Bolivar’s night began on a high note with an opening possession 59-yard scoring drive made possible with two big 17-yard gains by senior captain Kolby Follis as both a rusher and a receiver and capped off by a nine yard touchdown rush by quarterback Rafe Peavy to take a 6-0 lead .
Harrisonville however made the most of a 46-yard punt return by senior Walter Eastwood to strike back quickly in a 4-play 41-yard drive in a 26-yard quarterback keeper run by Zach Davidson with the extra point representing the go-ahead score that the Wildcats would not surrender.
The Liberators had the momentum at the half, in making a goal-line stand with a two yard 4th down as time expired and forced a three-and-out punt to begin the 3rd quarter.
Offensively, Bolivar was shut down in only gaining 125 yards of offense and ending five of eight possessions with three-and-out punts; their last possession stalling at midfield where a 4th and 2 and a possible conversion was ended with back-to-back false starts.
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Harrisonville however overcame a stifling Bolivar defense and converted a fourth down with a 15-yard pass –Davidson’s only completed pass on the night- that set up rushing leader Austin Hopper’s 3-yard scoring plunge shortly thereafter.
Wildcat head coach Chuck Lliteras said defensive back and forth game is a result of their earlier match-up against the Liberators this season.
“It was just like a chess match; [Coach Roweton] would make an adjustment, then we’d make an adjustment, and then it would start over again,” Lliteras said.
“We’ve got a lot of hardnosed kids that really care about Bolivar football. There were times when we were getting driven back but they kept fighting back hard and made Harrisonville earn every yard,” Coach Lance Roweton said.
“We lose a lot of good seniors each year but we’ll have juniors and some sophomores step up next year.”
Harrisonville (10-2) will face Platte County in the sectional round, while Bolivar ends the season at 9-3.