Marceline's football team took a step forward in the state tournament last week when it defeated eight-seed Salisbury for the second time this year in the district opener. Fourth-seeded Santa Fe will make the roughly hour-and-a-half long bus trek Friday night to face the Tigers in the district semis as reward for defeating Sweet Springs last Friday.
Coming into Friday night, Marceline and Santa Fe have no mutual opponents.
The Chiefs will predominantly run a double-wing set offensively, although Marceline coach Greg Hough said that from what he has seen on film, Santa Fe will present a more pass-balanced attack than other teams who have run similar schemes this season.
"It's not necessarily going to be like the sets that we saw against Fayette," Hough said "They're going to spread it out a little bit more."
Hough said that aside from its dynamic, dual-threat quarterback, Santa Fe's greatest offensive threat would be wide receiver #15, Jared Rieves.
"(Rieves) is a tall kid who does a good job," Hough said. "We'll have to contain their quarterback and keep him in the pocket, he's just really athletic and they have potential for big plays, and they've done that this year."
After losing two of their first three games, the Chiefs have been on a roll in the later portion of the season. Santa Fe enters Chester Ray Stadium 7-3, and its only loss since week three was the final week of the regular season against Forsyth when it still managed to post 44 points. The Chiefs have scored fewer than four touchdowns in just two games this season.
Defensively, the Chiefs will operate by-and-large out of a 3-3 stack, interchanging between cover 1 and cover 3 schemes to keep the Tigers on their toes.
"I see a lot of blitz, they blitz a lot on the interior out of their three-man stack," Hough said. "When we see odd fronts, we'll have to zone double everything and work our zone rules. It'll be a little different than what we've seen the last couple of weeks, so hopefully our kids can pick up on what we're trying to do."