REPUBLIC–With less than a week to go until Thanksgiving, there’s only a handful of high school football teams who will get to break bread and still have to game plan for an opponent. And three of them proudly come from the Ozarks.

First up, the Republic Tigers, hosting Helias Catholic out of Jefferson City in the Class 5 State Quarterfinals.

The Crusaders opened with possession, promptly drove down the field, and thanks to Austin Weaver’s hand-eye coordination and speed, strike first with this 20 yard touchdown run.

However, it’s not always the offense or defense that play a critical role in big games, sometimes special teams get involved, like this 100 yard kick return by Garrett Lester on the ensuing kickoff! Tigers tie the game 7-all!

But wait, there’s more! Republic turns around and attempts a surprise onside kick! And they come down with it! Freshman Keiran Govan makes a huge play to steal possession for the Tigers!
Which leads to Wyatt Woods rumbling into the endzone on this short score. Repmo in front, 14-7.

Following govan recovering a second straight onside kick for the Tigers, Woods zips this pass to Cory Craigmyle in the back of the endzone.

Tigers led by two td’s at that point in the second quarter, and hang on to win 28-21 to advance to the state semifinals for the first time since 1986.