last week against LS West. The Broncos defeated the Tigers 35-17 in the opening round and last week in a heavy downpour beat the Titans 20-7. The Eagles opened up against a familiar foe in Ozark and easily won 35-7. Nothing was easy for the Eagles last week as they got past the Ray-Pec Panthers at home 27-15.
Both the Broncos and Eagles are hoping to raise the district champion plaque when this one is over and that’s not the only thing they have in common. The Broncos are 10-1 heading into the match up. The Broncos are enjoying a 10 game winning streak after a season opening loss on the road at Liberty North. The Eagles are also 10-1 suffering their only loss to conference foe Republic 36-35. The week eight loss occurred on their home field and the game didn’t end until overtime. Lee’s Summit North has already won a conference title this season going undefeated at 5-0 in Suburban Silver Conference. Nixa finished at 8-1 in the Central Ozarks Conference.
Names to know in this championship battle include several names on the offensive side of the ball. When the Broncos score don’t be surprised if the names Tanner Howes and Quincey Baker are mentioned. The Broncos backfield is a talented one who know how to reach the end zone. Opposing defenses know all too well about the Broncos two QB system that works well each week. Quarterbacks Elijah Leonard and Maxxwell Ford alternate at the position to much success. The Eagles possess an offensive attack that has scored over 60 points in two games this season, 50+ in five games and over 40 points in seven of their 10 wins. On the season, the Eagles have put 501 points on the scoreboard. Junior Wide Receiver Rylan Michel is the Eagles leading receiver and senior Ramone Green, Jr. is the team’s leading rusher averaging 193 yards a game. Green is the team’s leading offensive threat scoring 33 touchdowns in 11 games so far.
The challenge of slowing down Green is one the Broncos defense is well aware of. Senior LB Kade Williams says of Nixa’s Green “a really good running back.” Two years ago the Broncos were aware of Green in a scheduled first round game but it was never played due to being canceled due to COVID-19. Williams states, “The team feels he will be the best we have faced all year.” This week in practice the Broncos coaching staff has been stressing “physicality.” Williams feels it will be “a test for the Broncos D-line play.”
The Eagles being in the Ozarks and with the Broncos being in the Kansas City metro area they usually do not play the same teams in a given year. This season they do have a common opponent, that is the Ray-Pec Panthers. The Broncos beat up the Panthers 47-7 at Ray-Pec while the Eagles eliminated Ray Pec last week at home by a 27-15 count.
Eagles Stadium at Nixa High School will be the site of this Class 6, District 3 Championship game. Kick-off is at 7 p.m. with game time temps expected to be in the mid to upper 30’s When it ends will it be the Lee’s Summit North Broncos winning back-to-back district titles or will the host Nixa Eagles prevail and move on to the state semifinal round?