With their narrow shootout victory over rival Centralia, the Macon Tigers enter the District championship game for the first time.
The title game requires Macon to hit the road once again, this time way down south California for a fight with the fifth-ranked Pintos.
The Tigers have surprised most of their critics this season, finishing the regular portion with a mark of 7-2, and earning District wins over Boonville and Centralia.
Now comes a battle with California. Macon likely knows little about the Pintos game style, and Cali likely is the same toward the Tigers.
California, under the command of 3rd-year head coach Marty Albertson, are currently 10-1 on the season, with their lone loss coming on the road to Tri-County rival Blair Oaks.
The Pintos return 25 letterman from their 2012 squad, which went to the Class 3 semifinals, before falling to Maryville on the road.
Albertson will plan to start junior quarterback Jaden Barr (6' 0", 180 lb.) as his signal-caller against Macon.
California will rely heavily on its running game against Macon. Two seniors and a junior make up the Pinto running corp. Seniors Seth Fairchild (5' 8", 160 lb.) and Jerry Lutz (5' 9", 160 lb.) will anchor the ground game, with junior Walter Borghardt (5' 8", 165 lb.) lending some eztra help.
The Pintos will have two good-sized tight-ends for Barr to throw to. Junior Ramiro Garcia (5' 10", 215 lb.) and senior Jonathan Goans (6' 2", 230 lb.) will both prove difficult to bring down should Barr go to either one of them.
The numbers for the California offensive line look like those found on a college team.
Three seniors and two juniors make up the wall of protection. The biggest of the lineman is senior Alexx Lewis (6' 6", 300 lb.). This guy seems capable of moving the opposing line, as well as large vehicles.
Fellow seniors Nathan Goans (6' 0", 210 lb.) and Tommy Robins (6' 1", 280 lb.) will line up next to Lewis. Juniors Nathan Squires (6' 2", 235 lb.) and Zach Cummings (6' 1", 210 lb.) round out the bulk of the California line. Macon will have to push hard to move these statues.
California cruised threw the first five games of their 2013 schedule, scoring three road victories over Boonville, Mexico and Eldon, then two home wins over Hallsville and Southern Boone.
The only loss for the Pintos came on the road in week six at Blair Oaks, in which the Falcons took a one-point win, 29-28.
California bounced back to win their final three regular-season games over Osage, Warsaw and Versailles.
The winner of Monday's District Final will earn a berth in the State Quarters against either the Pioneers of Duchesne, or the Bulldogs of McCluer South-Berkeley.