Lamar races into state semifinals


AVA, Mo. — The Ava Bears were the last team to beat Lamar.

That was back in 2019.

The Tigers beat the Bears 35-14 on Saturday on Silvey Field in Ava to reach its second straight state semifinal game.

“We always tell our kids that hosting a semifinal game in Barton County is a big deal,” Tigers head coach Jared Beshore said. “That doesn’t happen every single year. I think our kids are kind of buying into how important and how special that is. There isn’t anything better than waking up on a Saturday morning knowing that you are going to play a semifinal game at your home place. It’s pretty special.”

Both teams fumbled on their first possession, but the Tigers (12-0) still raced out to a 14-0 lead after Austin Wilkerson and Logan Crockett each ran in a touchdown.

Ava (11-1) responded with a Zach Reynolds 30-yard touchdown run to close the gap to 14-7.

Reynolds would also record an interception and an ensuing one-yard touchdown run, but Lamar led at halftime 21-14.

Lamar would score two more touchdowns in the second half, while keeping Ava off the scoreboard.

Lamar will host Richmond in the state semifinals next weekend.

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