High school football season is just two weeks in, but week 3 is bringing some extra buzz around Smith-Cotton High School.
“Everybody is just waiting for Friday,” said senior defensive back and receiver Lane McFail.
It’s Warrenburg week and the 2014 Silver Tiger game comes to Jennie Jaynes Stadium for the second straight year.
Smith-Cotton had a dominating 42-6 win last season, but the previous three matchups were decided by a combined seven points. The last Silver Tiger victory for Warrenburg was in 2010.
Senior lineman Eric Ramsey said he wants to keep this senior class’ undefeated streak against Warrenburg, but added he still approaches the rivalry like every other game.
Fellow senior lineman Brian Laster agreed that it’s important to keep the Silver Tiger Trophy his senior year.
“I don’t want to be in the senior class that loses it,” he said.
Both teams enter the game at 1-1. Warrensburg broke a 20-game losing streak with a week 1 win at Excelsior Springs, but lost 17-8 to Pleasant Hill in its home opener last week.
“They have really good size and they have some good athletes,” said head coach Ryan Boyer. “Even in their loss to Pleasant Hill, they still played a hard-fought game.”
Smith-Cotton followed up their 22-7 loss at Republic in week 1 with a 28-14 win at home against Marshall last week, but Smith-Cotton turned the ball over four times.
“I told them luckily our defense did a great job at taking it back,” Boyer said.
Smith-Cotton’s defense matched the four turnovers to save the game. McFail and Jayce Simoncic each had interceptions for Smith-Cotton last week and the S-C defense recovered two fumbles.
“Through camps, through the jamboree and through week 1, we’ve shown improvement each week,” McFail said. “I’m very confident this is a team that can bring it all together and go somewhere in the playoffs.”
Fellow senior receiver and defensive back Marquez Raye compares this rivalry to the NFL’s Bears-Packers and Steelers-Ravens games.
“I moved here my freshman year, but just being around when Warrensburg comes to Smith-Cotton or if we go to Warrensburg, it’s a great atmosphere and it’s a great game to play,” he said.
The rivalry will bring early-season energy to Jennie Jaynes. The last time Smith-Cotton hosted Warrensburg before week 5 was 2011, a 30-27 week 2 win for Smith-Cotton.
“It’s a big game atmosphere early in the season, which is very neat,” Boyer said. “We get to see how they can or can’t control their emotions in that type of setting. That’s great to see early on.”
Raye will make just his second appearance in the Silver Tiger game Friday, but said he realizes the significance of the rivalry to the schools and the cities involved.
“It’s still a great game to watch and to be in it is just a huge honor,” he said.
As the senior class attempts to come out victorious against Warrensburg once again, Boyer said in the past seniors have noted this game as a highlight of their football careers.
“It seems like when we reflect back at the end of the year and talk about their fondest memories are, it seems like every year they say the big moment was winning the Silver Tiger,” he said.