Lebanon, Mo. — The Lebanon Yellowjackets love their football.

“I’m ready to get out there on Friday night and actually start rolling,” Lebanon senior running back Cade Muscia said.”

The Lebanon Yellowjackets also love running their football.

“Well, we’re just all aggressive and run hard. Play hard. We all do our job,” Lebanon senior running back Nathan Bartell said.

And who can blame them? While some are thankfully to have one 1,000-yard rusher returning, the Jackets have two of them.

“Oh, we all have a great bond and practice hard together and all love each other and we all want to win,” Bartell said.

“I guess every play we’ve got such an electric offense, every play, there’s a chance to break something,” Muscia said. “So every play is just, you know, you’re ready for every place. You know what’s going to happen.”

The tandem of Cade Muscia and Nathan Bartell are enough to keep defensive coordinators up at night.

“Yeah, because it goes one-by-one,” Bartell said. “He goes up the middle, I like on the outside. So whichever one they try to stop, we just go the other way.”

“It starts obviously with talent,” Lebanon head coach Will Christian said. “I mean, they can run, they’re athletic, they’re bigger kids. So they, you know, they’re difficult to bring down. And so they just are kind of the complete package for high school football and what they’re able to do. And and then you tie in the fact that they’re great teammates and great people.”

The Jackets have won two district titles and turned it into two state quarterfinal appearances.

“You got there. But then, yeah, you were, you know, just a sniff away from, you know, the grand prize,” Christian said. “So, you know, I think the best approach for our kids, our coaches is to really not think about that and and to really be focused on today and just getting better and and let what happens then take care of itself based on what we’re doing now.”

But they have sights set on taking care of business each week and not finishing the season until December.

“Oh, I think especially with it being the last two years in a row, it I know for myself it really eats at me just want to get past that and keep going forward and bringing state championship back here something we haven’t done,” Muscia said. “So that’s that’s my main goal and I know everybody else feels the same way.”

Lebanon opens the season at Parkview on August 26.