(SAVANNAH, Mo.) Savannah quarterback Zane Wilt is expecting a raucous atmosphere at his home stadium when Maryville comes to town Friday night.
"I think it's going to be crazy," Wilt said. "There's going to be a ton of people here. It's going to be loud. It's going to be a lot of fun."
The Highway 71 Showdown is back pitting the 2nd ranked team in Class 4, Savannah (7-0, 5-0 MEC), against the second ranked team in Class 3, Maryville (7-0, 5-0 MEC). There is no love lost between these Midland Empire Conference foes.
"When you grow up here in Maryville like I did, and like our team has," Spoofhound head coach Matt Webb said, "you look on the schedule and you see we're going to play Savannah every year. And you really don't like them just because they are Savannah."
"It means a lot to both communities," Savannah head coach Chad Smith said, "and when you put so much time and effort into something, it makes these games like this mean so much."
This game also has implications on the conference standings. Savannah and Maryville are the last undefeated teams left in the MEC.
The Savages have won the past two meetings over the Spoofhounds. Smith says the success comes from an attitude change within the program.
"We felt, when I first got here, that a lot of the problem is a mental block that Maryville's always been good, and that Maryville's always going to beat Savannah," Smith said. "The last few years we've been able to come out on top. Our kids believe in each other and they believe in themselves and they believe that they're the better team. And when you believe, good things are going to happen."
Savannah will lean on its defense, which is allowing about a touchdown per game. Maryville counters with an explosive offense. The Hounds put up over 48 points per contest.
Kickoff from Savannah is 7:00pm.