Mound City has won back-to-back State Championships, and have a Missouri 8-Man record 8 overall in program history, as they defeated Southwest Livingston 82-46.
After falling to Southwest Livingston 58-34 back on September 20, the Panthers got redemption in a high-scoring affair.
“I'm extremely proud of these guys, they came out to play and had one heck of a football game,” Mound City head coach Taylor Staderford said. “It is great, these guys put in that work to get to this point. It means a lot to our community, these guys have a ton of community support in mound city and couldn't do it without them.”
The Panther’s offense scored on all but three drives, including the final drive of the game when they knelt the ball. While doing so, they never once passed the ball and finished with a record-setting performance on the ground with 485 yards and 11 touchdowns.
“We knew that our linemen were going to block and do their best,” Mound City senior T.J. Hopkins said. “We had to bring it every play or they were going to tackle us. They have great athletes so we knew that they won’t let up, and that we had to put it down their throat and keep going.”
Mound City had two losses entering the post season against East Atchison and Southwest Livingston, and avenged both losses in the playoffs. The Panthers have had a historic program in terms of going to the State Championship, and have a 8-2 record overall in the title game.
“Just for these guys, to get to that point is incredible. This is Mound City’s tenth trip to the championship in 20 years and that is all just the community and the guys working for it. We get in the weight room over the summer which leads to this point,” Standerford said.
The Panthers took a 50-26 lead at the half, although Southwest Livingston senior Mack Anderson had 113 rushing yards and 3 rushing touchdowns, while also passing for 50 yards and a touchdown. The Panthers came out of the gate strong in the second half and continued to extend the lead.
“We just kept on playing to the whistle,” senior T.J. Hopkins said. “I told us seniors that we only have so many minutes left out there and to take advantage of it and breathe it in because some of us will never play this game again.”
Hopkins finished with 139 yards and 3 touchdowns, while senior Dylan George added 223 yards and 4 touchdowns. George just moved to Mound City last year and has helped lead them to back-to-back titles.
“Well I’ve come here from a way bigger high school, and I’ve played a lot of high school football, but this is by far the best one yet,” George said. “Coaching, players it’s all just a great relationship with each other and an amazing feeling going back-to-back.” Southwest Livingston made it back to the championship game for the first time since 1990. Anderson finished with 168 rushing yards and 4 rushing touchdowns, while adding 126 passing yards and 1 touchdown for the Wildcats.