Teams heading in opposite directions meet Friday night.
McDonald County (5-1) is riding a three-game winning streak. Reeds Spring (3-3) has dropped two in a row. But there's one big reason the Wolves could get back on track: tight end/defensive end Caden Wiest. The 6-4, 255-pound junior is drawing recruiting interest from major colleges and creating matchup headaches for foes.
"He looks the part," Mustangs coach Kellen Hoover said. "He's that guy you want to be the first one to walk off the bus. He's a guy we're going to have to account for offensively and defensively. He's the one that stands out on film."
Wiest aside, the Reeds Spring attack has a familiar look.
"It's very similar to our offense," Hoover said. "Preparing for it should be a little bit easier just because it's a lot of the same things we run. It's things we should be aware of."
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Mustang Stadium.
In last week's 35-13 victory over East Newton, McDonald County allowed only 28 rushing yards.
"Our run defense has played really well all year," Hoover said.
But the Mustangs gave up 224 yards through the air, and two Patriots had 70 or more receiving yards.
"We've got to shore up some things in the secondary to make sure we can withstand all weapons of an offense," Hoover said.
Hoover wants to see his team pay extra attention to the details, especially eliminating penalties.
"We've just got to really have a renewed focus on the little things," Hoover said. "We've got to go back and clean that up."
McDonald County's passing game continues to flourish. Colton Ruddick, Cross Dowd, Pierce Harmon, Levi Malone and Logan Harriman are top targets for Cole Martin. Ruddick specializes in sneaking behind defenses. Opponents either aren't watching the video or can't stop the speedy senior. Ruddick has nine catches for 212 yards and four TDs in the past two games.
Jakobe Montes led the way with 99 rushing yards on nine carries against East Newton. Destyn Dowd, Jared Mora and Montes have shared the workhorse role throughout the season.
"We've got a pretty good group of running backs that we feel comfortable bringing in any one of them at anytime," Hoover said.
As the victories increase and the Mustangs keep pushing for the playoffs, expectations and pressure will build.
"That is a really good thing for our program," Hoover said. "We want to be where it's expected to win. We expect to win. Our kids have expected to win."
Reeds Spring at McDonald County
When: 7 p.m. Friday.
Where: Mustang Stadium.
Records: Reeds Spring is 3-3, 2-2 in the Big 8 East; McDonald County is 5-1, 3-1 in the Big 8 West.
Radio/livestream: KURM 100.3; KNEO.org.