The Houston High School football team will host the East Newton Patriots in a Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSSA) Class 2 District 3 playoff game this Friday (Nov. 1) in Tiger Stadium.
The contest will be the first district playoff game hosted by Houston since 2005. The Tigers (4-5, 2-5 SCA) earned the home game with an upset win last week in Mountain View, as they beat Liberty 18-14, marking their first victory over the Eagles since 2005.
Located in Granby (near Neosho), East Newton is a member of the Western Division of the 14-team Big 8 Conference, a league that forces to Class 2 Patriots to face class 3 and class 4 teams almost every week. HHS head coach Eric Sloan said their record isn’t indicative of their talent.
“If they played in the SCA, I think they would be one of the top seeds,” he said. “They’ve got some big, fast, strong athletes and it will be a tough test.”
The winner of Friday’s game will take on the winner of the matchup between top-seeded Ava (9-0) and No. 8 Mountain Grove (0-9).
Sloan believes his entire team is reaching its peak right now and welcomes the chance to play whoever is scheduled.
“It’s been great knowing the kids have bought in and watching them decide, ‘hey, we can do this,’” he said. “With what we’ve got going right now and all the confidence we have, let’s play.”
Houston is seeded fourth in the eight-team district, while East Newton is No. 5.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Beginning at about 6:45 p.m., the game will be streamed live online, featuring the Houston Herald Live broadcast team of Ryan Munson and Jeff Richardson.
No. 8 Mountain Grove @ No. 1 Ava
No. 7 Forsyth @ No. 2 Liberty
No. 6 Willow Springs @ No. 3 Strafford
No. 5 East Newton @ No. 4 Houston
*Round 2 set for Nov. 8