by Mark Cheffey
Palmyra will have its third rematch in a row as they host Hallsville in the Class 2 Quarterfinals at 1 p.m. Saturday.
The winner will advance to the semifinals and play the winner of Friday’s quarterfinal between Butler and St. Pius X of Kansas City.
Palmyra never had Hallsville on the schedule but ended up playing the Indians in week 3 after both teams lost their scheduled opponents to COVID-19 complications.
Hallsville made the trip to Palmyra Sept. 11, and the Panthers thrashed the Indians 51-16 in what was the first game played at the new PHS field.
“It will be a different game this time, I guarantee,” said Panther coach Kevin Miles. “They have great coaches, and last time, they only had a couple of hours to prepare. This time they will definitely be ready to play, and it will be a fight.”
The Indians have gone 6-2 since then, with their only losses coming against two class 3 teams.
Blair Oaks which just clobbered Centralia, 60-14, for a district title, also blasted Hallsville, 55-16, Oct. 9. Two weeks later, the Indians fell to Boonville, 30-14.
Hallsville plowed through its district with lopsided wins over Hermann, 44-8, and North Callaway, 36-14.
Panther quarterback Brody Lehenbauer said it is strange to have so many rematches in a season, but is not that big a deal.
“It’s a different feeling, but it’s just great to be in the playoffs,” Lehenbauer said. “I don’t care who we play.”